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NAS for storage - How do you have yours setup?

jason_

Member
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about adding a NAS to my studio for archiving / music playback / backing up etc. I like the idea of NAS as I can have 3.5" noisy drives in a separate room and all I need is an ethernet cable to connect.

If I purchased one of these, , would I be correct to assume that I would need to plug this into a router? From the router a cable would go into a switch where I could connect multiple systems to?

Or can I go straight from the NAS into a switch?

Those that use one, how do you have yours setup?

Thanks,
A networking novice
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
You can go straight to a switch.

I have my network drives all connected to a PC in another room which just shares the drives. It works for all my backups. I used to have it connected on a USB port on my router and that didn't work half the time with the drive being unavailable and having to constantly restart it. So if you have a spare computer, use that, and if not then get a NAS enclosure.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
I've not had great success with my NAS drive, granted it works okay. It isn't quite as plug-and-play and convenient as you would think it would be. You may want to search out some reviews on NAS drives in general to see the consensus on ease-of-use...but I really wanted to make it work for many of the same reasons you mentioned. My NAS is connected directly to my central router via Ethernet. Sometimes the NAS needs restarting. The speeds are very poor. It is cumbersome to configure, and on a Mac requires a startup script to show up as a connected drive. Also, TimeMachine recently started crawling with it...which I subsequently learned can happen (with no fix) for NAS drives and Time Machine. I've since abandoned it and just use local thunderbolt devices instead. That's just my personal experience with consumer NAS drives though. I'm sure others will have varied success stories with them.
 
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peksi

Active Member
I have an Asustor NAS and it has been well performing and good price. All my software install packages are on my NAS as well as DAW hard drive backups. Also I export mixdowns to it.

It is connected to my LAN where I have a DHCP server which automatically gives an address to it. All configuration is done with web browser and is easy to do. Never has problems with it so I can carefully recommend it.

Milesito: I think mac has something called "time machine" for backups. I don't know if it does backups for NAS though.
 
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jason_

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You can go straight to a switch.

I have my network drives all connected to a PC in another room which just shares the drives. It works for all my backups. I used to have it connected on a USB port on my router and that didn't work half the time with the drive being unavailable and having to constantly restart it. So if you have a spare computer, use that, and if not then get a NAS enclosure.

Thanks man :) That sounds great! Unfortunately I don't have a spare computer, but reviews seem to be good on that Seagate.
 
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jason_

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I've not had great success with my NAS drive, granted it works okay. It isn't quite as plug-and-play and convenient as you would think it would be. You may want to search out some reviews on NAS drives in general to see the consensus on ease-of-use...but I really wanted to make it work for many of the same reasons you mentioned. My NAS is connected directly to my central router via Ethernet. Sometimes the NAS needs restarting. The speeds are very poor. It is cumbersome to configure, and on a Mac requires a startup script to show up as a connected drive. Also, TimeMachine recently started crawling with it...which I subsequently learned can happen (with no fix) for NAS drives and Time Machine. I've since abandoned it and just use local thunderbolt devices instead. That's just my personal experience with consumer NAS drives though. I'm sure others will have varied success stories with them.

Hmm thats troubling!
What NAS do you have?
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
Thanks man :) That sounds great! Unfortunately I don't have a spare computer, but reviews seem to be good on that Seagate.

I try to stay away from Seagate, at least when buying HDD's. Don't know about their NAS's though. I've heard great things about the Synology ones but they are a bit more expensive than the other options.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
Hmm thats troubling!
What NAS do you have?

It was a Seagate NAS. I've had it for many years (one of the first to incorporate DNLA technology), so admittedly, newer devices may have improved. If I were purchasing one today, I would buy a Synology NAS, though. I nearly bought one last year, but I guess A.D.D. kicked in, because I just now realized I never followed through with that thought. Ha. Looks like I will be revisiting a replacement NAS purchase again soon.

@milesito - You can backup multiple devices without a problem to a NAS (raid and non-raid), but on a Mac, you may need to use different software other than Time Machine. On my Macs I use Time Machine for primary drive backups and Data Backup for everything else.

Parting thought... moving large files over wireless to a NAS is a no-go - which makes backups over wireless almost useless. Wired though, is better, but still not as fast as locally connected devices.
 
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Rob Elliott

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I try to stay away from Seagate, at least when buying HDD's. Don't know about their NAS's though. I've heard great things about the Synology ones but they are a bit more expensive than the other options.
I have QNAP (5 years) and a bit troublesome sometimes (errors causing 'rebuilds'). If I ever replace I'd go with the HIGHEST recommended drives from that NAS' list and probably go Synology.
 
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jason_

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I try to stay away from Seagate, at least when buying HDD's. Don't know about their NAS's though. I've heard great things about the Synology ones but they are a bit more expensive than the other options.

I'm with you there. Never liked Seagate much for drives. Their NAS devices have some good reviews though, but the past two days I've been looking into Qnap and Synology.
 
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jason_

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It was a Seagate NAS. I've had it for many years (one of the first to incorporate DNLA technology), so admittedly, newer devices may have improved. If I were purchasing one today, I would buy a Synology NAS, though. I nearly bought one last year, but I guess A.D.D. kicked in, because I just now realized I never followed through with that thought. Ha. Looks like I will be revisiting a replacement NAS purchase again soon.

Well thats Seagate out the window then! Synology I've been looking at and seems the best way to go with Qnap next in line. Qnap is better priced, but it might be worth it to just go all out and get a Synology and not have to deal with a potential headache.

Haha @ not following through. I do that too. I don't feel so bad now :P

Wired though, is better, but still not as fast as locally connected devices.

Yea definitely going wired! I won't even bother connecting it to a router if I can go straight into a switch. It's just my main MacPro and my MacBook that need access to it.
 
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jason_

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I have QNAP (5 years) and a bit troublesome sometimes (errors causing 'rebuilds'). If I ever replace I'd go with the HIGHEST recommended drives from that NAS' list and probably go Synology.

Thats not good! What Synology would you go with if you were buying now?
 

proxima

Senior Member
I've had two Synology NASs in five years. I used to build my own Linux fileservers, and I was amazed at how advanced even the simple Synology devices were (even the ones designated for "personal/home"). I have the DS215j (the current version is DS216j) with 2 Western Digital Red 3 TB drives mirrored. If you need more than 3 TB, get the 4 disk version.
 
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jason_

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I've had two Synology NASs in five years. I used to build my own Linux fileservers, and I was amazed at how advanced even the simple Synology devices were (even the ones designated for "personal/home"). I have the DS215j (the current version is DS216j) with 2 Western Digital Red 3 TB drives mirrored. If you need more than 3 TB, get the 4 disk version.

Thanks Proxima! You had two in five years - Was that because the one broke??

How are the speeds for reading / writing files? Are you using a Cat6 connection or is Cat5 ok? Also, the USB 3 ports on the unit - Are those for expanding storage with external drives?

The one I'm considering is the DS414.
 
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proxima

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Thanks Proxima! You had two in five years - Was that because the one broke??
Things changed in those five years. I had a disk die (helpfully, the Synology emailed me to report the issue) and decided that I should replace both disks and the Synology with the newer model. I did end up replacing the fan on my original Synology, but otherwise its hardware held up fine. The new model uses a slightly larger, and thus quieter, fan. The hardware on the ds211j was a little underpowered for the newer versions of the operating system, but that only mattered if you tried to run it as something more than a file server (e.g. a web server).

Honestly I haven't paid that much attention to speed, as it was fast enough for my purposes (shared document storage with my wife, backups, hosting my media collection). I have it connected through a simple gigabit switch via either cat5e or cat6 cables (gigabit over reasonable distances works with either). I just ran blackmagic to see what kind of performance I get, and I'm seeing 55 MB/s write, 75-80 MB/s read. I haven't tested the relative performance of each file sharing protocol, but I used to use NFS and now use SMB (Windows file sharing).

I believe the USB3 port can be used for an external drive, but I haven't used that. One of the biggest reasons I wanted an NAS instead of more USB3 drives is that, at least on my Mac, USB3 drives can't report their SMART status and have monitoring for when they start to die. I had two drives die in 5 years, both under warranty, and the Synology notified me immediately and handled re-syncing perfectly when I put the replacement in.
 
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jason_

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Things changed in those five years. I had a disk die (helpfully, the Synology emailed me to report the issue) and decided that I should replace both disks and the Synology with the newer model. I did end up replacing the fan on my original Synology, but otherwise its hardware held up fine. The new model uses a slightly larger, and thus quieter, fan. The hardware on the ds211j was a little underpowered for the newer versions of the operating system, but that only mattered if you tried to run it as something more than a file server (e.g. a web server).

Honestly I haven't paid that much attention to speed, as it was fast enough for my purposes (shared document storage with my wife, backups, hosting my media collection). I have it connected through a simple gigabit switch via either cat5e or cat6 cables (gigabit over reasonable distances works with either). I just ran blackmagic to see what kind of performance I get, and I'm seeing 55 MB/s write, 75-80 MB/s read. I haven't tested the relative performance of each file sharing protocol, but I used to use NFS and now use SMB (Windows file sharing).

I believe the USB3 port can be used for an external drive, but I haven't used that. One of the biggest reasons I wanted an NAS instead of more USB3 drives is that, at least on my Mac, USB3 drives can't report their SMART status and have monitoring for when they start to die. I had two drives die in 5 years, both under warranty, and the Synology notified me immediately and handled re-syncing perfectly when I put the replacement in.

Thanks, that sounds great !! :) I've been going over all my options this weekend and I think I may have found the best solution: Pickup a second hand MacMini and use this USB 3 enclosure that I have lying around here - Put my drives in there and connect to the MM. Then connect the MM via cat 6 to a switch. Then connect a cable from the switch to whatever Mac I need to access the drives off. I think that should suffice and that way I don't need to have a NAS with its own OS etc. Keep everything Apple.
 
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