Help on NAS / DAS etc

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sanderr2, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. sanderr2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2013
    Hi all, I have a reasonably large music / TV / film library (<8TB) which is currently resides on a cheap external enclosure housing 4 x 4TB Seagate "Green" Drives. My 27" iMac unfortunately missed out on USB 3.0 so the drives are connected to my Mac over USB 2.0. We also have various other Macs in the house.

    The 4 drives are configured as two concatenated pairs of drive and CCC backs up the library to the spare pair of drives.

    We have 6 Apple TVs and about the same number of Airport Extreme's so the library can be used on all the TVs in the house (it used to work on iPad's too but not any longer - thanks Apple!).

    The current setup is a bit painful in that I can't configure the power management settings of the Seagate drives (Seagate doesn't seem to support Mac) and they are forever going to sleep on me making using the drives a pain while I wait 30 seconds for them to spool up.

    Apple TV just about works but most days I have to restart a given Apple TV, or iTunes or both for them to work. I'm almost resigned to this as Apple's support for Apple TV seems very poor (e.g. inability to use a large library with iPads). I also have most of the ATVs directly connected to an Airport using Ethernet as Wifi performance seems a bit flakey.

    Anyhow a new iMac is on the horizon and a new mass storage solution also beckons. The requirement is to have a set of drives that are always spooled up; that are backed up using CCC or perhaps something more elegant (Drobo?). I think the library needs to be accessible from more than one iMac (as on occasion there may be more than 3 Apple TV's trying to access content) but I think only my iMac needs to be able to edit the library so I'm thinking Home Sharing may be sufficient.

    Anyhow I would be very, very grateful if someone could give me a steer on whether I should be going NAS or DAS, what drives to use (Hitachi?), what enclosure and how best to configure / share the library across multiple Macs / Apple TVs.

    Thanks in anticipation,
  2. ColdCase, Dec 22, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Most of your trouble is probably from using "green" drives. The clients get impatient waiting for them. My old iMac had the same issue with external drives that were slow to spin up. It also was also connected to the home network wirelessly which limited the number of simultaneous users. What OS is on your iMac?.

    I currently have a 2012 Mac mini setup with OS 10.9.5 with a Thunderbay (4 drive enclosure) and NAS type drives that has zero issues. Its connected to the house router via ethernet cable to maximize bandwidth. I pair a couple 4TB drives for on 8 TB volume for data and itunes library and a pair of 6TB drives for a 12TB volume as backups, including the time machine destination for the household. I don't think I've touched it in months. Several ATVs, iPads, iPhones, Macs. I have a recent version AEBS to for a wireless entry point.

    Its a bit of a pain to navigate through the library from an iPad or ATV (about 800 titles). I tried PLEX and XMBC and did not like them.

    There are a few here that run a bunch of wireless clients on AEBS without issue.

    Doesn't help you much, but just to say the new iMac with better "server" type drives may work better as an iTunes server.
  3. sanderr2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2013
    Thanks Coldcase.

    I'm running Yosemite 10.10.1

    Any advice on best drives that won't go to sleep on me (Hitachi rather than Seagate / WD?) and do I need to ensure a particular enclosure too?


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