: Which NAS server do you have?


taylom
Feb 23rd, 2008, 04:09 PM
Does anyone out there currently have a NAS server connected to their Mac home network? If so, what type of NAS server do you have?

I'm looking to buy or build a NAS server and would like to know what other people are using.

8127972
Feb 23rd, 2008, 04:51 PM
I use the DNS-323 from D-Link.

2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure - DNS-323 by D-Link (http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=509)

Works well for me. Just make sure you update to firmware 1.04. I have a couple of 1TB Seagate SATA hard drives in a RAID 1 config in it at the moment.

a0rez
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:19 PM
Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.

TheBat
Feb 23rd, 2008, 07:56 PM
10 year old PC with XP Pro that has 2 HD's. No problems whatsoever with this setup.

taylom
Feb 23rd, 2008, 09:30 PM
I checked out the D-link DNS323, thats pretty much in line with what I'm willing to spend. I don't want to spend anything over $500CDN.

I looked into FreeNAS and it has some impressive features. A0rez, are you running FreeNAS with any type of RAID configuration? If so, is it difficult to setup Raid in FreeNAS?

I've thought about making my current Windows 2000 Server box into a NAS but how easy would it be to share folders between Windows 2000 and Mac OS?

harzack86
Feb 23rd, 2008, 10:34 PM
I use a Vantec NexStar LX loaded with a 500Gb drive. Definitely not the high end type of NAS, but it's relatively inexpensive, supports up to 100 Mbps on the network and has a USB 2 interface when speed is needed.
It gave me some troubles with the early versions of Leopard, but the 10.5.2 upgrade fixed them (I could see the NAS when networked, but not the files -- always worked well on Tiger and with Windows). Other than that, it works well for my needs (I store all my encoded videos on it).

i-rui
Feb 23rd, 2008, 11:34 PM
I use a Vantec NexStar LX loaded with a 500Gb drive. Definitely not the high end type of NAS, but it's relatively inexpensive, supports up to 100 Mbps on the network and has a USB 2 interface when speed is needed.
It gave me some troubles with the early versions of Leopard, but the 10.5.2 upgrade fixed them (I could see the NAS when networked, but not the files -- always worked well on Tiger and with Windows). Other than that, it works well for my needs (I store all my encoded videos on it).

I also have a Nexstar LX. It worked great under Tiger, but since I've upgraded to Leopard i've had problems with it (even after 10.5.2). I was using it to hold my iTunes library, but i've since started to use my airdisk for that (which in itself was a pain). Out of curiosity did you upgrade to Vantec's beta firmware for the Nexstar?

If anyone is interested in buying my Nexstar LX let me know, since it's not really being used at the moment I think i might just sell it off.

harzack86
Feb 24th, 2008, 12:52 AM
I also have a Nexstar LX. It worked great under Tiger, but since I've upgraded to Leopard i've had problems with it (even after 10.5.2). I was using it to hold my iTunes library, but i've since started to use my airdisk for that (which in itself was a pain). Out of curiosity did you upgrade to Vantec's beta firmware for the Nexstar?

If anyone is interested in buying my Nexstar LX let me know, since it's not really being used at the moment I think i might just sell it off.

Hello i-rui,
I'm not using a beta firmware (wasn't even aware of its existence, where did you hear about it?), but the one called "BASIC46".
I too tried to use it for iTunes but quickly abandoned the idea. It works quite well for my movies and simple backups though.
The issues with Leopard are really weird...

jamesB
Feb 24th, 2008, 02:15 AM
Synology DS107e case, install your own SATA drive and be up and running, all in less then 20 minutes.
I've run it with Panther, Tiger and now Leopard without a hiccup.
Does music and downloads, I can ftp in to it from anywhere, even has a built in music player plus a download manager.
Has it's own backup software, plus ports for USB and Sata.
Can you tell I like it?

jb.

i-rui
Feb 24th, 2008, 04:19 AM
Hello i-rui,
I'm not using a beta firmware (wasn't even aware of its existence, where did you hear about it?), but the one called "BASIC46".
.

I was sent the "BASIC 49b" firmware from Vantec's tech support since i was in correspondence with them since i upgraded to Leopard and had the initial problems. Ultimately it still didn't adequately fulfill my need as an iTunes server.

The other problem i have with the enclosure is the caveat that the drive MUST be formated as FAT to work as a NAS (I understand in a mixed environment, but in a mac only scenario it'd be nice to use HFS).

taylom
Feb 24th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.
These are some really good suggestions. The ones mentioned so far are pretty much with in my price range ($0-$500CDN).

Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.

a0rez => Have you configured any type of Raid using FreeNAS? If so, is it relatively easily to setup?

harzack86=>Do you know if you can daisy chain the Vantec Nexstar's or would you have to have a separate network connection for each Nexstar?

taylom
Feb 24th, 2008, 10:15 AM
These are some really good suggestions. The ones mentioned so far are pretty much with in my price range ($0-$500CDN).

Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.

a0rez => Have you configured any type of Raid using FreeNAS? If so, is it relatively easily to setup?

harzack86=>Do you know if you can daisy chain the Vantec Nexstar's or would you have to have a separate network connection for each Nexstar?

tripleR
Feb 24th, 2008, 11:35 AM
For years I have been running a number of single drive NAS / NDAS and recently decided to clean things up and purchased the HP MediaSmart Server (EX470). So far I love it. It is an actual server running Windows Home Server and offers a ton of features such as remote access, iTunes server, automatic backup of PC's, automatic duplication of selected folders, 4 hotswap drive bays, e-SATA port etc etc. My mac has no problem utilizing the storage. Obviously a lot of the features are for PC's only. In my household, I have the only Mac and the rest are PC's so it works for me. Overall, I felt it was the best bang for the buck. This unit already has quite a following with a number of forums catering to general use, troubleshooting, software and hardware hacking. Check it out.

The HP MediaSmart Server enthusiast community (http://www.mediasmartserver.net/)

We Got Served Forums (Powered by Invision Power Board) (http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/forums/index.php?)

Kosh
Feb 25th, 2008, 02:36 PM
I saw the HP MediaSmart Server mentioned on Cali Lewis' GeekBrief Podcast. It's great if you have Macs and PCs, but not for those that have only Macs. Apparently you need a PC to administer/setup the HP MediaSmart Server. It's good that they at least support Macs, though, and I like the design of the case.

I assume you guys that have NAS's or servers like this have them hardwired to your network. ie. you're not accessing them via wireless network.

Kosh
Feb 25th, 2008, 02:43 PM
Actually, you mention "automatic duplication of selected folders, 4 hotswap drive bays", that's the type of options I would be looking at, does it do the automatic duplication of selected folders for Macs too, or is that a feature just for the PC side.

Sam Arseneau
Feb 25th, 2008, 04:07 PM
Several of my clients have had good experiences with Infrant NAS... 4 SATA drives, Gigabit Ethernet, Front USB 2.0, Raid 0/1/5, Easy to configure...

See link: Infrant Ready NAS NV+ (http://infrant.com/products/products_details.php?name=ReadyNAS%20NVPlus)

mguertin
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:11 PM
OSX server and firewire drives are the only choice for me -- I care too much for my data to trust it to anything else. I've seen/fixed/had way too many nightmares with proprietary drive enclosures over the years.

At least with an operating system you can update and tweak you know what you're up against.

tripleR
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Actually, you mention "automatic duplication of selected folders, 4 hotswap drive bays", that's the type of options I would be looking at, does it do the automatic duplication of selected folders for Macs too, or is that a feature just for the PC side.

Anything to do with the storage is for both Mac and PC. My Mac and the PC's all share the same folders. I administer the server with my Mac running VM Fusion.

Cheers

Isight
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:07 AM
Sorry this is sort of off topic and a dumb question but what is NAS, I have googled it and found on clear answers.

tripleR
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:17 AM
Sorry this is sort of off topic and a dumb question but what is NAS, I have googled it and found on clear answers.

Network Attached Storage, in other words a networked storage unit. Very practical these days. All your digital photos and itunes can be stored on such a unit and can be accessed by all computers in your home.

Isight
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:24 AM
Should I look in to something like this if I only have one computer that would need get these files? I an in photography.

Thanks for the quick reply on the first question:)

tripleR
Feb 26th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Should I look in to something like this if I only have one computer that would need get these files? I an in photography.

Thanks for the quick reply on the first question:)

I kind of like the idea of a NAS but maybe in your case just an external harddrive with either a firewire or USB 2.0 interface would suffice. Maybe keep an eye on one of these babies that have both an ethernet and USB connection. I have seen them on sale quite often for $139.99. I have had the 320 GB version and they worked just fine. In fact I had 2 and you can set them up to mirror, meaning the one automatically backs itself to the other.

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10097033&catid=

madgunde
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.

What sort of RAID are you using? If you are using RAID 1 or 5, have you ever experienced or simulated a drive failure and successfully rebuilt a drive? Reason I ask is I did some testing of FreeNAS a while back and wanted to use it with RAID 5. I simulated a drive failure, and was never able to rebuild the RAID. I could still access the data, but the point of RAID 5 is to be able to swap out a defective drive and have it rebuild the new disk from the data stored on remaining disks.

This experience told me FreeNAS wasn't ready for prime-time. Not sure if it's improved since then, but the version number hasn't changed much since I last tried it.

madgunde
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:45 AM
Synology DS107e case, install your own SATA drive and be up and running, all in less then 20 minutes.
I've run it with Panther, Tiger and now Leopard without a hiccup.
Does music and downloads, I can ftp in to it from anywhere, even has a built in music player plus a download manager.
Has it's own backup software, plus ports for USB and Sata.
Can you tell I like it?

jb.

Does Time Machine recognize the AFP shares without having to hack anything? I'm seriously considering the DS107e but my primary use would be for Time Machine for mine and my wife's MacBooks.

madgunde
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:49 AM
Should I look in to something like this if I only have one computer that would need get these files? I an in photography.

Thanks for the quick reply on the first question:)

The main reasons to use a NAS is to share with multiple computers, or to located it in a remote location from where your computer is for better protection/safety. For instance, you could install the NAS in a locked cabinet or fire-retardant enclosure in your basement and still have access to the data wirelessly or via your ethernet network.

Also, some NAS units, like the Synology 407e that has been mentioned, have built-in FTP and Web servers so you can access your data over the internet. These aren't specifically NAS features, but some NAS units have additional features like these that might make them worthwhile.

taylom
Feb 27th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Hi,

I currently use FreeNAS (freenas.org) on a old junker PC I have lying about. It works well with both OS X (AFP) and Windows (SMB). It has a whole mess of features and protocols.

I like a0rez's solution using FreeNAS. I've checked it out and looks fairly easy to use. I have managed to acquire a used Dell desktop tower from work, bought 2 Seagate 500GB SATA-300 Harddrives and 1 PNY PCI SATA-150 card. I can't wait to get FreeNAS working this weekend.

What sort of RAID are you using? If you are using RAID 1 or 5, have you ever experienced or simulated a drive failure and successfully rebuilt a drive? Reason I ask is I did some testing of FreeNAS a while back and wanted to use it with RAID 5. I simulated a drive failure, and was never able to rebuild the RAID. I could still access the data, but the point of RAID 5 is to be able to swap out a defective drive and have it rebuild the new disk from the data stored on remaining disks.

This comment by madgunde has me worried a little. Hopefully it will work.

Suge
Feb 27th, 2008, 03:44 PM
i'm using a linksys nslu2. i have unslung on it and should probably tinker with it to do more but i haven't :(

mguertin
Feb 28th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Does Time Machine recognize the AFP shares without having to hack anything? I'm seriously considering the DS107e but my primary use would be for Time Machine for mine and my wife's MacBooks.

Nope. You need to use either an airdisk or OSX Leopard server (which has a special type of share designation for TM backups).

madgunde
Feb 28th, 2008, 07:29 PM
Nope. You need to use either an airdisk or OSX Leopard server (which has a special type of share designation for TM backups).

I'm able to use a USB drive that is shared via AFP on a Mac mini running Leopard client, so it's obviously not just OS X Server that can do this.

In any case, my Synology CubeStation 407e arrived today from NCIX.com (thanks for the recommendation jamesB!). Got a great deal on it, $506 tax and shipping included. I picked up 3 x Hitachi 500GB SATA hard drives at Canada Computers for $97.99 each. Total cost for 1TB RAID5 setup was around $840. I have one free bay for expansion to 1.5TB, and if I need more storage down the road, I can replace the 500GB drives with larger ones when the price comes down. I have to say, this unit is a lot better looking in person that the pictures give it credit for, and I'm very impressed with the build quality, design, usability and Mac support out of the box.

Damn, does it ever take a long time to create the volume though when using the thorough consistency check option. Will probably take 6-8 hours. I could have used the quick option, but seeing as these are new hard drives, I thought it would be a good idea to do a thorough scan for any bad sectors before I put data on those drives.

taylom
Mar 2nd, 2008, 05:29 PM
:confused: I try and I struggle to understand and embrace Linux but it never works. This weekend I tried to setup a NAS/Raid1 configuration using open source software called FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/). FreeNAS looked interesting until I started having issues with it. I could create my software Raid but had issues formating it. Finally get it to format and find out that the filesystem I used to format it with (ext2) does not support files over 1GB. Spent all day Saturday on it and got no where. I even tried Openfiler and unRaid but they didn't quite live up to my expectations.

I've finally bit the bullet and bought a Synology CS-407e. It seems to have everything I'm looking for. I ordered it through ncix.com so it shouldn't take to long to arrive and shipping only cost me $5.99CDN to Ontario!

Anyone else tried either Openfiler (http://www.openfiler.com/), unRaid (http://www.lime-technology.com/wordpress/?page_id=46) or FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) and got one of them to work with a Raid1 configuration using Seagate SATA drives and a PNY SATA/Raid controller card?

madgunde
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:35 PM
A couple notes about the Synology CubeStation 407e and Time Machine:


I had to enable the "show unsupported drives" hack to get the 407e's shares to show up in the Time Machine pref pane.
Time Machine was unable to create the sparceimage file directly on the 407e's share. To get around this problem, I set Time Machine to use a supported share or disk, then once the sparceimage file was created and it started to back up files, I stopped the backup, copied the sparceimage to the NAS share, selected that share as my Time Machine backup drive, and restarted the backup. Everything seems to work fine then. I have two different Macs backing up to the NAS in this fashion, and it seems to be working fine.
The initial backup TAKES FOREVER. My 96GB backup took over 12 hours. Be patient and best not to interrupt it. I had interrupted the initial backup a couple of times on one of my Macs and then it wouldn't seem to resume anymore. I deleted the sparceimage and started over again, this time letting it go without interruption and it worked fine.

a0rez
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:49 PM
What sort of RAID are you using? I am not using RAID at the moment, as my disk configuration does not support RAID (embedded on the first disk, remainder and second disk for storage). I mainly use the drive as an auxiliary backup, with my primary being an external FireWire drive.

I would like to get some larger capacity disks and then get RAID 5 going. I have been using FreeNAS for about a year and have had no problems with it. I would not trust a SINGLE backup solution for anything. I only trust multiple backup solutions.

mguertin
Mar 4th, 2008, 09:34 AM
I'm able to use a USB drive that is shared via AFP on a Mac mini running Leopard client, so it's obviously not just OS X Server that can do this.

Interesting ... is this something new for 10.5.2 I wonder? Was pretty sure that with 10.5 you weren't able to use standard shares. Good news either way around :)

madgunde
Mar 4th, 2008, 12:44 PM
Interesting ... is this something new for 10.5.2 I wonder? Was pretty sure that with 10.5 you weren't able to use standard shares. Good news either way around :)

I'm pretty sure it got enabled in 10.5.1 and was not available in the initial 10.5.0 release.

Kosh
Mar 4th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Several of my clients have had good experiences with Infrant NAS... 4 SATA drives, Gigabit Ethernet, Front USB 2.0, Raid 0/1/5, Easy to configure...

See link: Infrant Ready NAS NV+ (http://infrant.com/products/products_details.php?name=ReadyNAS%20NVPlus)

Interesting machine. It looks and sounds almost like a Drobo, but better (I've read a few reviews on the net about Drobos failing). I did see an old mention that the Ready NAS NV+ doesn't use the full capacity of 750GB drives, but as I say it's an old comment. Do you know if infrant put in a fix for that? Where do your clients purchase their Ready NAS NV+ from?

I assume it's best to actually leave your NAS up and running all the time, when the HDs aren't being accessed I assume they go to sleep?

screature
Mar 5th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Several of my clients have had good experiences with Infrant NAS... 4 SATA drives, Gigabit Ethernet, Front USB 2.0, Raid 0/1/5, Easy to configure...

See link: Infrant Ready NAS NV+ (http://infrant.com/products/products_details.php?name=ReadyNAS%20NVPlus)

Actually this product is now branded and sold as a Netgear product. Great reviews, but for the home user, plenty $$$, prices start at just over $1000 just for the box, no drives, but you can get it with 1TB for not a lot more, around $1150-1200.

screature
Mar 5th, 2008, 11:50 AM
I have recently read great things about the Buffalo LinkStation Pro series, they are apparently very fast (relative to the market) and are crammed with features, with the the Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo you can get 1TB for $325 (through Network Supply in Ottawa, although they are currently back ordered).

I found this all out too late for me personally though after what I thought was pretty good research. I was having a hard time finding reviews for NAS products and even posted my own question here on this same topic. Got a few responses but nothing like this thread has turned out to be.

Anyway long story short I ended up buying from the States (best price by far even including shipping), really good reseller out of WI called Safe Harbor, they specialize in video editing gear and setups. I ended up buying the Lacie 2Big Network NAS 1TB. It was $350 so decent price.

Biggest tech purchase mistake I have made in twenty years. It is noisy as hell, slow as hell, flaky as hell and you can't adjust (getting a little techie here) the frame size (packet size) from 1500 to 9000 bytes (which delivers top performance on a gigabit network) without causing the thing to become complete unusable (this is of course with the ethernet settings adjusted accordingly on my Macs).

I have contacted Lacie no less than 5 times about this thing (e-mail support only!!!) and have not got a satisfactory solution to it's poor performance as yet.

I could still return it, but because it technically isn't defective I would have to pay a 15% restocking fee plus shipping, adding onto the shipping and taxes that had to be paid to Customs (which I have no idea how I would make a claim for reimbursement on a return to the US) so in the end it would end up costing me $200 bucks just to end up back a square one with no NAS.

I hate this Lacie product, but I think I am stuck with it, either that or take the bath and get one of the Buffalos and hope that the reviews that I subsequently found are true.

At any rate DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy a Lacie 2Big Network NAS, they SUCK!!

Kosh
Mar 5th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Actually this product is now branded and sold as a Netgear product. Great reviews, but for the home user, plenty $$$, prices start at just over $1000 just for the box, no drives, but you can get it with 1TB for not a lot more, around $1150-1200.

Yeah, I found it a bit pricey, but it provides protection for data, Infrant (Netgear) sounds to have great support, it has Mac support (allows Macs to adminster it), and it has space for 4 hot-swappable drives.