Advice for NAS setup

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nope7308, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I know very little about NAS configurations, so I'll explain my basic workflow, and hopefully others can offer some reasoned suggestions.

    I have a desktop PC that I used as a central media server; it contained several HDDs for media storage, and I would stream those files to other devices on the network (Plex for the TV). I think I have about 2.5TB of video files, and about 500GB of music files (and counting).

    The PC is having issues and will crash/shutdown after a few hours. This means the media files are unavailable on the network, and so it's essentially useless as a media server. Enter NAS.

    What NAS solution would be best, given my workflow? The main computer is a MBP, and the router is an Apple Airport Extreme. The two HDDs that have most of my files are a 500GB (5000rpm) Seagate that's probably 10+ years old, and a 3TB Seagate (7200rpm) that's about 2 years old. I presume I would have to replace both if I go with an NAS configuration? I'm also thinking about a possible RAID configuration since I cannot replace most of these files if there's ever a drive failure.

    What solution would work best, and what should I expect all of this to cost? I greatly value user friendliness, quiet operation, and minimalism design/aesthetic. The less blinking lights, the better.

    And does this thing have to be connected to the router via ethernet? I have poor wifi coverage in some parts of the apartment due to thick plaster walls, so it would be ideal if the NAS could extend wireless coverage.

    I really have no idea how NAS works, so apologies for the noob questions!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    If your going for something to serve plex then qnap is the best bet.
     
  3. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    Just to be clear, I only really use Plex for streaming videos to the TV through the PS4. Otherwise, I typically use mPlayerX, VLC, etc. when streaming to a computer. Does that make any difference?
     
  4. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, USA
    #4
    As always posted, QNAP has the better bang-for-buck hardware and Synology has the better software. And many guides and scripts and customizations found online are usually for Synology than QNAP (in my experience).

    I am happy with my DS916+. I paid for Plex Pass to get the experimental hardware acceleration on it, but then you no longer get the new automatic quality feature.

    Buying new hard drives would be best, but remember you will need somewhere to temporarily offload the data in those drives as they need to be formatted when connected to a NAS for the first time. The Synology SHR setup is nice because you can just keep adding new drives to the "pool" over time: https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/RAID_calculator

    At least for the DS916+, and I assume others, you can schedule the LED brightness for certain times of the day or just disable it if it bothers you. And for the fan, the hard drives will be more noisy than the case.
     
  5. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #5
    When moving from my desktop to my laptop I had this same issue. My desktop had all my music and photos on internal drives but let's face it, laptops just don't have enough storage, not when you're talking hundreds of gigabytes just for photos let alone all the music my wife and I have.

    My choice was a Synology unit (the 2 drive DS217 I think, would have to check to be sure) and while it is no speed deamon, it meets my immediate needs.

    Boast is correct about a location to move your files from when your NAS is delivered and setup. NAS will reformat the drives per its OS. If you can keep the Windows box running just long enough for a transfer that would be great. Otherwise you might think about external enclosures for this.

    Our NAS is in our basement and connected via wired network and the wired network has WiFi capability so anywhere in the house I can listen to music or work on my photos.
     
  6. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #6
    I for one, before even building a NAS, would promptly buy a 4TB or larger external hard drive to backup these drives.
     
  7. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #7
    Good advice matreya ...

    First thing I would do would be to buy a 4TB or more drive and make a backup of your files that are only on your old existing drives. I would try to determine what drives I was going to use in my NAS (I use a Synology) and buy that drive for the backup ... then it would be my "spare" drive to be used in the event of a NAS drive failure for quick replacement.
     
  8. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    First, I'm very aware about the need to backup my existing drives. I did a bit more research and I think I figured out a suitable approach...

    I'll wait for the Synology DS718+ 2-bay NAS, and then start with a single 6TB HDD. I'll copy all the files over, and then keep the original drives untouched as a backup. Eventually, I'll install a second 6TB HDD for a RAID configuration, at which point I'll format the original HDDs, and repurpose them in another build, or perhaps save for future expansion.

    I figure 2-bays would be sufficient for my current needs, and Synology has a 5-bay expansion pack if I ever need it. The 4-bay NAS system are a bit too rich for my blood, and I don't want write speeds lower than 100mb/s.

    Any objections, or does this sound good to you all?
     
  9. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #9
    My unit is the DS216j and I like it pretty well. It is my first experience with NAS so as a learning experience it has been worth it.
     

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