5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 4, 2013 7:37 PM by Frank Caggiano
Kasebeekas Level 1 (0 points)

Hi; I am thinking about getting a redundant NAS (2X1 TB) to use as my CONNECTED storage for my Aperture Library. I am planning on using my macbook Pro as my desktop as well as laptop, which does not have enough storage on it. The main reason for a NAS is to be able to have redundant drives and some occasional access over a network to the photos/videos. But when using Aperture, I plan to have the NAS connected just like an external drive to import and export into the library through the normal channels. I know network storage is not recommended for Aperture. But if it is connected directly, does it make a difference? Would it essentially be like an external drive? The NAS will of course be Mac compatible.


Thank you for your help.



MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    A few possible issues.


    • In my experience a drive setup to work with a NAS will not then work as a local drive. How will the NAS be connected locally to the Mac?
    • A drive than is Mac comparable is not necessarily formatted OS X Extended (which is what it needs to be to work with Aperture) so how is it formatted?
    • Having to change the cable on the drive to go from the network to local seems an extra step that will negate any possible advantage of this setup.
    • How is the RAID (I assume you are talking about RAID when you mention redundant) setup? And what level of RAID are you talking about?
    • For the photos and videos to be accessible to other programs when the drive is connected to the network you will have to make the originals referenced. If they are managed the only way to get to them is through Aperture. As this is the case why not just put the originals on the NAS and leave the library on the system drive?



  • Kasebeekas Level 1 (0 points)



    Thank you for your reply. Clearly, I am a a bit naive about the whole setup. The main concern that I have is that the HD on the MBP is not large enough to hold all the photos/videos in the Aperture library. Remote access would be nice, but not absolutely necessary.


    The NAS I was looking at was QNAP, which can supposedly connect via thuderbolt to the MBP. Since I don't even have the NAS yet, it could be configured any way I want, or you recommend. The idea was to have a RAID 1 configuration between two 1TB HD's. That way I can grow the library, without concerns about the size of files and I can change the drives out as I need more space. QNAP talks the big talk about the fact that they are exrtremely accessible through a Mac.


    The only way I would access the photos/videos anyway would be through Aperture. I just can't have all of my folders ont he MBP. This way, I could keep the few most recent projects on the MBP to work on and once the editing and rejecting is completed, I could transfer the project to the main library on to the NAS.


    The reasons I thought about the NAS instead of a simple external drive are:


    1. Easily grow the size

    2. Some Network access

    3. Full access to documents and music

    4. Access to projects through Aperture if they are not already on MBP (they could be imported into MBP as needed)

    5. Mirror image HD's in case of failure.


    As for your last point, of "leaving the originals on the NAS and leave the libarary on the system drive", this would be a perfect! Only if a NAS could actually work with this idea and if I could actually do editing on the library on the system drive. If this can be done, I would appreciate your isntructing me on how to do it.


    Thank you so much for your help.



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    I would steer clear of NAS unless there is an overriding reason to get one.it will only complicate things at this point. If you don;t need the network capabilities of the NAS a local drive or drives will be much easier to manage.


    What Mac do you have? With the new systems with USB 3 and Thunderbolt having the entire library on the external is workable, because of the speed of the drives,  and is the simplest solution.


    For a basic setup assuming you want to move off the internal drive I'd get two drives of the same size, 2tb should be fine to start unless you have a really big library or your original files are from the newer DSLRs with huge Raw file sizes.


    Put the library and originals on one drive and use the second drive to backup the first. Amazon right now has 2tb Seagate bare drives for $89 US.


    You can USB 3 enclosures at OWC  (at http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MESSUSB3ICE/ it is the cheapest USB 3 enclosure I've found) for $60. This gives you a solid setup now and you can always swap the drives for bigger ones down the road if you need to or add more enclosures.

    As I said for simplicity this is the way I would go.



  • Kasebeekas Level 1 (0 points)



    Thank you so much for all your help. This is exactly what I am going to do. I only have one more question. I just bought a Macbook Pro and I have been using the mac mini now for about 3 years with all my masters on the mini right now. I will set up the Exteral Drive as you have recommended.But, is it possible for me to move all the masters in my aperture library to an external drive and then set up such that the library is accessible from BOTH macs. You hinted at this earlier. But I am not sure how this could be set up properly. I would love to be able to have acess to the entire library on both computers with the masters on the External Drive. That way, if I am travelling, I can still work on editing pictures if the entire library is available on the MBP and still use the mac mini for the same and other management when I am at home. I hope that makes sense.


    Can you please guide me in the right direction with this?


    Thanks so much

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    is it possible for me to move all the masters in my aperture library to an external drive and then set up such that the library is accessible from BOTH macs

    If the library is on an external drive it is possible for both systems to access the library but not at the same time. You would plug the drive into one system or the other, whichever one you were working from. Of course you would have to make sure that both systems were running the same version of the OS and Aperture.


    Aperture is a single user application and it is not possible for two users to access the library at the same time.


    Once you get the drives you will want to format them using Disk Utility. I would also recommend running a single pass 0 erase, also from Disk Utility, just to make sure there are no major problems with the drives.


    Once you copy the library and originals to the new drives I would keep the original on the mac mini's disk for a while until you are sure everything is setup right and working.


    Feel free to post back when you get the new drives if you need any further help.