NAS, back-up, Drobo, storage,,, oh fudge

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MSM Hobbes, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #1
    Ok, am a bit lost. Have read threads here and elsewhere about what is "best", what is recommended, and have learned quite bit. However,,, am still bit in the dark as to what would indeed be optimum set-up for our particular situation... which is as follows:

    Have my MacBook in my office downstairs, same room as the Apple Airport Extreme router. Upstairs is the 24" iMac, with the external HD's attached, as that is where we currently do all of the digital image and video processing. Besides the photos and videos on one external HD [Lacie 1GB via FW800], we've all music on another external HD [Buffalo 500GB also via FW]. There are backups on comparable externals that are done on as need basis - these are stored in fireproof gun safe, along with another external HD with the photos in another house.

    In the coming year, I've plans to acquire a MacPro, so that can do more image processing, etc. in my office,,, that also then frees up the iMac for our boy's doing their homework, projects, playing, etc. The MP would be located in my office.

    Lastly, the room next to my office is our TV is located... would like to have the ability to view images & videos and listen to music here too.

    So... for better & secure back-up + ease of sharing + fast accessibility (for all of our computers & TV/entertainment system), is a NAS [such as Synology DS211(J)] or Drobo or :confused: hooked to the Airport, or will that hinder speed, for example, to the iMac [since it'd be wireless] and TV? Or, is there other / better options,,, with being a "reasonable" [ie: <<<$1000] price?

    PS: oldest boy has reminded me that he's modded couple old black x-boxes, and that we're able to use them to "stream" images and videos to the TV, and music to the stereo system... so that helps with that aspect [right?], yet however this balding grey-haired fool is still not sure at to what to do regarding optimum backup and access for all computers. Help! :eek: :eek: :)
     
  2. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #2
    let me say how I understand the setup you want/will have

    A MP in the office for photo editing
    imac for your children
    TV streaming/media access
    ...and you have your backups pretty well organized

    I dont see the point of centralized servers unless you have multiple worstations or need out of the house access, which you didn't mention

    I would use Mac Pro as the central hub. Install one HD as your personal/work drive, and another as a shared drive on the network. Keep music, movies and copies of family photos there. The imac will be able to access that drive, and the TV can stream from the mac pro via an apple TV. Or with a macmini that can have its own drive and more powerful media programs (boxee or connection to your house stereo).

    The cost of this is 1 more hard drive for the macpro and an apple TV or mac mini. I looked into NAS and to get a nice one, it can get pricey. I think the way I suggested is likely cheaper, but definitely simpler.

    I think the macpro could handle being the media hub and a workstation. If you want to take the load off the macpro, simply have the imac hold the shared drive. If its recent, all kid activities (besides gaming) won't be taxed by sharing all the media. Not to mention, they are likely the ones to be using the media anyways, so that data transfer stuff will be between their computer and the TV, leaving the macpro out of it.
     
  3. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #3
    Yeap, thanks for the thoughts there, will look more there, but guess I should clarify... the iMac is where all image / video processing is currently done, and even after the MP comes into the picture [pardon the pun :p], will continue to still work on photos, etc there too, as that is where the lady of the house will do her work, on her images, etc, and the boys do their images / videos too mainly there. So, with that said, desire is to have a central depository, where we can rapidly access anything, everything, from any location in the house, while also having secure back-up.
     
  4. kesnut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #4
    let me add my 2cents here...
    i have two apple tv, 2 imacs, and one macpro, 2 laptops.
    i "want" a drobo, and still plan to get one, but untill then this is what i did...
    got a used dell optiplex "yes i know" but 150 from ebay, a pci raid card and 3 drives and installed freenas on a usb flash drive. i how have TM for all my macs, moved all me itunes and iphotos to the nas, and tv shows and movies also.
    this will hold me until i get the drodo. plus the drive will not go to waste.
     
  5. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #5
    It's been my experience that it is best not to over-complcate the situation. And that's usually cheaper too.

    I would suggest that you basically keep your setup as is (+MP), and simply allow file sharing on the iMac to include your photos and video, (both being connected by FW should be fast enough), and perhaps buy an AppleTV for your lounge.
     
  6. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #6
    You've hooked this Dell to the modem or to one of your Apples, which connection?
     
  7. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #7
    Yeap, have considered that, thanks,,, and actually already do indeed have file sharing enabled. Main (other) concern besides the sharing is the fast / reliable back-up, while also having fast / convenient sharing.
     
  8. rncole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    #8
    Comments and Experience

    Just wanted to chime in with a couple of comments and my experience with a similar setup.

    At my house, we we have a 21.5 iMac (upstairs, my primary machine), a 13.3 MBP (my wife's primary machine), and a 15.4 MBP (my mobile machine). We also have an original 40GB TV, a gigabit 802.11n Airport Extreme, and a drobo. The iMac doubles as a DVR via the TV, and has dual tuners with an upgraded 2TB disk.

    I was originally using a 1TB external drive on the iMac for Time Machine backups, but quickly ran out of space due to TV recordings. For other reasons I wanted something relatively portable but also expandable, so I started looking into external RAID devices - but I didn't want to have to spend time managing the thing.

    I settled on the drobo since it is easily expandable, has the connectivity I wanted (USB and FW800), and is stupidly simple. I set the thing to the max growable disk size (can't be changed, so I went with 16TB) and bought 2 new 2TB disks to go in it. I've since upgraded it with the 1TB I had after I moved the other data to the drobo, and when I upgraded the disk in the iMac I put the 500GB disk in there.

    Now for the experience bits - I've tried this arrangement via the Airport Extreme over USB as well as over Firewire on the iMac. One of the things I noticed was that file copies with it connected to the Airport Extreme had a very real impact to internet speeds, and it wasn't particularly quick or consistent. What I settled on was FW800 to the iMac and shared, as the iMac really has to be on all the time anyhow for TV recording / exporting.

    All in all, I love my drobo, and would recommend it to anyone. It works like a dream with time machine.

    Also, keep in mind that for very important backups, you need to go offsite. I have an automator + Transmit job that runs nightly to sync selected folders to an offsite machine.
     
  9. kesnut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #9
    i have cable internet run to a linksys n router that i hack with dd-wrt, that router gives wireless to the home and i have one of the atv plus the playstation hooked up to it.

    i and a other linksys that also has dd-wrt ( as a wireless client) and the dell and power mac are on that one.

    part of the plan is is move to a all mac set-up, pulling the dell out for a macmini, with the drobo and the linksys to airports.

    i am very happy with how it is now, oddly i didn't thing that it would have been working so good. i have a house of 6 so its computers, laptops, iphones and a ipad. we don't have cable tv so i download most of the tv shows. storage has hit over 3TB, tv movies, music and photos.
    i love that my kids can just pick up a remote and look at whatever they like. more so as i am one of these ppl that hate with Kidds tv shows are coming too.
     
  10. kesnut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #10
    i noted the same thing when i did my first set-ups, i had the nas and the internet on the same router. any time there was a big file transfer the internet would drop. but when i moved the nas to the other router there was no more drop off.

    i have the "work" computer and the nas on the same router so there is a 100mb transfer, all other devices do moslty streaming so it works out.
     
  11. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    i(am in the)cloud
    #11
    I hear you brother.

    A different angle.

    We usualy divide computer usage according to the user, but I am trying out a new system- according to the task.

    My mac pro does all heavy lifting. (professional) My mac mini is my media server with drobo. My iMac is general purpose. Everyone in the house either uses a laptop or iPad for personal or on the go computing.

    Everyonee has their own account on the desktops.

    The mini also runs a copy of leopard server that serves all computers tuning in parallels. All files and media can be acceded by anyone at anytime.

    A bitch to setup, but a great system overall.
     
  12. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #12
    Nas

    I must admit, my Netgear NAS NV+ has been working a treat ever since I got it.

    I bought just the chassis and then bought x4 2TB drives from seperate suppliers (to try get different batches) and haven't looked back.

    RAID backup gives peace of mind and has been working great since day one. I have it networked to the 1Gb LAN and it supports 3 laptops and 4 desktops.

    Suggest you take a look - it even provides DLNA for playback of media on my PS3!

    F
     
  13. kesnut macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #13
    i was playing with that last night on the ipad, it plays very good, i was impressed.
     
  14. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #14
    Hey,,, thanks to all for the replies / comments, gives me more to consider. Appreciate the help :cool:
     

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