Mac only network

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drumology2001, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. drumology2001 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2013
    Hello all!

    This is my first post here, so please be gentle. :)

    I work for a small graphic design firm. We all work on Macs here in our office (6 Macs total), and after a recent virus (Cryptolocker) hit one of our networked PCs, we're looking at going "all Mac" with our setup. I am here to ask for hardware/setup recommendations.

    We have just a few needs as we plan our new network setup:

    1) A central file repository with at least 4 - 5 TB of storage space for shared files, which all 6 computers must have access to;
    2) It has to be a wired network (for fastest file transfer speeds & security -- we already have tons of Cat5 cable installed);
    3) A way to backup the central repository to a Cloud service automatically on a nightly basis.

    We looked at a Time Capsule, but they max out at 3 TB and we weren't sure if 1) we could daisy chain multiples, and 2) whether they can be backed up to cloud storage in any way.

    I am wide open to suggestions on what we need to buy in order to set up the kind of network that we need. I am a Mac convert, so I don't know all there is to know about networking Macs either, so treat me like a 10 year old kid when it comes to explaining/outlining what gear you think we should buy, what hooks up to what, and the system/hardware settings we may need.

    I appreciate the time that any of you are willing to take to outline this for us. Thank you in advance for sharing your expertise! :)
  2. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    Apple Support Communities>support>communities>wireless>airport.

    Phenomenal forum for anything wireless. Experts willing to support all brands.

    Good luck!
  3. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Sounds like you could use some kind of RAID or NAS box with a cloud backup service maybe?
  4. simon48, Oct 29, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    This is not truly a Mac only network, but I recently got a Synology DS413 with 4X 3 TB WD Reds and I love it. A NAS box seems like the right thing to look in to.
  5. drumology2001 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2013
    NAS Boxes

    Thanks for the recommendations, folks! I like the thought of a NAS box, but this is the first I've heard of NAS. Can you guys recommend a good NAS setup (gear list, model numbers, etc.) that would work well with our Mac setup? I just don't know what has to be purchased in order to set up a NAS setup.
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You can use a Mac Mini or old Mac Pro to store your files.

    Trade off is that old Mac Pro can add multiple drives / RAID card cheaper, but it uses more power.
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I would go with what simon48 suggested. Most definitely go with a blank Synolgy DS412+ and get 4 good red 2 GB drives.
  8. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    A NAS (network attached storage) box is a... well, just what it sounds like. It's a server (usually with RAID) which you add to your network.

    Since this is your first time hearing about NAS boxes I'm going to assume you haven't heard of RAID, if you have great.

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is definitely something you should look into. It allows for one or more of your hard drives in your NAS box to die without you losing any data.

    The most popular RAIDs are:

    RAID 0 (striped), needs 2+ HDs and stripes the data over all the HDs, it's fast because all the HDs are working together, but if one HD dies you lose all data on all HDs.

    RAID 1 (mirrored), needs 2+ HDs mirrors all the data between the HDs, it's not very space efficient as you need 2 times the HD space as your data. If a HD does die you can use the other one.

    RAID 4 (striped with dedicated parity), just like RAID 5 below, but only needs 3 HDs and only one of the HDs remembers what's on the other HDs.

    RAID 5 (striped with distributed parity), needs 4+ HDs, this is a really good one. You can lose one HD without you losing any data. The HDs remember of what's on the other HDs and if you dies they can ask each other what they remember and find out what's missing. You lose the equivalent of one HD worth of space.

    These are the main ones, but there's a lot more, here's a good list.

    I would say definitely get a RAID 5 NAS box, with 4X Western Digital Red HDs. Newegg has a good selection (first 4 hits), take your pick and get 4 of the same model and size, the only difference between them is the sizes. Remember to take into account the storage loss from the parity, for RAID 5 you lose the size of one HD.

    For the NAS box I'd recommend a Synology like sat comer and I said, they have a lot of really great features (like VPN server hosting) and have a excellent admin UI. I'd recommend model that starts with DS4 (the 4 is for the bay count), the next two numbers are the year is was released (I'd pick 12, 13 or 14). After is look for your price range, speed and features you want. I'm not which ones support Time Machine, might be a good thing to look for. The different models only support so many backups a once too. I've used it on mine for 3 computers and it works great. For nightly backups with Time Machine use TimeMachineEditor it's fantastic and free!

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!
  9. drumology2001 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2013
    Thank you all so much!

    Thanks, everyone, for all your help in steering me in the right direction! You've all given me plenty of information to check out, and definitely a far better understanding of the setup and gear needed. I will continue to do my research (now that I know what I'm looking for) and will build from there! :D

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