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DAS or NAS solution with 20TB in Mac network

synology drobo mac enterprise hdd nas das thunderbolt gigabit ethernet

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#1 robertzech

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:22 AM

Hey folks,

 

I hope I do not miss any specific forum guidelines by starting the topic right here. Please notify me if I am missing something.

 

I checked out a couple of reviews on storagereview.com and on other places on the internet as well as friends related to the IT sector.

 

Short summary of facts:

 

- ambitious amateur photographer with a lot of RAW image data

- Mac only network, which means there is a MacBook Pro Retina and two MacBook Airs at the moment (total internal capacity of ~1,8TB)

- TimeMachine backup running to external USB hard drive, an Apple TimeCapsule as well as CrashPlan online backup

- an old Drobo FS with mixed old HDDs, total ~13-14TB (do not like it, very very slow, bad performance)

- several USB 2.0 and FW800 drives, total ~6-7TB

 

Aims:

 

- buying a MacMini running OS X Server for home media consumption on HDTV, tv recording and automation workflows

- buy a NAS or DAS (attached to MacMini and available via network share from the OSX Server) with about 20 TB raw capacity

 

Use:

 

- storage will mainly be used for storing large HD video files, RAW images and backups from the network computers

- depending on hardware solution a dual disk redundancy should be workable

 

My options:

 

a) Synology DS1813+ with 8x 4TB HDD

- what performance is to be expected from a DS1813+ if used with a single gigabit ethernet connection in a Mac network? I read about a couple of performance issues with SMB/AFP file transfer on Mac OS X Mavericks

- I will not be able to purchase a switch with 802.3ad capability for my use as they are quite expensive. That means no link aggregation possible, correct?

- use of RAID 6? External backup solution might be a couple of USB drives

 

b ) Drobo 5D with 5x 4TB HDD

- dual disk redundancy using Drobo's Beyond RAID

- performance using Thunderbolt on a Mac should be around 100-150MB/s

- network share using a Mac as a server

- external backup using old Drobo FS or a couple of USB drives

 

c) Lacie or G-Technology RAIDs

- Lacie thunderbolt drives with 8TB or one 20TB, but they all come with RAID0/1, therefore having an exact copy on another Lacie drive is necessary - expensive

- G-Technology also offers 8TB thunderbolt, same problem as Lacie but maybe more reliable hard drives

- G-Technology G-Speed Q RAID is very pricey

 

Choose of HDD:

 

If deciding for a Drobo or Synology NAS, which hard drive is optimal to chose in terms of long life reliability? Performance should be ok with all of them for my needs

- WD SE or WD RED 4TB

- Hitachi Deskstar 4TB

 

I do not like to go with Seagate as I had bad experience, however I had a couple dead-on-arrival WD RED 3TB last year in my Drobo FS. Other suggestions on 4TB are welcome.

 

 

Looking forward for any feedback and suggestions, personal experience and recommendations!

 

Best, Robert


Edited by robertzech, 14 March 2014 - 03:24 AM.

#2 Brian

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:01 AM

You're already sad with the Drobo performance, trust me, it's not any better now, so I'd mark that off the list promptly. In terms of NAS vs DAS though, how many people or devices will need to access the storage? Do you see any benefit from the NAS features like remote file access, etc or do you really want the performance DAS offers by comparison? Both the LaCie and G-Tech products are very nice incidentally. There are also other options form the likes of Caldigit and others who have quality products as well.


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#3 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:09 AM

Could you explain the purpose of the Mac Mini server a bit more? What is its role in all of this? The file sharing aspects (media serving, etc) can be handled easily by a common NAS platform such as the Synology model you outlined. It seems redundant to add that in especially when budget is a concern.

 

On the performance aspects, do you need those files to be network accessibly from both systems you use, or just editable through one? What are the size of the files you are generally editing? If its primarily photos and not video, gigabit ethernet might not be a problem if you saturate it at 100MB/s.


#4 robertzech

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 11:45 AM

The Mac Mini I was suggesting would be hooked up to an HDTV serving as a media consumption device for watching movies I have stored in an iTunes library, are coming from ripped bluray/dvd's I have or from tv recording using Elgato EyeTV. Furthermore, I am going to do implement a paperless workflow utilizing a Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 and will be storing documents of any kind in pdf form on a central storage point. My thought was that a Mac Mini running at all times would also be a good solution and the ScanSnap what be hooked up to that computer than. This is however not mandatory at this stage to be used on a separate Mac Mini. The MacBook would server the same features, however in the case of a DAS the Mac Mini would be my option of choice then and be running at all times as a server/htpc.

 

As for the question of how many devices will simultaneously access the data, my guess would be that most of the times only one or two users/devices will access the drives at a time. Most of the times I will use the data as a single person from the MacBook Pro Retina, and at times which will be automated the backups will run to the device from all the Macs on the network.

 

As I see it, the advantages of NAS features will be the same as if I have a Mac Mini server providing those services with DAS attached. The big difference might be performance and power consumption?

 

The data on the storage device, either NAS or DAS, will just be HD video from tv recording or ripped discs stored on the device and streamed to a viewing display or backup of data. All editing of video and raw images will happen using the fast internal SSD drive or a thunderbolt SSD drive.

 

I think the DS1813+ is already overkill for my needs in terms of simultaneous users but I like to have the amount of raw capacity. Using G-Tech drives, which one would you suggest? From what I heard Lacie is not as reliable… Using a couple of G-Tech 8TB thunderbolt drives and have redundant exact copies of a drive will add up to a lot of external drives. A NAS would look a lot cleaner I guess.

 

My concern is having the performance of the >100MB/s using the single gigabit connection from the Synology to a Mac OS X Mavericks computer - using something like a Netgear GS116 or similar (suggestions on other Gigabit Ethernet Switches welcomed!)

 

For long term, I would love to have secure offsite connections using a VPN or similar to connect to my local files. Both a Synology NAS or a Mac Mini Server+DAS would allow me to do this I think.

 

 

 

The only problem I see with the DS1813+ is that I do not know how it will perform in my Mac network environment. I am afraid that there is some conflict with the AFP/SMB file protocol between the NAS and the Mac which will result in bad performance. Also, I read that there is an issue with file naming depending on if the filename is written in caps or not.


#5 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

I haven't noticed the file naming issues you are referring to, although I'll admit that my primary usage with the Synology units is from Windows/Linux PCs. I do use a MacBook Air at home to one though which I've never encountered any issues with. I can use a thunderbolt to LAN adapter to see what the file transfer speeds would be like back and forth.

 

The DAS storage options for the Mac Mini are somewhat limiting. The Drobo units are painfully slow, and the Lacie/WD/etc units that attach over thunderbolt while incredibly fast are limited to RAID0/1/JBOD through software RAID in the OS on your mac. I'd prefer going with RAID6 to capture more usable capacity and protection for such a large dataset, which is something the NAS will provide.


#6 robertzech

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 06:56 PM

Are you using the new DSM 5.0 OS on the Synology NAS? I would very much appreciate some real life data on your MacBook Air to NAS connection performance. The Thunderbolt to Gigabit LAN adapter would also be my choice of how the main machine, the MacBook Pro would connect.

 

I am leaning towards the DS1813+ solution. Using one Gigabit Ethernet connection from the NAS to the network and then access most of the times via Gigabit Ethernet from the MacBook.

 

What hard drives are running in your Synology? I am willing to pay a bit more for a good drive, if it "pays of" in better long term performance. From your reviews I guess the suggestion would be the WD RED? Wondering if a WD SE would have any advantage instead, besides having a higher power consumption, shorter MTBF and being a tick louder.

 

//Edit: Researching on the internet, I found a good video tutorial for how to setup a Cisco SG300-10 with an DS1813+ for LACP. My guess is that if I am doing all this, I should do it right in the first place. As the SG300-10 is not that pricey, I might go with this in the first place. Is there a necessity I do not know to get a specific type of network cable other than the standard ones you can buy of the shelf?

 

Also, would you suggest to go with SHR-2 or a standard RAID6? I must admit I have not done a manual RAID configuration before…


Edited by robertzech, 14 March 2014 - 10:40 PM.

#7 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:27 PM

On the Mac Mini server you were planning, was it purely for serving files to a media player, or was it itself the media player connected to the TV (HDMI out)?

 

On the drives, really depends on the workload. What is your current budget available? I've been very impressed with the Seagate NAS drives in sequential workloads, although for all intends and purposes the Reds are pretty much going to do the same thing unless you are LAG'ing multiple NICs and constantly hammering the NAS ;)

 

In terms of Red vs Se... the Se is going to offer a bit more responsive action and is more of an enterprise nearline SATA drive whereas the Red is more of a consumer NAS product. On overall durability the Se is going to lead in that regard.

 

If you went with the 1813+ which sells for about 1,000 right now, what do you have left for budget on those HDDs? You have 8 bays to work with, although if you fill them all right now future expansion would be limited. If you can spring for a couple of 4TB HDDs now and just add on later that might be your best route.

 

On the RAID type, I prefer sticking to the standards (RAID10, RAID6, etc). The Hybrid stuff is just handy when you start mixing odd capacity drives which you shouldnt really do anyways.


#8 robertzech

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:23 PM

I have a current quote on a DS1813+ (4GB RAM) with 9 of the WD RED 4TB (8 for instant use, 1 as a fast backup of a drive fails) for about 2132 Euro (2965 USD). I am considering to buy the Cisco switch for LACP support, but am not sure yet if the 8-port version will be satisfying in the future - might need more ports later on.

 

Upgrading from the RED configuration to the WD SE configuration would lay in another 430 Euro (~600 USD). Not sure if I will really notice the difference in responsiveness in real life or if it is just a test result… If it will effect the real life situation, I might consider them. I want to do it right the first time, at least this time ;) I thought long term might be better of with the RED as they have a higher MTBF - however, also no knowledge from my side here.

 

In terms of starting out with less bays and adding up in the future, my guess was that it would be easier to just set it up in the beginning and don't worry about expansion afterwards. If space really runs out in the future, Synology sells these eSATA expansion units I have checked out. They could take another 20TB each, thats more than enough…

 

The MacMini is more a nice-to-have feature in my network. It would server for several media services as using it to do TV recordings and show them via HDMI on the TV, online video streams on the TV and some geeky stuff to play with. It's not mandatory at the moment. It would just have been my option of choice if I'd go with the DAS solution.

 

For the level of RAID, from what I have read is that RAID 6 would give me both optimal RAID security and usable space. Would you suggest to go with RAID 10 instead?

 

Finally, on the budget I am not really decided yet. I am checking out right now how much everything together will cost. And if it is too much for the moment I just have to wait for a few weeks more but finally will invest that amount in the future of my data. Considering the cost of my photography gear, computer and travel I did, having a good storage solution is essential in my opinion.


#9 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

What is your local pricing on the HGST NAS 4TB? Its a 7,200RPM model with pricing slightly above the Red, but not as much as the Se.

 

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=hgst nas

 

Also what were you grabbing your MTBF data from? All of the NAS HDDs are rated for 1M hours, including the Se. To get above that you need to move to an enterprise drive.


#10 robertzech

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:59 AM

  • HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB (H3IKNAS40003272SE/0S03665) 140 Euro (~194 USD)
  • WD Red 4TB (WD40EFRX) 145 Euro (~201 USD)
  • WD Se 4TB (WD4000F9YZ) 202 Euro (~281 USD)

HGST is from Hitachi, right? These should also be very reliable as I have read over at Backblaze from their long term analysis in comparison with WD and Seagate.

 

As for the MTBF, the value of 800,000 hours for the WD SE I got from http://www.storagere...d_se_hdd_review and for the WD RED from http://www.storagereview.com/wd_red_4tb_hdd_review_wd40efrx ;)


#11 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:52 PM

I think they bumped it up recently... both are at the 1M value. Also if that HGST model is the best price for that capacity, I wouldn't go for anything else.... you really can't beat that performance or reliability for better price.


#12 robertzech

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:06 AM

So the HGST 4TB Deskstar NAS it is... :)

 

Thank you for your help! Only thing left I would be interested is what your are acutally getting as transfer rates to your MacBook Air.

 

As I see it, everything else is sorted out so far and as soon as I move to my new apartment I will place the orders.

 

One last thing that came to my mind is, if it is wise to have UPS connected to the NAS, which will trigger a safe shutdown if there is no power. We do not have this often in Germany, but if there is the case and the data will be corrupted afterwards, you'd be better of with one. I think the UPS should then be connected via USB to trigger a shutdown?


#13 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:32 AM

There is no doubt that a UPS should be a part of this equation... safe shutdown and safe data go hand in hand... you don't want to worry about data corruption on your stronghold ;)

 

Look for the smallest APC model you can get your hands on. I use a 350VA model at home with my NAS that gives like 20-30 minutes of uptime with its low power usage. It leaves enough left over to keep your router and cable/dsl modem online too. I like APC with Synology units since their software protocols are the most common and practically guaranteed to work with it.


#14 robertzech

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:45 AM

Something like http://www.amazon.de...duct/B002RL0CKI or http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00006BBIK?

 

The first one is a few Euros more expensive, but has 550VA instead of 350VA and definitely looks nicer in my opinion. I am not sure where it will be placed so if it's not an old grey box it might have an optical advantage as well. Also, the product is 7 years newer, where the 350VA is listet at Amazon since 2000, the other one's 2007… I guess my router, switch and maybe the external hard drive could also run from this device then.


#15 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

If your budget allows it that larger one would be nice since you could string more devices from it. The nice thing is both of those units have very easy to replace batteries, which can be had for about 1/5th the overall price. Usually you're looking at a 2-5 year lifespan depending on usage.


#16 robertzech

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:44 AM

Alright, the additional cost for the bigger one I should be able to finance. Looking forward to order all the parts and start setting up. :) I will keep you posted…


#17 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:31 AM

What is your timeframe on this? Can it hold off a little bit? We are getting our large batch of HGST drives in at the end of the week and the first test will be eight loaded into our 1813+. Let me see what the performance is on those compared to the Red's first ;)


#18 robertzech

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 05:19 PM

Great! I will definitely wait for your review!

 

I will move to my new apartment mid April, so no hurry for now…


#19 Kevin OBrien

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:06 PM

We started this today FYI, so should have some information to give you soon.


#20 robertzech

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 03:56 AM

Looking forward to that!  :)


#21 robertzech

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 05:39 AM

I have just received a notification from my reseller, where I had requested some prices. I have requested both options, the Hitachi and the WD RED including the DS1813+ with 4GB RAM and a spare hard drive:

 

  • Synology DS1813+/4GB RAM incl. 9x4TB - Western Digital WD40EFRX: 2168,00 Euro
  • Synology DS1813+/4GB RAM incl. 9x4TB - HGST WD40EFRX: 2127,00

If understand your review (http://www.storagere..._nas_hdd_review) of the HGST correctly, it outperforms the WD RED and at the same time it is a bit cheaper. So my suggestion would be to go with the HGST?


#22 Brian

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:22 AM

Either one is probably fine but the HGST doesn't win everywhere. I'd be more inclined to go with the red, there's almost certainly more tech in there designed for NAS.

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