Lots of media, 4 hard drives need a solution

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
I have four 2 tb drives that I want to use to store media and backup my computers.

What do you suggests I use? I tried a synology NAS but had a hard time creating partitions and then moving my iTunes and iPhoto library to the NAS.

Most of the media is my own but I would like to be able to access it from my iPad and from an Apple TV if I decide to purchase one later. I'd also like to share some media like certain movies and music to others.
 

mrxak

macrumors 68000
I'm in kind of the same boat, I'm trying to clean things up, centralizing all my media in one place instead of scattered across numerous internal and external drives and computers, but I am fundamentally opposed to NAS (for my own use, not saying it's not the solution for you), because I already have a file server (my miniMac) and want to run everything through that with direct attached storage. The problem with NAS is you're basically buying a new computer, designed and optimized to share files on your local network. They simply don't have the flexibility of DAS with regards to the software and set-up of your file server. You're stuck with whatever OS it's running, and many seem to be black boxes.

I looked at Drobo, but Drobo has a reputation for being rather slow, and I'm not sure how it will do with media streaming. All the good solutions with similar features to Drobo seem to be NAS (in particular, I like the capabilities of unRAID), which is what I'm trying to avoid. It seems I'm stuck setting up a RAID 5 in a boring old stack of hard drives, which I'll have to manage carefully.
 

jmcgeejr

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2010
460
7
Seattle, WA
I have four 2 tb drives that I want to use to store media and backup my computers.

What do you suggests I use? I tried a synology NAS but had a hard time creating partitions and then moving my iTunes and iPhoto library to the NAS.

Most of the media is my own but I would like to be able to access it from my iPad and from an Apple TV if I decide to purchase one later. I'd also like to share some media like certain movies and music to others.
I am right there with you, ideally what I would like is a 4 bay thunderbolt carrier, that does not do hardware raid, I just want my drives to pop in and show up in finder oh and for under $500.
 

kgeier82

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2008
1,012
0
Media sonic makes a nice enclosure. I bought the USB 3 version last week for 100 on amazon. 4 drives.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
Media sonic makes a nice enclosure. I bought the USB 3 version last week for 100 on amazon. 4 drives.
Would I be able to partition it to have a time machine backup for 2 computers and a partition to stream all my media?

Would I be able to access that data from my iPad?
 

rscott4563

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2007
68
0
Cumbria
I was in exactly the same situation as the OP, I had a total of 5 external FW400/800 drives totalling 6TB with DVD rips, iTunes, TimeMachine, etc...

I solved it all with a Synology DS410+, not sure what issues you had with yours but I couldn't imagine anything easier to use and I now use it for everything on my home network (streaming, iTunes, photos, TimeMachine, Synology's own Cloud etc..), the new DSM 4.0 is really easy to use.
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
I was in exactly the same situation as the OP, I had a total of 5 external FW400/800 drives totalling 6TB with DVD rips, iTunes, TimeMachine, etc...

I solved it all with a Synology DS410+, not sure what issues you had with yours but I couldn't imagine anything easier to use and I now use it for everything on my home network (streaming, iTunes, photos, TimeMachine, Synology's own Cloud etc..), the new DSM 4.0 is really easy to use.
I was unable to move my photo library and iTunes library to the NAS. I didn't have lots of time to play with it. I couldn't figure it out during the return period so I decided to return the NAS. If I can figure out how to backup two computers and store all of my media on a NAS then I will reconsider.
 

jmcgeejr

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2010
460
7
Seattle, WA
I was unable to move my photo library and iTunes library to the NAS. I didn't have lots of time to play with it. I couldn't figure it out during the return period so I decided to return the NAS. If I can figure out how to backup two computers and store all of my media on a NAS then I will reconsider.
i pondered a nas but found a das was more to my liking.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
i pondered a nas but found a das was more to my liking.
Like you, I prefer a DAS for any active data, including iTunes, iPhoto, Aperture 3, etc libraries. My main reason for preferring DAS is because that data can be added to my backup set. I have an inherent dislike of having primary data stored someplace that is difficult to back up. Right now, my preference is a Pegasus Thunderbolt array (R4 or R6).

OTOH... for a backup destination, I prefer a NAS. After trying several... I decided I prefer a Time Capsule. That will change if my actual backup data (plus revisions) fails to fit on a 3TB drive.

/Jim
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,282
2,277
Sunny, Southern California
I have four 2 tb drives that I want to use to store media and backup my computers.

What do you suggests I use? I tried a synology NAS but had a hard time creating partitions and then moving my iTunes and iPhoto library to the NAS.

Most of the media is my own but I would like to be able to access it from my iPad and from an Apple TV if I decide to purchase one later. I'd also like to share some media like certain movies and music to others.
What is the price you are looking to spend?

I just purchased an QNAP NAS box. It is has been pretty easy to setup. I have it set for a RAID 5 which leaves me about 3TB worth of space. I have my iTunes library and iPhoto/Aperture library on it. Nothing to complain about yet.

Regarding the Synology NAS did you have it setup as JBOD or where you putting it in a certain RAID format?
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
What is the price you are looking to spend?

I just purchased an QNAP NAS box. It is has been pretty easy to setup. I have it set for a RAID 5 which leaves me about 3TB worth of space. I have my iTunes library and iPhoto/Aperture library on it. Nothing to complain about yet.

Regarding the Synology NAS did you have it setup as JBOD or where you putting it in a certain RAID format?
I can't remember which configuration i used for the NAS Box. I was looking for a 4 bay model no more then 500$. Everyone seemed to praise Synology. For whichever reason, it didnt work to my liking. I want to buy locally so I can return it with little hassle if needed.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,282
2,277
Sunny, Southern California
I can't remember which configuration i used for the NAS Box. I was looking for a 4 bay model no more then 500$. Everyone seemed to praise Synology. For whichever reason, it didnt work to my liking. I want to buy locally so I can return it with little hassle if needed.
Are you looking for a device that is RAID configured and or NAS box or JBOD box? If you are looking for JBOD there are lots of enclosures out there.

Do you have any experience setting up a NAS box with permissions etc? The reason I ask, I am trying to figure out was was giving you diffuculty when you were trying to setup the NAS box.
 

ljonesj

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2009
944
63
Kingsport TN
USB IS TOO SLOW :), no USB3 support on mac :)
depending on what ur network and media bit rate is usb 2 is fine i for years streamed from usb 2 to my apple tv and my mom still does and we have no noticible lag

western digital mybook studio 2 and the thunderbolt models do a raid 0 which is simlar to jbod and raid 1
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
Are you looking for a device that is RAID configured and or NAS box or JBOD box? If you are looking for JBOD there are lots of enclosures out there.

Do you have any experience setting up a NAS box with permissions etc? The reason I ask, I am trying to figure out was was giving you diffuculty when you were trying to setup the NAS box.
I have no previous experience with setting up NAS.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,282
2,277
Sunny, Southern California
I have no previous experience with setting up NAS.
Synology was probably the right solution for you, but since you had limited to no experience it was tough to get things working the way you wanted them.

Now we need to find out exactly what you are looking to do?

Setup a box with two drives that are mirrored and one drive is shared over the network?
Setup a box with two drives that are just that two drives and both drives shared over the network?

You mention partition? Do you mean just folders or are you actually looking to have "D", "E" etc drives? If so why?
 

AppleDApp

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 21, 2011
2,409
42
Synology was probably the right solution for you, but since you had limited to no experience it was tough to get things working the way you wanted them.

Now we need to find out exactly what you are looking to do?

Setup a box with two drives that are mirrored and one drive is shared over the network?
Setup a box with two drives that are just that two drives and both drives shared over the network?

You mention partition? Do you mean just folders or are you actually looking to have "D", "E" etc drives? If so why?
First off, thanks for taking the time to help me out.

I want a 4 bay enclosure for media storage and backup. I want it to be networked to backup 2 computers with time machine. I was thinking of creating partitions to separate the media and backup portion of the NAS. I'd like to be able to stream my media to the computers on my network, iPad, iPhone and possibly an apple TV if I decide to buy one. Synology NAS advertise a download station feature. I'd like to use utorrent to download everything to my NAS.

For my music, I use iTunes. Is it save to move the iTunes music folder to the NAS?

For movies, I prefer plex. Is there any issue in telling plex my video files are on the NAS?

That's all I can think of for now, I will update this post if I have other questions.
 

jmcgeejr

macrumors 6502
Oct 7, 2010
460
7
Seattle, WA
First off, thanks for taking the time to help me out.

I want a 4 bay enclosure for media storage and backup. I want it to be networked to backup 2 computers with time machine. I was thinking of creating partitions to separate the media and backup portion of the NAS. I'd like to be able to stream my media to the computers on my network, iPad, iPhone and possibly an apple TV if I decide to buy one. Synology NAS advertise a download station feature. I'd like to use utorrent to download everything to my NAS.

For my music, I use iTunes. Is it save to move the iTunes music folder to the NAS?

For movies, I prefer plex. Is there any issue in telling plex my video files are on the NAS?

That's all I can think of for now, I will update this post if I have other questions.
Plex works just fine wherever you keep your data, my suggestion is to keep plex server on your desktop and just map a drive over to where you want to keep your movies for plex.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,282
2,277
Sunny, Southern California
First off, thanks for taking the time to help me out.

I want a 4 bay enclosure for media storage and backup. I want it to be networked to backup 2 computers with time machine. I was thinking of creating partitions to separate the media and backup portion of the NAS. I'd like to be able to stream my media to the computers on my network, iPad, iPhone and possibly an apple TV if I decide to buy one. Synology NAS advertise a download station feature. I'd like to use utorrent to download everything to my NAS.

For my music, I use iTunes. Is it save to move the iTunes music folder to the NAS?

For movies, I prefer plex. Is there any issue in telling plex my video files are on the NAS?

That's all I can think of for now, I will update this post if I have other questions.
All of this can be done. I would stay away from the partition. Others might chime in but I would use folders and then back up those folders with your media/pictures/documents.

Folder 1: Media (this will be linked to the iTunes player on your desk tops etc and to plex (see above answer)) All your media will reside in here. Movies, Music, etc. Once this folder is setup, you will be able to access it via streaming for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch etc. You won't be able to load files via connection from your client computer though. You will need to either setup a local library with the media pointing to the folder or use a VPN solution to load files.
Folder 2: Photo's Photo's, this can reside within folder 1 if you want. This will be up to you.
Folder 3: Downloads I would use this to for your download section.

For TM, I would have a folder called TimeMachine. You can pick this folder from the TM interface on your Mac. If you want to keep them separated, Have TimeMachineUserName folder for each user. Then point the time machine to each folder. You could also use computer name if you want. I don't know your system setup etc.

The back up can be done several different ways. Four discs you can do a RAID 1->5. I have done a RAID 5. You can pick what files are important to back up off the NAS if you want. Most boxes come with some sort of back up utility built in. If not, there are plenty of free open source choices you can use, but I am guessing the Synology has there own and it lets you back up on day "X" at "Y" time. For your most critical files I would also have an attached USB hard drive to back up just those files. If you have a total of one gig, get a two gig or higher usb drive. Your files will expand especially over the next few years.

All of this should be able to be done from within the user interface of synology app whether it is web based or client based. I would stay away from the partitioning and just use folders. If you setup the disks in a raid format you will be able to hot swap a disk if it goes down.

If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.