New Mini as NAS alternative?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by brn2rnjk1, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. brn2rnjk1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #1
    I have read all the I can and even went into the Apple store yesterday but I am still confused. They claim that the highest config you can get is 2TB. If I wanted to use my mini as a media server (using Sonos and Video programs) this amount would not seem enough for me. That doesn't include that I thought I might also use it for time-machine backups.

    Did I misunderstand something?
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    Most of us who use our Mini's as a "NAS" do so with cheap external hard drive enclosures (i.e. with a DAS). Me personally, my "NAS" has 3 external 4 bay enclosures giving me something like 25TB of usable storage.

    However, to call it a NAS would be disingenuous because it is so much more than just Storage.... Which is why many of us go the route of a Mini + DAS instead of a NAS. I don't want to spend $300+ on a one use machine when I can spend $500 and do everything (Base Mini $400 on sale + $100 enclosure).
     
  3. brn2rnjk1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #3
    How would I go about adding external. Is it simply usb plugin? What is the max capacity on that.

    Or, is there a page where someone has shown how to do this and what is needed?
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    Yep. I use these...

    http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-Pr...d=1427923725&sr=8-1&keywords=mediasonic+4+bay

    You can then either use OSX's RAID 1 that is built in, or go with a software RAID solution such as SoftRAID (although the cost on this is $150+ and may not be worth depending on the size of array you want to build).

    I also recommend looking into OSX Server. If you have more than one Mac, you can then use your Mini to be a centralized Time Machine server (all your Macs will back up to the one Mini instead of individual time machine drives).

    However, if all you are looking for is just storage, a NAS will do this will no fuss (for the most part). Most of us are just looking for more than a simple storage box.

    Edit: Before anyone "corrects" me. Yes I realize that NAS boxes can do more these days than simply storing data. It still is relatively restrictive as it all depends on the power of the processor and the apps built for it.
     
  5. brn2rnjk1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #5
    We have multiple macs (one pc but that will be leaving soon). If price weren't a real issue and my dream idea would be

    1. Media server (sonos, iTunes, plex etc)
    2. Time machine backup

    Of course then I would have to have a backup solution for this but I am sure I could figure that out. Currently we use crash plan and individual portable backups for each machine.

    So, how would you set this up if it were you? I would prefer that the server not be one of our regular computers since I would want the mini to stay on 24/7. Also, how would I access it. Could I put it in a room with Ethernet and no monitor, but connect to it from another mac?

    Thanks again
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    Here's what I have.....

    1. 2012 Mac Mini
    2. 3 - 4bay hard drive enclosures
    2a. Enclosure 1 has 4 - 4TB drives for storing all my movies and TV Shows
    2b. Enclosure 2 has 4 - 1.5TB drives for storing all my music and other files
    2c. Enclosure 3 has 4 - 3TB drives for storing my Time Machine Backups of our laptops and my daily Mac Mini

    Now that's probably excessive from a storage standpoint. You could easily do all of that with probably with just one enclosure. I just liked having my data spread out.

    Software side:
    1. Minis is running OSX Server. There is a Time Machine backup option in the software and then on each client machine you tell it to use the Time machine server to do all their backups (works practically flawlessly and wirelessly)
    2. I run Plex Server on my Mini as well as iTunes (for two different needs). They feed my Rokus for video.
    3. To access my Mac Mini Server, I use the OSX Built-in Screen Sharing. I can access my Mini from any of my other Macs with no issues. It's a little slow, but then again I'm only going to it to do configuration updates (rarely) and doing software updates (again rarely).
    4. I use SoftRAID so that I can use RAID 5 for my hard drives (to maximize space), but previously I used OSX's Mirrored RAID (RAID1).

    Hope this helps....
     

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