New iMac and NAS as backup and media server - what to consider

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Thomas, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas
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    Hello,

    I am soon to buy a new iMac, an AppleTV-box (#3 incl. aTV Flash), an iPad (#5) and a 2-bay NAS-device (possibly Synology DS213+) with 2 drives (possibly WD Red 3TB). Im going to cable everything to my router with wifi for the iPad. To keep everything fast and tidy on the iMac, Im planning on getting the 512 GB SSD drive installed and to trash the build in 2x4 GB RAM adding 4x8 GB instead. Im a graphic artist and a hobby photographer, and the 512 GB SSD drive will give me if not plenty then enough room for whatever I use most: Handpicked applications, all system files, libraries and user documents plus all my photos and graphic work at hand and space to grow. Anything else (eg. archives and large media files like music and movies) I would like to store on the NAS drive 1 along a mirrored copy of the files on the iMac, and I would like the NAS drive 1 to back up automatically to NAS drive 2, and the NAS drive 2 to back up automatically to Crashplan in the cloud. I would like to play music and movies on my old hifi-system and my old tv via the AppleTV-box from the NAS drive 1. Even while the iMac is shut down using the tv or the iPad as a controller.

    These are my concerns: Is SSD worth the money and the right path though small and expensive? Is the backup water proof and possible as described (also planning to clone the iMac to external drive once in a while to store offsite)? Will I be able to install Crashplan+ on NAS drive 2 and control settings from the iMac? Will the use of NAS drive 1 as a media server work as described? Even with the iMac shut down. Which application is best for maintaining the backup/sync/mirror between iMac and NAS, and NAS drive 1 and NAS drive 2?

    Any comments on the setup or my concerns greatly appriciated. And if Im missing out on something (probably), please let me know :)

    Thanks
     
  2. chrismacuk

    chrismacuk
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    I run a setup at home that is somwhat similar except I use Windows based kit. I have a NAS, Crashplan subscription, laptop and an Apple TV2 (JB). The potential problems I came across reading your post are as follows:

    1. 512Gb SSDs are expensive. Do you need all that space on the laptop, would you not be better served keeping your files on the NAS and accessing them via mapped drive/share?

    2. Crashplan App isn't installable on a NAS (I bet it's possible using hacked NAS running Linux but I digress) I run mapped drives to my NAS volumes and the Laptop/Deskop sends the data to the cloud from the Crashplan App. Once sync'd up, this isn't an inconvenience, but my 1.5TB of data too quite a while to sync initially (2 months).

    3. Natively, the ATV doesn't play music directly from anything that isn't running iTunes. That means that your iTunes program has to be running for the ATV to be able to use home sharing to browse media. There are ways round this of course; Jailbreak or AirPlay music from your iOS devices for example. I assumed that because my NAS specification said 'iTunes Server' that it would allow me to do this. It didn't.

    I'm not best placed to advice on Mac apps for syncing data, I'm a Windows man I'm afraid. Someone else may be able to help?
     
  3. mickevh

    mickevh
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    For a backup regime one needs to consider what problems you are securing against which will inform how many duplicates and how many generations of data you maintain.

    For example, if maintianing several duplicates, but only a single generation, you can't recover from a situation where they kids have recorded over the wedding video and you haven't discover it before all the replicas have been overwritten.

    As a rough rule of thumb, duplicates are used to save you from failing hardware (if you've got a copy somewhere else, you can keep working,) whereas multiple generation allows you to recover historical data loss, as long as your historical datasets go back far enough and are reliable enough.

    Also bear in mind that most SOHO ISP services have a much slower upload rate then download.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  4. lightningslow

    lightningslow
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    RAM it up, but I wouldnt waste the money on the 512GB SSD. If you have a properly setup NAS on a gigabit crossover, it will max out the bandwidth with ease and be able to do your photographs with little difficulty.

    Devices are electronics, they arent waterproof or fireproof.

    What youre suggesting is supremely overcomplicated for what you need.

    FreeNas setp with iSCSI will show up like a normal HD On your Mac, thus enabling your time machine backups and any other stuff you wanna throw on there with low latency and fast transfer speeds.

    You can use Infuse on your jailbroken Apple TV to hook up to the freenas to play your music library as well as enabling he iTunes media server in addition to DNLA for play over XBMC with little difficulty

    As for cloud backup, with large amounts of data, dont bother unless you have a massive conection upload and download bandwidth.

    If your Raid Z1 is say 4TBin total, a single 4TB drive to clone onto and kept offsite is sufficient and a lot more easy to recover from in the event of a massive crash.
     
  5. mickevh

    mickevh
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    If you are referring to crossed network cables, the de facto standard version of GBit ethernet (1000-BASE-T) requires straight cables. If you give it crossed ones, the first thing it has to do is "uncross" them.
     
  6. chrismacuk

    chrismacuk
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    Indeed. But this is handled onboard on virtually every bit of hardware these days. I think crossover was meant figuratively not literally, in this instance. :)
     

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