NAS, Backup, Streaming, File Server, Solution?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by arachn1d, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. arachn1d macrumors member

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    #1
  2. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #2
    For 1/4th that price you could buy an old Pentium 4 computer running 1.7 GHZ put Ubuntu Server edition & add the Ubuntu Desktop GUI as the OS on it DMZ it in the router and modem and access it anywhere on the planet by your home IP address remotely if you set up the file sharing right to password protect it. I spent 60 bucks to set up a web server, mail server, ftp, etc but it does other things on other disks I have installed.

    Besides running my web site through it, my iTunes for example has its own dedicated Hard Drive installed in the server it connects to on the LAN as seamlessly as if the iTunes music folder were actually on the mac itself and I can access my central iTunes library anywhere on the planet on any of my machines every computer in the house is set to that same music folder on the LAN as well through iTunes. My video apps on my mac access their own drive in the server too for storage and playback too. I have no doubt you could get a streaming server a lot cheaper with a little more work. For mine the total came to roughly 70 bucks, including extra ram, a keyboard and mouse, one extra HD and an a/b switch to share the monitor between my Mac and the server.

    And with mine I can install as many HDs of either PATA or SATA as I need to expand as long as I have free pci slots to add adapters for right now though I have 3 PATA and space for one more on the motherboard if I want then I still have the PCI slots for further expansion down the road as well as a powerful enough power supply to handle them all.
     
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #3
    To be honest I'm using my old 12" PowerBook with an external drive attached. OS X makes it dead easy to share everything (drives, printers, etc.).
     
  4. arachn1d thread starter macrumors member

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  5. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I use my G4 as the print server for the house as well as the workhorse for graphics work, editing web pages, and video editing but most of my media is shared through the Linux box or stored on it.

    Nothing is actually saved on my Mac by default, even my download folder for Firefox on the G4 is mapped to one of the HDs on the server, I start it up my network disks mount and everything functions seamlessly leaving me all sorts of room for doing editing work with the G4's limited Hard Disk space I can open an app on the mac and edit files directly on the server without transferring them.

    It's nice to have that extra 100 gigs on this old thing I don't have to fill with stuff available for editing room. The only thing I am still working on tackling is Time Machine and possibly a backup network boot disk, but I'll probably have that figured out in another couple months.

    Though if you really want to go for one of those by all means do it, but the things look just like one of those electric beer coolers you plug into a car lighter socket to me LOL, and they don't look like they have the option to upgrade to a stronger power supply with that setup--it looks like it uses a laptop charger if I am not mistaken when an internal ATX style would be advantageous to expansion and power drawn when adding Hard drives.
     
  6. rhett7660, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #6
    Ttownbeast...

    I have been looking for a similar solution that you have setup. I was wondering if or how you tackled the issue of updating your iTunes folder the other machines that are sharing the folder are also updated?
     
  7. nobunaga209 macrumors 6502a

    nobunaga209

    Joined:
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    Location:
    TX
    #7
    I own the Synology DS1010+ and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. List of pro's as follows [also posted on my Newegg review]:

    *small carbon foot print and form factor
    *LARGE storage capacity for every flavor of RAID you can imagine
    *built in BT functionality [downloading/seeding]
    *quiet even under heavy load
    *accepts multiple variations/flavors of HDD's
    *extra Memory slot [Kingston 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)]
    *fantastic GUI and great resources built into the interface for setup
    *iPhone apps specifically designed for Synology servers
    *encrypted remote file access
    *scalable to 10 bays with DX510 [20 TB's!!]
    *multiple networking protocols [FTP, SSH, iSCSI, Telnet]
    *PHP/MySQL [web hosting]
    *wake on LAN functionality
    *surveillance station for IP cam
    *Time Machine backup functionality for MAC
     
  8. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    NYC
    #8
    Ooh, I'd love to get one of those Synology DS1010+'s. Ah well, my Synology DS-209 is doing a fine enough jobs serving the needs of our home network for now.
     
  9. Ttownbeast, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #9
    It's dead simple actually, once I configured the network disk to automatically mount at startup (found in system prefs under users and added the network disks to the start up) on the machines that require that and directed iTunes to the server as the music folder iTunes did the rest. Every computer in the house with an iTunes app treats the iTunes folder on the server as if it wast their own and configures and updates the libraries correctly as if it were on just that machine I can download an mp3 off the web and whichever computer it is on when iTunes gets to it it copies it to the library seamlessly then I can just trash the mp3 that is sitting in my download folder or I can just download directly to the folder in the iTunes folder on the server marked "automatically add to iTunes" each time any of the machines starts iTunes if the library needs updating the one doing it just does it. And when updated the other machines recognize the change as if they did it themselves.

    It works with iTunes on Windows and on Rythmbox for Linux too all the platforms and apps seem to actually play pretty nice together sharing the same folder. What Linux (specifically Ubuntu) uses is Samba for its file sharing you have to make sure to set the permissions to folders just right on your server and if you want it secure just use your settings to automatically input passwords for server access (if you prefer). Of course it was really a bitch setting it up on Windows because of the layers I had to dig into the network just to find the shared server files then create an alias of the folder on the server to replace the actual iTunes folder on that machine. but I got a good 80 gigs dedicated right now on an old HD I had laying around I may expand further later if 80G isn't enough for me.

    OH! one more important thing I needed to do was to make sure the disk mounted on the server whenever the server started up otherwise Linux had nothing to share with the rest of the computers in the house. But hey if you decide to go this route talk to me some more and I'll direct you to the online resources. I have been tinkering around with this thing for over a year now---occasionally crashing it in the process accidentally(****ing command line) LOL but I managed to learn a couple tricks.
     
  10. rhett7660, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #10
    Ok... I have something similar with a windows xp box. I have the folder "automatically add to iTunes" shared on my main computer that is linked to the main iTunes account that is stored on my windows box. When ever I download to that folder it doesn't seem to update my mac mini which is also on the network sharing this same folder for iTunes. It has been very frustrating trying to get it to work. Sometimes when it does work it just creates a duplicate of the file... ie song 1.mp3 instead of just song.mp3. I haven't been able to get this to work.

    Now here might be the question of the day for me... have you done it with the iTunes folder still open and it adds the music or do you have to shut down iTunes on the computer and then restart it for the new music to show up?
     
  11. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    Dress Rosa
    #11
    I recently did this to an old P4 1.6Ghz with 384MB of ram. Put Ubuntu server on it, added a $35 SATA card, and put in two 2TB disks and croned a bash script rsync to mirror the one to the other once a day. Even in the past 3 days it's been really useful! I use a popcorn hour and before the podcasting client I used on it was pretty meh, now with ubuntu I use podget and it's a lot better (cronned to run and download new casts at 6am). Even threw in an extra 320GB drive and setup my fianceé an account so she can use it as file storage.

    Only issue I've had so far is Samba - couldn't get 4 to work so I stepped down to 3 and kinda got it working only now the passwords only work if they're set to only numbers :/ weird glitch if I ever saw one - and I can't find the smbpasswd file.

    I set it up in the crawlspace of the house on a cinderblock and it's not even noticeable - administered through ssh.

    Installed mediatomb and it's alright... my files just aren't named accurately enough to view all my videos in one dir. I setup samba in the interim.

    Also I tried to do a Raid1 - but I guess the drives aren't identical enough (one WD and one Seagate) but rsync works well enough - and I get the added bonus of if I accidentally delete something I have the bkup drive right there.

    Someday I may do offsite storage - but my upload speed is kinda pitiful and I'd either need to shell out for a hosting account or find another machine and set it up at the office.
     
  12. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #12
    The best way is to download any mp3's (however you get them)directly to the add to iTunes folder on the server when iTunes isn't running on any machines that way you don't have tomanuallydelete a copy that is on your working computers hd when the library updates. But once it's updated the rest of the computers using iTunes will recognize the update as long as the settings for the music folders are in sync correctly.
     
  13. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #13
    So I shouldn't have any copies of iTunes running not even on the main disk that is on my sudo server!? Correct. I have a feeling that is what some of the problems I have been facing are directly related to.

    Just so I have this understood correctly.

    - Close down all the working copies of iTunes on all the computers.
    - I have the main harddrive mounted with my main iTunes account on it. I also have a shortcut to the "add to iTunes automatically (ATIA)" folder on my desktop.
    - Once all this is done, add the files into the ATIA folder and it should work even though all the iTunes accounts are currently shut down.
    - Once I fire up the iTunes accounts again on each computer it will load up the new files?

    Is this correct?
     
  14. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #14
    You might need to fix the permissions to the partitions on your drives in your server using the "sudo chmod" command in the terminal it could be causing the sharing problem with the passwords (but that's just a guess). you could install webmin so you have some remote access to the server on another machine and use that to configure how the folders share in samba.

    As far as needing a hosting account hosting accounts are only necessary if you are creating a website (www.example.com) but if you are just looking to set up personal storage that you can access all you need to know is the IP address (000.000.000.000 format usually found by googling "what is my ip") of your house that the ISP provided if you know your IP address after installing webmin you can type it into a browser like so:
    "https://000.000.000.000:10000" then give your root password and manage the file systems and apps including samba on your server.

    I am curious? the crawlspace? is it underneath the floor of the house or are you talking in the cieling?

    cieling=bad idea the roof collects and traps a lot of heat and moisture could fry the CPU

    floor= interesting idea maybe if it is a crawlspace in the foundation that would definitely keep the server cool with direct ventilation from outside but it would need a lot of protection from the elements such as bugs and dirt.

    As for me I keep my server in my bedroom closet with about a foot of space around all the sides for ventilation on a hardwood floor the window is about 2 feet away from the closet open all winter and in the summers the AC is always full blast.
     
  15. Ttownbeast, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Yes, sort of, when downloading mp3s only the iTunes you are using to download from the iTunes store on one computer should be running or none of the iTunes should be running if you are downloading mp3s from another source. Any time you download an Mp3 make sure it goes to the "add to" file then whichever computer you get on and start iTunes with will make the update to the library moving it from "add to" to the music folder
    There are a couple ways but what is important is to make sure the disks from the server are configured to mount at start up or this won't work. system prefs>users>add startup items select the mounted network files from "volumes" to make sure they mount then you can create alias files replacing the iTunes folders "OR" you can just change the iTunes preferences to the mounted network disk as the default path and it will build the directories. [/quote] There is more than the two ways but the two ways here both work though you could use aliases or do it direct as long as your permissions on the server allow read/write access either way
    Yes, but they may update their local files for a minute or two sometimes to recognize the change in the main playlist. then you just add the song titles to your individual playlists from the main one.
    Correct enough, I cannot remember all the details unless I was to walk myself back through how I did it exactly I was never a great technical writer, my best writing is comedy short stories and poetry LOL

    edit:
    oh one more thing once you have it configured you can start iTunes on every machine and play different songs simultaneously or play the same song on all the computers at once as if each had their own main file without noticing any difference because Samba shares the main playlist really nice.

    And two important pieces or nothing works:

    1. you will need to format the HDs on the server using terminal by following this guide:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=267869

    2. you may need the server to mount the disks when the server starts up like this tutorial shows:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AutomaticallyMountPartitions

    then you can set up permissions and sharing as needed--the ubuntu guys have all the answers you just have to do a little digging and it may take anywhere around 3 to 4 hours but once set up centralizing the iTunes library is a great way to go.
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    I realize this is for a linux box running ubuntu, I will look more into that. Thank you very much for the llinks!

    The snippet that bolded I have a question about. Once the music is added into the main folder of the iTunes folder. I shouldn't have to go to each computer to add the newly added music from that folders should I? They should show in the regular window without any further adjustments on my part. You are talking about the additional playlists that I create etc.
     
  17. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #17
    No, not to worry, your main playlist displayed on each instance of iTunes on each machine will automatically make the adjustments and update their own configuration files to reflect the change without you needing to lift a finger. I'll put up a video of exactly how my setup works so you can see it in operation in a day or two. It'll probably help clear some things up
     
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #18
    That would be great!!!!!!!! Thank you very much for your help! Can't wait to see the video!
     
  19. Ttownbeast, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Here it is--better sooner than later:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbc0YDvrE4M

    The video ain't that great (it's shakey and there is no audio) the first couple minutes are the start up and pan around to see the server I built and the pimped out G4, but it does show the whole operation in action from startup on. It shows the servers files mounting once it gets past the blue screens and I zoomed in on a script I needed to write to close all the windows that automatically open when the server files mount on the desktop.

    Then I demonstrate what happens when iTunes starts up by taking one of the files already in the iTunes folder and moving it to the "add to" where it sits until iTunes starts and moves it. 4 of the icons on the bottom screen (I have a triple screen setup with the TV set on the left BTW, I thought I should point that out when I say "bottom screen") all updates are made automatically to the libraries as any computer connected logs on and starts its iTunes app

    If you figure out the way to download mp3files directly to the "Add to" folder whichever itunes app on any computer that gets to it first will move and update the main music folder every time. On Windows things are a little different but it can be done with versions of iTunes on windows too and plays back just as seamlessly.

    edit:
    I think I figured out how to do Time Machine and a network boot using a network disc on the server too but I am waiting for my tax return to get the hardware first which consists of 1 pci card a couple cables and 2 more HDs since all my HDs in the server are currently dedicated to their functions. Right now I have managed to fit 4 hard drives (2 40GB each in a mirrored raid set working as one, 1 80 GB for music, 1 160 GB for video in the case) the power supply has a couple connectors for SATA I just need to find an SATA PCI card and the cables to do the hook up for two more drives. My tax refund should cover a couple more small 160 GB drives cables and the card
     
  20. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #20
    LOL.. the video is funny. I could actually hear you talking as you went from window to window.

    I think the key is you have to have iTunes closed. I have all the drives mounted and I have the folder for ATIA and I have dropped files in and it seemed to move but sometimes it would work. I think I know what needs to happen.

    Thank you very much as this was a super big help.
     
  21. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #21
    No problem, I thought for a second there I might have been confusing you more though LOL

    Wait now I'm confused the camera I used did not even have a microphone?
     
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #22
    Old thread..... LOL... I could soo hear you talking as you moved from item to item.......... Not really hearing but I could in my mind here you talking and explaining what we are looking at.
     

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