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Hello all,

I'm getting ready to go with an NAS and want to make sure I go the best route. Currently, I have two Mac Mini's and two PC's accessing music files via external hard drives. When I get new music, I rip to Flac and convert to AIFF. It is a pain to keep four different external drives current and it just seems to make sense to centralize everything on an NAS. My main system is in a room adjoining my office where I plan to put the NAS, so it will be hard-wired in. I am considering a Drobo and DroboShare, but I'm open to suggestions. Is this my best option.

Thanks,

Vic

 

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Hi Vic - The Drobo and DroboShare combination is the easiest route to take. If you don't mind configuring RAID and some advanced options I suggest looking at Thecus products such as the N5200B Pro. This is the NAS I use and really like it, but it requires a bit more knowledge than a Drobo.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Thanks Chris. I've worked with computers for years, and just last year built my first PC. But, I get a little concerned when thinking about "configuring RAID and some avanced options". I've never worked with any type of NAS, so everything will be new to me.

 

Are there performance advantages to using a Thecus over Drobo? I wouldn't mind trying it if there are advantages.

 

Another concern is reading and writing with both Mac's and PC's. I know the external drives I use with the Mac's can't be read by the PC's and the external divers I use with the PC's can be read by the Mac's but are read only.

 

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I believe the performance of a traditional NAS like the Thecus units is much better. However, using the Drobo with a music server shouldn't really tax the Drobo too much. The annoyance can come into play when moving around large amounts of data like 10s of GBs. As long as the NAS is truly accessed over Ethernet, not USB or FireWire, there will be no issues accessing it from Macs or PCs. Almost all NAS units support AFP (Mac) and SMB (Windows & Mac). The operating system is usually Linux based and the disk format is probably Ext2 or Ext3 but it really doesn't matter when accessing via Ethernet.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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I am a little perplexed by preferences of one modern NAS over another. I use a D-Link 321 NAS without issue. Having never used one of the often recommended units maybe I don't know what I am missing, but really it just sits in a closet and just works. I can see the benefit of a 4-bay unit (over my 2-bay), but other than that couldn't see how one unit could be recommended over another.

 

Admittedly I haven't had it very long and don't have many demands of it (backup and stream music / video), but it just seems to work without problems.

 

T

 

 

 

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I continue to be impressed with IOCELL products due to their flexibility

 

One puts a naked drive of any size in the empty IOCELL box device, lets the OS know the drive is activated and away you go. I have 4 now and zero issues with any playing music. They can plug into any router on your system and all can access simultaneously. They can not be accessed over the internet - good thing to me but maybe not others. Cannot comment on performance except to say in an all wired system (except for streaming to an AE), I have ZERO dropouts for over 1 year of use

 

Better, the drive can aslo be used as a USB drive by just plugging it in. This is great way to test data integrity, etc

 

My backup startegy is to create two similar drives at same time and back up my "home" drive. I then move the other drive to another end of the house or better another location.

 

I can live without music for a few days but if if a flood, fire or theft took it all I would be inconsolable as most of the time, energy, money and hassle of ripping, tagging, arranging would be gone.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chris,

 

I'm surfing all over the place tonight. I'm just not sold on the QNAP yet and I'm bouncing back over to Thecus.

 

What kind of drives are you using?

 

Are you using the AFP or SMB?

 

Also setup. . . I've never set one of these up before. With re: to mounting is there much to it. I know this is broad but am I really going to have to know my way around my network to do this. I'm so used to automatic IP's and such.

 

Thanks for all the help with this.

 

My biggest hangup right now is the whole WD "green drive" debate. Thecus and QNAP says there are no problems with using them in a RAID setup and WD says no way only Enterprise drives. This is kinda deferring me from moving towards a NAS.

 

I really need to get something larger though cause my 1TB UBS HHD to my AE is just about full between pics and music and other stuff.

 

jim

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Jim -

 

Hitachi drive in the NAS

 

AFP from Macs, SMB from Windows and Linux computers

 

You can setup the NAS static or dynamic IP. OS X will see it and automatically put a link to it on the left side in finder. You can single click on the NAS and it will mount. It's likely a dynamic IP won't matter much as OS X will see the name. Again, likely not certain.

 

Don't worry too much about this. If Thecus and QNAP say the drives work fine you are good. WD has an incentive to get you to purchase its best drives. Sure the enterprise drives are better but I don't think they are necessary. If you can afford them go for it.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Chris,

 

Thanks for that response.

 

Are your Hitachi's loud? Mine are going to be in my office on the second floor. Was just wondering.

 

What models are you using?

 

There is no way I can afford the Enterprise 2TB. They are like 300 a piece which I think is crazy for a drive that you might swap out in a few years for something larger. I would if I could but can't. :)

 

I think I got to close my eyes on the QNAP vs Thecus thing. The only thing I am missing on the Thecus is the SMART scans that you can schedule. I can just make sure I do a scan of my own each week when home. No big deal.

 

jim

 

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