Storage Solutions for Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by realhiphop, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. realhiphop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    I have a late 2012 Mac Mini that runs perfectly. I added an SSD to use as the boot drive about a year ago. I primarily use my Mac Mini as a Plex Server.

    I had all of my movie files on an external Lacie drive that crashed and is now unrecoverable. This has made me realize the need for a drive that has some backup capabilities.

    My use case is primarily to use Plex Media Server.

    I've been in the rabbit hole reading threads and looking at solutions. The solutions I've found are:

    1. NAS: Was looking into the Synology 918+
    2. DAS: Drobo?
    3. External HDD in an Enclosure

    In terms of backups, I'd like whatever solution I go with to do the following:

    • Backup Media Library
    • Do Time Machine backups of my rMB automatically over Wi-Fi
    • Ability to be accessed remotely
    In doing research on the Synology, it seems like a great solution. I'm just wondering if it is overkill since I wouldn't be using the transcoder on it.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I use drobo for a plex server. Have for years. Recently just added a 2nd drobo. It can handle multiple simultaneous streams without issue. Plus if 1 or 2 hard drives do you just swap them out. Takes 10 seconds and even with a dead hard drive your data is still accessible.
     
  3. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #3
    How is the data still accessible with a dead drive? Any suggestions on a specific Drobo model? Do you serve Plex on the Mac Mini? I thought the Drobo couldn't transcode the data?
     
  4. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    The drobo doesn't transcode, the mac does, if it's needed. Or whatever computer you have it connected to.

    I have a drobo 5c(USB-C) and a drobo 5dt(thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0). Both work fine. There is a drobo 5d3 that is thunderbolt 3. Any would work fine.

    One drive(or two) are set aside for data protection. So even with a dead drive the data is still there. They can explain in detail on their site how it works.
     
  5. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #5
    Would the Drobo be able to handle Time Machine backups automatically every time my laptop is on?
     
  6. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Of course. To any computer connected to it, it just looks like any other external hard drive.
     
  7. 570934 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #7
    Second the Drobo. I used a 5C for general file storage equipped with a mixture of a couple of new drives and some old drives I had kicking about which I stripped out of a couple of old mybooks I had for external backups. This is the great things with them, slap anyold drive in and it expands the storage across the drives. Want to expand, just rip the smallest one out on the fly, put the new one in and your good to go.

    I also have a 5D3 as a 30TB server for my editing machines editing 4K raw footage off it
     
  8. gigatoaster macrumors 6502

    gigatoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    Hello there

    See this post.

    I was going to Drobo but after reading the user reviews, lots complaining about issues. Check the reviews. I'm leading towards a Synology NAS 718+ for the moment.
     
  9. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #9
    I had a lot of bad experiences with my Drobo back in 2011... granted, it was a firewire device and I'm sure the new ones are better. When it was clear that it was time to replace it I decided to go with a Synology NAS and I've not looked back. The Synology software can do so much, and I don't need to keep a Mac Mini running all the time. I run Plex on my NAS, so it's a totally stand-alone system.

    You can absolutely configure a multi-drive Synology NAS so it will protect you against drive failure (same as the Drobo).

    If you're going to keep a Mac Mini running all the time anyway, a Drobo could be a good solution for you. Otherwise, I'd say go with a NAS.
     
  10. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #10
    What made you decide to just have the Synology run Plex, vs. having the Mac Mini? Is there a benefit to doing it this way?
     
  11. archer75, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

    archer75 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    Since synology is a NAS it can run with the mini off. That's the only benefit. Though if you need transcoding you have to get the much more expensive synology's with more processing power. And you lose the ability to use mis-matched drives.

    My drobos have been flawless. No data loss.
     
  12. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #12
    Why the 718+ vs. the 918+? No need for the extra space?
     
  13. gigatoaster macrumors 6502

    gigatoaster

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    Singapore
    #13
    I’m not sure today. This NAS will only be to store Torrent movies downloaded in 4K UHD HDR or regular 1080p. So on average one movie can go from 30 to 60 GB but I don’t have the disease of collecting movies. Maybe it’ll change.

    Have you made your decision?
     
  14. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #14
    I never had the Drobo attached to a Mac Mini. It was connected to my 2009 Mac Pro. My Drobo had all kinds of issues including randomly dropping the firewire connection, needing to be reset, and then finally issues with data integrity. I tried all kinds of things to fix it, but I was never successful. Like I said, I'm sure the newer Drobos are better.

    Separately from that, I like being able to turn off (or at least sleep) my Mac Pro, and a Drobo + a computer (even a Mac Mini) is going to draw more power than a consumer-level NAS.
     
  15. harriska2 macrumors 65816

    harriska2

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    I am now running 2 cheapo 10tb easystore usb3 enclosures off my mac mini. I moved pictures & itunes music to the drives. Time Machine is backing up to the second 10tb external. They were $180 each from Best Buy so my solution cost a total of $360. A little slow as they are 5400 rpm drives but it works for me. I am still transferring parts of my 8tb of data from my pc. Takes a while for some of it - 1 hour for half a tb or so.
     
  16. Dr. Stealth, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #16
    I run a Synology NAS and absolutely love it. DS1813+ (New equivalent is DS1817+) with 24TB WD Reds. Not only will it hold all your media, movies, music and photos but configured in a RAID it will keep everything backed-up.

    It will also run a iTunes Server, Plex Server, Roon Server, PhotoStation and many other great apps. This would take a huge load off your mini.

    My NAS sits 2 feet from my office chair. I do not trust my very, very valuable data to online clouds like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and others. I know exactly where my DATA is. It's on MY desk, 2 feet away.

    And it doesn't take months or even years to upload my data.

    It will store your media
    It will back-up your media
    It will serve your media (if you want)
    Use it for Time Machine Backups
    Access it remotely
    Create your own Cloud
    And many other uses

    All in one very nice unit...

    getPhoto.jpg

    Plus it has a very friendly Mac-like (Linux) OS accessed from any browser, Local or Remote.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 10.42.19 AM.png

    I have over 200 BluRay rips. Straight rips .M2TS, not re-encoded, plus 800+ other movies. I can watch them over WiFi without any issues. My iTunes Library (35GB+), 25,000+ digital photos and more.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 10.54.22 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 5.43.51 PM.jpg
     
  17. nutmac macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #17
    While DAS, NAS, etc. are all nice in theory, the complexity of rebuilding turned me off.

    So I went with the cloud.

    All my smaller document data is also synced to iCloud Drive ($9.99/month 2TB tier), some in Dropbox (free tier, used only for shared folders).

    All my photos are backed up (rather synced) to iCloud Photo Library.

    My larger data (mostly iTunes media library which are ripped from my DVDs and BDs) are stored in plain USB external disks, some SSD, some HDD. They are all backed up to the cloud, using Backblaze ($95 for 2 years, which works out to $3.96/month).

    Backblaze is obviously slower and the initial backup can take many months, if not years. But I take some comfort in knowing that everything is eventually backed up and in a remote site.
     
  18. EdT macrumors 68000

    EdT

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #18
    I am currently looking at a couple on Synology units. What made you pick the DS1817? I’d it possible to stre your iTunes in ALAC format but still use the library for your mobile devices? And what did you use to load your 4 k movies, both hardware and software if you transferred any from Blu-ray?
     

Share This Page

17 November 26, 2018