NAS recommendation? (already disappointed by Synology)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sjac, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. sjac macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013

    I'm looking to get a good reliable NAS. Already bought a Synology, but have been very disappointed with it - so I returned it.

    14 days ago the Syno was setup as RAID6, I copied all my data with CCC to it and accessed the volume by afp. CCC reported no errors. Today I noticed some stange behavior: a couple of sub-folders disappeared so I ran DeltaWalker to compare folders. Glad I had my old data drive - some folders had no content.
    Another problem I noticed, when doing a backup from Syno to attached USB the protocol showed "skip symbolic link file" - so a couple of .app files haven't been copied correctly - I was able to restore an app, but they were unusable.

    Right now I feel the decision to get a Syno wasn't the best - at least it looks like it doesn't work together with osx as I expected.

    Maybe you can share your experience and recommend which NAS you're using and how (long term usage) :)

  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Well my "NAS" is a Mac mini. Easily expandable with external drives, even slow minis are fast, especially compared to home NASes. Guaranteed 100% compatible with Macs because they are Macs.

    Mine's been running 24/7 for 3 1/2 years with 9TB total storage capacity. Power consumption is 40 watts.
  3. SpinThis! macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2007
    Inside the Machine (Green Bay, WI)
    Which Syn model did you have? Any reason why you ran RAID6?

    If you value your data, run RAID 1 or 1+0 if you need performance. The hassles of RAID5/6 are well documented and I wouldn't be surprised if that had something to do with your problem.
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    This. Another advantage is that you can run iTunes on it and use it as your always-on movie and music server. If you share the 'Automatically Add to iTunes' folder, you can just drag and drop new content to the server as you acquire it. My server is a late 2006 Mac mini and shows no signs of stopping.

  5. sjac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Thanks for the reply. May I ask you how you expand the drives at the MacMini? Simply add usb drives? As data as well as backup? Do you use MacMini Server? When a drive is full you simply add another or do you have them set up as raid? Questions over questions - I'm pretty curious and need more details :eek:

    As a photographer, my data (pictures) are *very* important to me.

    I got the DS1813+ with 8 Seagate Constellation ES.3. 7HD for Raid6 1HD as hot spare. (Here's a good article with some maths:

  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    DAS!! Mini with Direct Attached Storage as already stated. I myself just use OSX's "RAID1" and all of my hard drives are attached via USB3.0 with these:

    I use 3TB drives in two of those which gives me 24TB of storage; however, due to RAID1 nets me "only" 12TB. Not as nice as using RAID5 or 6 which could have netted me 18TB, but with how cheap storage is (again) it really doesn't bother me (I buy 3TB drives when on sale for $99). I also keep at least 1 spare 3TB drive sitting in a box, so if any drive fails I can swap it out quickly. RAID6 is a bit more secure since you can have two drives fail, but I figure the chances of 2 drives failing before I can swap one out is pretty minimal. I need to start keep a basic back up either in a fireproof case or off site, but frankly 99% of my data is music and movies which are not mission critical.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've got the server model, which was the most cost effective at the time. Added external drives (OWC Mercury Elite-AL housings) connected by Firewire or USB as my needs grew. Would be USB3 if I were starting today. Current configuration shown below, two externals (5TB are for media), one holds TimeMachine backups for four other Macs (2TB, 3/4 full). The fourth backs up the server using SuperDuper every night (1TB with two partitions, one for each of the 500GB internal drives in the mini). The server (running Mountain Lion Server) does many other functions besides just file sharing, which could be done just as easily without the Server application.

    The drive toaster is used for SuperDuper backups of the media drives, which I do weekly.

    I have two sets of backup drives, one is always off-site. And current work gets backed up in the Cloud as well (Crashplan).

    I've had two drives fail in these 3.5 years, but I've yet to lose any data.

  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I am surprised you had such challenges with a Synology product.

    Have you considered alternatives for backups to the Synology NAS other than CCC? Have you checked permissions when doing such backups? Perhaps bringing up your challenges in one of Synology's site forums would be helpful.

    Just so you are aware, I don't use a Synology NAS but I use QNAP. My friends on the other hand prefer Synology.

    Unless you need to share your backed up files with another computer, DAS certainly is not a bad option as others have mentioned. Technically, you can share of course DAS volumes but there is minor overhead when doing so for arbitration of communication to these drives that use your computer to control those DAS drives/enclosures.

    In short -
    1) go to the Synology forums and state your problem and perhaps provide some examples, logs, data.
    2) shop for the best possible DAS options possible within your budget and use the fastest access/port available (Thunderbolt, USB3, FW800 etc.) Include researching reviews on such items first before purchase to best understand limitations and both advantages and disadvantages.
    3) remember that not all external devices are created equal. Some USB3 enclosures work better than others and similar with TB and FW800. (example being Firmtek's USB enclosure for 2.5 drive almost always beats out other similar enclosures by a large margin due to its chipset etc.)
    4) Consider using FTP software rather than CCC unless you are trying to back up your entire drive/partitions)

    good luck !

    Mac Mini quad 2.0 w/16Ram/SSD internal, QNAP 559pro, QNAP 469L, various external drives/enclosures via FW800/USB2 etc.
  9. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'm unclear how you performed the ccc backup to the NAS. Did you create a disk image? If you simply dumped a clone of your Mac to the NAS then that would be an odd thing to do.

    Also, you would typically be recovering data from a NAS, not an application that you would expect to run. Perhaps I'm taking that out of context, but there are plenty of other modifications that an app might make that wouldn't be readily pulled back from a NAS.

    You aren't likely to find a better NAS than you have, but you might need to change the workflow that you're using.
  10. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002
    I have a Netgear readynas 4 bay, and I'm pretty happy with it. Quiet, strong and active support, and an active community. I've had it for 2 years or so with no problems whatsoever.

    I looked at Synology, QNAP, and Netgear. QNAP is probably the most robust, but Netgear was at a great price. I forget why I decided against Synology.

    How many bays do you have? What drives did you use?
  11. sjac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Hi brentsg!

    Well, I do a folder where I store all my purchased applications (not the one from the Appstore), Transmit, CSSedit e.g. and I want to back this folder, too. This is the same to me as my pictures. I don't need a NAS when I do have to think about, which data I can safely copy to it and what not.


    Thanks a lot for the info! :)
  12. twitch31, Oct 14, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013

    twitch31 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2013
    I've run QNAP NAS's for 6 years and have found them to be excellent. Small, quiet, well built, heaps of functions. I prefer the QNAP's which are based on x86 processors rather than the ARM ones due to compatibility issues with various pieces of software I like to run.
  13. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have two Synology drives and have had no problems with them. I don't do raid. I mirror the two Synology drives and if one dies, I (probably) have weeks or months to replace and re-mirror everything. I do not back up to the Synology drives. I allow Time Machine to back up to an old Time Capsule I have lying around and I use a cloud backup solution that has saved our bacon on 3 occasions where TM backups were too "corrupted" to restore.
  14. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    It sounds like the OP's problem has more to do with CCC than the Synology. I would suggest trying a different app or backup method before switching to a different NAS.
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I tend to agree. It seems that before suggesting the NAS is the source of woe, one should try alternative ways to back up files.
  17. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I use CCC with my ReadyNAS units. Has worked fine from day 1.
  18. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Been a Synology user for just over a year and have upgraded to their new OS as they release new versions. Never had a days issue. Also run an external USB connected drive to the NAS and automatically backup critical files from the NAS on the external each day.

    Synology Backup software works just like timemachine.
  19. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    As short and sweet as this reply is, I'd tend to agree!

    I've been running a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ for the last few years with 4x2TB drives running X-RAID (similar to RAID5) so ~5.6TB useable storage.

    After some initial teething problems setting up (one of the drives Amazon supplied was faulty, and wouldn't create the volume) it's been faultless and has only ever been reset for firmware updates (surprised how many of these, given the technology, so thumbs up for Netgear for supporting old tech). That said, it's pretty slow, very noisy, and I'm at the maximum capacity (won't support 3TB drives) and was running tight on space so started looking at other options.

    Considered another Netgear, looked at Synology, Qnap, and Thunderbold options but all were going to cost close to £1k with drives.

    Was talking about it with a friend who suggested taking a look at FreeNAS and buying a HP Microserver, which looked like a cheaper option but for a much better enterprise-level solution.

    Over the last few weeks acquired a HP Microserver, 16GB RAM and 4x3TB drives (could have gone for 4TB but these are still pretty expensive) and built a FreeNAS box which is so much faster, almost silent and gives me another 2.5TB of useable storage to play with (running ZFS RAIDZ1). It's also a little future proofed, as over time I could replace the drives with 4TB ones and increase usable storage to over 11TB :D

    Slightly more technical to set-up than the ReadyNAS box, but there's lots of online support and once you get it configured as you want, then I suspect there's little to do in terms of maintenance.

    Very happy with mine, and all for around £650
  20. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Same goes for me, I've used Synology NAS's for over three years now. I wholeheartedly recommend them.
  21. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    Personally, I'd have set up a volume on the Synology and used it for time machine and not bothered with CCC. It's good for disk images, but I wouldn't depend on it for anything else.

    I've had Synology NAS's for years, I still rate them for stability and performance at a good price.
  22. xnatex macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    I've had a Western Digital Mybook Live for almost a year. I did a full time machine backup when I got it. A week later, it saved my butt. My boot drive got corrupted, but I was back up and running within 3 hours after a full restore.
  23. padapada macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    Acquired a DS2411+ shortly after they were introduced and have had no problems whatsoever. I keep my iTunes files (works fine if you automatically mount at login) and TimeMachine bundles there without problems. Nightly backup over SSH and rsync to my parents.
    Also do CCC to it.

    Works like a charm.
  24. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    Is that a single drive? I bought my girlfriend a 2 drive Synology with 1TB WD drives and set it up in RAID-1. Glad I did, as one of the drives died after 3 months. Has she been using a single drive system, she'd have lost all her work :( I'm wary of any system used for backups that doesn't have some form of drive redundancy. (My own is a DS411 in a 4 drive RAID-5).

    Should also add that replacing the disk and rebuilding the array was very straightforward in her case :)
  25. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I still believe something was set incorrectly with Carbon Copy Cloner so that it produced an incomplete copy on the Synology. All the Synology is a NAS, a storage medium, just like any other NAS. It writes what you put on it. It doesn't decided on it's own to randomly omit stuff you wanted written to it. If it did that, there would be widespread complaints all over the internet.

    Therefore, I'm loath to recommend anything else. I think it's best to straighten out the method used for backing up first.

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