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Thread: NAS server storage

  1. #1
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    NAS server storage

    anyone familiar with Synology Diskstations?
    i'm considering the15 TB DS1515+ 5 bay or the 24TB DS1815+ 8x3
    NAS servers

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    No direct experience with Synology, but I'd expect those to be top-notch. To date I have used Drobo, QNAP and Western Digital and had good results with those also.

    I chose QNAP for my own home because I wanted a small (TS-259 Pro, 2-bay) unit but with big features like dual ethernet ports, iSCSI support, Intel CPU and user-expandable RAM. In fact, it seems to run the very same software as the 10-bay QNAP at the office. I also lucked out and found it on sale on Amazon for $319 which was much much cheaper than a comparable Synology or Drobo.

    How has QNAP worked out to date?
    Good, though iSCSI and multiple ethernet ports weren't really necessary for my needs (sharing a photo library among a number of devices, some of them wifi-connected). For my own enlightenment and amusement, I did set up mine with a bonded pair of ethernet cables (combined with "smart" ethernet switch) and did experiment with an iSCSI volume for awhile.

    Noise: So far not a problem but we'll see how things fare though the hot summer months when the fans will be getting more of a workout. I chose Western Digital Red (not the pro versions) drives because they had the lowest acoustic noise ratings and lowest power consumption. I can hear them in operation but don't find the noise level objectionable. When they spin down, the unit is essentially silent. That's with 2 drives of course. With 5-8 drives..?

    I just checked noise specs of those Synology units, and they look excellent in that regard, with the noisier one claiming 24.3 dB: That'd be suitable even for a quiet environment with most noise coming from the drives themselves.

    Random thoughts: If you are shopping for massive storage space which you may nor may not need until x years in the future, have you looked into Drobo? Their big selling point is their ability to expand relatively painlessly. Buy fewer/smaller drives today and upsize/add in the future as needed. Have done this many times with the units at the office, and it's just as slick and convenient as it gets. Main Drobo gripe is the need to install yet another OS X or Windows application (restart required) in order to manage the drive, rather than having a built-in web interface.

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    Senior Member Hosermage's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    I bought a DS1812+ two years ago and I am 100% satisfied. I've only filled 4 of the 8 available drives and they have been running rock solid. I went with the 8-bay model because I wasn't sure how much space I needed. But given that I'm still only using 30% capacity after 2 years, I think a 5-bay model would have suffice.

    Some related hardwares:
    - Western Digital RED drives, made for NAS purpose
    - NETGEAR ProSAFE GS108T for link aggregation

    Besides using it as my timemachine, networked drives, I also use it for DVR (with additional hardware and paid software). I use their surveillance package to hook up cameras around the house for monitoring.

    Synology is constantly upgrading their software to improve security and usability.
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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    I got a QNAP TVS471, setup was relatively easy. Definitely a few quirks in the software/settings, but I've been happy.
    The Synology devices may have better software / play nicer with Macs.

    I also got WD Red drives, I would DEFINITELY recommend you do not cheap out on the drives. My NAS is quiet because of the NAS itself and the drives within it.

    The TVS471 has HTPC features so it is in my entertainment unit connect to TV.
    There, it is no louder than a PS4 or WiiU game system when they are on.
    It does not make enough fan or drive noise to be perceptible when watching TV, etc.
    I'm sitting here and I hear my fridge (30ft away) while my NAS (8ft away) is silent by comparison.
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    Re: NAS server storage

    I would highly recommend QNAP. I have an 8 year old QNAP TS-409 (no longer a current model) with which I screwed up the base-OS expanding a RAID 1 volume. After contacting the vendor I had a technical support guy remotely log into my NAS over 3 consecutive days - for a total of 17 hours work to rebuild it - with zero cost.
    Last edited by craygc; 23rd May 2015 at 09:29.

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    QNAP NAS users - are you also Mac users?
    If so, basic stupid question I have been stumbling with.
    What file system do you use for mounting the NAS on your Mac?

    The latest Mac OS is said to be moving towards SMB and deprecating AFP, supporting SMB3.
    I have tried SMB3 and had some instability (2 Macs would lose access to mount sporadically until restart).
    Switched to SMB2 and been fine since, but now seeing issues on Lightroom export sometimes.
    Particularly I have an extra 0 byte FILENAME.swp file dropped in the directory for 1 of the 30 photos I exported.

    So do I need to switch to AFP?
    Or are there some settings that need playing with?
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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post
    QNAP NAS users - are you also Mac users?
    If so, basic stupid question I have been stumbling with.
    What file system do you use for mounting the NAS on your Mac?
    I connect to my QNAP with Mac OS X, Windows 8 and Linux. I don't recall having the option to choose filesystem for an SMB shared volume? It's probably EXT4, but that'd be invisible to the client PC. The only place where I do recall filesystem factoring into things was when I set up an iSCSI volume.

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    Member craygc's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    Quote Originally Posted by 4season View Post
    I connect to my QNAP with Mac OS X, Windows 8 and Linux. I don't recall having the option to choose filesystem for an SMB shared volume? It's probably EXT4, but that'd be invisible to the client PC. The only place where I do recall filesystem factoring into things was when I set up an iSCSI volume.
    Exactly, as a Linux system the QNAP NAS is either EXT3 or EXT4 and for the most, is only relevant internally to the NAS. However, if you're using RAID 1 and you get a failure with the NAS itself (power supply, mother board, etc) you can easily install EXT3/4 drivers into OS-X that will allow you to read the drives directly). The bits that make up the file is all thats transferred between the systems; only once its being written to the disk does the controlling OS care about the file system.

    As for SMB or AFP, I am currently using AFP. I was using SMB initially but at times would find some directories missing with a similar number being repeated (and not accessible). Since I've moved to AFP, I've never had a reason to really investigate the issue further. But you can easily mount the volumes as AFP on your Mac and simultaneously mount them as SMB on a Windoz platform, or even another Mac - its all independent.

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    Right, not filesystem, heh I should have said protocol.

    I'm trying to decide how to mount the share on my Mac, whether SMB (and if so, what flavor 3.0 v 2.1 v 2.0) v AFP.

    @craygc - You are using AFP happily with recent vintages of Mac OS X? I may revert to AFP in this case, though it seems like both Apple and QNAP were somewhat advising SMB.

    Unfortunately QNAPs support forum seems to be less active than GetDPI so I don't have anyone commenting there yet.
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    Member craygc's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post
    @craygc - You are using AFP happily with recent vintages of Mac OS X? I may revert to AFP in this case, though it seems like both Apple and QNAP were somewhat advising SMB.
    Im running 10.10.2 with no 'real' issue using AFP. The only thing Im seeing, and I don't know why yet, is that an Apple script I use to mount the volumes seems to have an issue with one of my RAID 1 mounts but no issue with the second RAID 1 mount (same script never had an issue with 10.8). However, whenever that issue occurs, I can always use <command>K and mount the volume manually without an issue.
    BTW my QNAP is getting a bit old these days so that may be helping or hindering here: Its a TS-409

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: NAS server storage

    I'm using SMB sharing with default options with 10.10.3, no problems at all. But I'm also pretty careful about how I name files: Because I'm using other OSes, I avoid file names which would cause them to choke. I can usually tell who uses OS X exclusively because their file names are generally a mess, containing forward slashes (/) and what-not.

    I format backup disks hanging off of the QNAP as NTFS: Readable by Windows (obviously) Linux and OS X no problem and no 3rd party add-ons needed. The latter two have limited ability to write to NTFS, but I'm not so concerned about that.

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