Network device for backup/storage???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by devincco, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. devincco macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    Hi all

    I’m in need of some kind of network device for storage and/or backups. I currently have 1 Macbook Pro, 1 Windows XP machine and 1 Windows 7 machine. One of these Windows machines will probably be swapped out with a Mac mini or iMac in the next year to year and a half. I’m looking for something that I can back up all the computers to and also access the data on the network device from all computers. Some of the other requirements would be the ability to stream audio, video, pictures to something like an Apple TV or something similar. So far, I have it broken down to 4 items that I’m looking at. I’d like to hear some thoughts on these item and if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.

    Option 1 - 1TB (current generation) Time Capsule
    This option would probably end up being the easiest and cheapest. I do need to swap out my router with a new one that offers gigabit speed, and this includes it. I’d just have to pick up a switch or 2. The things that I’m not crazy about is that there is no redundancy with the hard drive, only 3 LAN ports (but not too big of an issue), and the questionable reliability. The previous gens seem to have issues with reliability.

    Option 2 – HP EX490
    This option is the most expensive, but it definitely offers a great amount of expansion. I’d need to buy at least 1 more hard drive to setup some type of redundancy on the server and I’d need to get a new router (most likely D-Link 655 or 825). I like the HP unit because it’s small compact design and it’s supposed to work out of the box with a Mac and Windows clients. Also, if you need to you can take a drive out of the system and slave it off to get data off of it.

    Option 3 – Build my own Window Home Server
    This option is like the HP EX490, but would probably end up being cheaper and could be the most expansive depending on which components I choose. I’m not sure how it will work with a Mac and the EX490 has special Mac plugins for it to work with Time Machine.

    OPTION 4 – D-Link NAS 323
    With this option, I’d still need to pick up a new faster router, and a pair of 1 or 1.5TB drives. I understand that the setup and configuration is fairly easy. The drives are formatted with a proprietary format so I can’t just go slave a drive if I need to. It definitely doesn’t have as many options that the other options have either. It has a very small compact design.

    So if anyone has any input or any other suggestions, please post them. The only thing that I’m not really into is building a linux, openNAS or openFiler PC. Thanks in advance.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why option #3? What a poor choice of OS. Both BSD and Linux would be better and much cheaper.

    None of the options really solves the backup problem. For that you need a way to remove the backup media and put it some place safe. Extrnal USb disk drives are good for this.

    I would not store live data on the same disk as backup data.
  3. tscholle macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2008
    HP Home Server is a Good option

    Hello I have an HP EX485 and I have to say I LOVE it. I put in 4 1.5 TB Seagate drives and I installed a add-in called RIPNAS it lets me use my home server to rip my CD's and it lets me play music and watch movies on my XBOX or my Macs. I also use the HP iPhone app to listen to music that I can not fit on my phone. I have also had some success watching movies over 3G. I also do Time Machine backups on 4 Macs and 1 XP Boot Camp partition I need for work. I Love the HP home server it has been a great device, I do not think you can do the Time Machine on just Home Server, but I could be wrong. I wish Apple would build something like the home server, but until they do it is the best option that I have found.

    I had a Thesus NAS before the EX485 and I kept running into permission issues that requred CHMOD to resolve.
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Drobo and DroboPro are also fantastic options. I back up 4 computers, use it as an iTunes streaming hub, and rely on its data redundancy to keep everything safe (you can even select dual-disk redundancy to allow for the possibility of two hard drives failing).

    Ridiculously easy to manage, and you can mix-and-match hard drive sizes, buying OEM drives whenever you need to expand. Many, if not most RAID arrays require all drives to be the same size, which causes waste in the long run.

  5. devincco thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2006
    Leaning towards HP EX490...

    I looked at the drobo, drobopro and the drobo share. I'm impressed with them, but they're probably the most expensive option.

    It seems that the HP EX490 has everything that I might need. I'm just wondering if anyone else has any other suggestions, info, etc.

  6. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Not sure why you think the Drobo is more expensive than the HP.

    Drobo + DroboShare = $589
    4x 1.5TB drives = $98.99
    Drobo Total = $984.96

    HP EX495 (1x 1.5TB) = $699
    3x 1.5TB drives = $98.99
    HP Total = $995.97

    *Prices from

    I have used a Drobo connected to a Mac Mini running Leopard Server and think it's an excellent solution with very good performance.

    The HP is an automatic rule-out for me since it runs Windows Media Home Server.

    Personally, I have a ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer with 4x 1.5TB drives. I love it. It has more than enough horsepower to handle multiple concurrent Time Machine sessions, streaming to an AirPort Express and an AppleTV.

    Enjoy your choice, I think you will really appreciate the flexibility a server-based option gives you.

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