Looking for NAS with Time Machine Support (Please read before ignoring)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gumbyx84, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    #1
    Before anyone asks: Yes I have searched for threads about this, but they are all dead and no one posted about any of the solutions discussed actually working.

    Hey all. After my APEB+USB drive Time Capsule failed today (and my subsequent research shows it will fail again sooner then later), I have started looking for a NAS with time machine support. I don't want to buy a Apple Time Capsule due to the fact that I need a true NAS to stream media to my MBP, PS3, and XBMC-modded XBox (also, too poor to put the money into one ATM). I know Doboro is a proven solution, but I'd sooner buy a TC due to the price. I have done a bit of research and found that the Netgear ReadyNAS series does have Time Machine support through Firmware updates. Sadly, this is the only consumer-grade NAS (if you call a $350+ NAS consumer-grade) with it that I can find. Can anyone here recommend a decent NAS with Time Machine support? At this point I'll pass on built-in BT support (thought it would be nice to offload my torrents from my MBP) as long as it has reliable TM support.

    Thanks ahead of time to any one who can help me out.

    PS To anyone interested, I am getting an error 109 when TM tries to mount the remote drive and starts backing up. Thread at Apple Support forum shows I'm not the only one running into this issue.

    PSS If this should be in the buying help section, can a mod please move this? (Just though about it after I posted)
     
  2. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    I've used and installed lots of the netgear readynas duo's. They are a superb little device. I've now bought one for home as well.

    I never use time machine personally as it backups more than my data which is all I need. However the netgear supports it, all you need to do is tick a box in the admin interface and add the location on your mac I believe.
     
  3. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    You can get time machine to use any remote drive afaik, certainly used to be able to - does that open up a multitude of alternatives for you? A quick google shows many links to do this:
    First hit : http://imulus.com/blog/george/software/using-leopard-time-machine-to-backup-of-a-network/

    Personally I use rsync over time machine. It's built into osx and much more powerful and flexible. I use a cheap x86 machine, spent money on disks and an intel pci-e nic, and use freenas with zfs and have just under 100MB/s sustained bandwidth to/from it - which I suspect would be unheard of in the most expensive 'consumer' nas devices.
     
  4. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #4
    Have a look over at SmallNetBuilder. There are loads of NAS reviews and features posted there and a decent forum where you should be able to get your questions answered.
     
  5. occamsrazor macrumors 6502

    occamsrazor

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    #5
  6. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 15, 2008
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    Northeast USA
    #6
    I can recommend the netgear readynas duo.

    I came from a time capsule, I didnt like the idea of no redundancy on the backup volume.

    The time machine support on the readynas is really simple. it works just like you expect any other time machine disk to work. you also get to choose how much space you want to use for the time machine.
     
  7. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #7
    I am in the process of building the same thing. But I'm torn between FreeNAS with zfs and unRAID.

    FreeNAS :
    pro : free
    pro : zfs is a standard
    pro : fast
    con : zfs is not 100% implemented yet
    con : zfs as far as I can tell doesn't automatically expand as you add drives
    question : does zfs require exactly the same drives for redundancy?

    unRAID :
    pro : Supports up to 20 drives
    pro : Doesn't need a drive for the OS
    pro : Drives can be any size / configuration (parity drive must be largest drive in system)
    pro : adding drives just expands storage
    con : not free $100 for the full version
    con : not 100% sure of the file structure
    con : 20 to 40mb/s bandwidth

    Any thoughts?

    [EDIT]
    Ok, Just added the ReadyNAS Duo or NV+ to my list.
    pro : cheaper hardware cost
    pro : easier to setup
    con : duo only 2 drives (max 2TB [I Require redundancy]), NV+ only 4 drives
    question : how does it handle networks with both macs and PCs?
     
  8. GuyCalledPete macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #8
    Synology

    Synology make some amazing NAS boxes - I've bought two so far, and I am currently running the DS508. They continuously update their firmware - even for old products, and they're always adding new features, polishing an improving. Very capable machines, and they started supporting Time Machine backups in September this year. I have mine plugged into my wifi router, so now my Time Machine backs up wirelessly, which is great for me, because I lost data after my previous MacBook was stolen due to being lazy about plugging in my USB drive.
     
  9. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #9
    Pete, I have a question about the DS508. If I fill it with 5 1.5TB drives, how much space would I have available? Also could I fill it with say 2 1.5's now, and then add 3 more later? Do all the drives have to be the same size? 1.5's now are cheap but 2TBs are on the way. Could I say add 2 1.5's now, and then add 3 2TB's later?

    I would use RAID5 or 6.

    Thanks!
     
  10. GuyCalledPete macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #10
    CylonGlitch,

    I'm not sure if the 1.5 or 2 TB drives are supported by the DS508, this NAS has been superceeded by the DS509+ now, and Synology list supported drives on their web pages. Be careful about drive support as I bought unsupported drives once and heard they had issuues when used in a RAID configuration (luckily before I used then, so I just returned them unpacked and bought other drives).

    RAID 5 provides redundancy at the cost of 1 disk in storage, RAID 6 provides even more redundancy at the cost of 2 disks of storage. There is a minimum of 3 disks to run RAID 5 and 4 disks to run RAID 6 - this is due to the way RAID works. Of course the more disks you have the greater a percentage of the storage you have which is usable.

    RAID 5 with 3 disks = 2 disks worth of storage (2/3)
    RAID 5 with 5 disks = 4 disks worth of storage (4/5)

    The Synology boxes can be configured without maximum disks and can cope with disks added later. They can also cope with a mixture of drive sizes, but check their documentation to see the implications of this, as I don't recall how they handle it off the top of my head.

    Good luck finding the best solution for yourself!

    -- Pete.
     
  11. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #11
    Pete,
    Thanks for the information, and the reason I am seriously considering the 508 over the 509 is that it can be had for $152 vs $400+. Yes the 509 is newer and nicer but damn, that's a huge price difference.

    I was just reading their compatibility chart and the 508 seems to handle the drives well, there are a few that are not suggested but for the most part 1.5TB and 2.0TB drives seem OK as long as you have the latest firmware. :D

    For the price, I'm going to order it after I finish this message.

    Thanks for the recommendation, this looks like what I wanted!


    [EDIT]
    NOOOOO!!!!! The company that was offering it stopped! It was there yesterday! :( That was the best price I could find by a long shot. You snooze you loose I guess. :( I did find a ReadyNAS for $199... now to start researching over again.
     
  12. jejagua macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #12
    I suggest you check out HP MediaSmart home servers. I have an EX490 and I doubt you'll find a NAS that is close to being as versatile and reliable as a MediaSmart. I've had too many problems to list with network drives and Time Machine but the server works perfectly. It has tons of streaming capability...supports my iPhone, XBOX360, PC's, Mac..does uTorrent and can add other functionality via add-ins. Backups are dead simple and reliable. I have 5TB in mine, with 1TB dedicated to Time Machine for a Macbook Pro. The rest is for multiple PC backups and storage. It doesn't support RAID but can duplicate (across physical media) folders you select and will self-heal if / when you have to replace a drive. It also can stream its music library to iTunes. The Mac support is very good. The ability to do full image restores on both Macs and PCs (including Win7) is also supported...and it works. You may find other devices that advertise they do all or some of these things, but most are poorly designed and unreliable.
     
  13. gumbyx84 thread starter macrumors 6502

    gumbyx84

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    #13
    I've heard good things about the MediaSmart, but the price way too far out of my price range. If I'm lucky, I can afford something in the $300 price range in a few months. Max I can go up to is $500.
     
  14. jejagua macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #14
    I hear you on the price, but after unsuccessfully trying several $200-400 products, I now have something that is headache free. Additionally, there's plenty of online deals for the EX490 for $450 shipped.
     
  15. GuyCalledPete macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #15
    Wow, that was an amazing price for such a capable bit of kit, I'm not surprised it got snapped up quickly, sorry you missed it... :(

    Good luck on you continued search!

    -- Pete.
     
  16. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #16
    I am an unRAID fan and have been since the start. It is what I use at home and it has worked very well for me.

    You mention the 20-40mb/s bandwith as a concern. Why is that exactly? Are you talking about that for the read speed of the write speed? Most of the time that speed is more then sufficient to stream even BlueRay to another machine on the network. I have not found any problems streaming stuff to my machine where unRAID was the problem.

    I am not quite sure what you mean by the "file structure" but I am going to assume you meant file system. The one used by unRAID is the Reiser File System. All disk in an unRAID system have there own file system on them (except parity) and can therefore be moved to any other computer that can read the Reiser FS. So if something were to happen to the hardware of the unRAID server you could still get to your data.
     
  17. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #17
    I believe that this is the solution I'm going to go with. I am planning on building up a cheap PC to get started, with three drives. That will give me a small disk server and then I can expand it as I need space. What I have just isn't working well, so this will be much better then what I have.

    Sounds like a good system, thanks for sharing. Any suggestions, or things to look out for?
     
  18. mrinternet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #18
    Netgear Stora MS 2210

    A relative newcomer to the NAS market, the NAS stora worked amazingly well for me. I am a PC and Mac user. The unit comes with a 1TB HDD but can add a 2nd (only for raid), also takes external usb drives .

    I am now using as the main hub of my media centre storage as well
    When connected to my mac, it automatically asked if I wanted to run time capsule.

    User access is via poassword protection with admin, folder or even iiem only access with password and the interface is nice.
     
  19. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #19
    Make sure to check out the Hardware Compatibility Page to find a listing of motherboards and components that are known to work. Most modern boards will work fine, but it never hurts to look at the list. Version 4.5 was just released and is the one that you should run as it has some updated drivers and newer Kernel for more compatibility. Also make sure to read through the unRAID forum to see what all is available. There are quite a few "addon's" available (unMenu being one that I highly suggest) that will make using the server more enjoyable.

    If you have any questions just ask over on the unRAID forum and you should be able to get an answer.
     
  20. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #20
    For what it is worth, I decided to go with freeNAS from www.freenas.org. I did some research and it seems to be just as featured as unRAID but it's free. Turns out my server took a bad turn last night, the mother board chipset started to fail. The hard drive is OK. So I purchased a new motherboard, CPU, Memory, Case, Power Supply, and 3 1TB drives. Total price about $600. Sure it was expensive but it is up and running and actually quite nice. I have it setup as ZFS 1-Parity Bit. Now I have a fully expandable and backed up server. I'm getting almost a full 2TB space from the three drives and it seems darn fast. :D

    BTW one of the main reasons I didn't go unRAID? Simple, their server is out of bandwidth and I couldn't download the free version to test it out.
     
  21. phySi0 macrumors member

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    You don't want to know!
    #21
    I think you mean, "please read before deciding whether to ignore (or not)"
     
  22. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #22
    As the thread is two years old they'll probably ignore your comment. :D
     
  23. phySi0 macrumors member

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    You don't want to know!
    #23
    I don't believe in abandoning old threads. It just seems like a silly thing to do, in my opinion.

    But I guess you're right. They'll probably ignore it, and they should. Just wanted to point something out as a joke. The thread showed up in similar threads, so I just assumed it was an active thread. This was probably one situation where looking at the date is appropriate.
     

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