Home NAS/Network storage extension and backup solution

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by misterklubhead, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. misterklubhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #1
    Hi everybody,
    I am looking to find a network solution to my storage issue. I have a MBA with 256 GB and I want to extend the storage through my wireless network and I want to use a NAS. This is my curent setup:
    MBA, ATV2, external drive 1TB, PS3, LinkSys E4200 router.

    My intention is to use a network storage to increase my storage in order to able to have on this storage my iTunes Library, my Aperture Library (possibly to be able to add/edit photos directly here), other docs and to use it also as backup for Time Machine. The PS3 should be able to access the music/movies.

    Could you provide the solutions that you are using or recommend for me to get(products, etc.).

    Thanks
     
  2. Pjcrux macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #2
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Most people here recommend synology, a great NAS and compatible to OSX. I have QNAP another good NAS unit as well.
     
  4. thisMRguy, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013

    thisMRguy macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2013
    #4
    Not wanting to hijack your thread, but also dont want to start a new thread.
    I'm in the same boat, I'm going to pick up the Synology 412+ or Qnap 469 pro and leaning towards the latter at the moment

    My question: HFS+
    I've searched & cannot find any threads dated 2012 with information on HFS+ drives. I have several (8)HFS+ drives to connect to my two Macs and cannot find any recent information weather Synology (4.1/4.2beta) supports HFS+ when connected via USB2/3 for read/write purposes.
    According to Qnap's website, all devices support HFS+/NTFS when connected via USB.


    I Need NAS solution for:
    -Data Storage: accessable at all times (particularly Raw files I work with in -Adobe Lightroom
    -Media server (DLNA/PLEX)
    -Itunes server (play through airport/apple TV)
    -VPN to access data when I'm out, and go through local internet when I travel in China.
    -Time Machine backsup for two Macs
     
  5. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #5
    If you plan to use Aperture with your library on the NAS you're going to want a wired (gigabit if possible) wired network adapter. Even that will introduce some lag into the experience.
     
  6. misterklubhead thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #6
    Thanks guys for the tips, I looked around and also lean towards Synology (SD213 or SD212J)Any thoughts about these 2?

    I wonder about the experience of using a Aperture library on the NAS, mainly for storage ... but has anyone tried to do some processing like this, I understand that there will be some lag, is it worth trying or just use it for library storage.Can anyone share their experience?

    Also @thisMRguy : I would be interested to know this, as I have some external disks (NTFS & HFS+) that I would like to add by usb.
     
  7. thisMRguy macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2013
    #7
    misterkubhead: a friend of mine uses his 2yr Netgear NAS that contains his (CR2/NFx) files and works off it using lightroom without any major issues. Exporting takes a few minutes extra but as he said it doesnt bother him as he multitasks and leaves any rendering/exporting to be done in the background.

    413j has Arm processor (USB2.0)
    412+ has Intel Atom processor (USB3.0)
    412 has PPC processor (USB3.0)

    Not sure what media center/DLNA setup you're after, but if you plan to run PLEX then note it only works on Intel Atom/C2D/ARM processors. PPC processor is not supported by PLEX developers. So this was the selling point for me.
    Last but not least, the + models will transcode your video without any issues, the J models will work as a media center/PLEX but will not transcode.

    From what I understand if your client doesn't support a codec, then it wont play. e.g Apple TV supports H.264 so this is play off the NAS just fine, but playing a DivX/mpeg/VOB/M2TS etc will be impossible.

    Would appreciate if someone can confirm what I've written as I only read about this over the last few days.
     
  8. misterklubhead thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #8
    Thanks thisMRguy for the info, I will surely use the NAS as location for the Aperture library as I don't mind waiting a bit to process.

    In regards to the model I am still undecided as I will use it mainly as iTunes server and storage. I have been only streaming movies for the last year , so not sure if I will be playing to much from it, maybe some home movies. As a precaution can you tell me with which codecs I might have any issue when playing to/through a PS3?

    Also are there any other aspects I should be considering?
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I think that you will be disappointed running your A3 library on a NAS. I would recommend a faster direct attached drive for your library... or keeping it in your MBA.

    Probably the best alternative will be to use "referenced masters" with the masters living "external" to your MBA. Your library would still be on the MBA, and your "previews" would still be on your MBA. You can then continue to use A3 for all of your organization work, rating, key wording, viewing, etc... even though your "masters" are offline. BTW: In the latest update to A3... Apple renamed "Masters" to "Originals" or some such nonsense.

    Be very careful once you move any data off of your computer to a NAS. Backup becomes much more difficult... and often less automated. This is often especially true with automated offsite backup (ex: cloud).

    /Jim
     
  10. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    macrumors
    #10
    Before you spend the money I strongly suggest you research transfer speeds of nas drives. its a big investment and transfer speeds even over ethernet cable is bad. Nas drives are the coolest concept, however they really suck transferring large files.

    all im trying to do is save you from disappointment. I think most people would be better off buying a usb 3.0 drive or thunderbolt drive if the files may be large.
     
  11. thisMRguy macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2013
    #11
  12. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Xhystos
    #12
    It very much depends on the NAS. With Gigabit NICs and multiple RAIDed drives the data rates are good. e.g. I get >80MBps (MegaBytes per second) from my 2 drive NAS and >100MBps from my 5 drive NAS. If my drives were 7200rpm and not 5900rpm I would probably get 10% more.
     
  13. misterklubhead thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #13
    My main need for the NAS is storage space and backup - I want to have a RAID setup in order to have a backup to all my data and also the Time Machine.

    My main and initial thought was that I will transfer all my non daily use data there, this includes also my entire music library ( in order to be able to stream it to the ATV ) and I was also thinking of my A3 library(as I am not a professional Aperture user) - I would still want to know the exact impact that having the library of the NAS would have when doing single photo editing and import from camera.

    Large files won't matter to me to much, as I only stream movies and have just some vm's I will storage. My problem is that I have a lot of music and photos and the 256 GB on the Air just don't suit me anymore.
    The NAS would help me also to take out of the equation the moving around of external drives I have right now and also give me the backup of a secure backup and access over the web to the data.

    I have looked into LAN external drives, but I want the RAID ...
     
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    First of all... RAID is NOT backup. So you should not even get that thought into your head. At best... it gives you resiliency against drive failure... but at the same time, RAID offers new failure mechanisms as well. Just do not think of it as backup... and you will be doing yourself a favor.

    The biggest problem (for me) of a NAS is it is very difficult to back up. Most NAS units (especially the good ones) offer a mechanism to back up to an extra external drive attached to the RAID array. Some allow you to back up to a drive in one of the bays which is not otherwise part of the RAID array.

    The NAS really falls short if you want to back up to the cloud. Personally... I think anyone who does not back up to the cloud is being foolish. It is the most secure, cheapest, reliable way to get off-site disaster recovery. The problem is that most cloud back-up suppliers do not support backing of of NAS units. Some NAS units have a dedicated plan to backup to the cloud... but they are typically outrageously priced.

    For these reasons... I choose to never keep any primary data on a NAS. My data is way to valuable to me.

    I do use NAS boxes... but I only use them for non-primary data... which for me that means that it is data that is already on my main computer... and is already being double backed up (locally and to the cloud). As time goes by... I have been turning off NAS boxes, and moving toward DAS boxes. A DAS is an extension of the computer it is attached to... and has no backup limitations. A DAS also has much higher performance... often faster than the HDD or SSD in your computer (assuming your DAS is an array of HDDs or SSDs).

    My Aperture library is the very last thing I would ever put on a NAS.

    /Jim
     
  15. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #15
    Different view here. Yes, RAID is no substitute for a backup, but if your data is real important, then you should have a tiered approach to backup i.e. more than 1 layer.

    I actually have 3 RAID NAS units, all the same. 1 NAS backs up the other 2. I'm then protected against :
    1. Single drive failure.
    2. Multiple drive failure (to the extent of my most recent NAS mirroring).
    3. NAS hardware failure (take the RAID set out of the failed one and put it in one of the others).
    4. Localised catastrophe. (3rd NAS is located elsewhere to the other 2).

    I also have a USB drive in a safe place that I use every so often to mirror some of the 3rd NAS.
     
  16. beatledud macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #16
    I recently posted a similar question (and have a similar setup/requirements) on another Macrumors thread.

    Going over several options, I found 3 of the best: Asus RT-N66u Router+Synology DS213 NAS, Asus RT-N66u Router+ZyXel NSA310 NAS, Time Capsule. I used The Wire Cutter's recommendations on router, NAS options, and HDD to examine and compare.

    While there's a lot of pro's to a NAS and an Asus router for features and settings, I ended up picking the Time Capsule. I decided that those settings I didn't need, but the two main reasons were transfer rates and costs associated to each option. Below is what I found:

    Cost:
    Asus+Synology+3TB Drive = $640
    Asus+ZyXel+ 3TB Drive = $440
    Time Capsule 3TB = $430 Refurb ($360 New on eBay)

    Hard Drive Read/Write Speeds (First two from Bit-Tech and last from AnandTech, both using GigE):
    ZyXEL NSA310 - 37MBs/37MBs
    Synology DiskStation DS213 - 92.4MBs/62MBs
    Time Capsule - 83.7MBs/32.2MBs

    Now the biggest comments I got about this were the following (followed by my counter argument)-

    • Get a NAS - In order to match performance of TC costs several hundred more.
    • In Order To Partition so you can have one drive for TM backups and one for data you have to Remove HDD from TC and plug in your computer to partion - True, but looking at walk throughs this appears to be really easy.
    • Opening the TC up will void warranty - That doesn't bother me, plus if I restore the partitions, chances are Apple won't know or care (my experience has been both).
    • Asus is a better router - This is true both with setting and range. However the new TC is still a very good and fast router. It's also a huge upgrade over what I have, and I think would be more than adequate.
    • Just plug a USB HDD into a router - This is much slower than a NAS or a TC.
    • Just plug a USB HDD into your MBP - Missing the point on network storage.
    • The data stored on your TC won't be backed up - Again true, but unless you have a NAS that can support more than two drives for Raid redundancy (which the ZyXel can't) that data isn't backed up either. I will be plugging an external drive I have into the USB of the TC and backing up the Media I'll have stored there.

    In the end this was a no brainer. Since the TC is easy to operate on, I can also easily upgrade/replace the HDD as time goes on. I think I'm getting all the features and speed/performance as with the Synology NAS option but for half the cost.

    This should work well with my 256 SSD MBP Retina, PS3, two AppleTVs, Airplay speakers, and our iPhones and iPads.
     
  17. thisMRguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #17
    beatledud: Clear choice is the Asus/Zyxel combo over the Time Capsule. But everyone does have different uses, so timecapsule may be plenty for the non-tech users.


    Can anyone can shed light on external USB drives with HFS+/ExFat/NTFS? Read/write? Both myself and OP have a handful of drives formated this way.
     
  18. cbb77 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #18
    Here is the unit I am using, and have been for 3 years now.

    http://www.readynas.com/?cat=24

    It's ReadyNas Pro by Netgear. It fulfills all of your requirements. I currently am running it for my backups, utilizing Time Machine and Carbon Copy, Standard File Share, Plex Server, iTunes Server, Bittorrent, Remote Access and DLNA / Media Server. It has worked great in all categories. It also supports Cloud replication for small monthly cost. Unit provides multiple Gigabit NICs, Expandable RAID solution (called X-RAID) and has great support on their forums. Take a look at the site and the Add-ons that are available for it before making your decision. I can definitely say I am happy with it.
     
  19. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #19
    Yes, I have 3 of these. Very fast and reliable. Unfortunately not a favourite with OSX users.
     
  20. cbb77 macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2012
    #20

    Why? Works great for me. Have a few macbooks connecting to it without issue. Also use it successfully as iTunes server and Plex server. What is it missing for you?
     
  21. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Location:
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    #21
    I didn't say it was a problem for me. I said it wasn't a favourite with OSX users. Beats me why - except superior marketing by Synology to the OSX fraternity.

    Do a forum search on Synology - many listings. Now do one on ReadyNAS.
     
  22. thisMRguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    #22
    Received an email form Synology support.



    Seems like Qnap is best suited for Mac's as it supports HFS+ USB drives directly connected to USB2 & 3 ports along with Time Machine, AFP etc.

    Why everyone keeps mentioning Synology over Qnap I'm not sure. Perhaps the refined OS? But what use is it if the device isn't fully compatible with your current Mac hardware peripherals.

    Would appreciate if someone could list any advantages of the synology over qnap. End of the day I'm sure we want to make the right purchase that will last a good 3+ years.
     
  23. beatledud macrumors 6502

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    May 4, 2006
    #23
    Or you just get a Time Capsule at half the price and have it fully compatible with all Apple products.
     
  24. misterklubhead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    #24
    I have just decided on the NAS : Synology DS213+.

    I would like to know from the Synology users what HDDs do you have and performance stats for them.

    In regards to the A3 library I have decided to go with Referenced Masters, this will help me to keep a low data profile on my MBA, any reference to performance over WiFi would be great.

    As I am little bit new with this, I would like to know if I set a shared folder from the NAS by iSCASI protocol, in order to be seen as a local folder/drive, will I be able to access it over the web, Not only through my local network?
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    I think that's a good choice and while I don't have one, I'd say review the tech specs and recommendations for compatible drives on the synology site. Western Digital Red drives are made for NAS units so they may be a good choice.

    I went with aperture managing my images because I keep the library on my laptop - when I travel I'll have access to it. I also like the idea of not dealing wit the physical layout of the images so the library file makes sense for me. Just my $.02

    Unless the Synology comes with a iscsi initiator, you'll have to buy one (windows has one included) and I believe ith iscsi you lose some NAS capabilities. I could be wrong on this because when I was configuring my NAS unit I was looking at both but its been a while.
     

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