Kibby the cabbit is totally correct and the dongle. I use two Apple Airport extreme in extended mode. The dongle is a good alt to purchasing and having another device hanging about. Also synology just recently updated to version 4, haven't totally exported yet. I don't think you can go wrong with Synology, plan and simple it works. As mentioned follow the documents on the correct drives when choosing one of their devices.
Has anyone considered the LaCie Network space max. I would be interested to hear the groups thoughts. I think it has really good features at a really competitive price. I am looking at the 4tb model and I can't find a NAS drive that size in the same price range. The 3tb d2 Network 2 model looks pretty good also for the price.
I have about 1.5tb of data including iPhoto and iTunes and I want an external drive that automaticly backs up and can be conneted via the network for multiple macs and an apple tv. Let me know if you have come across a solution for around $500.
Yes, you can set up more than one RAID volume if you have 4 or more bays. You must select at least two whole drives to setup a RAID. For example, on 5-bays:
2 x 500mb as RAID 1
3 x 750mb as RAID 5
Choose your model that suits your need. 2-bay can do 1 RAID; 4-bay can do up to 1 to 2 RAIDs; 6 bays can do 1 to 3 RAIDs. There's so many RAID modes you can choose.
See for more info:
It's an external drive (or direct drive) -- not NAS. It doesn't have its own operating system to manage the disks. You manage volume/RAID using Mediasonic's provided software.
Are you looking for something that can power up and share the drives across network or direct plug it to your computer's port (eSATA, USB, Firewire)?
Right now I have a 2TB drive hooked up to my AEX and this has been exactly all I need. So, I'm thinking redundancy would be nice. I really don't need all the bells and whistles of a NAS, just a hard drive hooked to the AEX. That's why I asked about the Mediasonic. I have since learned that the Mediasonic would not be a contender because it doesn't have a RAID controller built in. So after looking around it seems like I might as well go with the Synology DS411j. RAID ready enclosures are almost expensive as the DS411j and don’t have the high praise. If I have this wrong please let me know.
For 4TB, you can go for 2-bay NAS (where you can buy two 2GB HDDs to put in the NAS). Some brands offer DLNA protocol which will allow PS3, Xbox, etc to playback photo, video, and music.
Synology can do all of them you mentioned. I put iPhoto and iTunes libraries on NAS and the performance is amazing! I don't know about QNap, and other brands. Maybe someone can share their insight about the brands?
I own two Netgear ReadyNAS Pioneer Pros 12 TBs (6 2TB drives) for the past two years. They have performed consistently well and I rarely have to fuss over them. These were originally designed with the Mac Community in mind, but they are not polished like a Mac product. Meaning, you use an app to connect to your NAS control panel via Safari webpage. Once inside, you will find all the necessary settings that all good NAS have, e.g., power schedule, partitioned volumes, maintenance, permissions, SMART diagnostic, etc. The software updates are generally in sync with the changes in Mac OS X. As a NAS novice, I had my share fo growing pains learning the ins and outs because Netgear's documentation on this is weak. Since I don't have to fuss with it often, the drawbacks of using the non-friendly Mac interface are minimized. It gets the job done and it rarely acts up. It does have a few crude apps you can download and run for iTunes and Torrents, but I avoid those. one, however works well as a media server along with a PS3. It's quiet, but uses a fair amount of power when fully loaded.
I use the first ReadyNAS PP mainly as a media storage server and the second ReadyNAS PP as a mirror of #1 for super redundancy. I have to say, I have never had a data loss on #1. Once I had a drive fail on that unit, but replaced it within 36 hours and it never skipped a beat. Had I lost two drives during that time, I would have lost all the data, so then ReadyNas #2 would have been my fall-back. Luckily, I have not had to deal with this scenario yet, though I imagine it's just a matter of time.
So here's my setup: ReadyNAS connected to Apple Time Capsule (TC), Mac Pro connected to TC, NAS showls up on my MP as a network drive that I manually mount. I then point my iTunes folder to a folder on the NAS so it read/writes to the NAS directly. Apple TV is connected to TC. iTunes has Home Sharing turned on. Apple TV connects to my entire media library via iTunes on MP, which it pulls from my NAS. NAS #1 backups up it's content (just updated content) daily to NAS #2. NAS #2 is in sleep mode all day until the backup occurs. NAS #2 turns on 15 min before backup for two hours and then goes back to sleep. NAS #1 is always onand MP is in sleep mode when not in use. In this configuration, if I want to watch a video from my NAS, the Apple TV will wake my MP and access the library on the NAS.
It's not a perfect setup, but it allows for the most flexibility and redundancy. One problem I have from time to time is the Apple TV has trouble accessing my iTunes on the MP, but I think that is related to an unrelated driver conflct that periodically locks up my MP. My next solution to try and resolve this is to buy a Mac Mini to replace the MP as a dedicated iTunes sever. It seems a bit overkill, but I've become accustomed to the convenience of having media at my fingertips, whether it be on TV, iPad, laptop, etc.
I've researched upgrading the NAS to a Promise RAID, but that may limit my connectivity with my PC. Currently, I can connect to the NAS from my PC, but not sure if the PC would easily connect to a Mini for file sharing. The Promise does have Thunderbolt, however, and lower power consumption, a respectable 78W at full load (NAS is 83W+). It's expandable up to 6 units with 6 2TB drives for a total of 36 TBs. More research is needed here, because I don't know if there are built-in backup solutions, SMART diagnostics, etc.
I am currently in search for a NAS that would work well with my multiple mac setup. I have been researching QNAP, Synology and Drobo options.
My main question is that what file system would the hard drives be formatted to? - I ask this because as far as I am concerned when an external harddisk is formatted to FAT32, it won't accept files larger than 4GB.
With this in mind, I only see the Drobo option as being able to be formatted into HFS+.
In essence, how should my setup look like if I am planning to store large files (<4GB) on the NAS as well as have my main iTunes library on it.
Any help would be greaty appreciated.
I've been using a Synology DS212+ for the past year, very solid, software updates come on a regular bases. Use a web interface to access the unit. For home/small bussiness works great, tons of features.
The file system: EXT4 is the native file system for DSM 3.0 and onward, I'm on the current, 4.1, QNAP is also good from what I've heard. I haven't heard a lot of good news on the Drobo as far as transfer rates go, very slow.
I also us my Synology as my time machine backup for 3 macs. The DS212+ is a two drive bay with two 3 TB drives. Ensure you check which drives are recomended from the check list on Synology's website.
I don't really think you can go wrong with this product, I'm very pleased with mine!
NETGEAR READYNAS PIONEER PRO
I can't say that I know, exactly, what my ReadyNAS is formatted for, but it does allow for a variety of file sharing protocols (CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, and HTTPS), and the AFP, which is best for Mac users, allows me to save any files size. AFP is Apple Filing Protocol, popular in Mac environments. AFP provides better support for a larger range of characters in filenames and is preferred where this is important. I realize this does not specifically answer your question, but I frequently file share M4Vs/MP4s to my NAS that are 15 GBs, or are well over the 4GB size. Since the NAS uses a gigabit ethernet connection to transfer files, the NAS acts like another computer on your network. It runs on Linux and has a web-based control panel. When you create shares (partitions) on it, you simply indicate which of the file sharing protocols you want available, or you can have them all at the same time. I also use a PC, and leave the CIFS on, since AFP does not show up on the PC. They are the same files, it's just how it translates the file names. The NAS formats the drives automatically to whatever's best for it's operating system. So the NAS doesn't function like an external FireWire drive, but more like a server with a built-in RAID. And it's designed to work well with Macs and OS X.
READYNAS WITH ITUNES
I use my NAS for my iTunes library along with other purposes, e.g., print server, TimeMachine backup, file storage, etc. Printing and TM are services offered within the operating system and you just turn them on, but file storage is simply a partition or Share and you can create as many of these as you want by defining the size you need it to be and what file sharing protocol you prefer. In the iTunes preferences I point my iTunes Media folder location to one of these shares and as long as the Share is mounted on my desktop, it will read and write to this remote location. I also have the check boxes checked for Keep iTunes Media folder organized and Copy files to iTunesMedia folder when adding to library. This keeps the content nicely organized so I know wehere it's supposed to be. One note, if you do not have the Share mounted on your Mac desktop, iTunes will default back to your local Music folder in your Home folder. So if you have a file auto-downloading, then it won't save to the NAS, but rather your local Muisc folder. This really is no big deal, just a nuisance. Quit iTunes, Mount the Share, open iTunes and go to the preferences to confirm that the remote location is now set back to it's original setting. At least this way you don't have to reset this again, which would cause a reindex of all your files. To make sure my NAS share is mouted before I launch iTunes, I wrote an Automator app to mount it when I start up my computer. It will then stay mounted when the computer goes to sleep.
Since the NAS is networked, I can pull up my entire library on my Apple TV, or on any of my Apple devices. For Apple TV to work, however, the Mac with your iTunes library must be turned on and connected with your NAS. Apple TV reads from your iTunes database file to display all the content, rather than scan the entire library. This is something I wish Apple would change, but it keeps their customers locked in to their iTunes ecosystem and not something they will be giving up anytime soon.
NAS VS. RAID HARD DRIVE
Before I had a NAS, I had an 8-bay RAID drive with a PCI RAID card. Never again. I had a power failure and lost the entire contents of the RAID. With a NAS, you have another level of protection for your existing files. Any files being written at the time of failure, you would loose, but not everything. You must still, however, connect everything to a proper UPS. Only a simultaneous two disk failure would wipe everything out. With my setup, I have a second NAS that just backs up everything from the first NAS once a day. Belt and suspenders approach.
PROMISE PEGASUS RAID
Check out the Promise R4 or R6 if you have a Thunderbolt connection. I don't have one of these RAIDS, but been thinking of upgrading to them. They aren't a NAS, but you could set it up like a NAS with OS X Server and a spare MAC with Thunderbolt. They are RAID servers and wicked fast (think full, uncompressed HD editing in Final Cut without frame loss). Also, when you want to scale up from say 12 TBs to 36 TBs, you just buy two more R6s and daisy-chain them together. When I max out my ReadyNAS, I'll have to buy a larger box or larger hard drives to gain more space. Not as scalable as the R6.
That's it. Apologies for the long-winded answer. And BTW, I'm also no NAS RAID expert, just an enthusiast