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X_841

Best Mac based Home Server Solution

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi all,

My goal is to achieve something like the following:

- a Storage Solution for my Videos/Pictures/... (approximately 10-15TB, preferrably backed up/mirrored like a RAID 1), accessible in the local network

- a backup solution for my Mac devices in the local network, preferably using Time Machine

 

Currently/I used to have a MacMini from 2014 as a "server", which was accessible through the local network. I had a couple of different hard drives connected to it (2xLaCie Raid Systems with each 2 HDD slots over Thunderbolt 2) and other hard drives via USB. Performance is inconsistent, in general ok. Connecting to the server usually works through the finder GUI, sometimes I have to use cmd+k to connect to a server with smb/afp/vnc since the macMini does not always show up in finder. vnc was the most stable option of the three.

 

I currently have about 18TB of hard drive capacity available, consisting of 7 different hard drives with mostly different sizes.

 

What would you do, if your budget is limited?

 

I have done some "research"/looked into different options:

First though, I should probably wipe the MacMini and reinstall OS X and also get rid of OS X Server. Then...

 

1. Just keep connecting different hard drives in different enclosures; use some hard drives for backing up the computers, and split the rest into the mirrored storage - probably the cheapest

2. Buy something like an 8-bay hard drive enclosure to have the hard drives organized, but still use them as a single drives; some for backing up the computers, the rest split into the mirrored storage

3. Use our FritzBox 7590 as a NAS 

4. Buy a NAS

5. Build a completely new server like Linus - most expensive

 

Option 3 and up are something I have never really done and would need some time to set up, but I'd say I could do it.

Option 5 though will probably not really work with Macs - or will it?

 

I am actually quite lost and unsure which route to pursue. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

1. Just keep connecting different hard drives in different enclosures; use some hard drives for backing up the computers, and split the rest into the mirrored storage - probably the cheapest

Probably the cheapest. yes, but data management is a nightmare this way, and you'll run out of connectors at some point. The setup needs to be simplified.

4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

2. Buy something like an 8-bay hard drive enclosure to have the hard drives organized, but still use them as a single drives; some for backing up the computers, the rest split into the mirrored storage

This is already a much cleaner solution, certainly preferable to option 1. You can put the enclosure somewhere safe and add a 2nd one if need arises, although I'd recommend just upgrading to bigger drives when it gets full.

4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

3. Use our FritzBox 7590 as a NAS 

Not recommended. Routers have insufficient CPU horsepower to consistently serve files at consistent speeds. The web interface of FritzNAS isn't that great either.

4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

4. Buy a NAS

Probably the best solution, but decent name brand NAS appliances cost money, especially if you want to go beyond 4 drive bays. A Synology DS420j is an affordable high quality unit and will happily do Time Machine backups and such, but you'll need to invest in 4 big drives to replace the existing spaghetti you have now.

4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

5. Build a completely new server like Linus - most expensive

Wouldn't go this route necessarily. You'll need a motherboard. CPU, RAM, HBA with sufficient channels, possibly a SAS expander, network cards and a ton of cables and a beefy PSU. And for what? Just to serve files. A NAS is more power efficient and more purpose-built.

4 minutes ago, X_841 said:

 

Option 3 and up are something I have never really done and would need some time to set up, but I'd say I could do it.

Option 5 though will probably not really work with Macs - or will it?

 

I am actually quite lost and unsure which route to pursue. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Thanks.

5 will work fine with Macs, as Windows and Linux can both serve files over the SMB protocol, which Macs support. AFP is the way of the past, even on Apple hardware nowadays :)


PC Specs - AMD Ryzen 5 3600X MSI B450M Mortar Max 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 @ CL15 - RX5700XT 660p 1TBGB & 256GB 600p Fractal Define Mini C CM V550 - Pop!_OS 20.04

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1 hour ago, X_841 said:

Hi all,

My goal is to achieve something like the following:

- a Storage Solution for my Videos/Pictures/... (approximately 10-15TB, preferrably backed up/mirrored like a RAID 1), accessible in the local network

- a backup solution for my Mac devices in the local network, preferably using Time Machine

 

Currently/I used to have a MacMini from 2014 as a "server", which was accessible through the local network. I had a couple of different hard drives connected to it (2xLaCie Raid Systems with each 2 HDD slots over Thunderbolt 2) and other hard drives via USB. Performance is inconsistent, in general ok. Connecting to the server usually works through the finder GUI, sometimes I have to use cmd+k to connect to a server with smb/afp/vnc since the macMini does not always show up in finder. vnc was the most stable option of the three.

 

I currently have about 18TB of hard drive capacity available, consisting of 7 different hard drives with mostly different sizes.

 

What would you do, if your budget is limited?

 

I have done some "research"/looked into different options:

First though, I should probably wipe the MacMini and reinstall OS X and also get rid of OS X Server. Then...

 

1. Just keep connecting different hard drives in different enclosures; use some hard drives for backing up the computers, and split the rest into the mirrored storage - probably the cheapest

2. Buy something like an 8-bay hard drive enclosure to have the hard drives organized, but still use them as a single drives; some for backing up the computers, the rest split into the mirrored storage

3. Use our FritzBox 7590 as a NAS 

4. Buy a NAS

5. Build a completely new server like Linus - most expensive

 

Option 3 and up are something I have never really done and would need some time to set up, but I'd say I could do it.

Option 5 though will probably not really work with Macs - or will it?

 

I am actually quite lost and unsure which route to pursue. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts. Thanks.

Just make a cheap intel atom based NAS. I have made one years ago to serve my Android Kodi box movies. Works great

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you for your answers.

@NelizMastr this is basically what I was guessing, but I am glad you confirm this.

Therefore I will most likely "only" buy the mentioned 8HDD enclosure for now and maybe later on upgrade to a NAS.

 

8 hours ago, Biomecanoid said:

Just make a cheap intel atom based NAS. I have made one years ago to serve my Android Kodi box movies. Works great

I am not exactly sure what the difference between a NAS and my option 5 ("Server") really is. A NAS also needs a CPU, RAM,..., and then I would agree with @NelizMastr that this may be too much for now.

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39 minutes ago, X_841 said:

Thank you for your answers.

@NelizMastr this is basically what I was guessing, but I am glad you confirm this.

Therefore I will most likely "only" buy the mentioned 8HDD enclosure for now and maybe later on upgrade to a NAS.

 

I am not exactly sure what the difference between a NAS and my option 5 ("Server") really is. A NAS also needs a CPU, RAM,..., and then I would agree with @NelizMastr that this may be too much for now.

The key word is intel atom. Very low power consumption, cheap , small size and you don't worry leaving it on 24/7

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On 8/6/2020 at 10:26 PM, Biomecanoid said:

The key word is intel atom. Very low power consumption, cheap , small size and you don't worry leaving it on 24/7

You don't worry about power either with a commercial NAS appliance and you actually get support and warranty with it.

With individual components, the system will be unserviceable for weeks at worst, with a commercial device merely days at worst.


PC Specs - AMD Ryzen 5 3600X MSI B450M Mortar Max 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 @ CL15 - RX5700XT 660p 1TBGB & 256GB 600p Fractal Define Mini C CM V550 - Pop!_OS 20.04

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49 minutes ago, NelizMastr said:

You don't worry about power either with a commercial NAS appliance and you actually get support and warranty with it.

With individual components, the system will be unserviceable for weeks at worst, with a commercial device merely days at worst.

Why will the system be unserviceble for weeks.? 

 

Off the self NAS systems use proprietery software and hardware so you can't service it yourself and you have to send it to support. 

 

While if you make the system yourself you can service it on your own with regular pc components.

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On 8/8/2020 at 9:11 PM, Biomecanoid said:

Why will the system be unserviceble for weeks.? 

 

Off the self NAS systems use proprietery software and hardware so you can't service it yourself and you have to send it to support. 

 

While if you make the system yourself you can service it on your own with regular pc components.

Unserivceable for weeks because you have to RMA the component in question and wait for it to come back. If you keep buying a replacement part

every time it breaks, you easily exceed the cost of a purpose-built appliance.

 

And often, if you're a business, you don't have to send the defective unit away immediately. You can often get a replacement/loaner unit or, in case of real server hardware, get someone on-site to repair it for you.


PC Specs - AMD Ryzen 5 3600X MSI B450M Mortar Max 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 @ CL15 - RX5700XT 660p 1TBGB & 256GB 600p Fractal Define Mini C CM V550 - Pop!_OS 20.04

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6 minutes ago, NelizMastr said:

Unserviceable for weeks because you have to RMA the component in question and wait for it to come back. If you keep buying a replacement part

every time it breaks, you easily exceed the cost of a purpose-built appliance. * Parts are under warranty even if you buy them separately 

 

 

And often, if you're a business, you don't have to send the defective unit away immediately. You can often get a replacement/loaner unit or, in case of real server hardware, get someone on-site to repair it for you. * if you build the server yourself you can fix it on your own and you don't need a loaner unit or get someone on-site to repair it for you

 

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3 minutes ago, Biomecanoid said:

 

You're still missing the point. Even if parts are under warranty, your retailer isn't going to personally come to you and swap the hardware. You need to send it in, wait for it to be validated and then wait for the repair/replacement and shipping.

 

But have it your way :) if downtime is not a concern, then by all means build it yourself.


PC Specs - AMD Ryzen 5 3600X MSI B450M Mortar Max 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 @ CL15 - RX5700XT 660p 1TBGB & 256GB 600p Fractal Define Mini C CM V550 - Pop!_OS 20.04

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6 minutes ago, NelizMastr said:

You're still missing the point. Even if parts are under warranty, your retailer isn't going to personally come to you and swap the hardware. You need to send it in, wait for it to be validated and then wait for the repair/replacement and shipping.

 

But have it your way :) if downtime is not a concern, then by all means build it yourself.

If you buy hardware locally you don't send it away by mail. You go to the store where you bought the faulty hardware they test it you get a new one. If its something simple like a stick of RAM or a hard drive you only have to wait a few hours and that if the store is busy at the time.

 

You will have more downtime phoning support, arrange a meeting with the technician or arrange to send the hardware by mail etc.

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17 hours ago, Biomecanoid said:

If you buy hardware locally you don't send it away by mail. You go to the store where you bought the faulty hardware they test it you get a new one. If its something simple like a stick of RAM or a hard drive you only have to wait a few hours and that if the store is busy at the time.

 

You will have more downtime phoning support, arrange a meeting with the technician or arrange to send the hardware by mail etc.

Im not saying to get an enterprise server, but the RMA thing...it depends on your countries consumer guarantee act/rules, and can depend on how they handle RMA. 

In my country Asus for example is distributed by an official supplier. If you have an issue with a product, the Retailer has to send it back to that supplier....so they may not necessarily give you a replacement straight away, as the part needs to be assessed to see if the malfunction is within warranty.

 

I digress. Some of the major NAS software solutions, and the main consumer NAS appliances (QNAP/Synology) have full MAC compatibility, both in the way of network protocols (e.g AFP) as well as for backups (e.g Time Machine shares), so it can be worth considering moving away from Mac OS-X as far as server


Spoiler

Desktop: Ryzen 7 2700x | Aorus X470 Gaming Ultra | EVGA RTX2080 Super | 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200Mhz | Corsair H105 AIO, NZXT Sentry 3 | Corsair SP120's | 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe, 4TB WD Black | Phanteks Enthoo Pro | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | LG 32" 32GK850G Monitor | Ducky Shine 3 Keyboard, Logitech G502, MicroLab Solo 7C Speakers, Razer Goliathus Extended, X360 Controller | Windows 10 Pro | SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headphones

 

Spoiler

Server 1: Fractal Design Define R6 | Ryzen 3950x | ASRock X570 Taichi | EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | Fractal S36 Triple AIO | 10 x 8TB HGST Ultrastar He10 (WD Whitelabel) | 500GB Aorus Gen4 NVMe | 2 x 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe | LSI 9211-8i HBA

 

Server 2: Corsair 400R | IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF | Seasonic Focus Plus 650w PSU | 2 x Xeon X5650's | 48GB DDR3-ECC | Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard | AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 | LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i | RES2SV240 SAS Expander | Samsung 840Evo 120GB | 5 x 8TB Seagate Archives | 10 x 3TB WD Red

 

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