Help with NAS for Mac Mini & Imac 24"

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rikvanloo, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. rikvanloo macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I own a 24" Imac and last week changed my ATV to the new Mini. Both have internet via Airport Extreme.

    I currently own a WD World Book 2TB external HD which is 75% full.

    I'm looking to change the WD into a NAS with more capacity in which I can add extra HD's whenever I need too. In the stores, salespeople are all windows minded and can't seem too guarantee that a particular product works with the Apple set-up I have.

    Any ideas on a NAS or did anyone try to make one for themselves?

  2. ZenAmateur macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2008
    I purchased the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, available at Amazon for $339 with a $100 rebate, $239 after rebate including a 1 Tb drive. I added a second 1 Tb drive from Newegg for hot swap RAID use, and am very happy with the unit. It is a little loud when booting but then the fan drops to almost inaudible levels. It is actually a small *NIX computer, and can do web serving duty as well as acting as a NAS. I use it for client file backups and hosting my iTunes and movies for my home network, streaming to my Macbook connected to my LCD.

    It uses AFP for shares, so access through the Finder is easy, and has automatic backup utilities included with the NAS. It can also connect to a UPS with a USB connector for automatic shutdowns in case of an outage. It is smaller than a toaster, and has a metal case and drive sleds, very compact and well made. Upgrading the disks just requires pulling one of the drives out while it is on, adding a larger drive, allowing the rebuild to take place and then switching out the other drive and letting it rebuild.

    At the price it can't be beat.

    One of the things that makes something like the stand alone units work better for me is that the RAID is something implemented at the machine level, and includes the ability to do a hot rebuild of a failing drive. There is a widget that comes with the ReadyNAS units that gives real time status of the drives health and remaining capacity. Also, the footprint of these units is exceptionally small, which means that the ReadyNAS Duo that I use actually has a smaller space requirement than two stand alone HDs, as well as fewer power and cable connections. It is also quieter than my stand alone drives, even with the fan running. The fan on this unit runs around 1700 rpm after it finishes booting, which is inaudible in my work environment (a quiet office). Using an old PowerMac for a file server would be LOUD, one of the main things I love about my MacPro is the relatively silent operation. If you need more space, the ReadyNAS comes in 4 and 6 drive versions.
  3. spraggih macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2009
    +1 on the ReadyNas --- I have one of those 6 bay ones.

    But the Drobos get a lot of Mac love also. Sometimes more than the ReadyNas. But both work well with Macs, supporting AFP and Time Machine (ReadyNas has a 2 TB backup limit)--- but for you usage you would probably use the built in RAID software and not be bothered by Time Machine.
  4. McTeddy macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm using a Promise Smartstore NS4300n. With (4) 1TB drives. (I think it may even support the 1.5TB drives now). It works great with Mac and Windows. It does SMB, FTP, AFP, NFS. And has gigabit ethernet. I have SMB and AFP shares setup for my Music and Video directories that are used by XBMC on my Windows box and Plex on my Mac Mini. Works great and plenty of storage.

    Only complaint I had with the NS4300n is the case fan was a little too loud. I ended up replacing this with a quieter one from a local computer shop - some soldering was involved.
  5. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    I have an NS4300N as well and it works fine with all of the protocols listed above. It also has plugins to turn it into a DLNA server, an iTunes server, a BitTorrent server, etc. It is also a 4 drive bay unit, so you can set up RAID 0,1, or 5 (a two drive bay unit obviously can't do RAID 5)
  6. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    +1 on the Readynas duo

    ive been using mine with my macbook, mini and a windows pc without any problems.
  7. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    I use a product called unRAID that has been working very well.

    There is a thread just a little ways down that is title something like "Storage Solutions for our out of control library." Take a look through that thread for a lot of solutions that have been discussed.
  8. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Would give another vote for the Drobo. Attached to the mini it makes a good NAS solution.
  9. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I purchased an old school PowerMac G4 Quicksilver recently (awaiting delivery from ups sometime this week) and a 4 port internal sata and usb 2.0 card.

    My thoughts were that it can run leopard, so it uses AFP which makes it an easy mix with all my household macs. It can hold in the neighborhood of 4-7 hard drives with the addition of some SATA PCI cards. It has gigabit ethernet and I can also use usb 2.0 or firewire 400/800 enclosures if I wanted to.

    Overall I spent about $220 on it including the upgrades.

    I'll post again with my experiences once it's delivered/set up and I've used it a bit.

    Also, if money is no object, you could always take a look at that Smartstor DS4600 on Apple's site. It comes with 4TB of space, has fw800, everyone seems to have positive experiences with it and is RAID capable.

    on Apple's site it's $799 and comes with 4TB's of space already included, although you could bump it to 8TB's with 2TB drives and it allows for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10

    on Amazon's site it's $312 and comes w/o any drives

    Let us know what you end up picking!
  10. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    I wouldn't bother with NAS. Your Mini is one of the most energy efficient devices on your network so you may as well just keep it running. The Mini can then be a Time Machine backup for other machines on the network, an iTunes Home Sharing "server", file server, media server etc.

    With multiple external FW drives you could establish a backup routine using Carbon Copy cloner. If you wanted to keep it all in one unit just attach a Drobo or a raid 5 enclosure and utilize the redundancy of those devices.

    I currently have in my setup a dual FW enclosure with a 1.5tb for storage and a 2tb drive for backup. When my collection outgrows the space I think I will acquire a Drobo with 2 of whatever the max current drives are at the time, transfer all of my media over then add my existing drives into the array (or whatever Drobo calls it).

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