Best NAS for MBP and Lion

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sdavis81, May 6, 2013.

  1. sdavis81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    About 4 years ago I bought a ReadyNas Duo as a backup solution for MBP. I don't have a desktop. On this I use the Readynas partition feature so it has half for Time Machine and on the other half I have pictures and video that I don't keep on the computer. So I have storage and backup partitions.

    I am SICK of this thing! I am not a networking engineer and don't want to be. About every 3 months I end up speding 3 nights to figure out why the Time Machine backups arent' working any more. There are so many file protocolos and features in the DUO and I don't care about all that. I don't need it to serve or do Bit Torrent or any of the other things.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a NAS that can serve me better? I want to store some things there, do Time Machine backups there, and I would like RAID with 2 drives so if one fails I am OK. I do also have an external that I do a separate TM backup a couple times a year.

    Maybe I just need a couple Time Capsules to make it simple, although I don't really need the router features of that.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Synology is probably the most popular and the most recommended here. Do a search to find the threads discussing this.

    I have a Qnap and I'm very happy with that, so I'll recommend that as well.
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #3
    Synology is probably the easiest general purpose NAS to set up and works well with a mac. Two drive fault tolerant is the default setup, but they have many features (as well as most NAS) that can make it somewhat daunting to set up. So many wrong buttons to push. But most of us amateurs get through it just fine, and its a solid product that you just set and forget.

    A time capsule will be easiest and simplest for you to set up, however. I use one with the router and wireless turned off that has run for years without issue (they run much cooler just as a NAS).

    The airport extremes also have USB ports to connect drives for TM backups but I've found their disk management a bit quirky. Time capsules are solid drive managers.

    Time capsules don't do Raid, but mountain lion allows you to alternate drive backups, so if you want to plug an inexpensive USB drive into the time capsule, Mountain Lion will back up to the internal one time, the external the next, and back and forth. Thats how I have mine set up for some fault tolerance. Should the TC fail, you always have the external drive backup to connect directly to the computer. Doesn't help you for earlier OSs. For older machines, I use Carbon Copy Cloner in addition to Time Machine for redundant backups.
     
  4. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #4
    It's quite well known that Time Machine doesn't work reliably on a NAS - it doesn't matter what brand and size. That said, Synology do make claims that theirs do work well - so go figure. I also had a Duo (before I had a Mac). I junked it for a bigger 6 bay ReadyNAS (works fine - it just doesn't do Time Machine well enough - so I don't use Time Machine).

    If I was starting afresh I also would go with Synology, but not because of Time Machine.
     
  5. sdavis81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #5
    Thanks.

    I do also use an Airport Extreme. So Say I got a TC, and plugged an external into the USB on the AE. Can either of those hold the other media AND take the backups? I guess the TC would need a partition?

    Or could I maybe put the media on the external, hooked to the AE. And then backup both the computer and the external to the TC? Can I do that?

    I will look into Synology too.

    You mentioned not using TM, what do you do otherwise? Super Duper every now and then? Does Super Duper run scheduled backups? Does this require a partition? Said another way, is there a software backup plan that does not require the partition like TM does? If there is, I could get a TC and backup in duplicate to that and an external hooked to the AE I guess.

    Thanks all.
     
  6. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #6
    I don't use Time Machine because I get by with RAID NAS (and duplicate mirroring) and using CCC to backup my MBA every day. There's a whole argument about whether versioning is needed (for me not), but that's the best reason for Time Machine. By the way, the newest (just released) Netgear NAS range does propose versioning (I haven't investigated it).
     
  7. ColdCase, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #7
    You can share a TC drive (internal or external) with any number of machine TM backup plus any kind of files. You can do the same with an AE and attached USB drive.

    You log into the TC or AE with airport utility and go to the disk tab and enable sharing. Set up the security features as you like, most just use the default network password.

    Any machine can now see the drive (under network) and you can use the storage space just like an attached drive. You can drag and drop files there as you wish. You can open TM preferences and select the shared disk for the backup target.

    What you will see in the finder for that disk is a number of sparse images that include computers in the name. These are the TM backup files. You will also see all the other shared folders and files you may have placed there.

    Many here do not set up this way because TM will continue to version and eat up disk space until it uses up all the disk, leaving no room for files. So its may be better to have one drive or partition dedicated to TM and another dedicated to shared files, depending on the size of your drives.

    I could be mistaken, but I don't think you can partition a drive with the airport utility. I have two drives connected to my TC, the internal is dedicated to TM backups for several computers, the external dedicated to shared files (Although there are a couple machines backing up to the external and I have some files on the internal drive, 3TB is a lot of storage).

    There are a number of ways to skin the cat, but one drive can be used to store files and several machine backups (whether they be TM, CCC, or others)
     
  8. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #8
    TC is not fault tolerant and Synology has its issues - fans, temperature, lack of USB3 etc. So I recently bought HP Proliant Microserver - for $349, threw in 2x4GB ECC RAM (80$), and a USB3 controller (24$) and 4xWD 2TB ($100 ea) and 2 existing USB3 2TB drives. This gives me a fully redundant setup with ample space and all the goodies of ECC memory and native ZFS for Linux (deduplication, checksumming, compression etc).

    I have Linux running on it with Netatalk and SMB4 - both my Windows And Mac machines backup flawlessly to the Microserver using built in backup programs (Windows Backup and TimeMachine). It is silent, has remote access card if you need it - (can run it in the basement for example) and fast enough to run ZFS on all the backup disks.

    Very happy with the setup - if you don't mind the one time Linux install and configuration the inserting HDDs and USB3 controller is easy.
     
  9. Tesselator, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    You can buy a MacPro1,1 2006 4-core 2.67GHz in stock form for $300 and very fast Seagate Barracuda 3TB drives are $135ea. Set to sleep soon and wake on LAN it will do everything you want and also can be upgraded with more memory to use as a desktop computer. It will transfer files to AND from (simultaneously) your laptop at about 120 to 130 MB/s in both directions which is faster than most single HHDs.

    Setup is super easy too - just plug in the cross-cable directly and share. :) You can also add Airport or BlueTooth to it for wireless sharing if you like or use the wireless LAN in you ISP's router if it has one. The MacPro has two gigabit LAN ports too so it offers very dynamic/creative configurations.

    It eats about 100 to 150W while awake and like, nothing when it's asleep.

    Although you might need a monitor to set it up after it's set up you don't. And in fact I've used a Galaxy Note II cellphone as a monitor, KB, and mouse for mine. So once set up you can clear your desk of the KB/Mouse/ and monitor and just the keep the machine (alone) under your desk or wherever.

    Another option would be using the 2006 XServe in the same way for about the same price ($300). This might physically fit your spread a little better (or not) so something to consider there. The XServe does make noise tho. You can hear it's fans running - unlike the 2006 MacPro.
     

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