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Best NAS for Mac? (Page 2)
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besson3c
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May 18, 2008, 01:26 PM
 
nonhuman: not that you asked for my opinion, but if you plan to install FreeBSD simply to do as you are describing, I'd recommend installing MythTV on your Linux machine instead, and scrap your EyeTV setup. For starters, Hauppauge makes many different capture cards with varying features that are all cheaper than EyeTV, last I checked, and MythTV offers a lot of flexibility both in being a repository for recorded videos, as well as being a PVR.

I've used Myth a lot, so let me know if this idea is at all intriguing...

As for your question, I think that would be up to the OS X Finder to discover SSH volumes. I don't know if there is a way to get it to do that. If you don't like using the little MacFuse menu widget, you can create simple little scripts and wrap them in a Platypus wrapper for mounting your SSH shares via public key authentication. This is what I do with over 30 shares I connect to - it works great for me, and I've found it to be much faster than AFP, despite the fact that AFP in theory should be a lighter weight protocol not having to maintain a secure tunnel.
     
nonhuman
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May 18, 2008, 02:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
nonhuman: not that you asked for my opinion, but if you plan to install FreeBSD simply to do as you are describing, I'd recommend installing MythTV on your Linux machine instead, and scrap your EyeTV setup. For starters, Hauppauge makes many different capture cards with varying features that are all cheaper than EyeTV, last I checked, and MythTV offers a lot of flexibility both in being a repository for recorded videos, as well as being a PVR.

I've used Myth a lot, so let me know if this idea is at all intriguing...
I'm using an HDHomeRun to get the TV signal to my computer, so the cost of an Elgato device isn't really an issue. Originally I was planning on doing the same with MythTV, but after reading about both MythTV and EyeTV, I decided that a Mac/EyeTV based solution would fit my needs better. I may still install MythTV so I can try it out, but since I've already got the EyeTV software which integrates so well with iTunes et al, it doesn't really seem that worthwhile at this point.

As for your question, I think that would be up to the OS X Finder to discover SSH volumes. I don't know if there is a way to get it to do that. If you don't like using the little MacFuse menu widget, you can create simple little scripts and wrap them in a Platypus wrapper for mounting your SSH shares via public key authentication. This is what I do with over 30 shares I connect to - it works great for me, and I've found it to be much faster than AFP, despite the fact that AFP in theory should be a lighter weight protocol not having to maintain a secure tunnel.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that at this point it's up to Apple to give us Bonjour/SSHfs. I am pretty pleased with SSHfs for it's remote capabilities, haven't really tried it on my home network yet since Bonjour makes AFP so damned easy... But now that you mention it, I think I'll give SSHfs a shot as far as playing video on my MacBook that lives on my iMac. So far even with my new 802.11n network that hasn't worked quite as well as I'd like it to over AFP.

What MacFuse menubar widget are you talking about? I had one when I was trying out ExpanDrive, but decided to go the FOSS way, and MacFuse didn't install any menubar dealy.

[Edit: nope, using SSHfs instead of AFP still doesn't seem to be quite fast enough to play video over the network. ]
     
besson3c
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May 18, 2008, 02:19 PM
 
I was referring to this thing, but I don't use it either:

MacFusion | The GUI for MacFUSE

Does HDHomeRun cache its video capture to a local hard drive? What happens if there is network latency?
     
nonhuman
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May 19, 2008, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I was referring to this thing, but I don't use it either:

MacFusion | The GUI for MacFUSE

Does HDHomeRun cache its video capture to a local hard drive? What happens if there is network latency?
Ah.

Nope, no cacheing with the HDHomeRun. It just streams the signal over the network. I assume that network latency would result in dropped frames, but as long as the network is fast enough (gigabit ethernet and 802.11n are what I'm using) it shouldn't really be a problem). When I've got everything set up finally all the video will be going over nothing but gigabit ethernet, so I'm not too worried about it.
     
besson3c
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May 19, 2008, 01:15 PM
 
Yeah, the video streaming approach is similar to what Hauppauge uses in their MediaMVP.

What kind of CPU hit does the EyeTV client take? The thing I really like about MythTV is that you can run the Myth client on either the same machine as the backend (i.e. Linux), or on your own workstation... Basically, any computer on your network can watch TV and videos via MythTV. My only problem is that the MythTV client on OS X is rather slow, and drops frames on my 1.25 Ghz Powerbook. It runs perfectly on my Macbook Pro though.
     
Nergol
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May 28, 2008, 04:14 AM
 
You get what you pay for. No gigabit ethernet? IDE drives only? SMB protocol only?
BTW, what's wrong with SMB?

Among other things, I consider it a bug, not a feature, that Vista doesn't work with SMB out of the box. One of the many things that makes Microsoft suck.
     
ginopiazza49
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Jan 5, 2009, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Well, the ReadyNAS Duo is out, and it may be a bit noisy (registration required):

There's the D-Link DNS-323, and also the LaCie 2BigDisk:

LaCie - 2big Network (2-disk RAID) - Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbits

But there are some performance concerns with the LaCie.
Can you tell me what performance issues with the LaCie you are talking about? I was considering a LaCie 2big, or maybe the Lacie 5big.
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Le Flaneur  (op)
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Jan 5, 2009, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by ginopiazza49 View Post
Can you tell me what performance issues with the LaCie you are talking about? I was considering a LaCie 2big, or maybe the Lacie 5big.
Check around, but I've read somewhere that they aren't particularly fast. I thought they might have some weird restrictions on what disks you can use (and what you can replace them with if one or more malfunctions).
     
ginopiazza49
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Jan 5, 2009, 05:55 PM
 
What can you tell me about the D-link 343 (the 4 bay unit)? Is the D-link 3433 "Mac friendly"?

Also, I am looking at the ReadyNAS Duo, however, I do not like that it has a limit of 1TB. Therefore, if I went with Netgear, I would most probably go with the ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer. Any thoughts on Netgear? I have been checking the ReadyNAS forums and it does not look like the ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer is available yet (even though many outlets like TigerDirect and CompUSA list the ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer for sale). Again, any thoughts on the two Netgear units I listed above?
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mduell
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Jan 5, 2009, 09:03 PM
 
They're pretty much all Mac compatible, since OS X supports Windows filesharing. By "friendly" are you asking if it has some OS X app to configure it instead of using a web page?

The ReadyNAS Duo only comes with 1x1TB hard drive, but you can add another. Although for the price you're better off with some of the competitors 4-5 bay products.

For 4-5 bay NAS I like the Thecus N4100PRO or N5200B
     
ginopiazza49
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Jan 5, 2009, 10:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
They're pretty much all Mac compatible, since OS X supports Windows filesharing. By "friendly" are you asking if it has some OS X app to configure it instead of using a web page?
No, by "Mac friendly" I was just wondering if one unit was more geared, or marketed, toward the Mac. I am a bit of a "network newbie".

The ReadyNAS Duo only comes with 1x1TB hard drive, but you can add another.
What I meant to say is that even after you add a second 1TB hard drive that you still only wind up with 1TB of your data if you want redundancy.

For 4-5 bay NAS I like the Thecus N4100PRO or N5200B
Thanks for the tip. I will make sure to look into it.
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mduell
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Jan 5, 2009, 11:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by ginopiazza49 View Post
No, by "Mac friendly" I was just wondering if one unit was more geared, or marketed, toward the Mac. I am a bit of a "network newbie".
What does that mean? It has a big Happy Mac sticker on the outside?
They should be plug and play-like for any mainstream OS.

Originally Posted by ginopiazza49 View Post
What I meant to say is that even after you add a second 1TB hard drive that you still only wind up with 1TB of your data if you want redundancy.
I didn't realize the ReadyNAS Duo only supported mirroring instead of JBOD/RAID0; what a bizzare crippling of an expensive device (for what it offers). Makes it an even less appealing option compared to the 4-5 bay competition.
     
Simon
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Jan 6, 2009, 10:03 AM
 
The fact that most NAS do SMB ("Windows file sharing") is part of the reason they're slow.

I have yet to see a really speedy and affordable NAS. Even expensive NAS solutions don't get anywhere close to what DAS achieves. And considering that a DAS plus one Gigabit-capable Mac (which you probably already have) or a super cheap Linux box (could be an old PC) does all NAS does but a whole lot faster, I find NAS highly unattractive.

Sure, NAS sounds convenient. But IMHO the performance penalty for that bit of convenience is too high.
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Jan 6, 2009, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
They're pretty much all Mac compatible, since OS X supports Windows filesharing. By "friendly" are you asking if it has some OS X app to configure it instead of using a web page?
I think we've had this discussion before. For me, a NAS is Mac-friendly if it offers:

1. Broadcasting of its services via rendezvous
2. AFP (Apple file protocol)

Relatively few of the available NAS units offer these two features. Netgear's ReadyNAS Duos and LaCie's do. D-Link's do not (at least not out of the box). Don't know about the Thecus. Netgear's ReadyNAS Duos are actually designed by former Infrant engineers (Infrant was acquired by Netgear a few years ago); these NAS units have been tested and proven.

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The ReadyNAS Duo only comes with 1x1TB hard drive, but you can add another. Although for the price you're better off with some of the competitors 4-5 bay products.
I'm not sure why you say that the Duo only comes with a 1x1TB drive. The ReadyNAS Duo is available in 1x500GB, 1x750GB, and 1x1TB units. It probably is more cost-effective to buy the 1x500 GB unit and install two 1 Terabyte drives in it.
( Last edited by Le Flaneur; Jan 6, 2009 at 04:46 PM. )
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Jan 6, 2009, 04:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The fact that most NAS do SMB ("Windows file sharing") is part of the reason they're slow.
Not sure what you mean. Given what you say below, it appears that most NAS are slow because they are ... NAS (i.e. networked).

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I have yet to see a really speedy and affordable NAS. Even expensive NAS solutions don't get anywhere close to what DAS achieves.
That's right. Networking adds a lot of overhead. And NAS units tend to have underpowered CPUs. That explains why a Gigabit-capable Mac makes a faster NAS.

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
And considering that a DAS plus one Gigabit-capable Mac (which you probably already have) or a super cheap Linux box (could be an old PC) does all NAS does but a whole lot faster
But a DAS+Mac or + Linux is a NAS!

Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Sure, NAS sounds convenient. But IMHO the performance penalty for that bit of convenience is too high.
It all depends. You seem to recognize the value of networked storage. Networked storage doesn't merely sound convenient -- it is convenient, indeed invaluable for purposes such as automatic backup of multiple computers. The question remains as to how to provide networked storage. If one happens to have a spare computer lying around, then fine. But if not, a standalone NAS unit is *far* cheaper and offers good enough performance for most applications.
     
mduell
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Jan 6, 2009, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
I think we've had this discussion before. For me, a NAS is Mac-friendly if it offers:

1. Broadcasting of its services via rendezvous
2. AFP (Apple file protocol)

Relatively few of the available NAS units offer these two features. Netgear's ReadyNAS Duos and LaCie's do. D-Link's do not (at least not out of the box). Don't know about the Thecus. Netgear's ReadyNAS Duos are actually designed by former Infrant engineers (Infrant was acquired by Netgear a few years ago); these NAS units have been tested and proven.

I'm not sure why you say that the Duo only comes with a 1x1TB drive. The ReadyNAS Duo is available in 1x500GB, 1x750GB, and 1x1TB units. It probably is more cost-effective to buy the 1x500 GB unit and install two 1 Terabyte drives in it.
Thecus supports AFP, but I don't see that as being any more Mac friendly than SMB. I don't know about Bonjour support.

I mean the Duo only comes with one drive installed, and a maximum capacity of 1TB.
     
Simon
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Jan 7, 2009, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
Not sure what you mean. Given what you say below, it appears that most NAS are slow because they are ... NAS (i.e. networked).
What I was trying to say is that the combination of the weak CPU in any regular NAS and a not very efficient protocol like SMB is going to render bad performance. It's not the network. My Gigabit network at home can easily achieve 80 MB/s real world performance. Most NAS reach at max a tenth of that. The rest of the network's bandwidth is not put to use.

But a DAS+Mac or + Linux is a NAS!
Yes, I guess in principle it is. The difference I was trying to point out is that if you use an old Mac or Linux box to host your "NAS" you'll be getting much better performance than if you go with an off-the-shelf integrated NAS solution. And the performance per $ ratio is even more in favor of using an old Mac or Linux box than a slower but really expensive "high-end" NAS (>10 MB/s).

It all depends. You seem to recognize the value of networked storage. Networked storage doesn't merely sound convenient -- it is convenient, indeed invaluable for purposes such as automatic backup of multiple computers. The question remains as to how to provide networked storage. If one happens to have a spare computer lying around, then fine. But if not, a standalone NAS unit is *far* cheaper and offers good enough performance for most applications.
I was talking about the convenience of having a little set-top box with nothing but an Ethernet port and a disk vs. a DAS attached to a network client that needs to be administrated, updated, etc. The off-the-shelf NAS boxes offer that type of extra convenience, but it comes at the cost of really bad performance (3 MB/s is not just slow, it's total crap even if all you're doing is backing up a few 100 MBs now and then). And a "high-end" NAS is really expensive while performance will still be around 10 MB/s. Meanwhile an old Linux PC costs maybe $200, the Gigabit card costs $15, and huge SATA drives are dirt cheap. And that will give you performance an order of magnitude higher than any regular off-the-shelf NAS solution.
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Jan 9, 2009, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
What I was trying to say is that the combination of the weak CPU in any regular NAS and a not very efficient protocol like SMB is going to render bad performance. It's not the network.
Right, it's not the network per se, it's the networking.



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I was talking about the convenience of having a little set-top box with nothing but an Ethernet port and a disk vs. a DAS attached to a network client that needs to be administrated, updated, etc. The off-the-shelf NAS boxes offer that type of extra convenience, but it comes at the cost of really bad performance (3 MB/s is not just slow, it's total crap even if all you're doing is backing up a few 100 MBs now and then). And a "high-end" NAS is really expensive while performance will still be around 10 MB/s. Meanwhile an old Linux PC costs maybe $200, the Gigabit card costs $15, and huge SATA drives are dirt cheap. And that will give you performance an order of magnitude higher than any regular off-the-shelf NAS solution.
I'm not sure where you're getting your NAS performance figures, which are absurdly low. Apple's Time Capsule, an average performer, does 15 MB/sec writes and 10 MB/sec reads. The Netgear ReadyNAS Duo units offer about 30/20 MB/sec read/write. And yes, I think that the ease of use of a consumer NAS far outweighs the possible performance benefits to be derived from a home-grown Linux-based NAS. I know, as I modded a Linkstation years ago to run AFP 3.1 and Bonjour, and it was a pain.
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Jan 9, 2009, 11:14 AM
 
Another thing to look at are the just-announced Iomega units. Available in $159.99 500GB and $229.99 1.0TB configurations, the Linux-based device supports Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iTunes, and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified devices. It includes a gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port for a printer or expansion hard drive, Retrospect Express backup software, CIFS/SMB and AFP support, network discovery via Bonjour, and other features.

Here they are.
     
Aetles
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Jan 14, 2009, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Thecus supports AFP, but I don't see that as being any more Mac friendly than SMB.
You don't? From what I've read on forums and text like this, SMB doesn't support all Mac filename characters, doesn't support long file names and is reported to be painfully slow compared to AFP.
     
ghporter
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Jan 14, 2009, 10:34 PM
 
SMB is pretty much agnostic when it comes to different platforms, providing an accessible connection without regard to platform specifics. It does make some compromises, such as not allowing one network resource to overwhelm another (as in file name limitations-some platforms can't handle Unicode characters), but it generally does a good job of working very well with all contenders.

AFP is not nearly so universal. While it is indeed more "native Apple" than anything else is, AFP is a different sort of protocol. SMB is a layer 7 (application layer) protocol while AFB is a layer 6 (presentation layer) protocol. They do things differently, using different methods to achieve the same end.

The whole point though is that since BOTH are fairly transparent to the user, neither is more or less friendly to the user.

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Jan 15, 2009, 03:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The whole point though is that since BOTH are fairly transparent to the user, neither is more or less friendly to the user.
I'm not sure I understand your point. If SMB puts file name restrictions on Mac (or other UNIX) users, how is that transparent? I would consider file name restrictions to be not user-friendly at all.
     
ghporter
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Jan 15, 2009, 08:26 AM
 
Doesn't AFP put other restrictions on the user, like how you can navigate to the resource? I'm not saying either is perfect, nor that SMB is without issues (for example, I can't just navigate to any network resource using SMB with my Macs, but I can with a PC as well as those file name issues), but once you have something set up, you can use it fairly transparently no matter which one you're using. Considering that SMB seems to be more widely used for heterogeneous network sharing (where other platforms may impose file name restrictions), I don't see the difference as a major issue.

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Jan 15, 2009, 09:47 AM
 
Now I understand what you're saying. It appears you're making a case for SMB in a heterogeneous network and I can follow that.

But the OP explicitly asked about a Mac network. In a pure Mac network I see no advantage in using SMB. If anything, the restrictions it puts on a Mac users fall away if instead one choses AFP or NFS.
     
Aetles
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Jan 15, 2009, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
But the OP explicitly asked about a Mac network. In a pure Mac network I see no advantage in using SMB. If anything, the restrictions it puts on a Mac users fall away if instead one choses AFP or NFS.
Exactly.

SMB may have other advantages, but from a pure Mac perspective I think it's safe to say that AFP is a better choice right now. I've seen reports of Apples currrent implementation of SMB being slow (compared to AFP) numerous times on forums etc. If those reports are to be believed then there's a performance reason to prefere AFP over SMB using Mac OS X right now (I haven't seen a more formal test though).
     
ghporter
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Jan 15, 2009, 09:11 PM
 
Sorry, but I'd gotten side tracked by the comparison between the two protocols. On a Mac-only network, that's a very different question (sort of like USB is faster on PCs and Firewire is faster on Macs...). Plus my own network is decidedly heterogeneous (at least for now), and I tend to think of things that way.

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Jan 22, 2009, 12:03 AM
 
I can't find where the ReadyNas can only support up to 1tb? So if a 1.5tb drive comes out, I wouldn't be able to use it? Would you use this primarily for streaming data ie music and movies or for backup?
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MikeD
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Jan 22, 2009, 02:13 PM
 
Also, just as another update and as mentioned earlier. There is a 6 bay ReadyNas. It's called the readynas pro pioneer and is about $1300 without drives. Anyone think that this could be a great way to have storage for streaming as well as a backup source? Or is it mostly ideal for streaming and better to use individual external 1tb drives for backup?

I do like how there is redundancy for backups (in case one drive fails) for streaming content like movies/videos. But it is pricey.
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MikeD
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Feb 23, 2009, 10:34 PM
 
If I were to go with a readynas or HP mediasmart system, do I need to format the HD's I put in there from within a powermac or when I plug them into the NAS units, I should be able to format the drives through the network? I hope that made sense...
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Feb 27, 2009, 03:23 AM
 
You "format" them using the configuration tools provided by the NAS. Most of the RAID-based NAS systems will immediately process the drive automatically without requiring you to do anything beyond plugging the drive in.
     
falofolio
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Jun 4, 2009, 05:03 AM
 
Hi,

To put the topic on track again , because it is a very interesting one!

Synology and QNAP have nice affordable 2-bay NAS devices with AFP-support. Except that they do not support Bonjour. Like the Synology DS-209 or the QNAP TS-209! Synology seems to be Mac-friendly, because they have Mac-software included with their devices. In addition, according to the specs, the DS-209 (Note: Not the DS-209j!) has a fast CPU, plus interesting up-/download speeds (45 and 55MB/s, resp., under Windows). Of course, these specs should be taken with caution. I know.

My questions:
1.) Does anybody have experience with Synology or QNAP?
2.) What are the advantages of having Bonjour-support on a NAS?

I appreciate your view in this matter.
( Last edited by falofolio; Jun 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM. )
     
falofolio
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Jun 5, 2009, 08:11 AM
 
I just found out that QNAP supports AFP and Bonjour.

They don't come cheap, but they seem to offer more flexibility in hardware (like open trays) and software (security) than Synology. And, their software has really that Mac look 'n' feel. Watch this (link found here)!

Looks that QNAP is offering interesting NAS devices for Mac!
( Last edited by falofolio; Jun 5, 2009 at 09:35 AM. )
     
ifroyd
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Jun 7, 2009, 07:01 PM
 
Do you guys know FreeNas ?
Im about to start a project myself in case-mod a cheap $100 mobo/processor combo to make it my own NAS device. FreeNas will so far give me the most options in a very flexible way.
Just a thought, if you know, let me know what you think.
I have a time capsule and it's usb-to-network feature sux It's own drive is great, but once you put a hub in the middle and connect two not so powerfull enclosures things slow down.
Not to mention that you cant do much of the fun stuff you can with FreeNas, like iTunes, AFP, SMB, HTTP Server ( if you have ipod touch like me i love this function ), ftp, and all goodies you can possible imagine, and for free.
On my project Im positive i can achieve my dream NAS for around CAN$200, my only concern is if i will make it look good.

Share your thoughts with me

Fred
     
falofolio
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Jun 11, 2009, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ifroyd View Post
Do you guys know FreeNas ?
Im about to start a project myself in case-mod a cheap $100 mobo/processor combo to make it my own NAS device. FreeNas will so far give me the most options in a very flexible way.
...
On my project Im positive i can achieve my dream NAS for around CAN$200, my only concern is if i will make it look good.

Fred

I am newbie, when it comes to NAS. So not surprising that I don't know about FreeNAS. However, I am looking for a NAS that produces not too much noise and consumes no more than 30-40 Watts max.

Do you know, if you can build a FreeNAS-based NAS with these requirements? Or, is FreeNAS only interesting, when you have an old PC lying around?
     
besson3c
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Jun 11, 2009, 01:42 PM
 
Have those of you interested in FreeNAS also looked at Openfiler?
     
moep
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Jun 11, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Have those of you interested in FreeNAS also looked at Openfiler?
Derailing the topic here, the title of this thread makes it so tempting to ignore the OP.

If you plan to put together your own "Best NAS for the Mac" and you aren’t scared of some hacking, OpenSolaris is really the way to go.
I just recently finished my NAS ”project” and now I’m backing up Time Machine to an on-the-fly compressed, end-to-end checksummed ZFS volume at 90 MB/s over AFP from my MBP. Bliss.
And if the Time Machine Image ever gets corrupted (which mine usually does every 6 months or so) I’ll just roll back to a previous ZFS snapshot.
It took me ~5 hours from unboxing to configured, up and running. I never touched Solaris before. Had some trouble with NFS but eventually ditched that approach.

OpenSolaris makes all this amazing, bleeding edge storage technology very accessible as long as you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty. I paid ~$700 for the empty box (a quadcore Sun Ultra 24 with 45% rebate from the old try&buy promotion) which is reasonable in my eyes.
Cheaper builds (~$240 w/o drives) can be found in this thread.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
besson3c
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Jun 11, 2009, 07:00 PM
 
interesting, moep...

Why Netatalk over SSHfs or NFS? TM is just writing to a disk image anyway, right?

How recent has it been where TM could do network backups to machines other than Time Capsule? I played around with this a while ago and had a horrible time with it, eventually ditched it.
     
moep
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Jun 12, 2009, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
interesting, moep...

Why Netatalk over SSHfs or NFS? TM is just writing to a disk image anyway, right?

How recent has it been where TM could do network backups to machines other than Time Capsule? I played around with this a while ago and had a horrible time with it, eventually ditched it.
I chose Netatalk/AFP because I couldn’t get TM to run over NFS. I suspect it is because the TM daemon does its job as a different user and the differing UID/GID breaks things big time. All my other shares are exported via NFS, AFP is just for the TM volumes.

As for SSHfs, TM can’t automount those volumes without user interaction and I don’t need the encryption in my trusted network.

I’ve also experimented with iSCSI but found the available Initiators on Leopard to be too flaky (Kernel Panics after putting the MBP to sleep). I backed up at 105 MB/s to a HFS+ formatted iSCSI target.

TM was always able to back up to unsupported Volumes with the terminal command, nothing changed about that since Leopards initial release.
I backed up just fine to a hacked AppleTV with a 1TB USB drive attached to it until now.
The only issue I’ve experienced is that the sparseimages can get irreparably corrupted when the backup process ends unexpectedly. That doesn’t happen very often (once every few months) and the automatic ZFS snapshots will come in handy there.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
jamesa
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Aug 19, 2009, 12:39 PM
 
I'm interested in resurrecting this thread - I need some specific advice.

Can't decide between NAS and DAS. Looking at three solutions...

NAS:
LaCie 5Big Network http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11118

DAS:
LaCie 4Big Quadra http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11113
Drobo (v2) http://drobo.com/products/drobo.php

I have no need for a NAS as of yet, but if I did I could easily buy one of these DAS devices and host it on a Mini. So, I really am leaning towards the DAS...

Between the two of them. Most of the criticisms of the Drobo in this thread earlier on about waiting for v2 of the product are addressed by the new Drobo - the performance is better in the new Drobo (with Firewire). I love the fact you can just shove any drives in there. The LaCie is way faster (~60-80% faster) but if a drive fails you've got to buy the replacement from LaCie at inflated prices. Plus, you can't expand it - you can only replace it with the same drives.

I'm not sure I need the extra performance, I think the most important thing to me is reliability of the solution. I need lots of space though. Any thoughts?
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Aug 19, 2009, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by jamesa View Post
I'm not sure I need the extra performance, I think the most important thing to me is reliability of the solution. I need lots of space though. Any thoughts?
What about the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo?
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 19, 2009, 01:07 PM
 
What about the DroboPro? It is significantly faster (apparently it maxes out at 70~80 MB/s via iSCSI).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
jamesa
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Aug 19, 2009, 05:26 PM
 
thanks for the replies, guys

Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
What about the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo?
i'm after more than 2 drives in the enclosure

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What about the DroboPro? It is significantly faster (apparently it maxes out at 70~80 MB/s via iSCSI).
out of my budget - $1200 with no drives in it!!!

-- james
     
kikkoman
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Aug 26, 2009, 01:36 AM
 
Checkout some of the QNAP offerings. Seems reasonably priced with a good set of features including iSCSI.
     
kupan787
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Sep 9, 2009, 12:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by moep View Post
Derailing the topic here, the title of this thread makes it so tempting to ignore the OP.

If you plan to put together your own "Best NAS for the Mac" and you aren’t scared of some hacking, OpenSolaris is really the way to go.
I just recently finished my NAS ”project” and now I’m backing up Time Machine to an on-the-fly compressed, end-to-end checksummed ZFS volume at 90 MB/s over AFP from my MBP. Bliss.
And if the Time Machine Image ever gets corrupted (which mine usually does every 6 months or so) I’ll just roll back to a previous ZFS snapshot.
It took me ~5 hours from unboxing to configured, up and running. I never touched Solaris before. Had some trouble with NFS but eventually ditched that approach.

OpenSolaris makes all this amazing, bleeding edge storage technology very accessible as long as you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty. I paid ~$700 for the empty box (a quadcore Sun Ultra 24 with 45% rebate from the old try&buy promotion) which is reasonable in my eyes.
Cheaper builds (~$240 w/o drives) can be found in this thread.
moep, not sure if you'll read this, but if you could provide some details on your setup, that'd be great. How difficult was the install/ZFS setup? Was there a guide that you followed?
     
Le Flaneur  (op)
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Sep 9, 2009, 12:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by jamesa View Post
i'm after more than 2 drives in the enclosure
Then try a ReadyNAS NV+ or whatever. The original models had 4 drives, and they have models with more than 4!
     
moep
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Sep 9, 2009, 06:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by kupan787 View Post
moep, not sure if you'll read this, but if you could provide some details on your setup, that'd be great. How difficult was the install/ZFS setup? Was there a guide that you followed?
Sure, what kind of details are you interested in - hardware, setup, functionality of ZFS?

The installation was very easy. Installing OpenSolaris is really no different from installing a current Linux distribution. Once you have OpenSolaris installed, its ~10 lines in the command line and you have ZFS with NFS sharing up and running. As long as you are reasonably comfortable with the command line and have some linux/*nix experience, you should be fine.

The options to extend functionality are pretty much endless from there.

For example I have Dropbox installed on my NAS (in a linux VM) and sync my iTunes library with it.
That synced library gets shared on the LAN via mtdaapd.
Whenever I download a song from the iTMS or create/modify a playlist in iTunes, it gets backed up to my NAS instantly and magically appears on every iTunes client connected to my LAN without me doing anything at all.

Almost all of the information I required to get things up and running came from the arstechnica thread linked above and lots of google results that I don’t remember.

The only potential show stopper is that Solaris very picky when it comes to hardware. (which is why I bought a sun box and didn’t build my own).
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 9, 2009, 06:10 PM
 
I didn't know Dropbox can sync only on your local network, I thought it only works over the interweb. How did you do that? Are there any tutorials available?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
moep
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Sep 10, 2009, 03:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I didn't know Dropbox can sync only on your local network, I thought it only works over the interweb. How did you do that? Are there any tutorials available?
All of the recent unstable release (“forum builds”) have P2P LAN syncing enabled. Check the dropbox forum for a link.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 10, 2009, 06:02 AM
 
But does it really run on Solaris? Can you also sync with computers via ssh or so over the internet?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
bencurtis
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Sep 18, 2009, 09:03 AM
 
This site has some useful info on creating and setting up a ZFS fileserver:
Simon’s blog - May the force be with you!
     
 
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