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macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 13, 2007

95% of my clients are Windows. I have a new customer that will probably about 95% mac. I usually set up Windows Servers for redundant power supply, active directory, raid 50 etc.

I don't know if I need a server but I do want control of a personal drive and shared drive, easy control of folder access, RAID 50, about 4TB but easy to expand to 10TB. They do some video editing so they need a fast controller which most NAS boxes I've tried in the past were much slower than servers with LSI controllers.

I'd like to enable time capsule type backups of the macs.

Should I just stick with Windows server or is there a NAS box that can do everything they want?


macrumors 601
Oct 25, 2008
You do have a few bottlenecks to consider.
1 gig vs 10 gig connectivity
Operating system
Hardware RAID vs Software
Access control

Perhaps you might consider building a Linux based NAS with decent hardware RAID. There as you probably know various software out there that should fill the scope of your project. I am unsure what you can muster up for connectivity speed based on your mention of video. Of course you may want them to download what they are working on and then deposit the edited product back to the NAS/Server. Of the latter, you could possibly do "versioning" to allow more than one state of the edited file.

If you go with a name brand NAS, I don't think you will go too wrong with an upper end QNAP (or perhaps a Synology). Some models by design may come with or be fitted with a 10g option.


macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2011
Personally I'd go for a dedicated NAS capability such as a QNAP assuming your budget extends to those with dual power supplies etc.

Reasoning is simple, they are built for the purpose you describe and from experience area robust and reliable.

In my mind the real tipping point is how much processing capability you also require on top of the storage. If it's significant a server probably has the edge because NAS (whilst they have some capability) are tuned for serving disk and not applications.

I'd challenge your IO (video editing) statement, from experience NAS controllers are excellent but limited by the performance of the underlying disk tier.

Lastly look out for the resilience of time capsule based backups, I've yet to have a good experience on anything other than apple kit.


macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2012
NAS-wise one should keep in mind that OS X's Samba access is flawed since years, especially when accessing network drives over WLAN.

Except nothing but trouble.

Geeky Chimp

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2015
We've recently moved from Windows Clients & Windows Servers over to an Apple Mac Environment (Mac Clients and Mac Servers) and can recommend using a Mac Mini as a Server then buying the OS X Server App from the App Store. We run quite a few of these boxes some only using the local disks and some using WD MyBook ThunderBolt Duo's. All working well so far. Time Machine Backups of the Clients and Servers are working well to a Mac Mini (with OS X Server installed) running Time Machine Server Service (This one has several WD MyBook Duos [USB version not TB]).


Nov 5, 2010
Don't forget about backup. The problem with a lot of these NAS boxes is backing them up - and recovering them when things go wrong.


macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
New York City, NY
Don't forget about backup. The problem with a lot of these NAS boxes is backing them up - and recovering them when things go wrong.

Every modern NAS that I know of allows for some for of redundancy in the even of a drive failure.

Those who are truly paranoid can subscribe to an online backup solution. It is no more difficult to back them up than any other drive.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 13, 2007
Thanks everyone.

The customer decided that due to some app servers they need they'll get a windows server.

Steve Paselli

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2015
I went with a Synology DS414, 4 4TB drives so 12TB usable.
Works very well.

I recommend remembering the difference between disk failure protection (RAID systems with their redundant disks) and true backup: you want to be protected from disk failure AND to be able to quickly recover a folder you deleted by mistake or a file that has been overwritten. You can't beat Time Machine on ease of use. I'd also suggest to check for Spotlight support, or you'll have troubles if the users want to find stuff on the NAS from their Macs. You can create and rebuild a Spotlight index from a Mac on a smb share on a NAS, but the NAS software really should take care of indexing and mantaining the index up to date.

In my opinion a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt RAID for data AND a second cheaper RAID as a Time Machine backup are a good solution. Mac minis are so cheap you could keep another spare one ready, just in case.

I would really like to know of a NAS with Spotlight support since one of my customers has this problem on a QNAP NAS (QNAPs are excellent machines anyway).


macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
Sinology supports restoring any deleted files... it's not an issue. Just enable it.
I have a TM and frankly they are pants. worse than pants. very slow, but work ok for the OS i guess..

I worked for a storage company, IMO local storage and TM is a low rent solution. The only point of any worth is RAID and backup should not be confused. I'd recommend turning off spotlight anyway, its not something i like or want running. Spotlight controls are in system services within security/privacy.
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