NAS or DAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cschmelz, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #1
    I've been on the fence about getting a RAID type array for some time. I have a lot of critical data (irreplaceable photos, large CD collection archived to MP3, large DVD collection archived, etc) on my system right now. I currently have some on my internal 2tb drive in my 2010 iMac, some on a 3tb external drive.

    The internal drive is backed up via a Time Machine drive, but I really don't have space right now to back up the external 3tb drive easily/well.

    I'd like to set up a RAID array for both time machine backups and my iTunes music/video collection. I need to be able to easily stream the MP3s through my Sonos system plus to my AppleTVs which are how I watch the videos.

    I've been leaning toward as DAS for this setup given I've read a lot of issues using a NAS with video sharing through iTunes and AppleTVs. I haven't jumped on one yet as I don't have TBolt on my iMac and clearly thunderbolt is the way to go for a DAS.

    Am I thinking about this wrong? Will a Synology 1512+ work for my application or am I right to hold out until I buy a new 2012 27" iMac and get a Promise R6 or Drobo 5D?
     
  2. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #2
    What about a dedicated Mac Mini server running plex with a storage array?
     
  3. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    For starters, RAID is not a backup solution, whatever you get should be in addition to your current data storage, not instead of. The data you have on the 2+3TB drives requires at least 5TB of backup space. Since you have (2TB?) Time Capsule you need at least 3TB of additional backup space. Then add a reasonable amount to that for overhead and future growth.

    I have a mac mini media server with 500GB internal drive and 2x1TB external drives. Between the three is primary storage for shared files and iTunes media library. Then I have a 4TB RAID 0 direct attached device (2x2TB) for backing all that up. All external drives are FW800 BTW.

    If you are not short between the 2TB and 3TB for primary storage, I'd suggest you leave all that as-is. So now you want to add add a backup device that can hold it all (I prefer at least 1.5 times my primary storage, but 2 times is good for future growth). In your case I'd look for at least 6TB (8-10TB if its not out of budget) that can hold all your backup for convenience, instead of splitting it between two devices. Then use the TC for additional file storage or backing up other machines in the house.

    NAS, IMO, is the most convenient for locating out of the way, which is a big concern for me, but not necessarily everyone. Just make sure its Time Machine compatible. DAS gives you direct connect convenience regardless of network status and consistent throughput if you are speed sensitive (and connecting at better than USB 2 speeds). And DAS can be easier to manage, given your respective skill set and tolerances.
     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I have both NAS and DAS units. They each have their strengths.

    I force myself to think about where my "Primary Data" lives as the #1 priority... with particular emphasis on how I back it up. I make sure that I have a double backup strategy... one local... and one offsite via the cloud.

    I choose to keep all of my primary data on an iMac... and my strong preference is to use that in conjunction with a Thunderbolt DAS. This gives me flexibility the amount of storage that I have... at the highest possible performance.

    I do have NAS systems... but I never keep "primary data" on the NAS. That means... that I am OK losing any data on the NAS. Hence... I would never keep any primary copies of my documents, photos, or home camcorder movies there... because that is the data that is unique to me... and hence irreplaceable.

    Hence... the data on my NAS is generally copies of data that lives on my iMac... and it is there for the ease of sharing. I also keep ripped movies of my DVD collection... because that data is trivially recreated from the DVD... and worse case (even if my house burned)... re-obtainable.

    Things get more complicated if you only have laptops. NAS is better from a use standpoint, because you do not need the direct wired connection. However... backing up NAS boxes is difficult... especially cost affective cloud backup. That is pretty much enough reason for me to not use a NAS for any primary data. It is also enough reason for me to have another Mac (iMac, Mac mini, etc) that is the central place for 100% of my primary data.

    /Jim
     
  5. cschmelz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #5

    So it probably makes sense to keep my system as is...That is local backup (actually have a mirrored copy of my boot drive along with a Time Machine drive plus the external drive holding my media library) and then get a NAS to use as my backup of everything (or in this case, redundant backup)
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    The beautiful thing about a NAS is sharing of data/media and a destination for backup... especially with laptops. Without a NAS... backup of laptops requires human intervention (attaching a drive)... which for me... is a fatal flaw. Humans are the most unpredictable element.

    I personally use Time Machines as my NAS backup. Technically, they are the only NAS that Apple officially supports. There have been times when Apple made an OS change, and backup to a NAS would break until the vendor made a firmware update to the NAS. That is one reason I stay with Time Capsules. Apple just makes sure it keeps working. Of course... that comes at a $$ price.

    The only major suggestion that I have for you is to start a cloud backup. There are several good companies out there. Crashplan, Mozy, Carbonite, Backblaze, others. I have used both Mozy and Crashplan+... and am now a pretty strong Crashplan advocate. It is very inexpensive to operate, and they have plans for unlimited data backup for all my devices. It is a no-brainer. This is infinitely more valuable than adding another physical backup in your house.

    /Jim
     

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