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# 208304 6-Feb-2017 10:35
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I currently have an aging 2009 iMac at home, which is pretty much only being used to serve our iTunes library to our other devices. This has me thinking it may be time to implement a NAS solution as a replacement.

 

I don't know much about NAS options, but am looking for something that will work well in an Apple Ecosystem (OSX, & Apple TV, with iOS support a bonus), although it will also need to be accessible from Windows machines too. I know Drobo systems are quite well regarded, but they have pretty eye watering prices. I'm going to have a hard time selling a $1000+ storage system to my wife as a "cheap" replacement for our iMac.

 

Any recommendations (and tips & tricks) gratefully received.


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  # 1715999 6-Feb-2017 10:40
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Synology or QNAP are both excellent and offer many options at different price points.

 

EDIT:  I use four Synology NAS units - 5-bay and 8-bay - user-friendly and reliable.





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  # 1716000 6-Feb-2017 10:43
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I'd keep the 2009 Mac until it fails, so long as it's doing the job. A newer NAS might use a touch less power, but it would take a lot to use $1000 worth of power.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1716001 6-Feb-2017 10:43
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I find Synology to be better polished than QNAP, QNAP has more features and options but isn't as polished.

 

 

 

Synology seem to have better optimised software/OS than QNAP.




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  # 1716005 6-Feb-2017 11:08
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timmmay:

 

I'd keep the 2009 Mac until it fails, so long as it's doing the job. A newer NAS might use a touch less power, but it would take a lot to use $1000 worth of power.

 

 

Currently it's only being used as a glorified jukebox and server of content. It's also running like an absolute dog, and the fan often kicks in during hot weather. It's definitely ready for replacement, but our computing usage patterns have changed so much over the last few years that replacing it with another desktop would not be a great spend of our money.




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  # 1716007 6-Feb-2017 11:10
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Polished vs unpolished may not be as important as support for Time Machine backups and ability to move our iTunes library to it (not sure if that's possible or not). Plex support also well regarded.


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  # 1716008 6-Feb-2017 11:27
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My setup:

 

2007-era Mac Mini with iTunes (lots of video content)

 

Content is on a Synology 4-bay DS-413j with 4x4TB drives. Very little (only music) is on the Mac Mini, tho I use iTunes Match / iCloud Music Library ($30 US/month, I have about 8000 tracks in there)

 

Served mostly to an Apple TV 4th Gen.

 

Works great. I'd prefer all the content to come off the NAS, but it can't speak iTunes -> Apple TV for any protected content (sadly I still have some), so I need an actual machine running iTunes. It can do Plex (old version) and Infusion on the Apple TV, but this works so far. Check the model you buy can plex before you get it - some of the (older) ones can't, including mine :(

 

Can't fault the synology - I have 2 - the DS413j for most stuff, and a DS411slim for wife's photos - 4x750GB SSHD's - could get rid of the small one if it was worth getting the money back... it's not, and we have redundancy for her near-2TB of photos. Both are ~6 years old now, I think. Had a couple of drives go on me (yeah 5 year warrenty NAS drives), but the hardware has been solid. Can't transcode on them tho - too slow. But I dont need that ever.

 

They have some 2 bay ones which are a LOAD cheaper, and given 4TB disks these days, you can get 4TB of mirrored storage for $stuffall compared the the $1800 or more I paid back then. Expanding disks is easy: power down, remove, replace with same-or-bigger, wait for rebuild (can use while it's doing it), repeat as needed.

 

Can Timemachine backup too. Plus all sorts of other stuff.

 

oh, I had a drobo in about 2011 or so. Slow-as-all-get-up. Wife table flipped it, hence why we have the DS411slim. Might have gotten better now tho. Ease of use was the ONLY good thing about it. 





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  # 1716009 6-Feb-2017 11:29
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I have a qnap 2 bay and recently moved my itunes library to it from my aging imac desktop. Lots of articles on google on how to do it and it works just fine.


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  # 1716013 6-Feb-2017 11:35
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Would a Mac Mini do the trick? It's not cheap (you're probably looking at $1200 for the most suitable one) but it can run as a server without a display, store time machine backups, and it's tiny and quiet and guaranteed to play nice in an Apple ecosystem. We had one at work acting as a server for our graphic design studio. This article explains the process.

 

http://www.macworld.com/article/3017425/software/turn-a-mac-mini-into-a-media-server-with-plex.html





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.




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  # 1716015 6-Feb-2017 11:45
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littleheaven:

 

Would a Mac Mini do the trick? It's not cheap (you're probably looking at $1200 for the most suitable one) but it can run as a server without a display, store time machine backups, and it's tiny and quiet and guaranteed to play nice in an Apple ecosystem. We had one at work acting as a server for our graphic design studio. This article explains the process.

 

http://www.macworld.com/article/3017425/software/turn-a-mac-mini-into-a-media-server-with-plex.html

 

 

 

 

Not really what I'm after (and also more than I was hoping to spend). But thanks for the suggestion anyway.


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  # 1716017 6-Feb-2017 11:49
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Yes, it's rather expensive! I'll be interested in the outcome of this discussion because I'm also considering a NAS for when my 2008 Mac Pro eventually outlives its usefulness. Currently it contains about 3TB across several drives which I will need to migrate to a NAS when I replace it with something smaller and less expensive.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  # 1716044 6-Feb-2017 12:22
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I run a 4 bay qnap and love it, populated with 4 4tb drives in raid 5 and just works.





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  # 1716046 6-Feb-2017 12:34
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I have an older Synology DS110j, which is primarily for Time Machine backups from a couple of MacBooks. It also acts as a central file server, an automatic photo backup for the iPhone, and a DLNA music server to the Xbox and Freeview box. It does have an iTunes server built-in, but I've never tried streaming to the AppleTV.

The only niggle I have with Mac compatibility is the limited support for Mac file systems. It does read HFS+ on external drives, but (I believe) it is read-only. That leaves you with FAT, or exFAT on newer systems (for a fee), if you want to swap drives between the Mac and Diskstation.

That said, I would still strongly recommend a Synology NAS.

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  # 1716050 6-Feb-2017 13:07
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I have a 2 bay DS212j - about four years old and never missed a beat. Has a great intuitive UI, plus really good android apps (I assume same for iOS).

 

Updates regularly.

 

Can't recommend it highly enough. 


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  # 1716067 6-Feb-2017 14:16
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Also recommend one of the older Synology 1 or 2 bay NAS. I have the 112 and is great.

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  # 1716100 6-Feb-2017 15:48
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