recommend me a NAS

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  • recommend me a NAS
  • I picked up a sonos play:1 speaker yesterday and i got to say i’m really impressed with it. Now i need a NAS drive to store my music.

    Is it really worth going down the RAID route seeing as I can back up a lot of my music with google play/amazon

    Do modern hard drives fail that much?

    any recommendations?

    stumpy01
    Member

    I’ve been looking at this recently and the Synology ones seem to get good ratings, although tend to come as a bare cabinet that you have to add your own drives too.

    This Buffalo one also looks pretty good and comes with drives.
    http://www.ebuyer.com/189994-buffalo-linkstation-duo-4tb-2x-2tb-nas-drive-ls-wx4-0tl-r1-eu
    I think something to consider is the quality of the interface. I think this can really affect how easy a NAS is to set-up and access.

    Modern hard drives can fail, so I would have thought some kind of back-up would be sensible. I think most NAS systems have the option of RAID 1, which I think (am probably wrong) mirrors the drives, so if you have 2x2TB drives, you actually only have 2TB of storage, but you do have a back-up always waiting and ready to go.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS_bDnxCnkc[/video]

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    I’ll jump in with my default recommendation of a Synology NAS.

    Awesome bits of kit, they provide two bay units so you can have RAID if you like but always make sure you keep another backup as RAID won’t protect against other nasties.

    I have a USB disk plugged into the back of my Synology and the Synology backup software does incremental backups every night to it. Works flawlessly.

    Clicky!

    Yea.. thanks for that 🙄

    doesn’t tell me if RAID is worth it with all this cloud music storage? Is it really worth having RAID set up if i’m only interested in music and most if not all can be backed up online

    I’ll jump in with my default recommendation of a Synology NAS.

    Which model have u got? did you buy the case and then add the drives?

    CraigW
    Member

    RAID is not a backup.
    If you have two drives, it will increase the power consumption, which you may care about if its running 24/7.

    If you want a backup, I would get two separate NAS devices, and keep them at opposite ends of the house. And only switch on one while the backup is running.

    stumpy01
    Member

    somouk – Member

    Awesome bits of kit, they provide two bay units so you can have RAID if you like but always make sure you keep another backup as RAID won’t protect against other nasties.

    (thicko mode)
    erm, nasties….such as?
    If the drives were set-up mirrored, would this mean that if one failed the other one could just take over as the master drive (presumably when set-up to mirror, one is the master drive and one is a slave?)

    Am I right in thinking that the drive in a NAS cannot just be taken out and stuck in a caddy if you want to access the data?

    If I was to end up with 2x2Tb drives for a NAS and wasn’t running them in RAID 1, presumably I should really have a 4Tb drive for back-up!? Sounds like it is going to get pretty expensive?

    Milkie
    Member

    I’ve had the ReadyNAS Duo, Synology DS713+ and now currently using a HP N54L Microserver.

    The Synology is easy to use, great interface and does a lot of things, but expensive. The ReadyNAS’s are limited but great if you don’t want it to do much other than storage, DLNA and Bittorrent. The HP Microserver is the cheapest option, but you will have install your own OS and setup your DLNA, iTune servers and is the most flexible. Easy if you have some ‘puter knowledge.

    stumpy01
    Member

    CraigW – Member
    RAID is not a backup.

    Thicko mode again – most of the NAS thingies I’ve looked at basically say in the description that if you run them in RAID 1, you will always have your data mirrored and will always be backed-up. Is this not true then? I know if the house burns down or a thief breaks in and nicks the drive, then I have lost the data. But, if one drive dies, does the other drive not have exactly the same data on and can take over immediately?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    I know if the house burns down or a thief breaks in and nicks the drive, then I have lost the data. But, if one drive dies, does the other drive not have exactly the same data on and can take over immediately

    You’re right. You have two copies of data on two seperate discs, if one disc fails you can restore it off the RAID1 copy. But if your house burns down, there’s a flood, the NAS is stolen then you’re stuck.

    A ‘true’ backup will be off site so that if your house falls into a volcano you don’t lose everything.

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Which model have u got? did you buy the case and then add the drives?

    I have a few in various places but have a DS112 sitting next to me at the moment. I did indeed just buy the enclosure and add in a Western Digital green drive.

    (thicko mode)
    erm, nasties….such as?

    Viruses altering the files, or some form of other file corruption. Or even user error such as deleting the files.

    Most people run their NAS drives in a mirrored set as there aren’t enough drives to do other RAID types and if one did fail the other would take over. You’re correct that you would only have the storage of one drive available.

    CraigW
    Member

    RAID does not protect against quite a few types of failure.
    eg if you accidentally delete all of your files, they will all be deleted on the mirror drive as well. Or random file corruption, or a virus, or some other software problem etc.

    stumpy01
    Member

    OK, sorry for de-railing this thread. Sounds like RAID 1 is flaky back-up at best and it’s probably best not to rely on solely that as a back-up strategy.

    I’ll probably factor in the cost of an adequate sized portable drive to use as back-up as well.

    fuzzhead
    Member

    I’ve had a 2-bay Synology unit running faultlessly for a few years – stores data, iTunes server, DLNA etc etc. Recommended

    mrblobby
    Member

    In true STW style… do you even need one? I recently got a Sonos and I’ve not bothered setting it up with my music collection. Got Amazon Cloud Player for some albums and Spotify for pretty much anything else. Quite impressed with Amazon Cloud Player, tempted to move any of my collection that isn’t on Spotify over to that then archive any local stuff (reckon taking out the Spotify stuff I could easily get this under 20 GB which would be 6 quid a year.)

    Got my tunes on my mac, and just use Time Machine to back everything up to a NAS. A proper backup is about the only thing I actually use the NAS for. I had a few QNAP ones that I used to use for a lot more but moved a lot of the services over to the Mac and just keep the NAS side of things as simple as possible. The QNAP ones kept breaking so now got a Lacie 2Big NAS. Nice simple interface, works well. For proper offside backup I also use Arc backing up to Amazon S3.

    In true STW style… do you even need one? I recently got a Sonos and I’ve not bothered setting it up with my music collection.

    I’m wondering this myself. Especially with cloud storage (when are sonos going to stream google play music?!)

    I’m told with NAS you don’t realise you need one until you get one 🙂

    mrblobby
    Member

    I’m told with NAS you don’t realise you need one until you get one

    A lot of people end up using their NAS boxes as mini servers and run services on them. I did this for a while with the QNAP box but now just have a Mac mini that’s always on. Works so much better in terms of having more applications to choose from and then being able to run and manage those services from a decent interface. Also NAS boxes have a lot less processing power and memory than a proper PC so can get a bit swamped when running only a few services. I’ve gone back to using a NAS solely as a backup device (using TimeMachine) and kept it as simple as possible (could probably just use a DAS instead but like the idea of the backup device being standalone.)

    I’ve gone back to using mine solely as a backup device (using TimeMachine) and kept it as simple as possible.

    and this maybe what i’m thinking. If i’m only after music streaming I should sign up to amazon cloud player and store 250,000 songs. Then use an external drive as a backup

    i’m now talking myself out of it

    clubber
    Member

    I had a NAS, stopped using it for many of the reasons above. Also, I have a media PC on the main TV and an old laptop now under another TV to act as a Media player. The NAS’s old hard disk is now connected to the media PC to hold videos/films and everything else is on google music/spotify/etc.

    mrblobby
    Member

    There are ways of streaming Google Play music to the Sonos (BubbleUPNP I think) but I’ve not done this and don’t know how well it works.

    Freester
    Member

    I recently went down the Sonos route.

    Whilst planning the Sonos I went for a cheapo Zyxel NSA325 NAS. It’s dual caddy but I’ve just stuck one 2TB drive in it. It’s more than enough for all my music ripped lossless.

    It doesn’t review well as a media server and you can hear the fan but if all your interested in is mass storage it is fine. I just back up to a 2TB external USB drive that’s plugged in to the NAS. I only power up the USB drive when I want to do a backup.

    RAID is complicated and in my opinion you don’t really get anything until you start looking a striping and mirroring with 4 drives. When it gets expensive IMO.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    Recently went through the same (even have Sonos Play 1 which are great). Ended up with a Synology 1 bay NAS. Didn’t really want a 2 bay as I back up everything to a remote HD anyway.

    The aspect which made me chose Synology was the GUI – apparently you spend less and the GUI does less / isn’t as nice to use.

    RAID 1 = mirroring. Data is copied across both drives. This is at the lower end of what could be called “backup”. if a disk fails, take the failed disk out, put another of the same type in and rebuild the mirror. If the NAS itself fails, take the disks out and put them in another NAS. Bear in mind that ALL data is copied, including viruses and malware. However in a proper off-site backup, all data including viruses (like the ones that trigger on certain dates) are also backed up and taken off site. IIRC, failure of the NAS and one of the disks (power surge maybe) still not the end as , as long as one of the disks is still usable you can still replace the NAS and faulty drive and rebuild the mirror. No sure about taking the disk about and putting it in a caddy though as I’ve never had reason to try. Remember also that you get half the storage you pay for.
    RAID5 is a bit more interesting. this stripes the data across drives with extra parity data written so that any drive can be lost but the system can still run. You need a minimum of 3 disks and the storage you will actually get is n-1 disks (eg 3 *1TB disks gives you 2TB storage). data striping also means less spin time, so performance is faster and, there being less wear due to less physical movement, disks are less likely to fail. NAS boxes tend to be a bit more expensive as there’s more bays. Typically more than 2 bays is at least 4, which means you may have access to..

    ..all RAID levels support +1 (although your chosen NAS box might not). This means that the system can support a hot spare, a disk configured, powered down but ready for action. A disk fails, the hot spare powers up and builds itself as a copy of the failed disk. Technically, this works while the system is live, but performance degrades so much that, IME, the host system is unusable till the rebuild is complee and taking it off-line is usually a better bet.
    IOt does mean though that your system can support 2 failed disks and continue to run (RAID 5 will run with 1 failed drive, the hot spare kicks in and you can still have another failure). Again though, this means you’re paying for storage you may never use.
    Also RAID1+1 may need manual intervention to rebuild the mirror
    RAID systems are far from flaky as a rule

    stumpy01
    Member

    Awesome! Now I am completely confused and the OP has talked himself out of getting a NAS anyway 😀

    Hmmm. I didn’t realise I could get a single bay NAS. I wouldn’t need more than a 2TB drive – even that would give me lots of expansion room.
    So I could get a 1bay 2Tb NAS and a 2Tb external drive. I could use the external drive as my weekly (ahem) back-up and that would be me pretty much sorted.

    The reason I think I want a NAS is for streaming music to a digital music player hooked up to my stereo – all a plan at the moment, I don’t have any of it, apart from the stereo.
    I am not sure about the spotify side of things at the moment, so would prefer something that can store my own music collection and send it to some kind of digital music player.
    Something like this….
    http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/stream-magic-6-upsampling-network-music-player

    0303062650
    Member

    HP microserver, cheaper than a NAS enclosure and you can make it do more!

    stumpy01
    Member

    jontawn – Member
    HP microserver, cheaper than a NAS enclosure and you can make it do more!

    I am not sure I want it to do anymore than send music/video to a stereo/TV.
    What can a HP microserver do that I don’t even know that I need, but might quite like?

    Presumably I can put all my data (stuff like Excel files) on a NAS (not just photo’s video & music) so I can access it from my laptop and replace my laptop drive with a small capacity SSD?

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I am not sure I want it to do anymore than send music/video to a stereo/TV.

    We do this with the usual STW setup:

    For music: iMac -> Airport Express -> stereo

    For TV we have an Apple TV (yes, this could do music as well – the AE came first in our house).

    No, this doesn’t answer the NAS question, but we could just as easily add a NAS with iTunes Server on it and do the same*.

    So, the decision to get a NAS seems to be based on where you want to store your content and who you want to be able to access it (and from where – some NAS’s are capable of web access, meaning you get your content wherever you have broadband and wifi).

    *I believe Apple TV can’t stream from a NAS. We could always just store any ripped films on the NAS in a format the smart TV can access or just stream from the NAS to an ipad and Airplay from the ipad to the Apple TV….

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    I started using my NAS for music, but now, in the space of 3 weeks, it’s got photos, videos and now documents on it. Mainly so we can share stuff on the variety of laptops, tablets, phones and PCs we have in the house. Working a treat, plus my Sony TV and Amp links into it so I have a network player in my living room without having to do anything extra.

    stumpy01
    Member

    ourmaninthenorth – Member

    We do this with the usual STW setup:

    For music: iMac -> Airport Express -> stereo

    Probably fine if you already have an imac. Bit expensive solution otherwise?

    Bushwacked – Member
    I started using my NAS for music, but now, in the space of 3 weeks, it’s got photos, videos and now documents on it. Mainly so we can share stuff on the variety of laptops, tablets, phones and PCs we have in the house. Working a treat, plus my Sony TV and Amp links into it so I have a network player in my living room without having to do anything extra.

    Sounds like just what I am wanting to do….what amp/TV/NAS do you have that allows it all to hook up as a network player? Is it a Smart TV that talks to the NAS?

    faz083
    Member

    from my experience I like the netgear readyNAS over the QNAP’s or synology. However that is from a work perspective and not a home user.

    The new QNAP UI is not very good, IMO.

    Premier Icon jfmc
    Subscriber

    I have a HP Microserver running Fedora linux with 4 spinning disks set up as ZFS RaidZ (like Raid 5 but more flexible) for storage and a SSD as a system drive. As well as storing music, photos etc, it acts as a print server and MythTV backend. Behind the TV is a Rasperry Pi running OpenElec (controllable with a smartphone app as well as the TV remote) which streams music through the hifi and video through the telly. Being networked, I can watch TV anywhere in the house with the MythTV client on my phone or laptop. I’m planning to put another Pi hooked up to the kitchen stereo so I can stream music in the kitchen as well but haven’t got round to this yet.

    There’s a tradeoff between time spent setting this up and cost of the bits. I like having a system I’ve built myself but others will prefer an off the shelf system.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Home NAS has evolved from just being some storage that you can access over a network to being a cut down mini server. This is great but it doesn’t really do anything you couldn’t do from an always on PC (setup some shares, run some services, etc.) It can also be a pain as you’re often limited to the apps the NAS supplies and usually the interfaces are a bit inadequate (especially when things go wrong and you need to sort it out) compared to running things on a proper server. Also often they are quite tricky to backup properly (the data on the shares is ok but what about all the services and the NAS config?) so they can be a pain to restore when they do break.

    NAS are great little boxes but be aware that you really are buying a little cut down computer with a lot of limitations in terms of management and services it supports.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    [quoteProbably fine if you already have an imac. Bit expensive solution otherwise?[/quote]

    Absolutely. Was just illustrating how simple a music-only set-up could be. Agree it’s far from the only answer!

    Mac-mini would also do all this, for much less (relative) cost. I suspect, but don’t know, that it could also operate effectively as a NAS. But you have to want to get into the whole Apple thing (or acquire so many i-devices like we did that it becomes the obvious option).

    Is it a Smart TV that talks to the NAS?

    (Not directed at me, I know). Yes. I’ve recently acquired a Samsung smart TV, and that has the capacity to have networked content delivered to it. In effect, a smart TV is a mini-computer with an amazing display.

    I think a NAS has a lot to be said for it – am still contemplating one, so this thread is really useful.

    cranberry
    Member

    Is it a Smart TV that talks to the NAS?

    Samsung ( and I’m sure other brands of ) smart TVs have DLNA support. A Twonky server on my Qnap NAS makes all my films/photos/music available to the TV. I can also use a tablet ( Skifta ) to select what I want to view/play on the TV, or use the TV remote control to select the NAS as a source and pick items from it.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a Sony TV, AMP an a Sony Xperia Z1 phone and all link into the NAS (Synology DS112).

    I also forgot to mention I’ve got Itunes hooked up to it for my Ipod, and the wife’s and Daughter’s Iphones. Its great – you rip the music using Itunes and it stores it on the NAS automatically and with the click of a button Sonos picks it up as well – made it super simple.

    Also, I’ve been using Media Monkey for organising my music which is an amazing app – got a little OCD on it and now have all the album artwork so it appears on the Sonos, Xperia and hopefully my new car when it arrives.

    You can also set it up as a print server (however my HP already has a built in print server) and an email server – but I’ve been too lazy to do this yet. I’m impressed with how powerful it is.

    I love the fact you just leave it on and I dont notice it.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Cheers Bushwhacked. It’s slowly becoming clearer!

    It’s gonna be a pretty big overhaul of kit when i finally get round to it. We’ve currently still got a 32″ Sony CRT, which is hooked up to a Humax freeview recorder and then I’ve got a separates stereo system that I’d like to keep a fair chunk of.
    I am not really interested in going down the Sonos route; as good as they are, I prefer something with a bit more substance musically and if I get a big flat screen telly I’d probably run the sound through the stereo rather than getting a sound bar or something.

    We don’t even yet have a Blu-ray player, so it’s gonna be a long shopping list! I think I will do it bit by bit or the cost will probably put me off.

    I am not really interested in going down the Sonos route; as good as they are, I prefer something with a bit more substance musically

    Sonos Connect, DAC, decent amp and speakers streaming lossless from the NAS? As much substance as you want!

    I’ll get my coat but after not being convinced, I’m now a Sonos convert. Works perfectly with my NAS as well as streaming.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    interesting thread. im always considering a nas but am unsure how itd fit in with what ive got and what i want to do.

    ive got a smart tv that isnt wireless, so been looking at little android boxes to control from a phone app.

    i have a squeezebox touch for music stored on laptop, plus 6 music

    i have a hifi amp and speakers that play everything through.

    would a nas only replace my laptop? or would it give me more?

    my squeezebox often drops and can be a pain to get going again, so if i can bypass it (with either a nas or android box) id sell it on.

    my goals are playing music, vids and internet/dab radio. id also like to play my photos on the tv screen as a slideshow when we’re doing nothing. oh and surfing youtube vids on the tv.

    question is….. would a nas help me here in any way?

    thanks

    mrblobby
    Member

    Your laptop does all that a NAS does and can do a lot more too. However a NAS is usually permanently on and available. Just think of it as another small cut down computer on your network that’s permanently on. If this is a good thing for you then great.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    so its only benefit is as a hard drive, on all the time yep?

    and where do you access the interface? laptop? tv? or both? can you get a phone app to access media and play through the speakers? or do you need to do it via laptop anyway?

    thanks

    mrblobby
    Member

    You can run services on the NAS, much like on a PC. You typically set these up via a web interface. They usually provide a media server service (usually twonky on most NAS) that allow you to stream media directly from the NAS. You then need a client on whatever device you want to play the music. This then can connect to the media server and play tunes, movies etc. Loads of media player client apps available on all sorts of devices.

    so its only benefit is as a hard drive, on all the time yep?

    It’s just a small computer, typically with a lot of storage, that’s on all the time. That you then typically control and manage via a web interface.

    Milkie
    Member

    There are cheaper alternatives to SONOS. I currently use Raspberry Pi’s running PiCorePlayer which is basically squeezebox players. Synced music around the house using the amps/speakers (HDMI or audio jack or HiFiBerry) that are in the rooms already. It can also do internet radio and other musical things. Server runs Logitech Media Server for this.

    SlideShow: I use an Apple TV and have it connected to the iTunes Server on the HP Microserver via HomeSharing. Which means you can have an unlimited number of slideshow photos rather than the limit of 80 via PhotoStream

    Most NAS’s have a DLNA Server, so you need a DLNA client to access it. Most smart TV’s have DLNA clients, you can download apps for your phone to access it too. Alot of Audio Amps now have DLNA clients and Airplay too.

    stumpy01
    Member

    gravity-slave – Member

    Sonos Connect, DAC, decent amp and speakers streaming lossless from the NAS? As much substance as you want!

    Ah. Didn’t realise that Sonos did a device that wasn’t ‘speaker in a box’ type affair. Will have to investigate this further.
    Presumably the DAC would only be required if using the digital outs on the Sonos? I could just plug the Sonos Connect straight into my amp using the analogue outs and not bother with the DAC?

    I only intend on getting this going in the living room, but I suppose with the Sonos I could add a speaker upstairs at a later date, whereas with a different music player (Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6, for example) it wouldn’t be expandable.

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