Need help with NAS - somewhat unusual situation

bdog1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 23, 2016
13
5
Texas
I work in the oilfield and have a mobile office trailer with a computer in it that collects a lot of data. The computer has no internet connectivity but is on a hardwired gigabit network with other devices in the trailer. I regularly need to extract anywhere from 10-100 GB of data from this computer and upload it to FTP servers at night back at my motel.

I have been copying this data to USB drives but it is terribly slow as the computer in the office trailer only has USB 2.0. Often I am stuck there for a couple of hours at the end of the day doing this after everyone leaves. Once back in town at the motel room I connect the USB to my MBP and upload it to the FTP. I don't really care how long this takes as I can let it run all night. My main concern is copying the data faster in the field.

It seems to me that a NAS is the solution. Over gigabit it should copy much faster than USB 2.0. My concerns are though how will I get the data from the NAS to my MBP so I can upload it back at the motel? Connecting the NAS to the public wifi at the motel doesn't seem like a good idea. Can I connect my laptop directly to the NAS via USB and get data from it?
 

fluamsler

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2016
95
30
near Basel, Switzerland
I have not tried this out but in theory you should be able to connect a NAS via wired Ethernet connection to your switch.
First you set up a user account on your NAS and create a shared folder (let's call them "Data"). Next you plug in a ethernet cable from your laptop to the switch.
After this you access your folder on the finder (buttons "Go to>connect to server" or similar) via the SMB protocol and enter the username and password of the created account. Your local link would look like this: smb://192.168.x.y/Data

After entering your login informations your network folder should be mounted on the desk of your MacBook and also on the finder. From there you can upload, download, copy or move data like it's a plugged in external storage. Usually the transfer speed via SMB is decent.

Hope this helps! :)
 
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bdog1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 23, 2016
13
5
Texas
I have not tried this out but in theory you should be able to connect a NAS via wired Ethernet connection to your switch.
First you set up a user account on your NAS and create a shared folder (let's call them "Data"). Next you plug in a ethernet cable from your laptop to the switch.
After this you access your folder on the finder (buttons "Go to>connect to server" or similar) via the SMB protocol and enter the username and password of the created account. Your local link would look like this: smb://192.168.x.y/Data

After entering your login informations your network folder should be mounted on the desk of your MacBook and also on the finder. From there you can upload, download, copy or move data like it's a plugged in external storage. Usually the transfer speed via SMB is decent.

Hope this helps! :)
Thanks. My MacBook doesn't have ethernet though. I guess I could do the same thing with a router that isn't connected to anything but the MBP via wifi and the NAS via ethernet?
 

fluamsler

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2016
95
30
near Basel, Switzerland
Thanks. My MacBook doesn't have ethernet though. I guess I could do the same thing with a router that isn't connected to anything but the MBP via wifi and the NAS via ethernet?
Yes it should work too. In our apartment the NAS is the only device attached via ethernet to the router. All the other devices connect wireless to the storage.

It is easier if your router supports DHCP address reservation (most oft them do) so you set a (kind of) static ip address for your NAS. Because router usually give the internal IP adresses by "first come, first serve." With DHCP adress reservation you tell your router to give the device with the specific MAC address (for example A0:B1:C2:D3:E4:F5) always the internal IP address (let's say 192.168.1.2). So you don't have to change the connection information every time.

BTW: if you need access to the storage from outside your local network your router must support port forwarding and you have to set up a Dynamic DNS.
Therefore you can set up a name like https://yourstoragename.DDNSprovider.com. This address redirect your request to your currently used external IP address and the router sends the request to your NAS. So you can access your stored datas from all over the world like your personal cloud via various protocols (like HTTPS, FTP, mobile apps and more).

But in this case make sure to use strong passwords (especially for admin accounts) and restrict the access of normal users to only the thing they need to do. Synology blocks several failed login attempts after 2-3 times. Optional you can and use two factor authentication for admin accounts which makes it much harder to gain admin rights for unwanted users.
Don't worry! There is a helpful check list for beginners how to harden your storage in a few steps. https://www.synology.com/en-us/knowledgebase/DSM/tutorial/Management/How_to_add_extra_security_to_your_Synology_NAS

A lot of information, i know! But it is not as complicated as it sounds! ;)
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2019
244
113
I work in the oilfield and have a mobile office trailer with a computer in it that collects a lot of data. The computer has no internet connectivity but is on a hardwired gigabit network with other devices in the trailer. I regularly need to extract anywhere from 10-100 GB of data from this computer and upload it to FTP servers at night back at my motel.

I have been copying this data to USB drives but it is terribly slow as the computer in the office trailer only has USB 2.0. Often I am stuck there for a couple of hours at the end of the day doing this after everyone leaves. Once back in town at the motel room I connect the USB to my MBP and upload it to the FTP. I don't really care how long this takes as I can let it run all night. My main concern is copying the data faster in the field.

It seems to me that a NAS is the solution. Over gigabit it should copy much faster than USB 2.0. My concerns are though how will I get the data from the NAS to my MBP so I can upload it back at the motel? Connecting the NAS to the public wifi at the motel doesn't seem like a good idea. Can I connect my laptop directly to the NAS via USB and get data from it?
Buffalo made a NAS, which I still own, that actually functions both as a single NAS and a single USB2 storage drive with a touch of button (LAN/USB). With this NAS, you can access the data in the drive either via ethernet or USB2. Unfortunately they don't sell this unit anymore and the unit is plagued with a slow slow Marvell unit, which in the end transfer data no faster than USB2. Probably why they no longer sold them.

What you need is an ethernet capable storage device with a FAST processor like a Dual Core (not the slow as molasses Marvell kind) with a lot of RAM or a Quad Core (something like a Realtek Quad Core as minimum with at least 1Gb of RAM). The reason is while gigabit network can theoretically deliver up to 2x speed as USB 2, the processor and memory in the NAS has a lot to do with sustaining those speeds. Otherwise you'll end up with the same USB 2 speeds over a gigabit net. Once you transferred your data over to the NAS, you can bring it home and connect it to your Macbook via a Thunderbolt 2 to gigabit ethernet adapter. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 are the same connector and it is also called the Mini Display port. They sell this at the Apple store. If you have the latest Macbook Pro with those USB-C ports (Thunderbolt 3), then you need a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, which then allows you to connect that TB2 to Ethernet adapter to talk to the NAS. You can connect the Macbook Pro directly to the NAS with this adapter in adhoc mode bypassing the router/switch. You need to use Connect Server and use bonjour to locate and connect to the NAS. Enter your credentials and then mount the drive that has the data on it and then transfer at faster than USB 2 speeds. The speed of the processor and amount of RAM in the NAS is critical to higher xfer speeds. Example of this would be the Synology DS118. Anything that can transcode 4K video on the fly has enough processor power to keep up with high speed xfers. Hope this helps.
 

fluamsler

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2016
95
30
near Basel, Switzerland
@iluvmacs99:
You can only get the speed of your slowest component of the chain. If you have 8TB WD Red you get write speeds of about 178MB/s which is 1424Mbit/s. This is more than Gbit-Speed. Of course if the device is indexing files or converting thumbnail pictures you lose performance. In this case I don't see the advantage of more CPU power. If you want more faster Network transfer speed you will need a faster NAS with at least dual Ethernet (like the DS718+ or DS918+)
A DS218+ delivers around 113MB/s (904Mbit/s) read and 112MB/s (896Mbit/s) write. Even the new DS1019+ delivers only 225MB/s (1800Mbit/s) read/write speed. And yes, the Ds1019+ has two Gbit Ethernet ports. ;)
 

fluamsler

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2016
95
30
near Basel, Switzerland
@hobowankenobi:
I'm using a mid 2015 15" MBP with 16GB RAM. I'm only about 9 feet away from the router (Netgear R6800).

What do you mean with add/change the I/O connections?
Simultaneously connections works. For example Time Machine can start backing up to the folder /Time Machine and I can access via Finder the network folder /Media on the same device. (you can allow several SMB connection per IP or just one).

On the web user interface of the NAS you see which user is connected and how. Looks like this:

Time and DateUserclient name and IPconnection typeRessource
2019-10-08 22:05:14User 1192.68.1.3CIFSMedia
2019-10-08 23:01:54User 2178.223.45.198HTTP/HTTPSDiskStation Manager
2019-10-08 14:10:08User 2192.168.1.4CIFSTime Machine
As an admin you can disconnect a user or disable the account.

You can also restrict the users privileges so User 1 can only access the Web Interface DSM and not the Video Station. Or the User 1 can only access the Server from 192.168.x.y and only the folder /Media.
In the firewall you can set up different rules. :)
 
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556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,604
884
What kind of computer is in the mobile office doing the data collection? What ports does it have?

If your workflow allows for it, you could attach an external hardware RAID enclosure via Thunderbolt (for example) to the data collection computer, with 2 drives in a RAID 1 config. Your data collection goes directly to one of those drives, which is automatically mirrored to the other one. At the end of the day you take the 2nd drive to the hotel, pop it into any external enclosure plugged into your laptop's Thunderbolt port, and upload it.

When you get back to work, plug the 2nd drive in to the enclosure, and resume.

Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TerraMaster-Thunderbolt-Hardware-Storage-Diskless/dp/B07Q6HZD9N/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=thunderbolt+raid&qid=1570581335&sr=8-4