Best/Cheapest NAS solution for Mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by nick_harambee, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. nick_harambee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #1
    hi

    i am looking for a backup solution that will work over my local wireless network. Having done a bit of research I have come up with three options and I am wondering about what differences there may be between these options and whether there are other more preferable options.

    1. NetGear READYNAS NV+: the most expensive option but supports AFP which is preferable to SMB. is this right? expandable. what am i paying extra for here, say over...

    2. D-Link DNS-323: only supports SMB. much cheaper than above. expandable.

    3. Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station: could connect an external hard drive via USB. built in wireless so wouldn't need a seperate wireless router.

    One feature that i would particularly like is live updating of the backups. So I am wondering what software i would need to use with these solutions. Do some NAS products come with Mac friendly software to do the backups/mirroring or would i need to use standard backup software, such as Retrospect? Also should i be thinking about how Leopard and Time Machine will work with NAS?


    thanks

    nick
     
  2. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #2
    I've been looking for a similar setup.

    I'm leaning toward the ReadyNAS as well, mainly because its solid and comes with decent backup software. Its very expensive though. Netgear bought Infrant and promptly raised the price $200 across the board.

    Thecus can support AFP as well, but my understanding is that Thecus is harder to set up if your not technical, and the software isn't nearly as strong. I hear they are making rapid progress, but they have NO technical support. By far the fastest and has 5 drive slots for the same money as ReadyNAS.

    There are a handful of other smaller vendors that also support AFP, but I found their drive support lacking (only 2 or 3 drive slots, etc).
     
  3. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #3
    Mirroring will only protect you from hardware failures, not mistakes or accidental erasures. At this point, I would wait for Leopard and see if Time Machine doesn't offer a better solution.
     
  4. kiddax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    San Antonio
    #4
    I would wait for leopard aswell to see what kind of solution that offers. I personally am waiting as well. I have a NAS sever setup that I use retrospect with which works ok, but hopefully time machine will be able to backup to a share on the network and with the OS backup that would be even better.

    To stay cheap I bought several hard drives and a raid card to put in an old PC and purchased a version of NASLite for $30, it works great and certain versions support everything - SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP and RSYNC.

    I was up and running with my solution for only several hundred dollars compared to some of the ready to go solutions. I dont know your space requirements or budget but doing the math on the hardware you will find this is probably going to be cheaper to build your own.

    My opinion only.
     
  5. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #5

    I was looking at the NAS build on Toms Hardware (small net builder ? ) and was thinking about going that route but was concerned about disk sleep and low power. Do you have any links that are more up to date to build one?
     
  6. Alienbrain macrumors member

    Alienbrain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    A TB of Storage (not mirrored)

    I was looking for something awhile back and found Simpletech Simpleshare device http://www.amazon.com/SimpleShare-500-Network-Attached-Storage/dp/B000G18NRA

    The link above is for a 500GB and I just got 2 (the price was great). Now I do want you to know you can not Mirror these (that was something I found out afterwards, I was told you could, but later found out you can not). This works at 10/100 so it you need gigabit this will not be fast enough. I have a Gigabit router but with this price and the space on the HD I thought this would be great, and so far no problems. The initial full-backup took overnight, but the incremental only takes about an hour now (give or take)


    The SW I am using is called SuperDuper, this costs about $20-$30 I can't remember, but this is great SW and I have had no problems with it. I have it on a schedule so it backs up once a week at the same time. There are also some pretty advanced features that I won't get into, but you can download the demo and check it out.

    Oh one more thing...DO NOT get Retrospect. This come with the Simpleshare and it is a POS. I tried to get it to work and so did a few other ppl that I know with Macs, and this SW is just crap.
     
  7. nick_harambee thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #7
    thanks for the advice. perhaps i could be a bit more specific about my needs so that i can get the right product:

    specifically i want to have 1.5TB of storage (ideally 2 x 750GB) on my network, which will probably be wireless.

    Drive A will be for backing up media files and i would like to do this manually every so often. I want to be able to do an exact copy of the drive on my Mac Pro with the media files on the backup. I would normally use the Smart Update feature in Super Duper! for this to an external hard drive connected locally. I presume that Super Duper! would work over the network. I wonder whether Time Machine in Leopard would also be able to do this? (i.e. not do a progressive backup where no data is lost, but just mirror the source drive exactly)

    Drive B will be for backing up my main drive on three Macs, and I think that Time Machine will work fine for this, because i would like to a progressive backup here (i.e. no data loss and an expanding backup size), and a live backup (i.e. up to the minute) which seems to be Time Machine's forte.

    So, I am thinking that the simplest way is to connect a hard drive to an Airport Extreme Base Station, but I wonder what advantage I would get from using a NAS over a USB hard drive plugged into the Airport Extreme Base Station, given the uses i want to put it to. If the NAS has an ethernet port, does this mean that i could plug it into an ethernet port on the Airport Extreme Base Station and get better speeds?

    thanks

    nick
     
  8. overcast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #8
    Why not just build your own out of old PC parts? FreeNAS.org is a custom FreeBSD install specifically configured for NAS operations. Or better yet, Opensolaris.org. Install Solaris and configure ZFS and pool together all of your drives under RAIDZ. So much cheaper and configurable. Those all in one NAS solutions are a ripoff.
     
  9. bunger macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2007
  10. LMO macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #10
    What sort of data transfer rates should you expect with these NAS systems?

    I picked up a Maxtor Shared Storage II drive a while back, and I'm seeing data transfer rates on the order of 7.5 MB/sec write on 100mbs ethernet. The D-Link DNS-323 specs a transfer rate of around 15 MB/sec write over gigabit ethernet.

    Am I correct that the data transfer rate on my Maxtor is network limited?
     
  11. northerngit macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #11
  12. nick_harambee thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #12
  13. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #13
    I've been using a ReadyNAS NV since the first of the year, and it is a fantastic product. Feature filled, all kinds of streaming options (even an iTunes server built in). I couldn't be happier with it. It has a feature that no other raid setup has that I know of: The ability to upgrade one drive at a time until all 4 are upgraded and then the increased capacity is then available. Raid set expands without data loss or downtime, pretty amazing! :)
     
  14. steeveage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    #14
    I second this. I even am able to do some basic video editing off of it (I changed all my cabling to Cat 6). It's nice to have all my data in one redundant storage so I don't have multiple copies all over.
     
  15. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #15
    Absolutely! I've REALLY enjoyed the NV... which sounds strange... but my main purpose for it was a media center (XBMC) storage solution. I have 4 500gb drives in in, just under 1.4TB usable.

    I'm still up in the air on if I should turn on AFP protocol or not... are you using that or just SMB/CIFS? Works fine, just wasn't sure of any advantages to running AFP. So cool that these devices support Bonjour out of the box. (recently picked up a Lexmark AIO printer that is a Bonjour device). Cool stuff! :cool:
     
  16. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #16
    Good to hear about the readyNas drives.

    The thing is about the size of a toaster, which is a plus. All the homebuilt NAS solutions are either mid or full sized towers.
     
  17. overcast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #17
    100mbit is around 12.5MB/s, Gigabit is 10 times that. You are being limited by cheap hardware, not network speeds.
     
  18. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #18
    I'd stay away from the Simpleshare drives. I have one, and while you can still access it, if you have 10.4.9 or later you won't be able to set it up and configure it at all.

    SimpleTech designed a POS product that doesnt seem to be able to handle the newer security upgrades that both Apple and MS built into their new OS's.

    And bc the Simpleshare can't be formatted as HFS+ it doesn't seem to work with TM either.
     

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