Now that the drive shortage is hopefully ending and you can actually get 4tb drives, it's time to look again for a look at what NAS to get to be a hot backup for all my pictures, music and movies. Right now I have a 12tb drobo pro attached to a Mac mini. It works decently well. The main problem has been a hardware failure because the drobo glitches when it wasn't attached to a ups and the Mac mini seems to need a reboot every day or as the bonjour Thingy seems to break down and the server can't be found. This is with Mac os lion client so some sort of strange bug I've noticed with all my macs.
In any case, there are true NAS boxes that would be a good online system and then the drobo can be the hot backup to augment my offline crashplan true disaster.
With so many pictures and home movies chewing up capacity at 20MB a picture for raw shooting and 1080p movies, I really need more capacity.
So what Are the choices....
- Synology 1812+. This is the 8 bay update to the well regarded 1511+ with improved processor and USB 3 support. At $1000, it looks like a real winner with 4tb drive support and the new 4.0 management software that seems to do it all. Support afs most importantly but there is also a cloud backup solution as well. Performance should be pretty good and similar to the 1512+. Right now it is about $1100 delivered
- QNAP TS-659 Pro II. Is the comparable unit but there some system bugs that causes data corruption problems.
The big issue of course is the choice of drives since so many have failed for me over the years. Lots of debate here between enterprise drives and desktop and how. Long the warranty is and of course 4tb vs 3tb. The 4tb drives are just coming out at a big premium. Right now pricing is $120 for 2TB and $170 for 3TB so it is about $60/TB but 4TB drives are more like $300, so 3TB looks like the sweet spot.
Also there is some sort of issue with TLER which is how error reporting works and you need an enterprise drive (expensive!) to work properly.
But here is a run down, the long and short is that the energy is now in SSDs so everyone is selling their divisions that make hard drives and with the Thai flooding prices are up 30% or more and won't drop for a year! But the Synology forum basically says if you don't need 24/7 hammering and your drive array will be sleeping than a good drive like the Seagate ST3000DM001 is a good tradeoff.
- Samsung. They just sold their drive division to Seagate
- Seagate ST3000DM001. They have a 1TB per platter design at 7200rpm. The sweetspot looks like their 3TB model as the 4TB is pretty expensive. They only have a 2-year warranty though and they are $170. Newegg offers a third party extension to three years (good luck collecting on that!). They've exited the so called green market, so only sell high and very high performance drives. They have a decent 4/5 stars on Newegg.
- Western Digital.