iTunes library on NAS - performance OK ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Jolly Giant, May 2, 2011.

  1. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #1
    wondering what your experiences are with a gigabit-capable NAS (such as a LaCie 2big Network 2). currently using a directly attached firewire 800 drive.

    i have all my gear hardwired to my TC. will streaming HD movies from the NAS be on par with fw 800 ? pros and cons ?
     
  2. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #2
    I have my iTunes library on a Thecus N2100 and video library on a Synology DS211 - gigabit network - both stream fine to my Mac, PC, WD Live Plus, etc.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Streaming performance with my Synology DS411j is about 4 times faster than my crappy Drobo 2 which used a FW800 connection. At this moment, I'm streaming Avatar to my iMac which my Mac Mini HTPC is encoding Polar Express from a 25gb BR-Rip.
     
  4. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #4
    thanks folks, that's very encouraging.

    may i ask what was the particular reason choosing a Synology NAS ?
     
  5. Coolestdude macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2011
    #5
    I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer. I've been happy with it. I can stream to my Squeezebox directly from the NAS, as well as home media appliances. Streaming works fine. Some operations like running TuneUP take longer across a gigabit network then running locally, but you don't run apps like that constantly.

    I would buy this same setup again.
     
  6. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    #6
    I'm not the poster you're talking to, but will jump in here...

    I chose a Synology NAS for a number of reasons:
    - The model I chose uses 4 laptop hard-drives. It's therefore absolutely tiny, consumes very little power, and is very very quiet.
    - It serves photos, tv programs and movies to the PS3 seamlessly.
    - It runs Linux. The configuration you can do is pretty amazing; set it to automatically download BitTorrents at set times (i.e. no network caps), turn on and off at set times, automatically download updates for itself, the list goes on.
    - Control directory access at the user level. If a guest logs in they can only read the shared file. If partner logs in she can read write, and access her own directory and a backup directory. If I log in, I can read write everything.
    - Synology are constantly evolving and updating the OS it runs on. Lots of new features etc.

    On the surface, Drobos look excellent but dig a little deeper and you'll find people have had many issues, particularly with after-sales support. Also, as that poster mentioned, Drobo performance is down in the dumps - streaming videos is apparently painful. I really wanted one for a long time but I'm glad I didn't succumb to the marketing.

    Really happy with my Synology.

    AppleMatt
     
  7. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #7
    i'm sold on a NAS, so a Drobo is of no interest ;)

    which Synology NAS do you have ? is it easy to admin ? do you admin via a browser or do they have Mac-compatible software like LaCie Network Assistant ?
     
  8. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #8
    The software on board is a dream! I wrote a review about the 411j (others use the same firmware) located HERE. Hope it helps! :) If you'd like to poke around sometime, I'd be willing to let you Teamview by Mac and see what it's like in real life.
    Edit: Yes, it's browser-based. HTML5 I believe..sort of emulates a Linux desktop environment.
     
  9. fineaddme macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #9
    i highly recommend a synology nas i have one myself and streaming hd movies and music is flawless to my boxee box, squeeze player, macs and portable devices
     
  10. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #10
    thanks to all of you !

    just ordered the DS411j :D
     
  11. fineaddme macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #11
    congrats i am sure you will love all the things you can do with it
     
  12. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #12
    awesome - welcome to the party :D

    One suggestion I'll make - don't use the software from the install CD as it is most likely out of date already. A new revision to their OS was released about 2 weeks ago. Here's a link to their download page. Get the Assistant (to initially locate the NAS on your network) and the DSM (on-board OS). If you need help with the initial setup, PM me. It can be a tad confusing the first time around, but once you do it once it's very easy to do it again.
     
  13. Jolly Giant, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011

    Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #13
    thanks, mate !

    the assistant is rather clear, but what do i do with the "DSM Folder" extracted from the .pat ?

    edit: never mind, just watched the online tutorial - piece of cake ...
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #14
    Which exact model did you get?
     
  15. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

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    UK
    #15
    Apologies to both, haven't logged in for a while.

    I got the DS409slim - Google - This was because I'm in the UK. I think in the US they've now released a newer one; the DS411slim.

    I put 4x 500GB 5400rpm hard drives in it. No point getting faster hard drives; the transfer speed is limited by the network. Faster ones just use more power and run hotter. I chose the same make and brand so could negotiate a discount with the seller. It comes with little stickers to number them should you decide to remove them all at once for some reason.

    Hope that helps. Ask anything else you want.

    AppleMatt
     
  16. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #16
    appreciate that ;)

    i've ordered my DS411j (with 2x2TB drives installed) on the internet because i got a great deal, however, shipping times are horrible. so, while i'm waiting, i've been reading up on setup, storage space management, backup, etc. i was wondering if you (or anyone) could confirm if the following is feasible:

    1. after initial setup, configure the 2x2TB drives in RAID 0 (my iTunes library currently weighs in @ ~2TB and i'm constantly adding content, so i need 4 TB to have enough room for a couple of years)

    2. point iTunes media folder location to the NAS and consolidate my library

    so far i'm sure but here comes the part where i'm not

    3. later this month, i intend to purchase an additional 2x2TB WD caviar green drives that are supposed to be used as a backup location for my library.

    the idea is to also configure those additional drives in RAID 0. as per the user guide, i can back up data to the LocalBackup folder ... on another shared folder.

    i'm a complete newb dealing with a NAS so i guess my questions are:

    • can i add the additional drives later on or would it be better to wait for them before setting up the NAS ?
    • if i can add them later, do i need to power down the NAS to install them ?
    • can i use the RAID 0 volume of the additional drives as a "shared folder" for backups ?

    please let me know if i don't make sense and i will try to explain better.
     
  17. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #17
    I would fill the NAS up with 4 2TB drives now and run them in RAID 5....with RAID 0 you have no redundancy, so if a drive fails, you're hosed. With RAID 5 a drive can fail and you don't lose any data. One of the best features of a 4 drive NAS is the ability to set up RAID 5 and keep a lot of usable disk space.

    To back up your data, I'd suggest external USB drive(s).

    I have my DS211 setup RAID 1 (2 2TB drives, mirrored, so usable space is 2TB) and back up to an external Iomega 2TB USB drive using the Synology scheduled backup software, it works great.
     
  18. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #18

    I'd definitely use the Hybrid raid setup or at least Raid 5. Hybrid has the extra feature of being to do mix-and-match drives while Raid 5 can have issues if you ever use different brands. Synology's backup software is quite robust in its options. I'd recommend one of the "cheap" external USB drives to backup your data. You can get a 2TB external for $100 these days.
     
  19. Jolly Giant, May 5, 2011
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

    Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #19
    understood. however, budget doesn't allow for the additional drives now - they will have to wait until end of the month. also, having the NAS standing here and being unable to do anything with it would be hard to bear ;)

    i wouldn't expect the drives in a brand new NAS to fail inside two weeks, plus i still have a backup by way of the drives my library is currently on.

    so, again: is it possible to set up a RAID 0 environment with the two installed drives (giving me the desired ~4TB disk space), add the additional drives later for another RAID 0 setup, and use the backup software to back up RAID 0 (1) to RAID 0 (2) ? alternatively, i suppose i could use ChronoSync to do the backups.

    understood. considering i have a 1.9 TB library to move, and considering that i will start off with only 2x2TB drives, is SHR or RAID 5 still possible ?

    i seem to remember the rule of thumb that HDs should have @ least 10-15 % free space ;)

    well, once i get the WD's, i could use the two firewire drives (triple interface) i'm currently using but, since i'm expecting my library to grow, i'd actually need a 4TB USB drive.

    edit: sorry if i'm being thick ...
     
  20. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #20
    Take a look at the review on newegg.com for any of the new 2TB drives....it's a crapshoot on reliability no matter what manufacturer's drives you get. From the reviews it seems if you have a bad one it'll be dead on arrival or fail within the first couple months.

    @blevins321 - I actually do use the Synology Hybrid RAID, but figured throwing that in would muddy the waters over just talking about "generic" RAID levels....but I think the hybrid solution is excellent for mixing/matching drives down the road.
     
  21. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #21
    well, i bit the bullet and ordered the additional two drives - they should arrive along with (or earlier than) the NAS.

    so, let's see if i got it right:

    • combine the 4x2TB drives in a "disk group", resulting in an approx. 8TB volume
    • choose SHR as RAID type, leaving me with approx. 4TB usable space
    or am i still on the wrong track ?
     
  22. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #22
    Someone with a 4 drive system will have to jump in here, but with 8TB of "raw" space, you should end up with more than 4TB "usable" with a hybrid RAID 5 configuration....more like 6TB I would think.
     
  23. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #23
    You'll thank yourself later for making the investment. You'll have about 5.5TB available space with this configuration. I've attached a screenshot to show you the breakdown. Basically, you lose one drive for redundancy, and the rest is the formatting loss that occurs with every drive on the market.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Jolly Giant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #24
    perfect !

    any notion how long it will (roughly) take to move a 2TB library to the NAS ?

    thanks again for the help (and patience) ...
     
  25. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #25
    Over a gigabit wired connection, I get on average 32-34MBps write speed. Assuming it's larger files (documents will be slower if there are thousands of them) like videos or RAW images, you should get the same speed.

    2TBx1024 = 2048GBx1024 = 2,097,152MB / 33 = 63,500 secs/ 60 = 1058 minutes = 17.6 hours. Give or take an hour or two :p
     

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