NAS suggestions for Photographic storage?

Mark0

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 11, 2014
464
2,926
SW Scotland
Hi everyone, I'm on the look out for a NAS set up, suitable for home use but capable enough to deal with my ever expanding photo library. I've looked at the WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra and would plan to run it with two 4TB WD Red drives as a minimum, running on RAID 1 or whatever it's called these days.

Just looking for recommendations and advice other than the EX2 Ultra. I'm not a fan of Seagate in terms of HDD's (horrible experience with those). If a NAS can do Time Machine as well as serve as a drive - that would be a bonus but not crucial if it can't.

Also, security wise? What we thinking? I know technically speaking, that anything connected to the internet is a potential risk, but are these NAS things secure or is it a combo of a secure router and NAS together that counts?
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,400
8,243
Glasgow, UK
Hi everyone, I'm on the look out for a NAS set up, suitable for home use but capable enough to deal with my ever expanding photo library. I've looked at the WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra and would plan to run it with two 4TB WD Red drives as a minimum, running on RAID 1 or whatever it's called these days.

Just looking for recommendations and advice other than the EX2 Ultra. I'm not a fan of Seagate in terms of HDD's (horrible experience with those). If a NAS can do Time Machine as well as serve as a drive - that would be a bonus but not crucial if it can't.

Also, security wise? What we thinking? I know technically speaking, that anything connected to the internet is a potential risk, but are these NAS things secure or is it a combo of a secure router and NAS together that counts?
I have an older Synology device - DS213+. Relatively maintenance free. I have Toshiba drives in it as the two WD drives I had in originally died on the same day and like you I dont like Seagates (too many experiences of them seizing up at work). I then have Amazon Glacier for offsite backup - costs about a fiver a month. It works great for my needs. 2 disks, mirrored.

If I were starting fresh today I would go for a 4 bay unit for better maintenance and redundancy.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,768
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Behind the Lens, UK
Hi everyone, I'm on the look out for a NAS set up, suitable for home use but capable enough to deal with my ever expanding photo library. I've looked at the WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra and would plan to run it with two 4TB WD Red drives as a minimum, running on RAID 1 or whatever it's called these days.

Just looking for recommendations and advice other than the EX2 Ultra. I'm not a fan of Seagate in terms of HDD's (horrible experience with those). If a NAS can do Time Machine as well as serve as a drive - that would be a bonus but not crucial if it can't.

Also, security wise? What we thinking? I know technically speaking, that anything connected to the internet is a potential risk, but are these NAS things secure or is it a combo of a secure router and NAS together that counts?
We supplied Qnaps to the MOD for the last few years and haven’t had a failure yet.
 
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OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,680
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Sendai, Japan
Another vote for Synology. I bought a DS214+ a few years ago, and the thing is totally boring — it just works. Zero failures and essentially zero complaints. Synology keeps on expanding its software capabilities, their software is very easy to set up and use, and also the hardware has very good build quality.

The only complaint I have is that their incremental backup software does not (yet?) support Backblaze B2 storage.
 
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OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
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PS I should add that I deliberately went for HGST hard drives, which are pricier, but according to Backblaze's hard drive failure statistics (probably the publicly available resource and hard drive failure statistics) are the most reliable. At work, I am trying my luck with Segate IronWolf NAS drives, so let's see how they hold up. In any case, it is important to distinguish between hard drive reliability and NAS reliability.
 

Mark0

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 11, 2014
464
2,926
SW Scotland
Thank you all for the replies. I seriously looked at the Synology DS218J but adding the disks to the price was above budget (I know you should never scrimp when it comes to digital data but I have to be realistic). Anyway, it's weird as I've been checking Amazon all week to see if there have been any BF deals on NAS drives and by chance, I checked tonight and saw the WD 16Tb EX2 Ultra is down from £600 to £450. The 8Tb version is still hovering at £370ish, so it's a no brainer really! I did a quick check on a price tracker and today is indeed the lowest price it's been so I snapped it up. Planning to run it as two 8Tb drives mirrored, so should be plenty for my sort of use.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to reply with their recommendation or other input.
 
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OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

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Nov 14, 2018
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Tried various NAS enclosures, including NetGear and QNAP, and now Synology. Synology seems to have the easiest to use software for maintaining your NAS, and appears to be the most stable at this point. Each has their own apps for sharing and storing photos and music, etc. I did not use the included apps so I can't comment on them.
 
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Mark0

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 11, 2014
464
2,926
SW Scotland
Right, you’ve convinced me to cancel my order and go for a Synology. It will have to wait until I save a bit more though!

I had read the WD reviews but was looking at the usage cases and I think most people were requiring more than the thing was capable of. A lot of people said about streamingbei g problematic, but with the spec, they should probably have known it would struggle to transcode video etc. Other usage cases were sounding like they wanted to treat the unit as a server and deal with multiple users. Obviously a NAS at this price point would struggle.
I’d basically be using it to store files, with very little “cloud” use outwith my home.
The Mac troubles were what concerned me most but I was also thinking of the fact you’ll always see many more negative reviews than positive. Thanks again for your input
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
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Sendai, Japan
Right, you’ve convinced me to cancel my order and go for a Synology. It will have to wait until I save a bit more though!
Great choice. Before my Synology I had bought a Drobo Transporter. On paper a decent device that would have scratched my itch back then. However, the software was buggy, unreliable and was not regularly updated. QNAP and Synology update their OSes regularly, with one major release per year. They use the same basic OS for all of their devices, from entry-level NASes to professional rigs that cost tens of thousands of dollars. That's what you are paying extra for. All software updates are free, and my 2014 model has been compatible with each one so far.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,195
394
UK
Ive had WD, Synology, and now a QNAP.
I much prefer the QNAP user interface and the hardware seems of a higher quality to me - even though Synology are also good - I just prefer the QNAP.
Currently filled with 8 x 6TB WD Red drives and is switched on 24/7 for the 2 years or so Ive had it - never had any issues whatsoever.

Although newer hardware is now available, Ive made a couple of videos on it....





 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,680
68
Sendai, Japan
@Ifti
Yup, the two big boys are QNAP and Synology, and they are equally good choices. Honestly speaking, I considered both and went with Synology because I prefer the look of the Synologys. Out of curiosity: do the QNAPs support Backblaze B2?
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,228
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Sunny, Southern California
I also back up media on my NAS, so it is a little larger. But I have an 8 bay Synology with another 4 bay QNAP as the back up for certain media. All the hard drives are WD Reds. I also have a USB external drive hooked up to the Synology that I use as a secondary backup. I am looking for an offsite back up also, but I haven't had the time to look at all my options.

I keep all of my pictures on it, and if I am going to be working on said picture, I do bring a copy to my local machine, I don't work off the NAS box that often. I do stream a lot from it and share lots of pictures from it. All of my family members have access to it.

I have had zero issues with either the QNAP or Synology. Both have easy software, however I like the Synology just a little more. Nothing stands out, I just like it better. Both have been rock solid though.
 
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