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ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

FuriousD
Aspirant

ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Currently have an iMac with over 10,000 photos, about 60GB of apple lossless music files which is growing and about 60GB of movies. The HDD on the iMac is 320GB. I stream the music to a Sonos ZP90, and movies to the PS3.
I want to free up space on the iMac and centrally locate the photos, music and movies so i can access from the iMac, work laptop, stream to sonos and movies PS3 without the iMac being on. Also to use Time Machine for document back up from the iMac.

I was looking a 2 x 2TB drives NAS and using RAID 1, one that can power down to save energy. Currently i have no back up of anything and once i have transfered the files to the NAS i dont want to loose them either, i know that RAID is not a back up, but the photos, music and movies will not change just be added to. I will then get an external HD to connect to the NAS for extra back up.

For Time Machine i was thinking of allowing 500GB of space leaving 1.5TB for media related stuff.

I have been looking at a number of difference NAS's but keep going round in circles. Readynas Duo, Readynas Ultra 2, Synology DS211j.

What is going to be best for me.
Thanks in advance, i have read a lot of different threads on here but like i say i keep going round in circles.

So much so that i am thinking that maybe a Ultra 2 with 2 x 1TB HD's not using RAID and backing up to an external HD might be a better idea. Is there any point of RAID for me.

Cheers
D
Message 1 of 17
sphardy1
Apprentice

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Netgear vs Synology: This is important for mac users: http://www.netafp.com/status-of-netatal ... endor-322/

Ultra vs Duo: Definately Ultra - it is the newest technology & *far* faster than the Duo

RAID vs non-RAID: Very much a personal decision and the downtime you are willing to suffer in the event of a disk failure. I wouldn't be without it on a 4 disk or greater system due to the increased likelihood of experiencing disk failure, but it's not so clear cut with a 2 bay device. But you should backup to an external HD in either case - RAID doesn't protect you against human error, but it seems you realise this already
Message 2 of 17
dbott67
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

My advice (but I've already drank the Kool-Aid --- I own or manage 7 different ReadyNAS devices between home and work) would be to buy the ReadyNAS Ultra, as the Duo is likely going to be phased out in favour of the Ultra. Here's a quote I posted for someone else a while ago regarding the differences:

dbott67 wrote:
Just a bit more information for you.

...although the Duo/NV+ is a great little unit (I bought one back in 2007), however, it is getting a little long in the tooth. The ReadyNAS developers have recently released an upgrade to the home-user market called the ReadyNAS Ultra in 2, 4 and 6-bay units. These units have a faster CPU and are more suitable for transcoding and media streaming functions going forward.

The Duo & NV+ are quite capable at doing what it they were originally designed for (storing/sharing data and streaming media), but it's low-powered CPU is not suitable for doing some of the things that many folks who are into media are looking to do. All ReadyNAS products are based on Debian linux, however, support for the CPU included in the Duo & NV+ (it's a sparc-based CPU, as opposed to Intel Atom x86-based CPU in the newer Ultra series) has been removed in current generations of Debian development. This essentially is going to limit updates to the firmware.

Development on the x86 line is much more active, and new features are being added regularly, both by the developers and the community-at-large.

So, if it's in your budget, you may want to take a look at the Ultra line-up to offer the best performance and feature set over the lifetime of your purchase.

Feel free to ask more questions or let us know some of the things you're looking to use your NAS for and we can help pick the most-suitable model for your needs.


The Ultra also has a faster CPU (1.5 GHz Intel Atom) than both the Synology (1.2 GHz ARM) and the Duo (280 MHz Sparc). See here for unofficial ReadyNAS CPU specs: http://home.bott.ca/webserver/?p=499

Benefits of the Ultra:
- faster CPU
- faster throughput (0ver 100 MB/s reads on the Ultra: http://www.readynas.com/?page_id=3962#Performance)
- more RAM (1 GB vs. 128 MB on the Synology & 256 MB on the Duo)
- longer warranty (3 yrs on ReadyNAS; 2 yrs on Synology)
- great online community forums (devs are active here and community-at-large is quite helpful)

You can compare the various ReadyNAS devices here: http://www.readynas.com/wp-content/uplo ... n_Home.pdf

On all of my units I use X-RAID for 2 reasons:

1. Protected volume. In the event of a single disk failure, I can easily recover by replacing the disk. Trust me on this - I've had lots: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=25794&p=269565#p298959

dbott67 wrote:
Another Seagate 500 GB drive is starting to go. For those keeping score at home, this is now 5 drive failures across 6 different ReadyNAS devices (3 on the Pro and 2 on the NVX). I have not had any disk failures on the NV+ nor on the 3 ReadyNAS 2100s at work. I have had a couple of other hardware issues (a failed chassis fan on the NVX and a burned out PSU on the NV+) that were all covered under warranty, not too mention a couple of remote assistance sessions by the Jedi's to help with some firmware issues (the price we sometimes have to pay when testing beta firmware or, in one case, not updating to the latest version 😎 ).


2. Easy volume expansion. I have run out of space on both my Pro, NVX and my dad's NV+ and have expanded them both horizontally (by adding more drives) and vertically (by replacing smaller drives with larger ones). Process works exactly as advertised. Piece.of.cake. 😎 If you use RAID 0, you run the risk of running out of space and not being able to upgrade without the proverbial "backup data, add new disk, create new larger volume & restore data" problem. X-RAID is your friend.

Have a drink! You'll love it!

Message 3 of 17
TeknoJnky
Hero

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

+1 what dbott said
Message 4 of 17
PapaBear1
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

I started in 2007 with an Infrant (Netgear bought them out) NV+ and two 500GB hard drives. Over the next three years, I expanded it to 4x500GB drives. I then added an NVX with 4x1TB drives and upgraded the NV+ to the same configuration. It was at this point, that I discovered the security of rsync where one ReadyNAS synchronizes the file to a second ReadyNAS. This process permits me to have the security of knowing that every night starting at midnight my primary NAS would be backed up without my involvement. The process usually only take minutes as it only updates the changed portion of files, added files and deleted files.

We always seem to underestimate how our collections will grow. When I started with a total 500GB volume it seemed like that would last forever, as I only had about 61GB of pictures and financial files, with a few video clips. Over the years, as I added more and more video clips, I had to add a third 500GB drive and then a fourth. At this point I had about 500GB of data, so when I went to the NVX with a 2.7TB volume, I thought that would last for a long time. It did - one year before I replaced two TB drives with two 3TB drives and I now have 1.8TB of data on a 4.5TB volume.

Figure out what volume you think you will need and then triple it. The Ultra 2 can currently support a redundant volume of 3TB (2.7TB after overhead) while the Ultra 4 will currently support a redundant volume of 9TB (8.1TB after overhead). Right now, you don't download or copy very many video files because of the disk volume they take. Once you add a large centralized storage device, you will start adding to it.

I know the Ultra 4 was not on your original list, but consider starting with it and 2x2TB drives. Another feature of a single X-Raid2 volume is that you don't have arbitrary limits set on any type of files. If you run low on space, you can expand, either by adding drives, or increasing the size of the drives.
Message 5 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Thanks again for the comments guys. I think that 2TB will be more than enough so eventually having 4TB overall should fit the job.
I have seen an offer for an Ultra 2 + a 1TB drive for free when buying the discless unit. With the hotswap, would i be correct in think the following?
Readynas Ultra 2 with 1 x 1TB drive - happy for a period of time.
Add a 1 x 2TB disc therefore running a 1tb and a 2tb in the ultra - happy for period of time
Add a 2nd 2TB disc thus removing the 1tb. I am guessing all information should be intact?
I may be completely wrong so please tell me.
The Ultra 2 with 1TB is only £220, so worth while when the Ultra 2 with 2 x 2TB is £350.
CHeers
D
Message 6 of 17
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

An Ultra 2 with a 1TB drive and a 2TB drive would give you 1TB of space. After replacing the 1TB drive, a resync would take place and the volume would expand to 2TB.

3TB drives are supported (higher capacity drives should also be supported at some point after they are released) on the Ultra, so you can eventually move to use those.

Personally I would recommend getting an Ultra 4 or Ultra 6
Message 7 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

mdgm wrote:
An Ultra 2 with a 1TB drive and a 2TB drive would give you 1TB of space. After replacing the 1TB drive, a resync would take place and the volume would expand to 2TB.

3TB drives are supported (higher capacity drives should also be supported at some point after they are released) on the Ultra, so you can eventually move to use those.

Personally I would recommend getting an Ultra 4 or Ultra 6


The 4 and 6 are to expensive, so not an option.
I am only using 320gb of space at the moment.
D
Message 8 of 17
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Then choose the Ultra 2. If you change your mind later (e.g. in a few years) you can migrate your disks to another x86 ReadyNAS (e.g. Ultra, Pro)
Message 9 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

mdgm wrote:
Then choose the Ultra 2. If you change your mind later (e.g. in a few years) you can migrate your disks to another x86 ReadyNAS (e.g. Ultra, Pro)

:thumbsup: Cool thanks
D
Message 10 of 17
yoh-dah
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Another Kool-Aid sold. Once you come to the ReadyNAS forum, we won't let you leave 😄
Message 11 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Hi guys,
Me again 😄
Going to make a purchase just need to check something. If i wanted to add another NAS be it ReadyNAS or another product at a later date i assume i can do this no problem.
I cant afford an Ultra 4, An Ultra 2 with 2TB running RAID will be plenty for the next few years at least, however when the kids start to get their own computers Mac/PC then we might need to look at it.
For example i could add an Ultra 4 (or equivalent) then to work along side the Ultra 2?
Cheers
D
Message 12 of 17
TeknoJnky
Hero

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

they can work along side each other as independent servers.

there is no way to 'link' them as one single combined server with combined space.

what alot of people do with 2 nas, is one be the primary and the other backup the primary (either in whole or part)
Message 13 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Thanks Tekno
D
Message 14 of 17
dbott67
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

FuriousD wrote:
For example i could add an Ultra 4 (or equivalent) then to work along side the Ultra 2?


Absolutely. At one point or another, I've had an NV+, Pro (6-bay) and NVX all on the same network. I gave the NV+ to my dad and use the Pro for my primary storage and NVX to act as backup. At work, I've got 3 rack-mount ReadyNAS 2100s acting as primary and remote backup targets for my servers.

The benefit of going with the Ultra2 is that you can migrate the existing disks right into an Ultra4 or Ultra6, however, I might be inclined to continue using the Ultra2 as a backup when you reach that stage.

The ReadyNAS product uses industry-standard protocols, so you should be able to get it working with virtually any other device that supports those protocols (Windows devices, Apple OSX, Linux, other compliant NAS devices, etc.), but as Tekno mentioned, they're not "stackable" --- they each function as an independent network device (much like all of your computers).

-Dave
Message 15 of 17
FuriousD
Aspirant

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Hi all,
Thought i would give an update. My Ultra 2 was delivered at the weekend with 2 x 2TB drives. Put the drives in and let them sync which obviously took a while, went out for a bit anyway. Transfered my itunes folder across which also took a while but a quick test and the Sonos was playing.

The Ultra is much more complex than i imagined in terms of you can do so much with it. looking forward to having another play tonight and sorted my home network out.

Thanks again for all the advice and so far i am very happy with the purchase, lets hope it continues to be like this.

Cheers
D
Message 16 of 17
dbott67
Guide

Re: ReadyNAS or Synology for me?

Glad everything is running smoothly. If you have any questions, just ask. 😎

Btw, in addition to trying to wrap your head around all of the built-in functionality, there are dozens of community add-ons that can allow your NAS to do some pretty cool things.

viewforum.php?f=48
Message 17 of 17
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