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jarveye

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2019
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Apologies if this is an overly common thread, i can't find one which is exactly the same as my situation so im hoping someone can advise...

We have a small design studio with 4 main iMacs (2017 5k retina 27inch) there is a couple of other lesser used macs and 2 PCs all of which are less important in regards to this query.

We use TimeMachine to backup the macs, first we had the apple airport Time Machine attached to the router which wasn't near big enough, so we then after a bit of research invested in 2x Buffalo LS220D NAS enclosures, each had a couple of 4TB drives RAIDed so everything was duplicated automatically, we set 2 iMacs backing up to one WAs and the other 2 iMacs to the other, they were TimeMachine compatible and seemed to work ok.

recently during the upgrade to Catalina i had a major issue and my iMac after trying everything else had to be wiped and restored, which was great till i went to restore, first attempt was a full restore from recovery mode, over the wireless network it estimated 36 hours to restore, (around 750GB used storage on my iMac) so i set it going, and overnight on the second/third day it failed... i decided to connect it to the network via ethernet to try again hoping it would be faster, this time i installed the new catalina first and tried to use migration assistant, but it couldn't find the drive/backup checked the NAS drive and it was not well... one drive had completely failed, and i couldn't get it to respond at all. after a lot of panic i was advised to remove the failed drive from the enclosure and thankfully that allowed me to do a restore over that weekend.

there has been a couple of issues for example my old emails haven't restored properly, but it could be worse.

SO im kind of out of the woods for now, however i want some good advice on a safe and reliable replacement for this buffalo drive which failed, and possibly both of them, as i don't trust the other one either now.

I don't want to spend an insane amount but I'm happy to stretch past the cheapest/budget drives in favour of reliability, easy of use and peace of mind.

they have to be easily TimeMachine compatible, and something which works well over a local office network for all the iMacs, they also need to be plenty big as we work with large files/photos, and also fast so backups/restores don't take forever.

when i checked online most NAS enclosures now seem more expensive than i remember and often don't even come with drives included..?

if its compatible with PCs too thats a bonus but not essential.

Any advice would be very much appreciated
 

jarveye

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2019
3
0
I've been using a Synology NAS and find it to be really good. Great web based management tool and very robust and easy to set up. Also really effective back up management, dhcp and dns tools included.

Something like this would suit you well. https://www.synology.com/en-uk/products/DS1618+

Great thank you for your advice, im guessing this is much the same as the buffalo NAS but perhaps just better quality? are they Time Machine compatible and easy to set up? or do you use a different back up management software?
 

Ifti

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2010
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UK
Either Synology or QNAP are the way to go. Both support Time Machine as well as a whole host of other actions.

I personally used Synology but later switched to QNAP. I much prefer the interface etc. Been running for several years (although I switch it off for a few hours once a year where I clean out any dust etc) with no issues whatsoever.

You'll get TB3 enabled units now, but this is my one....
I have it connected to a 10GBe switch, and use a TB3 to 10GBe adapter to my computer making sure I get the fastest speeds across the network...

 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
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I have it connected to a 10GBe switch, and use a TB3 to 10GBe adapter

I have a QNAP TS-453BT3 and have found the thunderbolt port to be a bit faster than the 10G adapter. The write speeds on a 4 drive system with their software RAID 5 on some terabyte transfers topped out at ~229 MB/s write, ~500-600 MB/s read using Carbon Copy cloner. I assume that a larger system with more drives would be faster. A hardware 8 drive RAID device directly connected to my iMac runs ~800 MB/s read ~1000 MB/s write. If you are connecting wirelessly in some way then your WiFi bandwidth might be the limiting factor.

Can't speak to the issue of Time Machine backups in a multi computer environment. I just know that TM backups are not the most reliable and restores take a long time. Don't know if Carbon Copy Cloner would be a viable option but my guess is it would be much faster.

QNAP does support Time machine. I love their software. Very complex options but they have excellent configuration utilities and help systems. Don't know about Synology.

There is an interesting article about how you can no longer rely on RAID 5 or even RAID 6 to protect your data:

 

Ifti

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2010
3,943
2,449
UK
I have a QNAP TS-453BT3 and have found the thunderbolt port to be a bit faster than the 10G adapter. The write speeds on a 4 drive system with their software RAID 5 on some terabyte transfers topped out at ~229 MB/s write, ~500-600 MB/s read using Carbon Copy cloner. I assume that a larger system with more drives would be faster. A hardware 8 drive RAID device directly connected to my iMac runs ~800 MB/s read ~1000 MB/s write. If you are connecting wirelessly in some way then your WiFi bandwidth might be the limiting factor.

My NAS has TB2 ports, while my laptop has TB3 ports.
In theory, TB2 should still be faster, but with placement and the high cost of lengthy TB cables, the network solution works better for me.....
 

jarveye

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 16, 2019
3
0
Ok thanks guys, the Synology option looks good to me so far... although i cannot really consider thunderbolt i don't think if i want it on the local area network for all macs can i? id imagine id just connect it via ethernet cable to the switch i have connected to our router?

Also i notice with the synology you can either (through a slightly complex set of steps) set it up to backup using Timemachine... or you can you their own back-up software Cloud Station, which on first glance looks a possible easier and more user-friendly interface

What would you recommend? any benefits to sticking with Timemachine or would the cloud station software be better?
 

Silencio

macrumors 68040
Jul 18, 2002
3,469
1,581
NYC
I've been very pleased with Synology's offerings over the years. I started out with a single drive NAS maybe 10 years ago, and am currently running a redundant dual controller SAS unit at work with 80+TB storage and dual 10Gb ethernet at work.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,700
2,928
Ok thanks guys, the Synology option looks good to me so far..

Certainly a fine NAS. You may want to do a feature and price comparison with QNAP.

QNAP TS-453bt3 has more features/$ than the equivalent Synology.

but this is just one specific model comparison.

Checkout how TM works with multiple users on the NAS.


I'd be interested in knowing if Synology does it differently.
 
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