Synology DS411j NAS Honest Review

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by blevins321, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #76
    I'd be happy to take you up on your offer:) Since you're new to Macrumors, I can't PM you yet, but I just sent you a message via your website contact form.
     
  2. frogstomper macrumors newbie

    frogstomper

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    Gold Coast, Australia
    #77
    Thanks mate. I have received your email. I'll take you up on that offer.
     
  3. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #78
    i got a synology NAS (DS411j) and I'm having trouble getting itunes to view my files any help is appreciated.
     
  4. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #79
    You should supply more specs.....what version of OS X, what version of iTunes, are you on the latest version of the Synology firmware, etc.
     
  5. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    #80
    My mistake, I have a mcabook pro 15" running 10.7.3 running the latest version of iTunes and running DSM 3.2 for the NAS.
     
  6. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #81
    How's this working out for you? I'm working through (in my head...) the easiest way for me to deal with a lot of media and streaming, etc. My primary computer is always on, and I was contemplating storing it's iTunes library on a Synology NAS, which would let me manage the library like normal, but have a ton of storage available to it. And if I always leave iTunes on my main Mac open, then any AppleTV in the house can stream from it.
     
  7. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #82
    Any reason you've not installed 4?
     
  8. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #83
    I can't remember. I have since returned the NAS until I can sort out how to get my media and backup on the same NAS.
     
  9. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #84
    It's working out OK. iTunes Match and its large directory traversals causes freezing and errors in iTunes. It's something that I really hope Apple addresses. Not because of the specific NAS; just the network overhead associated with browsing thousands of folders slows down the overall user experience. This also causes a bit of slowness when downloading App updates using iTunes, and when adding new songs either via the Store or ripping a CD.

    I think if I were to leave iTunes open all the time, it would alleviate at least the Match freezing the program on startup. Now that my HTPC experience is restored, I might have iTunes open all the time on there.
     
  10. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #85
    Thanks for the heads-up....I haven't checked the Synology site in a while....I was also still at 3.2....didn't realize 4.0 was out and had so many releases already!
     
  11. Dustin Waller macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2012
    #86
    Hard drives?

    Hey all.. just about to buy the 411J and wondering what hardrives to use. I saw that it said something on their site about not using desktop harddrives in a Raid as they would not work as well and might fail. ->
    http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1397

    thoughts on that? And also wanted to confirm that you can use different size drives.. so if I were to buy all 1tb and later get a 2tb, I can "hot swap" it in there with the 1tbs.

    Thanks!
     
  12. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #87
    My recommendation is to get drives that are on the Synology compatibility list. If you run into any problems later, and you're not running a drive on their list, they can tell you "sorry - you're on your own".

    I don't know about the different size thing, since I never tried it, but theoretically that's how the Synology hybrid RAID is supposed to work.
     
  13. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #88
    I'm interested in learning more about Synology's backup scheme. I know it can attach USB drives on the back, but can it automate spanning across USB drives? ie, if you have 6 TB of data on your Synology unit, obviously you don't have a single 6 TB USB drive. How would you adequately back it up?
     
  14. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #89
    Just to clarify in case you Google this. The term "hot swap" means the ability to swap out a bad drive while the unit is actually powered on. The 411j can't do this-you have to turn it off first. But as far as swapping different drive sizes, yes you can do this if you're using the Synology Hybrid Raid format. Regular RAID doesn't support mixing drive types, but the Hybrid format compensates for this.

    If you only upgrade one drive though, note that you won't gain any extra space because the equivalent of one of the largest drives will be taken away for redundancy. So if you have 4x1TB and swap in to have 3x1TB + 1x2TB, you'll have the same net available space. It's best to swap in pairs.


    Interesting thought. I only use the backup for my non-video media and documents, so a single USB drive will be enough. I'll experiment a little this evening with a couple flash drives though to see if an actual volume can be created using USB shares, or if they're standalone volumes only.
     
  15. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2009
    #90
    In my experience, you can't create a volume from several USB drive.
    You'll have to create several backup tasks, each of them dedicated to one USB drive. On the other hand, you will have better backup performance this way. The main problem is to find compatible USB drives or enclosures.
     
  16. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

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    #91
    If I understand correctly, this means you would setup the Synology unit to, for example, backup the /Movies folder onto USB_DRIVE_1, and perhaps the /TVShows folder onto USB_DRIVE_2?
     
  17. Dustin Waller macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2012
    #92
    So it lists everything from desktop to enterprise drives. Does it matter which one you get?
     
  18. AppleDApp, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012

    AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #93
    Get anything that suits your needs that is on the list. I wouldn't get an entreprise grade drive if you are getting one of the consumer NAS.
     
  19. wiredup72 macrumors regular

    wiredup72

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    Mar 22, 2011
    #94
    Just remember that the WD Green drives are not made for RAID setups. Lots of people using QNAP and Synology RAIDS are having WD green drives fail because of their spin up/down problems and parking the heads.

    Some people have used the wdidle program to change the spin up time.
    Also, remember RAID is not a backup so backup the RAID if you wan to keep your data safe.

    My Qnap 419pII has four WD Green drives that I used Wdidle on and they are working great so far (6 months), but I back up the entire raid to an external Mercury Elite drive. I just hope that 3tb drives get cheaper so I can double up my backup of the RAID as my data grows.

    Good luck and enjoy.
     
  20. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2009
    #95
    Exactly.
     
  21. QUiKSR20, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

    QUiKSR20 macrumors member

    QUiKSR20

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    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Neptune, NJ
    #96
    Hello All, Hope its ok to bring an older thread back from the dead! I felt it was appropriate and on topic.

    I will be buying a NAS Device soon ( one of the following )

    • Synology DS413 ( leaning towards this ).
    • Synology DS413j
    • QNAP TS-419P II

    And need to figure out a backup solution, I have read over the full thread and think I have a valid config but had some questions. Currently I just have my machines doing time machine backups to usb externals. This covers all my data ( OS/Music/docs/Pics ) etc since they are all on local internal drives.

    What I plan using the NAS FOR

    • Time Machine backup 2 macs ( 1 iMac / 1 Macbook Pro )
      Will make the backups redundant on 2 or 3 drives in RAID
      .
    • Network Shares for both computers ( pics / music / software )
      Protected against drive failure

    So my main question is are you guys using your NAS device for Time Machine backups and also setting up shares ie:

    * Music
    * Software
    * Pictures

    Are you moving your music libs, pics ( aperture db ), software etc to the shares and then just using them off the NAS?

    If you are when you backup your NAS device since RAID is for redundancy not backup are you only backing up say your shares to an external USB drive and then maybe also to the cloud?

    I would assume theres no reason to backup the Time Machine backups since they already are a backup being stored on redundant storage.

    Any additional critque would be great, If I utilize offsite cloud storage I would only be replicating my shares that backup to the USB device as my OS backup isnt nearly as important as my data in the shares. Ill take my chances with RAID + Local USB External.

    So What im thinking is :
    Thanks again and look fwd to the replys, Looking for a secure solution to save all my data ( memories ).

    Daryl
     
  22. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Winnipeg, MB
    #97
    Just quoting so you'll get notification :) Here's my response:

    I'd recommend the DS413. It's pretty close to my DS411+II, which for some reason was only made for a short time. You'll enjoy a very good speed boost on it compared to the DS413j due to the 413 having a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM vs 512MB.

    As far as Time Machine. I used it for awhile on the NAS then switched to Carbon Copy Cloner. The reasons answer your next question. I was finding that I wasn't storing any actual "stuff" on my system, but rather just the operating system and virtual machines. In other words, I didn't need to keep the history that Time Machine did. CCC backs up to an image on the NAS. So if my system ever dies, I just replace it or the failed drive and boot from the network recovery that Apple provides. Then Disk Utility can connect to the NAS and restore the latest saved image from there.

    As far as setting up multiple shares. If you want to treat their backups or permissions differently from one another, do it. Otherwise there isn't really a point unless you are using the NAS built-in apps that create the folders for you. I just have one main share called Storage with a few subfolders in it of my categories of stuff.

    Programs directories on the NAS. This can get tricky just because of the nature of a networked beast. iTunes Match (and this still isn't fixed by Apple) is extremely slow when it is processing a library update from an iTunes folder that is stored on a network drive. As in my 10k songs cause the program to freeze mid-update for several minutes at a time. I understand the update taking longer when on a NAS, but for now the program doesn't compensate for it and the entire thing will freeze up.

    Aperture on the NAS. Apple doesn't directly recommend it. It's related to the different permissions that Aperture uses in its library structure that cannot be easily translated over a NAS protocol. Will it work? Yes. Will you occasionally get a Repairing Library message? Yes. Will it be slow? Yes, if you are doing any sort of adding, exporting functions. The speed is fine when you are editing a single photo. But when you start doing actions with multiple items, it slows down quite a bit.

    There is a way around the Aperture problem. Use Disk Utility to create a SparseBundle disk image on the NAS. Make it a stupid-huge size. (It will only take what it actually needs). Then stick the Aperture library file/folder in there. This will take care of the permissions issues since it's a normal HFS+ volume as far as OSX is concerned. Plus it will take care of 80% of the speed problems because it's not doing directory traversals using NAS protocol requests.

    Note that with either method, both Aperture and iTunes libraries are designed to be used by only one computer at the same time. The libraries lock themselves to prevent concurrency violations by multiple systems. You can share them between computers, but only if you close the program on the other system first.

    As far as backup. This is a mixed animal. Personally, I wouldn't bother doing a 2-drive redundant backup RAID on the NAS iteself. 1 is enough considering you're planning to do USB and sometimes-Cloud backups too. If more than 1 drive goes at the same time, it's most likely a sign that the NAS itself is dying so the extra drive redundancy probably wouldn't do much good.

    I think that's all that I came up with while reading your post. Let me know if you have any other questions! :)
     
  23. BrianInLA macrumors member

    BrianInLA

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    May 8, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #98
    First of all, thanks for this thread. It really helped when deciding to purchase my Synology DS413J that arrived the other day.

    So I'm a straight up newbie and could use some help either in this thread or via PM if anyone wants to offer.

    I plan to begin using the NAS to share common files and perhaps an iPhoto library(?) between the woman I live with who is related to me by marriage.
     
  24. QUiKSR20, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012

    QUiKSR20 macrumors member

    QUiKSR20

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    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Neptune, NJ
    #99
    First of thanks for the great reply, Ill add my response's in bold inline so its easier to follow :)

    So new plan of attack, Question first is CCC like TM minus the versioning? I really dont have a need for the versioning. Im assuming you disable TM when running CCC... I will be looking into this.

    So theoretically I could use CCC to backup my full machine and leave my pics and music etc on the local machine and it will be backed up when the machines backup.

    Now the NAS will contain a backup of my machine on a redundant setup ie multiple drives. And I could then just backup my most important stuff offsite with say a cloud service ( just my docs / pics ).

    So all data on workstation is backed up locally on a raid nas device and most critical stuff also is offsite ( MISSION ACCOMPLISHED ) as simple as possible?

    Sound about right? I have a 7 month old and I would die if I lost all the photos etc so trying to make this fool proof.

    Thanks Again!
     
  25. blevins321 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #100
    Yeah that sounds like a good plan. CCC basically you manually set a schedule for it, and it will run tasks on that schedule. If you're a Linux/Unix guy, think of CCC as the ultimate GUI for creating cron backup jobs.

    For your setup, here's my suggestion:
    Nightly (2am): Backup Mac to sparsebundle image on NAS.
    Nightly (2:30am):Backup desired NAS files to USB.
    Nightly (3:30am): Trigger Mac to begin cloud backup.

    Two things. The reason that the Mac has to begin the cloud backup is that when the files are stored as disk images, the NAS cannot do anything with them. They appear as a folder full of 4-8MB files called "Bands."

    Also, you mentioned wanting to backup your music. Have you considered iTunes Match? It will create a cloud backup of your entire collection, and even allow you to download DRM-free enhanced versions of low-quality old rips that it finds in the iTunes Store. That would also allow you to download music at will onto your iOS devices without having to sync. $25/year for 25,000 songs matched or uploaded.

    Edit: Slight modification to the above suggestion. Instead of having the NAS backup its files to USB, have your Mac do it using CCC. That way, you can have the Mac copy the NAS files you want to the USB drive. And also, you can have CCC copy your iPhoto/Aperture library and docs directly to the USB drive. This would be handy for if you ever want to restore just your stuff without the system files. It'll save you from having to hunt and peck through the disk image for specific items.

    Still make the nightly NAS disk image and that will be your primary backup source, but have the redundant copies in non-image form on a Mac-formatted USB drive.
     

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