I'm looking for a storage/backup solution with good reliability/performance (of course) for home network use.
Here's what I need to do:
Store music/media files where my partner and I can both access them for playback on our Mac computers.
Store and work on a large and growing library of photos and some movies.
Store and work on original music files using music software (Logic Pro and others).
Have all the data backed up in a reliable secure way.
3TB is plenty of data for starters.
I’ve got a LaCie CloudBox NAS (3TB) and am currently using it to store everything, connected to our wireless router (Netgear n600) by ethernet and accessing it wirelessly from our Macs. I just changed to using an ethernet cable to connect to my iMac to improve performance (still not sure what the limits are with this performance wise).
I've found a few issues with this setup.
- File transfer/access can be slow (transferring large groups of files even crashed my iMac before I used the ethernet cable).
- Logic Pro (Mac music software) doesn't work well when files are on the CloudBox (it's recommended to use a connected external HD - not a NAS or internal HD - to work on music files in Logic).
- The LaCie Cloudbox doesn't have trash - when something is deleted from it, it's gone forever.
- Don’t have a real backup solution yet (aside from an aging firewire Iomega drive I'm using currently, and other externals).
So, I'm thinking I need to get a better solution for our storage/backup going forward.
One thing I considered is to continue to use the LaCie just for the shared music library/playback and get another HD (probably a firewire/thunderbolt external HD) for my photos and music files that I work on.
Of course I want fast performance and need compatibility with Mac OS. And the main thing is reliability, the data is really important to me of course.
I also need a backup solution.
Don't know much about the different types of HD protocols etc. I'm assuming if I use a NAS, I'll be using ethernet (as I am now) but don't know if there are different types/speeds of ethernet connections. If local I would be using Firewire/Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.
If I purchase a new NAS, the BYOD option sounds like the way to go for me, since it’s reliable and expandable. I've done some research already and am looking at the SynologyDS214se (2 bay) as a possibility. Then I would need to select two 3.5" SATA drives to go inside it.
So, I suppose I have a few questions in all:
Should I keep ALL my data on a single NAS (with regular backups)? ( I would then need to have an external firewire drive connected to my iMac, to work on music files, and then save them to the NAS.)
Or should I just use the NAS for shared files (mainly music files playback my partner and I listen to), and keep my photos and original music files (which I work on in Logic pro etc...) on a separate (USB or Firewire/Thunderbolt) HD (also with regular backups).
What do I need to know about file transfer speed? Are there different speeds of ethernet? How does this compare to firewire/Thunderbolt speeds?
Should I back up the data to another HD living at my house, or use some kind of cloud storage, or …? If I bought a multi-drive BYOD RAID NAS, do I still need to back it up elsewhere?
What about Mac compatibility? Is that hard to come by/ more expensive for a BYOD NAS?
OK, so many questions. I’m probably overthinking this, and I do feel in over my head, but really have a lot of data that’s really important to me which I need to be able to access and store reliably, so making good choices now is important. Not sure if the LaCie CloudBox was a good idea (see issues above) but might be able to continue to use it just for music playback.
Please let me know your thoughts or advice. Thanks in advance. Maybe I just need to learn more first, so any suggestions I can read up on would be appreciated. When I start looking at all the different options for storage, I find I don’t understand all the issues at play.