I'm new to the world of NAS... How's the Synology DS213?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by adamrobertson, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. adamrobertson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    #1
    First of all, I'm new to the world of NAS, so please pardon any misguided ignorance. I have 4 Apple devices (2 laptops, a desktop, and an iPad, all brand new) that I'd like hooked up to a new, yet to be purchased NAS setup. I'd like the NAS to be used for 2 things: 1) To serve as an active drive for streaming music, viewing pictures, etc. across all computers and 2) To backup said music, pictures, etc. I'm not sold on what backup tool I'll use, so while Time Machine would be nice, I don't mind a third-party backup tool. It seems like I need a basic 2-bay NAS with a pair of 2TB or 4TB drives. Is this a safe assumption? A bit of research turned up the Synology DS213. How would that work for my needs? Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -Adam
     
  2. deadwalrus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    #2
    I have had the DS213 for 6 months now. It is awesome. Streaming etc works perfectly. I can stream to the Synology app on my iphone / ipad and airplay it to my Apple TV.

    TimeMachine does not work, however. I have narrowed this down to being a bug on Apple's part. Basically, it will work for about a month or two then crap out and you will lose all your old backups. Apple doesn't care -- they say they only support Apple(tm) hardware with Time Machine. If you do enough searching, you will discover that it is due to an extremely poor design decision on Apple's part in the Time Machine software making it extraordinarily unreliable. Oh well.

    If you are willing to use CrashPlan or Carbon Copy, it is a great backup solution. The new OS for the DS213 (currently in beta) will also have a backup application to Amazon Glacier, so you can backup your entire diskstation for about .01 cents / gig per month at 99.999999999% reliability. Solid.
     
  3. adamrobertson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    #3
    Thanks!

    Bummer about Time Machine. A few more quick questions:

    1) Am I able to use Crash Plan, Carbon Copy, etc. to wirelessly and automatically backup all three of my computers?

    2) Was it pretty easy to set up? Is it just a matter of creating two partitions, one for the area I'll store and stream files on and another for all of the backups (backups of the first partition and any automatic backups from my three computers)?

    3) Do you just have a wireless router hooked up to it or are you using Airport Extreme/Express?

    Thanks!
     
  4. deadwalrus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    #4
    Yes. It might take a little fiddling, depending on your setup, but it was not tough for me.

    You can do it that way. The way I did it -- which is recommended by Synology -- is to just crate folders and then restrict the disk space by user. I.e., I created a "crashplan" user on my Synology and allowed it 300 gb quota. Then i setup crashplan to log in with those credentials. Works like a charm.

    Just a normal wireless router. Have had no problems. Oh - you can also directly stream media to newer TVs via DLNA. That also works like a charm. Great product.
     
  5. badcrc32 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #5
    Honest Advise


    I have had this since last week, I will tell you that I wish I got the 213+ just for the faster CPUs if you investing in all of this spend the extra 100 bucks. My two cents as I watch my CPU pegged.
     
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #6
    I find the 1.2ghz 212 uses 50% of its CPU just doing basic administrative tasks. I set a 212 up about 6 months ago for a small business, and they've loved it. They hooked their network scanner up to it too. Very nice.

    I plan on buying a 213 for home use soon and putting the 2TB hard drive from my PC into it, then a 4TB drive when I can get my hands on one :p

    EDIT: I just checked newegg, the Synology 213 goes for 319.99. a 4TB Western Digital also goes for 319.99. I'll wait.
     
  7. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #7

    Why not just get a DS413J then? Going from a 213 to 413 gets you 4 drive slots vs 2 (you don't have to fill them all) since going from 2 slots to 4 slots will only cost you $50 more.

    I just ordered a DS413J from Amazon for $379.
     
  8. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #8
    IMO Time Machine is a waste of time and effort. Do you really need a "real-time" backup of your Internet browsing and emails ? Unless you work on valuable time-critical items (i.e. an organisation or professional), then something like Carbon Copy Cloner will do just fine.

    Get a copy of CCC (http://www.bombich.com) and then you can use any NAS you want. Much better.
     
  9. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #9
    CCC won't clone your boot drive to a network share.
     
  10. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #10
    True. But a spare USB drive will fix that. I have both that and a NAS for different uses.
     
  11. mjcharlton71 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    #11
    I've got a DS211j, but the same principals apply here:

    I used to have my iTunes library on the Music share on the NAS, but the size and the fact I use Match started to make it too sluggish for updates (even over Gig/e wired).

    I now run the iTunes library from the mechanical 1TB drive in my iMac (booting from Thunderbolt SSD) and use Carbon Copy Cloner to run a regular job to mirror/backup the library to the NAS, so the various other iToys I use can connect to the shared library on the NAS.

    I'm in the process of sorting out other folders on the iMac, but in terms of backups with CCC and what I need from the solution, it works a treat for me.

    Suspect with a bit of tinkering that you'll be able to get a working solution for you in no time.
     
  12. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #12
    The point about Time Machine is that you "set it and forget it". For most people, this is by far the most important feature of a backup system. I still can't believe how many people are not backing up or have some convoluted system that is always out of date.
     
  13. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #13
    Yes, CCC does that for me.
     
  14. deadwalrus macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2011
    #14
    Too bad it is not even close to "set it and forget it." It is a total piece of ****. (Sorry if my frustrations are coming out -- spending 20-30 hours troubleshooting something marketed by Apple as "it just works" will do that to you.)

    I am not alone either. The most relevant thread on Apple's own forums have 17 pages of people complaining about Time Machine.

    Oh well. CrashPlan works great.
     
  15. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #15
    I'm running TM to several computers on my DS212j. Works great, I've gotten the occasional recreate a new backup but otherwise it's an excellent set & forget backup solution.
     
  16. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    #16
    That's the part that worried me and made me switch back to a local drive instead of a NAS for TM. Backup is pointless if you can't reliably retrieve your data.

    In addition, I have spent a lot of time tinkering with several backup softwares, including CCC, for managing an automatic backup of a 80 GB photos library on a DS212J. I ended up with the Mac OS X terminal command rsync.
     
  17. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    I use CCC... but it has its problems. I do not trust it as a primary backup because for all practical purposes... it does not do versioning.

    It will save copies of files that change... and that is good... but it is done in a way that makes it very difficult to turn back the clock. It would work OK to recover a single file or even a directory... but it quickly becomes too complex if you really need to restore large portions of the state of the computer to an earlier date.

    I use a combination of TM and Crashplan+ for my primary local and offiste backups. Both are "set and forget", both have deep versioning... and both are fully automatic. I also use CCC to make manual backups of my personal media files (photos and home movies)... as they are non-replaceable.

    /Jim
     
  18. flynz4, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    I have considered this as well. One problem with a "local drive" is that it is difficult to use with a laptop automatically. A NAS is much more convenient. Even with a desktop... the local drive is typically located very close to the primary machine. As a result... it is relatively easy for someone stealing the machine to take the backup along with the computer.

    I see two pretty good solutions to this:

    1) I just learned that starting with Mountain Lion, TM will back up to multiple destinatons. Hence... if you set TM to back up to both a NAS, and a local drive... it will alternate between the two on an hourly basis based on the availability of each drive. Very slick... and good to to address the problem you identify above.

    2) With Thunderbolt... optical cables are imminent, which would allow a "local drive" to be placed in a very different place of your residence... ideally secured. I am currently awaiting a 20 meter optical cable which would allow me to keep my Pegasus in a different room... on a different floor of my house... also under lock and key. The Pegasus will actually be used for primary data on my iMac... but with Thunderbolt pass-trough... I can connect a 2nd TB drive as a Time Machine destination. This sounds ideal to me!!! I just have to wait for my 20 meter optical TB cable... hopefuly I'll know more within a week or two.


    BTW: The only NAS drives that are supported by Apple is the Time Capsule (and also a OSX Server). For this reason, I would not use any old NAS for as a TM backup destination. I do have 4 Time Capsules... one dedicated one for each of our 3 iMacs... and also a 4th shared across our laptops. One of these days I'll pick up a Mac Mini Server.

    /Jim
     
  19. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #19
    I'm doing some of this. I JUST got my DS413j today (4 x 3tb WD Reds!). I'm using a 4th WD setup as one Time Machine backup then an additional 4095gb quota shared folder for the "primary" time machine backup (also then protected by hybrid RAID). I ALSO use CCC to close my primary drive to a locally attached hard drive.

    I think I'm pretty well covered now!
     

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