Advice on new Sonos setup

JamieFitzsimons

Active Member
Hi everyone,

I've recently decided to purchase a Sonos Play:5, The only problem is, I'm trying to find a way around keeping a PC on to access the media.

I have done minor research regarding a NAS solution, if I were to do this, from what I've read, it'd have to be connected to my router in some way? or could it connect to the ZoneBridge? Would it connect via USB or ethernet? I'm just worried as my ISP is Sky and our router has no USB. We all know how much of a pain it is to swap routers around when you are with Sky.

I really wouldn't mind going the NAS route, I just need to know if I can make it work in my current situation.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :smashin:
 
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Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
JamieFitzsimons said:
Hi everyone,

I've recently decided to purchase a Sonos Play:5, thanks to the hefty retail discount available to me. The only problem is, I'm trying to find a way around keeping a PC on to access the media.

I have done minor research regarding a NAS solution, if I were to do this, from what I've read, it'd have to be connected to my router in some way? or could it connect to the ZoneBridge? Would it connect via USB or ethernet? I'm just worried as my ISP is Sky and our router has no USB. We all know how much of a pain it is to swap routers around when you are with Sky.

I really wouldn't mind going the NAS route, I just need to know if I can make it work in my current situation.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :smashin:

You might want to keep information about that sort of discount to yourself

Cheers.

Chris
 
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JamieFitzsimons

Active Member
/end rant - Thanks for the info Crustyloafer - In hindsight it really wasn't a good idea, down to me getting a little excited after finding out about the discount itself. Nonetheless, thanks very much for the information you have provided.
 
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Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
'Climbs down off trusty yet slightly tall steed'

Jamie, I am quite aware of the staff training price on Sonos components for dealers, I am a Sonos installer myself. I just don't think it is necessary to go mentioning it on a public forum like this, especially given how little opportunity for discount on Sonos product there are for most consumers. You don't want to go cheesing off other forum members by shouting about the massive discount you got on something you sell and then go and ask them for advice about how to hook it all up.

Anyway, moving on.

A NAS solution for all your music is definitely the way to go. I would recommend QNAP for their NAS enclosures as they are extremely reliable and very flexible in terms of the configuration for other purposes too. As the QNAP units are enclosures only you will need to purchase the hard drives to go into it separately and then build it and configure it for your purposes.

For any sort of important data backup, especially for music where ripping the original source is a time consuming process you want to be looking a a NAS with a minimum of two drive bays so you can run it in some sort of RAID configuration and thus protect your data from loss should a single drive fail.

You should be able to connect the NAS to any spare ethernet port on your router or any of the Sonos components you have, I would recommend connecting it your router though if possible.

My recommendation would be the following:

1x Qnap Turbo NAS TS-212 - Scan.co.uk

2x 1TB Western Digital Caviar Green Hard Drive - HDD - WD10EARX - Scan.co.uk

This would be a perfect low cost NAS for streaming music and video files should you wish to. It will also be ideal for backing up any other important data you have. The 2x 1TB drives setup as a RAID 1 mirroring configuration will give you 1TB of actuall storage space which will be enough for around 3000 albums stored in either FLAC or ALAC lossless audio formats.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Chris.
 
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Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
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larkone

Distinguished Member
RAID only protects your data if a drive fails not if you have a power cut whilst writing to the drive or if the drive controller fails etc. etc. Then you can loose all of your data. RAID IS NOT A BACKUP solution - it is a high availability, fault tolerant solution which it is why it is used in corporate environments. It has little real benefit in a domestic situation and really requires a UPS to be truly effective.

You would be much better off using the second hard drive as an offline backup drive. That way you know you have a safe backup of your data. Raid drives are more prone to failure because of the fault tolerant features, your occasionally used backup drive is not subject to this type of use and will last the longer of the two drives.


Common RAID Server Failure Types and Causes

2BrightSparks | Articles | RAID is Not a Backup Solution

RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - section on data backup
 

neilball

Well-known Member
If you simply want a NAS for storing your music library and maybe as a backup for data on laptops/PCs then I'm a fan of keeping things simple. In this case I would recommend looking at the Western Digital My Book range (either single drive or raid versions). For Music you could use your PC or Laptop as a backup location (you'll be using this in any case to rip or download music in any case) and if you want further security you could look at the My Book models that allow a USB drive to be plugged in to allow direct backup of the NAS.

If your music is ripped from CDs then even if your NAS fails you will still have the CDs that can be re-ripped, it will only be your music downloads that be "at risk".
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
Larkone, you make some very good points there. That said, the solutions I have suggested are both RAID1 arrays and are therefore just a simple mirroring configuration. This acts as a simple and automated backup system. I would of course also recommend creating a regular off-site backup of the NAS on a separate external drive too.

Most of the points you make I think are a little more relevant to the more complex RAID configurations that use parity information. I am not certain but I would be surprised if it would be problematic getting the data off a drive from a RAID1 array should the controller fail or the power gets cut whilst in use given it is just a simple mirror. Is that not the case or have I got it all wrong?
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
Wrong I am afraid. A controller failure (HW or SW), power failure, virus, file system failure, OS failure can corrupt data across both drives and you loose all of your data. Remember it is writing/reading to both drives. There really is no benefit of a raid array in a domestic situation as you don't need high availability or fault tolerance to that level. I will say it again - RAID is not a backup. You just need data to be streamed to a low demand environment - that doesn't need RAID. RAID adds to your running costs as well - you always have two drives running regardless,and because RAID is always using both drives to place data and do parity checking their life expectancy is reduced.
It is a testament to the marketing guys that they have managed to convince people in a domestic environment that RAID will protect their data, it simply is not true but it does sell more kit.

RAID 1 is the equivalent of writing down an important phone number on two pieces of paper and putting them in the same back pocket of your jeans. It is fault tolerant because you can loose one piece of paper and it is high availability because if two people ask for the number you have two copies. Now think of all the ways you could loose those bits of paper in the same pocket. Corporates never run RAID without backups. Why bother with the expense of RAID if you have a good offsite backup? It doesn't make any sense.

Neilball - I have just spent the last two months ripping all of my CDs and tagging them properly - I certainly would not want to go through all of that effort again just for the sake of a good backup regime. You only have to have a disk failure once to know what pain it can cause if your data is not backed up and using a PC or Laptop is useful as an additional copy but that should not be considered as a backup as it it subject to all of the dangers that they can suffer from such as virus, malware, data corruption, drive failures. A friend recently had a OS failure that corrupted her hard disk that contained all of her family photos and music. It cost her nearly £500 to get the data recovered, which they managed to do, she was lucky. She now has multiple offsite backups.
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
No probs - happy to help. When you have been in IT as long as I have it pains me to see people put valuable data at risk because marketing people have only told the world half of the truth.
 
Personally I mirror my drives for high availabilty and on a monthly basis backup to an external drive and let my neighbour look after it do I don't have three bits of paper in the same pocket. :)
 

JamieFitzsimons

Active Member
I think I will probably go for a WD My Book Live as I really do only need it to primarily store music for Sonos, I know a NAS with multiple drives can be beneficial in certain situations, as can a RAID setup, but they really do not suit my needs.

Thanks for all the help guys, much appreciated! :smashin:
 

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