stream web server with growing storage? drobo?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by twoodcc, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #1
    i have created a website that only runs on my local network that i stream movies and such to my iPad and appleTV. this is running off a mac mini with a 4 TB drive hooked up to it.

    however, the 4 TB drive is getting full. is there a better way to expand my storage without a raid system? basically, i want to be able to continue to grow in the future. i'm thinking i have 2 options:

    1. buy a drobo 5D and expand the store as needed. it will have one volume that is bigger than 4 TB and will continue to grow as hard drives get bigger.

    2. buy another 4 TB drive and re-organize the url structure of the site to divide the data on two volumes. much harder to keep straight and harder to expand in the future, but much cheaper.

    any thoughts?
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    3. get plex.

    all you have to do is create a section for your media files, point it to a folder, and at some point in the future, if you add another drive, just add the new folder to the section.


    it will stream to your iOS devices, (even straight to the aTV with plexconnect)

    since your media is already playing in the browser on your iPad, it will run without much processor load on the mac. If the files are incompatible, plex will convert them on the fly as you watch.

    automatically scrapes metadata from the web, so all of your TV shows and movies will have full information and descriptions.
    you just have to have them named in a way that plex can read them.

    if your media is not TV or movies, you can make a "home movies" section that doesn't try to pull data from the web.


    ----
    not sure about the latest generation of drobos, but the previous ones never lived up to their promises
    yes, you can expand and contract as needed, but the speeds were pathetically slow.
    and i don't remember seeing many kind words about drobo in these forums.

    i had a drobo-FS i was doing good to get 1/4 to 1/2 the speed of a regular USB2 drive out of it. (normally 5-10 MB/s)
     
  3. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #3
    thanks for the reply :)

    i've looked at plex. but since i've already took the time to make my site, i'd like to try and keep it. i have the database setup and all the data on there.

    the drobo 5d is thunderbolt, so speed shouldn't be an issue. but yes, i've read some negative comments on drobo across the web. but i've read some positive ones also. so i'm torn
     
  4. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #4
    Just because it connects using thunderbolt doesn't mean the real-world performance will be any better. Old drobbos never saturated there interface either.

    I personally own a Synology DS412+ it is fast and offers lots of space. That being said it is probably overkill for what you need it for. Here is a link to the product line up: http://www.synology.com/products/index.php?lang=us

    To top it all off you may be able to host this site you speak of straight off the synology depending how you the site is written. At the end of the day I would highly recommended switching to Plex or even the synology DS Video app.
     
  5. salohcin macrumors member

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    Jun 5, 2008
    #5
    Well here's some more positive words about Drobo. I've been a Drobo owner for almost 6 years now (I now have 4 of them, all different models). They work very well for me and my needs. The speed isn't really an issue after the initial setup of moving TBs of data over from an old one to a new one. Even the older ones are able to stream videos just fine.

    One thing you should know about them though is that they have a volume limit of 16TB. Once the total capacity of your drives goes above that 16TB a second 16TB volume is created, and you're back to the problem of spanning your collection over two volumes. I guess the question you need to ask is how fast is your collection going to grow and will it ever go above 16TB?

    Oh, and one other thing about Drobos, once a Drobo goes above 85% full it slows down a lot. To the point where it takes forever to transfer files to it. You can read files just fine, but adding files is a chore. The key is to buy larger drives when you approach that percentage.

    I personally am now looking at Synology as well, since there is no sign that Drobo is going to increase the max volume and I'm slowly approaching the 16TB mark (the max volume size for Synology's custom RAID is 108TB).

    Whatever you decide to get, I suggest getting a second drive/RAID setup for backup. The larger your collection gets, the more it's going to suck if you have a drive failure. Remember, RAID is not backup. Good luck!
     
  6. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #6
    thanks. i know that even though it's thunderbolt it doesn't mean it will be blazing. but that's ok.

    the site is written in php/mysql. i have looked at synology and i do like all the apps, but i also like the control of my server.

    thanks. you bring up a good point. right now my needs won't hit 16 TB for awhile, but eventually it will. so can the synology expand easily like the drobo? and mix and match drives?
     
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #7
    No need to choose right away. You can use the synology to store the content but still have the server provide the content to your clients. As for the control the synology is just a custom Linux OS you can ssh into it if you need control.

    As for the drive mix and match yes the synology expands in the same way.
     
  8. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #8
    now how could i use the synology to store the content and still serve it from my server? right now i have a data field called 'url' that holds the location of the file, inside the site's folder.
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #9
    You can reference the location of the content in a couple ways depending on what language you are using / server OS. You can mount the drive via NFS, iSCSI or SMB depending on the setup.
     
  10. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #10
    i'm using OS X Lion on a mac mini with a 4 TB hard drive attached to it.
     
  11. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #11
    You have two options in that case:

    1. This is the easiest solution but not the most efficient. Mount the NAS drive via NFS. You can mount the volume a few ways but here is one walk through I haven't personally followed this method but I am sure you can get it working. http://jesperrasmussen.com/blog/2013/07/28/auto-mounting-nfs-shares-in-mountain-lion/ The biggest performance with this is that when a client pulls a video from your site the webserver will first pull the file across the network to itself before sending it back out the network to the client.


    2. The other option may be a challenge depending on how the site is coded, but it would be far more efficient. You could store just the media on the synology and turn on the webserver built into synology. This would allow you to have the website that you navigate link directly to the content so the clients pull the media from the synology but you still get the control for the website. So your link to the media instead of being a local address would be http://192.168.1.2/media/myvideoname.mp4

    Let me know if you have more questions, in the end I am sure you can make it work it just is up to you which route you want to go.
     
  12. kage207 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #12
    Honestly, if you got an old PC around, I'd throw Ubuntu on it. Install Plex. Setup your drives in a RAID5 (as you have more bays in a PC desktop) and you are good to go.
     
  13. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #13
    thanks. so the problem with #1 is that it has to pull the video to the server, and then serve it up? probably not the best idea.

    for #2, does the synology support php/mysql?

    thanks, but i've already taken the time to create my own site. the problem is that i'm running out of storage space.
     
  14. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #14

    Yes it does. http://www.synology.com/en-global/support/faq/310

    However with my solution in number 2 you won't need to run the site on the synology with php / mysql you only would host the media but still have the PHP / mysql on a regular computer. The site would just reference the media locations.
     
  15. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #15
    oh now i understand. i would have to change the url stored in the database for each record, which is just under 8,000. but a simple mysql query should do it. that sounds like a great idea though! i use the 10.0.0.0 scheme for my local network, but i assume the synology will just get an ip address from my router?
     
  16. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    When you guys use something like the synology vs drobo, how do you go about backing up your content? Aren't you afraid you will lose all that media?
     
  17. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

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    #17
    In my case I have a Drobo backing up a Drobo... It's a bit of overkill since the the Drobo has Raid 5-like redundancy, but there you go...

    I am looking at a Synology to replace my first FW Drobo, as it is getting a little long in the tooth.
     
  18. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    Memphis
    #18
    I have a Synology 413j and I back up all my computers and external drives to it. It doesn't have any files on it that aren't on another computer/drive. The upside is that it provides a central location to access anything quickly. Also, RAID (SRH) offers another level of protection against drive failure.
     
  19. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I run crashplan on the synology itself. Everything is backed up to the cloud. My critical files I store locally on my computer and then have a timemachine backup to the synology.
     
  20. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Your synology is backed up in the cloud? Is that a "ton" of data? I'm guessing your media is in the synology.
     
  21. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #21
    It is a decent amount of data yes, but since it is so cheap for unlimited cloud storage it just is a matter of time to get it all uploaded. Right now I only have 1.2 TB of data on it that I backup to the cloud.
     
  22. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    'Cheap'? I should start looking into that then instead if investing in the slow drobo I have!
     

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