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View Full Version : Drobo, Linkstation, External USB???




iMerlin
Aug 21, 2008, 03:10 PM
Hey everyone, Im on the hunt for some advice. I want to create a network share environment for all my families media. I also want to back up this data and some machines.
I have about 400gbs of music and growing, and around 150 gb of movies and pics combined.
So initially I was going to get an Airport Extreme to replace my Linksys WRT54G along with a powered USB hub and 2 Lucie 1TB external USB drives (not to mention being able to connect my Canon i9100 printer to the hub as well to share that). I was going for the AE because of the USB connection.

So anytime I make a purchase I like to do some research. I started reading up on these forums but its simply confusing me more. Ive done all the searches I can think of and I keep getting more and more opinions.
I see a lot of people with Drobos and some with LS or HP Media shares. Or some with Mac Minis. Then the formatting confuses me also. If I buy 2 external USB drives, do I make them FAT32, NTFS or Journaled? Im confused.

All I want is one drive to hold all our media (and use for iTunes) and another drive to back up that media, as well as backups for our 3 PCs and one MBP.

What are the best options for me, what would be the best bang for my buck?

Thanks



TEG
Aug 21, 2008, 03:19 PM
If you are using both Windows and OS X, and you don't want to deal with extra utilities, format at FAT32. Just remember FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4GB.

TEG

iMerlin
Aug 21, 2008, 03:23 PM
If you are using both Windows and OS X, and you don't want to deal with extra utilities, format at FAT32. Just remember FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4GB.

TEG

So one file can not be bigger than 4gb? THat could cause a problem if Im ripping ISOs to the drive to hold until I convert them to MP4.
There needs to be an easier way to rip DVDs for playback on an iPhone as well as burn to a DVD. Anyway, thats another topic.

ChrisA
Aug 21, 2008, 03:33 PM
If you are using both Windows and OS X, and you don't want to deal with extra utilities, format at FAT32. Just remember FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4GB.

TEG

He is talking about network shares not direct attached drives. The file system does not have to be FAT32 the PCs and macs only see the network protocol not the drive's file system.

Very soon he is going to have a Tb of data and he''l need to back to stuff up. He is also going to need an off-site backup. This seems to me like it's a bit more than a Time Capsule or Airport router was designed for. The other prolem is that from his questions it looks like the OP has little knowlage or skill in this area, so complex suggestions like "build a file server on a PC running BSD" likey will not be helpful. In this case a pair of Drobos each stuffed with 500GB drives sounds like a nice way to go and there would be a long upgrade path as the drobo could start out with just two 500gb drives and later have four 2TB drives

iMerlin
Aug 21, 2008, 04:07 PM
He is talking about network shares not direct attached drives. The file system does not have to be FAT32 the PCs and macs only see the network protocol not the drive's file system.

Very soon he is going to have a Tb of data and he''l need to back to stuff up. He is also going to need an off-site backup. This seems to me like it's a bit more than a Time Capsule or Airport router was designed for. The other prolem is that from his questions it looks like the OP has little knowlage or skill in this area, so complex suggestions like "build a file server on a PC running BSD" likey will not be helpful. In this case a pair of Drobos each stuffed with 500GB drives sounds like a nice way to go and there would be a long upgrade path as the drobo could start out with just two 500gb drives and later have four 2TB drives

Thanks ChrisA for the response. Although I like to think I have a little knowledge! :D

The Drobo scares me because Ive read that the format of the drives are Drobo specific. So if anything happens to the Drobo itself, then I cant easily pull out the drives and plug them in somewhere else.

So what you are saying is that with a Networked drive the format of the disk doesnt matter? So if I get Lacie drives formatted for Mac OSX and plug those into the AE, PC or my Mac can RW to them? I also like the thought of USB drives as opposed to Ethernet simply because if my network is down for some reason, I wont be able to access the Ethernet drives whereas with USB I can just plug the drive right into the computer if the network is down.

TEG
Aug 21, 2008, 04:33 PM
He is talking about network shares not direct attached drives. The file system does not have to be FAT32 the PCs and macs only see the network protocol not the drive's file system.

Not entirely true, as my PowerBook cannot do some things on NAS systems formatted in NTFS, even when I have full permissions.

TEG

blodwyn
Aug 21, 2008, 05:54 PM
The Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo (http://www.buffalotech.com/files/products/LinkStation-Pro-Duo_DS.pdf) looks like a good device. It has USB and Ethernet interfaces, and seemed to get a good review (http://www.slashgear.com/buffalo-linkstation-pro-duo-review-0610116.php). Price seems to be in the $500 range for the 2TB model.

iMerlin
Aug 21, 2008, 08:34 PM
The Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo (http://www.buffalotech.com/files/products/LinkStation-Pro-Duo_DS.pdf) looks like a good device. It has USB and Ethernet interfaces, and seemed to get a good review (http://www.slashgear.com/buffalo-linkstation-pro-duo-review-0610116.php). Price seems to be in the $500 range for the 2TB model.


Yeah this device looks good, I wish it had a FireWire800 though for the initial transfer. I wonder if I can hook up a printer to this USB port? Im looking around on Buffalo and dont see any info about printers, all about hanging another drive off of it.

Edit: it doesnt look like the USB can be used for anything other than another HDD. It even states that you can not hook the drive directly up to the computer using the USB which kinda stinks. If something on the network goes down, Im stuck with no data.

iMerlin
Aug 25, 2008, 03:17 PM
So I decided to go with the Drobo with a couple of 500gb Seagate drives. My only concern is that I still dont have my MBP yet. I already have my AEBSn and had planned on plugging the Drobo into the AEBSn to share it over my network. So even though I dont have a mac yet, will I need to format the Drobo to NFS+ since it is connected to the AEBSn??