I need a recommendations for a DIY NAS build that will play nice with my imac.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Cloud9, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    Right now I have about 20 3.5" sata hard drives in my house where a third are essentially duplicates of the others for back up purposes. When I want to access them I drop one or more into a usb attached drive toaster to my imac. This is a cumbersome way to get at my files for one, and I would like a solution similar to unraid like a DIY drobo so I can use all these hard drives more efficiently.

    I have a few ideas I would like commented on by those with more experience then I have with this. I would love to put all these drives in a headless server connected to my mac and essentially use it like a NAS.

    I want to build this on the cheap.

    I would like a solution like unraid, but unraid only has single parity. Is there a solution similar to unraid out there that uses double parity and is as easily expandable as unraid?

    Should I make it a hackintosh?

    Should I put a linux distro on it?

    I'd love some ideas. I'd like to get away from using the drive toaster so I have an easier way to access, manage, and back up my drives, that's easy to use headlessly.

  2. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I have had an unRAID setup running 24/7 for several years. My array consists of 8 drives, one of which is for parity. While it's not the fastest system around, it does its job effectively and efficiently.

    I share your concerns with having just one parity drive and this is the primary reason why I have not gone beyond 8 drives for my array. That being said, I have a friend who has been running a 20 drive unRAID array for about two years and hasn't lost any data at all...

    One possible idea for you would be to set up two unRAID arrays. I know it isn't as ideal as having a single large array with dual parity but it does minimize the risk of data loss greatly. I personally, keep a spare drive around so I would be ready when a drive fails and I have never lost any data on my unRAID.

    As for building a Hackintosh, I don't see how this would help you. I do not know of any Mac based RAID solutions that offers the flexibility of unRAID in regards to expandability.

    I know of several Linux based NAS solutions; FreeNAS, unRAID, Synology, Nexenta. When I last checked FreeNAS didn't offer the flexible expandability that unRAID offered. Nexenta didn't offer AFP which I really wanted.

    Synology was still a work in progress and a bit of a hack since it was based on files released under GPL that Synology Corp were required to make public. One thing that really turned me off on Synology was that the open source community still hadn't figured out how to put drives to sleep. Since I leave my array on 24/7, this was a complete deal breaker for me.

    So, by this process of elimination, I went with unRAID.

    * Some of my info might be a bit dated since I have not really kept up with other solutions since settling for unRAID.

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