NAS Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zoomzoom5, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. zoomzoom5 macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    Hey All,

    I'm trying to find a different main storage solution for home, and am leaning more and more towards purchasing a NAS - either QNAP or Synology. I'm just looking for a bit of feedback on how these function vs a traditional server or FW800 RAID5 solution.

    Basically, the NAS will be tied into my Airport Extreme, and accessed by either my MBP or iMac. I might add an Apple TV into the mix later, or another laptop, but that's it. Right now I have a pair of RAID 1, 1TB units - a G-Safe and Sans Digital Tower store, and a pair of Seagate 1TB SATA3 drives in stand alone external units... Hence my wanting to amalgamate things a bit. I would leave the g-safe alone, and put the Seagates (4 total) into the NAS... and yes, they are cross-compatible according to QNAPs site.

    So question 1 - Since the max units accessing the NAS will be 3, is there any point going up the model ladder to say a QNAP TS419+ or Syn DS411+ for the extra processing power, or would something from the SOHO line like a TS412 work? I don't mind a bit of extra time copying files to the unit, but will there will be problems streaming media off of it, ie music to itunes on the MBP, and an HD movie to the iMac at the same time?

    Question 2 - i've read some feedback in forums of users having problems streaming music to itunes off NAS units. I think that was when they were using the NAS media streaming program though. Is there a reason why you can't just mount the folder like you would of a regular drive on a server, and drop the music into itunes? Sorry if it seems like a noob question, but i've never personally used a NAS before, and just want to make sure it can do what i need before purchasing one.

    Last question - QNAP or Synology?? I know, probably a matter of personal preference... but it looks like the Syn units are (generally) quicker at transferring and streaming data, and have a way nicer interface... where as the QNAPs are more user friendly in the sense that they are hot-swappable, and have more 'pro' features for less $$.

    The units im looking at are: Synology DS411+, DS410, QNAP TS419+, or TS412.

    Thanks for your help and any info you can provide :)
  2. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I will try to answer some of your questions below. I have a DS411+, which is my first and only NAS. So, I will not address the QNAP.

    This is similar to my setup. My DS411 is linked to a AEBS. The NAS houses iTunes, backups, archives, and a Sonos server. Currently, three Macs have access to it.

    I have no trouble streaming iTunes files from it, but I have not tried streaming movies; I have a couple of Apple TVs (1st generation) which serve the movies to the TVs.

    I have a folder for iTunes and mount it on my desktop. I need to do this so that iTunes finds the library. I do the same thing with the rest of the folders I have on the NAS when I need them.

    After reading a lot here and in other places, I decided to go for the DS411+. It was more expensive, but I am really happy with it. I am not particularly computer savvy, but I had no trouble setting it up, defining accounts (one for each member of my house), backups, etc. I am considering getting another one (2-bay) for offsite backup.

    Hope the above helps. Let me know if you want some more specific information.
  3. zoomzoom5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2008
    Thanks for the info Javier, that clarified things quite a bit.

    With your regular use, does it ever seem like the CPU in the NAS is getting tasked quite heavily? Most of the units in the price range I'm looking at are using either single core Atom or Marvell processors, and there seems to be a pretty distinct relation between the available processing power and the read/write performance of the NAS. So I'm just wondering if it would be worth the extra upfront cost to get a dual core Atom unit.
  4. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    The only time the system lags is when I request something and it is in power-saving mode. After that, it works without a problem. I also sometimes experience some dropouts while streaming music through the Sonos system, but I think it may be related to the network, and not to the NAS (I am investigating this now).
    Unfortunately, I cannot compare with other units, because this is the only one I have worked with. FWIW, one of the reasons I decided for this unit was for the processor and memory. I do not know if I overkilled with respect to my needs, but it works just fine and I hardly notice that I have a NAS, except when it wakes up.

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