Questions about Synology DS214+

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MDPLS, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. MDPLS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    #1
    I was wondering if anyone is using the Synology DS214+? If so, I have a couple of questions for the group. (by the way I am new to macs so I apologize for any silly questions in advance). In the compatibility list for this model, the internal drives file system says EXT4 and the external drive file system says several different formats including HFS+ (read only with max volume size 2TB). Can someone explain this? Does EXT4 work on the Mac OS?

    Also listed in the compatibility list my specific router is not listed. I have a Linksys EA6900. Their list stops at EA4500. Is this something that I should check out directly with Synology support or is the list a little older?

    The computer I am trying to research this for is a MBPr 2014 running the latest Yosemite OS.

    Thanks
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    The Synology NAS will present the shared volume over the local network to the Mac in a format the Mac understands. The drive format the NAS uses internally is not seen out on the network.

    You don't need to worry about EXT4 unless you plan to move a hard drive, physically connected to the NAS sometime, the computer another... which is far from the normal use.

    There are apps, like web services, or remote access that may be sensitive to the router you are using, but any router will be compatible with a standard internet LAN connection.

    What will you be using the NAS for? File sharing is simple, its the other features that can have one constraint of another.
     
  3. MDPLS thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2015
    #3
  4. gngan, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015

    gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #4
    I would consider myself tech savy but network noob. I had DS213 (previous version of DS214). I was clueless on how to set up and had to ask a friend to do it for me. I only used for time machine, store backup for photos, music and docs. No internet sharing whatsoever though I tried setting it up but failed. It gave me endless issue with disconnection in LAN, unable to login to DSM. I sold it last week.

    I am eyeing on WD’s My Cloud EX2 which is significantly cheaper and looks way easier to setup.
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Feb 10, 2008
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    NH
    #5
    Nice unit.

    Don't use it for a time machine backup destination, not apple approved.

    If your music is in an iTunes library stored on the NAS and you are always using iTunes to listen, it should work well. Many here use it.

    As for being tech savvy, Synology is based on Unix and uses unix terminology. Its like a foreign language, and some have trouble with understanding the concepts, many don't. I did until I got into a UNIX frame of mind :) . Still a PITA for me. Synology does provide some helpful install and setup guides and they do have several user forums for support, but there are much easier so called network storage drives to set up (WD or Seagate for example).
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    Consider a Mac Mini as an alternative

    I spent dozens of hours looking into Synology, QNAP, FreeNAS, and Drobo, including reading many professional reviews, user reviews, and many threads in their community forums. I walked away largely unsatisfied.

    There are a tremendous number of performance, configuration, and troubleshooting issues. Also, many features don't quite do what you think they will do. For example, it is very common that iTunes support means audio only, and not videos.

    I came to the conclusion that if I was looking at anything other than a basic unit, that a Mac Mini + USB 3.0 external drives was actually better in virtually every way (except neatness). For nearly the same price (or in some cases a smaller price), with the Mac Mini you get a real computer with a real operating system. You get full remote access and screen sharing, not limited, buggy web-based access. You get full drive sharing capability. You get Apple support, stability, reliability, and frequent free OS updates. You get whole-drive encryption support with no performance hits (NAS solutions often slow way down for encrypted support). You can share folder with thousands of files in them with no performance hits (NAS solutions often slow down so much when faced with this that they seem crippled).

    If you want to use Time Machine, just run OS X Server on the Mac Mini ($20 upgrade in the Mac App Store IIRC) and it's AFP shared drives are valid Time Machine destinations. If you prefer more robust backup software like CCC, Mac Mini shared drives on standard OS X will work for that too.

    Want to have an FTP/SFTP server? No problem! Lots of great choices to choose from. On the NAS? Slow, buggy, and never quite fully featured.

    Despite the high performance of a real computer, the Mac Mini just barely sips juice when idle. It's right on par with a simple NAS unit. It runs silently. It's small.

    You get a plethora of OS X server software to choose from. Heck, with a little extra memory you can also use VMWare or Parallels to run a copy of Windows and then you also have use of Windows-based server software.

    With the Mac Mini you don't have weirdly-formatted drives. You can still do RAID with OS X's built-in software RAID.

    There are additional benefits as well, that I haven't had to make use of. For example, I have a full, spare Mac. If my main Mac every dies, I have a backup ready! If I ever need to use target disk mode, I've got a Mac to do it with!

    I also occasionally dump side work onto the Mac Mini, such as long Handbrake queues that I don't want to tie up my Mac Pro with. The Mini happily churns at it for hours on end and I have full use of my main computer. A NAS won't do that either.

    Honestly, the advantages of using a Mac Mini over a similarly-priced NAS just seem completely overwhelming to me, in my opinion, and for my needs. I have no regrets whatsoever. Everything works perfectly and it is an absolute delight. And heck, I'm just running vanilla OS X, not OS X Server.

    The single drawback I can think of is that with multiple external drives, it is not quite as "neat" of a physical package as a NAS unit is.
     
  7. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    #7
    Well said!
     
  8. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #8
    I have the DS414+, so just more drives.
    You simply throw in the drives, create a volume and select the files services you want (NFS, SMB2 etc), you don't need to worry about anything else - its a NAS protocol. But in direct answer to your question i have mine as EX4.

    You then just setup the mount points.
    You can then see the mount points via finder or put them on your desktop. I have one for all media (iTunes music, videos, then one for pictures) and then one for home shares. You can run time machine if you wanted to, but i don't i have a dedicated 3TB TM.

    Personally i'd much prefer the NAS solution to a mini, you can truncated the NICs, you have better redundancy options, much greater storage, hardware level raid, not software so no performance issues, much better IO performance and the energy consumption of anything is based on what you are doing..
     
  9. ColdCase, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #9
    Well you just illustrated why a NAS is much more difficult to set up for us non UNIX geeks. The OP seems to be better served by less expensive "mycloud" type network drives, however.

    My Mac server app is much more powerful and full featured than my synology NAS, and the beauty of SW RAID as you can unplug and move those drives to any Mac to read/right. Synology only works for another synology product and then you have to crack the case and be sure you put the drives in the right order. A external USB drive will only work with some another synology NAS and then usually with fiddling with one configuration or another. Time Machine is a disaster on a NAS destination, the web is full of folks that are surprised it won't work... and usually only when they need to recover.

    I have both a synology NAS and 2012mini with a TB disk enclosure attached. Both attached via eNet cable to my router

    Same drive models, same files, the mini provides near twice the data rate performance to users than the Synology, and the latency seems so be much less. One data point for sure. No question you can do NAS on the cheap, but if one desires a bit of performance you need an upscale NAS the is close to a mini server with external TB drive enclosure. That was not the same story a year ago. Oh, by the way, The Synology NAS sucks up more AC power than the mini server... dunno where you find that info. ... then there is that scalability thing, if I grow and find I need more Network storage, I pretty much have to throw away that NAS and start over. One simply adds disk enclosures to a sever. My server has 20TB in one enclosure and 30TB in another... something that would bring a Consumer level NAS to its knees. I want to play around with web services, its just a click on a button on the server, hours of work, mostly failed attempts, on a synology NAS... and then pages are served so slow its unusable.

    Just saying I wanted to correct NAS fanboy enthusiasm, fans that have not kept up with technology. Again, if all you want to do is file share on a mirrored volume, a NAS can be made to work for less $$, albeit slow and sometimes nasty to set up. A network "mycloud" type drive may be better and less money, however.

    So I will say it again with 20-20 hindsight, I wish I ignored the NAS fanboys and went directly to a mini with server app. I would have saved some money, time, and a lot of headache....
     
  10. AFEPPL, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015

    AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    England
    #10
    Clearly i have no idea why you had issues... so i won't pretend or invent something.

    Throughput will be determined by the slowest point.. on the 414 you have a 1 or 2GBe bandwidth, more than a mini could ever hope to get, IO throughput is proportional to the number of drives installed then you have the overhead of raid (hardware raid is much less). but, the big but is - what throughput do you actually need or want? if its only 10MB/s its irrelevant. WiFi would start to become a bottle neck once you hit around 100MB/s, but i doubt anyone is really needing anything like that on a day to day basis. A USB drive on the back of an Airport extreme will do the same thing too..

    The synology device i got about a month ago is simple plug and play - more simple than apple. put in the drives, 3 or 4 clicks and you are done.

    I could have bought a mini yes, but each to their own - it doesnt make something right or wrong. its just choice. A basic user/ novice could easily live with all solutions.
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    Can you explain what this means? I googled "truncate NIC", "truncated NIC", and "truncate ethernet", but there wasn't a single result. The closest was "Ethernet Truncate Mode", but that appears to be a rarely used term related to expensive Cisco fibre channel products.
     
  12. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #12
    What type of file transfer speed are you getting across the network to the mini? I've got a Synology DS1511 and am ready to give it up as I only use it for TM backups since I got the family off of Windows back in 2012. I'm running out of space on my rMBP and would love to move my iPhoto and iTunes librarys to a mini if the transfer speeds are good.
     
  13. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #13

    Sorry, I'm spending too much time in the datacenter and thats not my real job. ETM is used to truncate (reduce) frames from FCP to 1496 to meet the ethernet frame size on the cisco MDSs. Thats not what i meant to say,

    The term i should have wrote/used was aggregated (together).
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    I'm in middle of a remodel at the moment so I cannot test it now. Most likely this weekend I could hook it up and do a quick test, so I'll have to get back to you next week.

    Ah, that makes a lot more sense. I looked into port aggregation a while back (on my Mac Pro) but realized I could not make use of it because my switch at the time was an Airport Extreme. Although the AE supports port aggregation, only has three ports so that never really made sense to me. How did Apple test that feature? :confused:
     
  15. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #15
    I've been looking at the Synology range. They sure have a knack of overcomplicating their models! As a DLNA server, is it possible to have password access so the kiddies can watch their videos without seeing stuff they're not meant to till they're in their late teens?
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    My apologies for the delayed response. I've been very busy.

    For this test I am using "LAN Speed Test Lite" on a 2010 Mac Pro, connected via gigabit Ethernet switch to a 2012 Mac Mini with two "Seagate Backup Plus" USB 3.0 external desktop drives (3.5" hard drives).

    Single Drive Test:
    (Test File Size 1024 MB)
    Write: 113 Mbps
    Read: 764 Mbps

    Both Drives Simultaneously:
    (Test File Size 1024 MB each)
    Write1: 100 Mbps
    Read1: 534 Mbps
    Write2: 96 Mbps
    Read2: 539 Mbps
     

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