Network Attached Storage Stories April 14, 2015

Synology debuts economical 5-bay DiskStation DS1515 & compact RackStation RS815 NAS solutions

Synology today unveiled two new multi-bay network-attached storage (NAS) solutions: the $649 DiskStation DS1515 and the $599 RackStation RS815. Both models take advantage of Synology’s excellent DiskStation Manager 5.1 system for managing “remote access, scalability, unparalleled reliability, cross-platform file sharing, and 24/7 security solutions.”

Synology’s OS and hardware make great NAS systems for Apple and cross platform homes/businesses because they not only make huge Time Machine backups a snap, but they also provide apps for streaming media and other files to iOS, Apple TV, Android, PC and just about every platform.

Network Attached Storage Stories June 21, 2012

Drobo announces 5D and Mini Thunderbolt/USB3 Storage devices with mSATA built-in

I’m not going to lie: I’ve heard enough Drobo horror stories to steer clear of its products for a while now. However, it seems to be doing well with its “Bring your own storage” model, and the products are rated well on Amazon, so the company must be doing something right. Today, Drobo announced a new Thunderbolt product, the 5D, with some serious specs:

Drobo 5D is equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Connect up to six Thunderbolt devices and/or a non-Thunderbolt monitor at the end of the chain. With six Drobo 5D arrays in a chain, you can have up to 96 TB of usable capacity. And, the bi-directional 10 Gbps performance of Thunderbolt allows all devices in the chain to achieve maximum throughput.

Interestingly, the 5D and Mini have a battery backup to safely shutdown the device and an mSATA add-on that purports to increase performance:

Data-Aware Tiering technology, usually reserved for business-class storage solutions, is also available in this desktop Drobo. It intelligently uses the high-performance flash in SSDs to accelerate performance of the storage array, allowing applications such as Adobe Premiere and Apple Aperture fast access to data. To keep capacity of the Drobo at a maximum, the Drobo Accelerator Bay accepts an industry-standard mSATA SSD, leaving all five 3.5” drives bays available for high-capacity HDDs.

If getting the fastest performance possible is your thing, you can also load up every drive bay with SSDs. Drobo gives you the flexibility to choose.

For my money, I much prefer Network Attached Storage, which admittedly moves at a slower 1Gbps. Drobo offers solutions in this area but I am currently using and loving my Synology Diskstation that resides in my closet instead of my desk. It has not been anything but reliable for months (expect a review soon).

Drobo also announced a Drobo Mini Product that holds four 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs.

Network Attached Storage Stories August 3, 2011

One of the teething problems in Lion is that the operating system does not work well with some third-party network attached storage (NAS) solutions. As we await OS X 10.7.1 update to fix those problems, manufacturers like Western Digital are taking this matter into their own hands. Western Digital, for example, yesterday released a firmware update for the My Book Live series, making it compatible with OS X Lion and Time Machine.

Western Digital uses Netatalk, an open source AFP fileserver. When Apple made changes to AFP function in Lion, it caused major woes as Netatalk had to be updated. According to release notes (PDF document), the software can be downloaded manually or automatically, by accessing the drive via Bonjour or using the WD QuickView app on your Mac.

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Network Attached Storage Stories June 21, 2011

We know Apple charges a premium on storage.  That’s why many people buy RAM and HDD/SSD storage for their Macs from third party retailers, saving lots of money.   With iOS devices, however, Apple is able to keep out third party upgrades because the devices are sealed shut.  That’s why a device with 16GB costs $100 less than a device with 32GB of RAM, which in turn costs $100 less than a device with 64GB of flash storage.  Apple buys Flash for less than anyone else on earth but mere mortals can get storage for a fraction of what Apple charges.

So here’s this Time Capsule thing.

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 $299 for 2TB.  To upgrade to a 3TB drive, you’ll need $200 more.  How absurd is this?  The difference between a 2TB and 3TB drive is like $40.

Not only is this beyond the call of the “Mac Tax” but it is crazy easy to get around.  For an extra $150 (Still $50 less than the 3TB model) you can buy a perfectly good 3TB USB Seagate or Western Digital hard drive from Amazon.  Then just plug it into the back of the 2TB model and you have 5TB of addressable space.    You’ve been able to use USB drives since 2008 as Time Machine backups or Network Attached Storage.

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Of course it is nice to have the drive in a convenient little package with only one plug, but for $200, only getting an extra TB seems a little absurd.   expand full story

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