NAS for Time Machine (WD or Seagate?)

i-spy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2015
10
1
Hi,

I have been looking at the Seagate Personal Cloud and WD My Cloud for NAS (to replace my old external hard drive). Any suggestion which one works better with time machine? I have 2 Macs at home and will mainly use the NAS for backup over the network. Thanks!

i-SpY
 

MacDownunder

macrumors member
Jun 26, 2006
35
1
Melbourne, Australia
Hi,

I have been looking at the Seagate Personal Cloud and WD My Cloud for NAS (to replace my old external hard drive). Any suggestion which one works better with time machine? I have 2 Macs at home and will mainly use the NAS for backup over the network. Thanks!

i-SpY
I use a QNAP TS215 with time machine for some macs and use it other ways with other macs. I'd be looking this sort of direction - also consider Synology too

HTH
 
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i-spy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2015
10
1
I use a QNAP TS215 with time machine for some macs and use it other ways with other macs. I'd be looking this sort of direction - also consider Synology too

HTH
Thanks, I have also heard they are good but I have a tight budget ($100-$200) on the back up drive. Looks like only Western My Cloud and Seagate Personal Cloud are in this price range. Among these two, any idea which one works better with Time Machine?

i-SpY
 

seagate_surfer

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2017
19
4
Cupertino, CA
Hi i-spy!

We just noticed you are considering a Seagate Personal Cloud - so first of all thank you!
As MacDownunder already said, this drive is more like a "budget" NAS compared to a multiple-bay NAS; however, it seems to be perfectly fine for the purpose and the environment you mentioned! Although obviously not having redundancy like with a multiple-bay NAS, those devices are perfect for backups like time-machine or any other backups you might need. We did get decent feedback on our Personal Cloud in regards to performance and reliability. However, we do suggest (whichever vendor you go for) to make additional backups like another physical or online backup to be on the safe side securing your data!

Enjoy your new drive!
 

i-spy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2015
10
1
Hi i-spy!

We just noticed you are considering a Seagate Personal Cloud - so first of all thank you!
As MacDownunder already said, this drive is more like a "budget" NAS compared to a multiple-bay NAS; however, it seems to be perfectly fine for the purpose and the environment you mentioned! Although obviously not having redundancy like with a multiple-bay NAS, those devices are perfect for backups like time-machine or any other backups you might need. We did get decent feedback on our Personal Cloud in regards to performance and reliability. However, we do suggest (whichever vendor you go for) to make additional backups like another physical or online backup to be on the safe side securing your data!

Enjoy your new drive!
Hi,

Thanks for reaching out. In fact I am leaning towards Seagate (as a long term customer). However, I read some review saying that the Time Machine back got corrupted very often with the Seagate Personal Cloud which forces several users to back up everything from scratch. Is this a common problem with the Seagate Personal Cloud with Time Machine?

i-SpY
 
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seagate_surfer

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2017
19
4
Cupertino, CA
Hi,

...I read some review saying that the Time Machine back got corrupted very often with the Seagate Personal Cloud which forces several users to back up everything from scratch. Is this a common problem with the Seagate Personal Cloud with Time Machine?

i-SpY
Hi i-SpY,

we did some research if the problem described is known internally and so far this is not a known issue being connected to the device or the hard drive itself. If you decide to go with a Personal Cloud, you will always have the chance to test the desired functionalities and return the device if you are not 100% happy with it!

Thanks for being a valued customer!
 

PilotWoo

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2006
206
356
I tried a number of NAS devices with time machine. No end of problems. Backup corruption and had to reset almost on a monthly basis. Use a time capsule, or a Mac running the Server app as a time machine server. I went for the latter, and it works much better.
 
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i-spy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2015
10
1
I tried a number of NAS devices with time machine. No end of problems. Backup corruption and had to reset almost on a monthly basis. Use a time capsule, or a Mac running the Server app as a time machine server. I went for the latter, and it works much better.
Hi PilotWoo,

When you set up the Mac Server app as a time machine server, do you need to keep the Mac ON all the time? Can it be in standby mode and only wakes up when it's time for time machine back up (trigger by another Mac - for example a MacBook)?

i-SpY
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,142
1,804
Between the coasts
I'm backing up one of my iMacs to a WD WiFi-connected drive (not sure it's a My Cloud)... I have the same issues as have been described for the Seagate Personal Cloud - occasionally I'm told that the Time Machine backup is corrupted and has to be started again from scratch. At one time I tried to backup several machines (including my primary iMac) to that drive, but I learned to be wary of it. Now I use it as a single-machine backup for a non-critical machine. If it had a USB port, I'd just attach the thing and forget it has a wifi radio. I'd have looked deeper into the issue, but the cost of attached HDs is too low to justify the troubleshooting time and effort.

From other discussions, I get the impression that this is relatively common with this particular class of product - call them "affordable NAS" - it doesn't seem to be the same kind of issue with Apple's Time Capsule or more robust NASes. I could speculate here as to why, but that'd be unfair, as I haven't actually tried to get to the root of the problem.
 

i-spy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 24, 2015
10
1
Any entry level Synology you would recommend for Time Machine back up? Thanks!
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,646
1,564
England
I've got 2 416s.
This is an ok youtube if you can cope with the boring presenter...!

 
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576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,062
2,477
I'd be wary of using a NAS drive with Time Machine. I've had nothing but bad experiences with Time Machine, particularly when paired with my WD MyCloud. For some reason, every time I've setup a Time Machine backup with NAS, the backup will fail after a couple days and state that it needs to restart - which is a very long process. I read into this and apparently Apple don't officially support NAS drives with Time Machine, other than Time Capsule.

You might have a better experience than me, but I've never be able to make it work consistently or for long periods of time.
[doublepost=1499762601][/doublepost]
I tried a number of NAS devices with time machine. No end of problems. Backup corruption and had to reset almost on a monthly basis. Use a time capsule, or a Mac running the Server app as a time machine server. I went for the latter, and it works much better.
Same problem. Never, ever managed to get Time Machine to work reliably with a third party NAS drive. Backup gets corrupted after a few days, demanding a full restart of the backup. I gave up in the end.
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,646
1,564
England
My Synology has been linked to 4 macs for over 2 years and restores have worked without issue when migrating macs.
 
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milo_mac

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2017
1
0
Hi,

Thanks for reaching out. In fact I am leaning towards Seagate (as a long term customer). However, I read some review saying that the Time Machine back got corrupted very often with the Seagate Personal Cloud which forces several users to back up everything from scratch. Is this a common problem with the Seagate Personal Cloud with Time Machine?

i-SpY
I purchased a 4TB Seagate Personal Cloud to have more storage capacity than the Time Capsule I purchased from Apple a couple of years ago (I have 3 laptops and an iMac I am backing up) and I have the problem you referenced constantly with the Seagate drive.
 

MacDann

macrumors 6502a
While it's probably outside your budget, if you have a desktop box sitting around with a RAID or multi drive controller in it, give some consideration to setting up a FreeNAS server. I have a dedicated FreeNAS server I set up with an old Windows box that I populated with six drives, and it works great! I don't leave it running constantly, just turn it on for a few hours daily, and Time Machine has been perfectly happy with it for two years.

MacDann
 

Dr.SL

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
53
29
Hi,

I have been looking at the Seagate Personal Cloud and WD My Cloud for NAS (to replace my old external hard drive). Any suggestion which one works better with time machine? I have 2 Macs at home and will mainly use the NAS for backup over the network. Thanks!

i-SpY
My option were the Apple own router with HDD (AirPort Time Capsule)

Some rumors are out there that Apple is in partnership with Cisco and
as the AirPorts are quite old, it is possible that a new generation will be
launched based on this cooperation.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,595
380
Redondo Beach, California
Hi PilotWoo,

When you set up the Mac Server app as a time machine server, do you need to keep the Mac ON all the time? Can it be in standby mode and only wakes up when it's time for time machine back up (trigger by another Mac - for example a MacBook)?

i-SpY
If would be really hard to have the Mac server power down as the other Macs are going to want to do their backup s every hour. The server has to be up most of the time.

A lower cost solution is not to buy a dedicated Mac server but just use one of your existing Macs as a time machine target for the others. This works fine if one of them is a desktop. The desktop Mac shares a disk with the MacBooks and they use this for Time Machine.

Another cheap idea is to "dumpster dive" and salvage an old PC that someone no longer wants. A ten tear old i3 based PC from Best Buy is worth about zero dollars today. Place a new SATA hard drive or two or three in the old PC and get a really solid working high-end NAS for the price of the new internal drives. Today's best value on SATA drives is 3Tb for $75. Configure two of them as a mirror or three of them as RAID-5 and it will be very reliable and still in budget Three drives cost $225 and give 6TB of space with one drive being used for parity. A mirror (RAID-1) costs $150 but two drive gives only 3TB of usable space. So spending the extra $75 doubles the usable space.

Run Linux (or even better BSD Unix) on the PC and you pretty much have the equivalent of a high-end Synology NAS that sells for $800 with zero drives inside. If you have a PC with enough RAM you can run FreeNAS on it with a ZFS file system and have an Enterprize level NAS. But these need a lot of RAM.

Obsolete PCs are the best bargain you can get because they are generally available at no cost. I'd likely want to collect a few spare parts, also free so when something breaks you can fix it quickly.

If you got the PC route you really do want RAID of some kind

Also to advice to in addition have some kind of off-site backup is spot-on. RAID does not protect from house fires, electrical spikes or theft of the equipment.
 

kladda

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2011
27
0
I’m borrowing this thread a bit as i’m looking at Synology DS718+ to preform as storage for Time Machine backups from about 20 macs.

Will it be able to handle that amount of clients without being super slow?
I want the backup process to be quite quick and my fear is that a backup Will take days to complete as 20 macs are all making backups at the same time.

Most macs have a 128gb disk and the main storage for data is in the cloud, so no huge backups. Mostly for files that are being worked on right now or not finalized yet
 
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ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,595
380
Redondo Beach, California
The 718+ might even be overkill. You don't need much performance for Time machine as yu are not running much software on the NAS.

But you do need at least 2X more storage than all the data you will backup. You will need 5TB of usable space after accounting for RAID overhead Put a pair of 6TB drives inside and it will be very fast. A DS218j might work for you if all you need is a Time Machine NAS. The bottleneck is the network. The 218j costs less.

To get 6TB usable on a 2-bay RAID you need two 6TB drives So you pay for 12TB and get to use 6TB
To get 6TB usable on a 4-bay RAID you need four 2TB drives So you pay for 8TB and get to use 6TB

Do the math and you may want to by a 4 bay NAS if you consider the cost of the disk drives. a 4-bay NAS gives you a lot more growth potential
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,784
5,595
Hong Kong
I’m borrowing this thread a bit as i’m looking at Synology DS718+ to preform as storage for Time Machine backups from about 20 macs.

Will it be able to handle that amount of clients without being super slow?
I want the backup process to be quite quick and my fear is that a backup Will take days to complete as 20 macs are all making backups at the same time.

Most macs have a 128gb disk and the main storage for data is in the cloud, so no huge backups. Mostly for files that are being worked on right now or not finalized yet
I agree that the most limiting factor is definitely the network bandwidth. I didn't own this model, but a quick search shows there are two Gb LAN ports. I assume you can use them together to create a 2000mbps network connection. Then if 20 Mac will backup at the same time, each user can only share 100mb/s bandwidth, which means ~10MB/s. Since Time Machine create hourly backup, it may means there is a high chance that all of them (or most of them) will backup at the same time.

Assume all backup happen at the same time. And the HDD RAID speed is not limiting. Let’s say the initial back for each user is 100GB. Then it will take about 3 hours to finish the initial backup. And if any subsequent hourly backup is about 5GB, that will take about 10min to finish. To me, this speed is actually OK because the data size is relatively small.

For storage size, it’s better to provide 3x Mac storage size, therefore, it’s about 6TB. I personally will prefer to go for 4bay, get 4x2TB HDD, run them in RAID 5. In order to provide reasonable speed, and redundancy.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,595
380
Redondo Beach, California
I agree that the most limiting factor is definitely the network bandwidth. I didn't own this model, but a quick search shows there are two Gb LAN ports. I assume you can use them together to create a 2000mbps network connection. Then if 20 Mac will backup at the same time, each user can only share 100mb/s bandwidth, which means ~10MB/s. Since Time Machine create hourly backup, it may means there is a high chance that all of them (or most of them) will backup at the same time.

Assume all backup happen at the same time. And the HDD RAID speed is not limiting. Let’s say the initial back for each user is 100GB. Then it will take about 3 hours to finish the initial backup. And if any subsequent hourly backup is about 5GB, that will take about 10min to finish. To me, this speed is actually OK because the data size is relatively small.

For storage size, it’s better to provide 3x Mac storage size, therefore, it’s about 6TB. I personally will prefer to go for 4bay, get 4x2TB HDD, run them in RAID 5. In order to provide reasonable speed, and redundancy.
I agree 3x the spaces better. But your assumption about the amount of data is very high because...
  1. When these macs all do their first backup they will not each have full disks with 128GB of data. They will only have the OS and a few apps, nothing else.
  2. I doubt that every user will modify 5GB of data every hour, likely will under 1GB, typically a few megabytes uses everyone is editing videos. Word processing and emails are not that large.
  3. No, they will not all try and backup at the same time. TM does not do the backup at the top of the hour, it does it one hour after the last time. it turns out the time is pretty much random. But yes you might have two Macs baking up at the same time.
  4. The bottle neck is actually the Mac itself. TM will not write much more then 10MB/s even to a local disk. Even that is faster then usual. TM make many links, no data but lots of fie operations
This is why I was saying that for use as a backup the OP might consider a lower performance NAS. One of the ARM based ones is OK. You are right about a 4-bay. They are actually cheaper when you consider the cost of the drives.

Some of this might change after Apple allows APFS on TM drives. I think the way TM data is stored might change and we'd see faster backups.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,784
5,595
Hong Kong
I agree 3x the spaces better. But your assumption about the amount of data is very high because...
  1. When these macs all do their first backup they will not each have full disks with 128GB of data. They will only have the OS and a few apps, nothing else.
  2. I doubt that every user will modify 5GB of data every hour, likely will under 1GB, typically a few megabytes uses everyone is editing videos. Word processing and emails are not that large.
  3. No, they will not all try and backup at the same time. TM does not do the backup at the top of the hour, it does it one hour after the last time. it turns out the time is pretty much random. But yes you might have two Macs baking up at the same time.
  4. The bottle neck is actually the Mac itself. TM will not write much more then 10MB/s even to a local disk. Even that is faster then usual. TM make many links, no data but lots of fie operations
This is why I was saying that for use as a backup the OP might consider a lower performance NAS. One of the ARM based ones is OK. You are right about a 4-bay. They are actually cheaper when you consider the cost of the drives.

Some of this might change after Apple allows APFS on TM drives. I think the way TM data is stored might change and we'd see faster backups.
Yes, I intentionally make the worst case assumption. But IMO, even with that assumption, the end result still acceptable. So, most likely any low cost NAS can do the job properly.

I think something like QNAP TS-431P is good enough for the job (in fact, already overkill in terms of function). It's just about half the price of the DS718+, but already has 4 bays.