Best thunderbolt storage for Mac Mini Server running Plex?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by deckerinn, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. deckerinn macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    Dear Members.

    I own a Mac Mini Server 2012 with SSD 256 GB and 1 TB 5400 Hard disk but I am an HTPC enthusaist but running into storage trouble.

    I need tips of which kind of thunderbolt storage (external disks or NAS) box I should consider as I want to use it mainly for movies, documentaries and music but as I will have security surveiliance system at home I thought maybe NAS would be the best solution for camera recording outside my house.

    Could you recommend a low noise NAS or external storage with thunderbolt connection. The size I am seeking for is 10-20 TB's??:confused:

    I use Plex for media and am considering XBMC as well.

    Best regards, Deckerinn:)
  2. Gizmo22 macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2009
    Midwest USA
    Somewhat in the same boat, but also been here before so I can offer up my commentary.

    First, you mention NAS or external (assume DAS) with TB. Do you have any idea on JBOD status or do you want some redundancy and backup integration?

    10-20TB - how soon do you plan on using this much space, and are you looking to have five 4 TB disks, or ten 2 TB disks?

    For DAS, I have personally gone the route of Orico in the past (pre 4TB disk available) and loved them. Very solid construction, good look, and toolless options were secure and functional at same time. That said, the latest imported product line has me looking to other alternatives as it seems there is difficulty in getting 4TB compatibility across their entire product line.

    NAS options have always led me to various + models from Synology. At the moment I am looking for JBOD for my media, and not worrying about redundancy.
  3. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    While nice that you are looking for Thunderbolt connection for your media server, the transfer speed possible is simply overkill for almost all streaming applications. It will of course be useful when copying media from one stroage device to another. Even USB 2.0 is fast enough.

    One device getting great reviews by the video editing community is the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt device; it comes in 10TB and 20TB configurations. It does not come diskless. You'll see 600-700MB/sec performance in RAID-0. For comparison, even the highest streaming requirements for high quality (and typically compressed)HD is less than 10MB/sec.

    There are also NAS devices that can deliver this kind of performance for HD streaming. The 5big sister drive from LaCie, the NAS Pro along with NAS devices from other companies have 10TB and 20TB or more capacity possibilities, and are even available diskless so you can add more storage as needed. These have 1Gbit Ethernet connections and can also handle your streaming needs.

    I suggest you look beyond the interface, and understand what your performance requirements truly are. If you are simply looking to stream ripped DVDs, Blu-rays, or other H.264 or MP4 media, Thunderbolt is overkill, and most any NAS or even a USB 3.0 device will servie your needs. Only problem with USB 3.0 is finding a multi-drive USB chassis that is reliable.

    One other point if you do decide on a multi-drive system for this application. Instead of cofiguring as RAID-0 which stripes all the drives in to one volume, consider sticking with JBOD - individual drive volumes. Using OS X services you can join each individual volume into one large volume.

    With RAID-0, failure of even one drive will cause you to lose everything on the other drives. If you find a system with RAID-5 or 6, recovery is possible from a single drive failure, but that too would take hours or days to rebuild.

    With individual JBOD volumes each drive is still separately accessible. take a look at using Core Storage services to create a logical volume. This is similar to Fusion but safer. One resource to explore is:
  4. deckerinn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    Best thunderbolt storage for Mac Mini Server running Plex?

    Thank tou very much for your comments.:)

    The thing is that I thought about thunderbolt as USB 3 is quite unstable for daisy chain disks and I have had bad experience with it. I would like to have 4 TB disks and few instead of many smaller. Any ideas?

    br, Deckerinn

    These are the ones I have been looking at:

    DROBO D5
  5. ctyrider macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    You don't need Thunderbolt level performance for Plex / media streaming. Thunderbolt is indented for high I/O use cases, like HD video editing. You'd just be wasting your money on Thunderbolt for home theater streaming.

    I'd look at Synology NAS. They make a number of enclosures, supporting anywhere from 1 to 8 drives.
  6. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Take a look at the LaCie 5big NAS Pro. Can be configured as JBOD or RAID-5, and as I mentioned before, can purchase with or without drives. The 5big will handle 2TB and 4TB drive devices.
  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Be sure to look at everything the different devices can do. Synology has some pretty great software built-in so take a look at the software manual for that and the other ones you might consider.
  8. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
    I cannot urge you strongly enough to avoid LaCie and G-Drive if your intent is to retain your files. All I know about Drobo is that people hate the proprietary software.
  9. Giuly macrumors 68040


    I guess the highest stuff you'll ever throw at it is 4K 3D, which should be <400MBit/s (50MB/s) for your "uncompressed BluRay backups".

    So, a Thunderbolt DAS is kinda overkill (unless you're editing the 4K 3D movie), while a Synology DS413j or a LaCie 5big Network 2 should do the job pretty well.
  10. rnauman821 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Build a freenas box. You can add as many hard drives as you need. It's a ZFS filesystem. Any computer you own can connect to it including your plex server.
  11. b06tmm macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2009
    South Louisiana
  12. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
  13. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Congratulations, you resurrected a thread that's been inactive for 15 months.
  14. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Darn !

    Darn! Stupid me did not look at the date... wont happen again :)
    I will have coffee before look at the posted
  15. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014

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