PDA

View Full Version : Ready NAS NV vs. Terastation Pro vs. Terastation vs. ??? (Storage Solution)



AndreasG
2006-04-16, 00:12
Hi Everybody,

With a music library of 600GB that is still growing, I finally made my decision to go for a dedicated RAID5/NAS solution to store my files. I find that handling all those external harddrives is just too much clutter, and the RAID5 configuration will give some protection against hardware failure.

(I know that a a RAID does not protect against data loss due to human failure, so there will be an additional backup, but I still think that the additional safety of a RAID makes sense)

So here are my requirements for the NAS storage solution:
- at least 4 discs, RAID5 configuration
- works with Mac and PC
- does not have to be absolutely silent, but quiet would be welcome
- I don't plan to run SlimServer on the NAS, it will just be used for storage
- use of SATA discs would be welcome for future upgrades

My options:
1. Infrant Ready NAS NV: 688 Euro empty + 320 Euro for 4x250GB or 400 Euro for 4x300GB (total price 1088 Euro for 4x300GB config)
2. Buffalo Terastation Pro: 849 Euro with 4x250GB, not available empty (???)
3. Buffalo Terastation 739 Euro with 4x250GB (P-ATA only!)
4. ??? please recommend other options ???

My thoughts:
- The Ready NAS NV looks great and has received a lot of praise here. It is more expensive than the Terastation Pro but can be bought empty, so I could use a 4x300GB configuration. Is it worth the extra money, even if I don't plan to run SlimServer on it?
- The Terastation Pro is cheaper and seems to have all the features I need. Mac OS X is not officialy supported -- will it work with my Macs? It is not available empty, this means I would have to use the 4x250 configuration (I would like to have 4x300 if possible)
- The "normal" Terastaion seems really reasonably priced at 739 Euro for 4x250... However it only uses PATA harddisks (not SATA). How sure can I be that PATA harddisks will still be as cheap as now in 3 years (the problem with a dying technology is that the price drops stops and eventually things can become more expensive again as they get rarer... I plan to use this thing for a few years...).

Any advice or recommendations would be very welcome...

Andreas

mherger
2006-04-16, 00:30
> 1. Infrant Ready NAS NV: 688 Euro empty + 320 Euro for 4x250GB or 400
> Euro for 4x300GB (total price 1088 Euro for 4x300GB config)
> 2. Buffalo Terastation Pro: 849 Euro with 4x250GB, not available empty
> (???)
> 3. Buffalo Terastation 739 Euro with 4x250GB (P-ATA only!)
> 4. ??? please recommend other options ???

AFAIK the performance of the Terastations "gigabit" connection isn't much
better than a good 100Mb (~ 10MB/s). OTOH I've seen results of up to
25MB/s for the ReadyNAS. This might be worth the price difference.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

AndreasG
2006-04-16, 00:45
...thanks for your reply Michael.

Yet another question out of curiosity: Is there any way to make such a thing wireless? I know this is not practical for all uses (i.e. transferring large amounts of data), but if you only want/need music playback, wireless bandwith should be sufficient.

Is it possible to connect something like an Airport Express to the NAS and then connect to it wirelessly?

Andreas

mherger
2006-04-16, 00:52
> Yet another question out of curiosity: Is there any way to make such a
> thing wireless?

You'd need a wireless bridge (eg. a SB2/3 ;-)), often sold as "Game
adapter", or an access point which you can put in bridging mode.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

AndreasG
2006-04-16, 01:31
thanks again. I just read on the Infrant / ReadyNAS homepage:



Wireless ready.
Because an ReadyNAS solution can be typically smaller and more portable than comparable NAS, you may have a tendency to take it with you to show off your new collection of games, music, pictures, or videos. Why carry a cable with you and be restricted to putting the ReadyNAS close to a switch, away from the action? Carry a USB wireless controller and cut the cord, because with RAIDiator, the ReadyNAS can be wireless.


Sounds interesting.

Andreas

Robin Bowes
2006-04-17, 05:16
AndreasG wrote:
> Hi Everybody,
>
> With a music library of 600GB that is still growing, I finally made my
> decision to go for a dedicated RAID5/NAS solution to store my files. I
> find that handling all those external harddrives is just too much
> clutter, and the RAID5 configuration will give some protection against
> hardware failure.
>
> (I know that a a RAID does not protect against data loss due to human
> failure, so there will be an additional backup, but I still think that
> the additional safety of a RAID makes sense)
>
> So here are my requirements for the NAS storage solution:
> - at least 4 discs, RAID5 configuration
> - works with Mac and PC
> - does not have to be absolutely silent, but quiet would be welcome
> - I don't plan to run SlimServer on the NAS, it will just be used for
> storage
> - use of SATA discs would be welcome for future upgrades
>
> My options:
> 1. Infrant Ready NAS NV: 688 Euro empty + 320 Euro for 4x250GB or 400
> Euro for 4x300GB (total price 1088 Euro for 4x300GB config)
> 2. Buffalo Terastation Pro: 849 Euro with 4x250GB, not available empty
> (???)
> 3. Buffalo Terastation 739 Euro with 4x250GB (P-ATA only!)
> 4. ??? please recommend other options ???

If you're anything like technically capable then I would suggest buying
a good quality large case capable of holding several drives either
internally or using 4:3 trays mounted in the 5.25" slots and to build
your own server. This is the most cost-effective way of doing things.

I picked up an "old" dual 1GHz PIII machine from ebay (in a Coolermaster
case) and loaded it with 6x250GB SATA drives. I'm running linux (Fedora
Core 4) and have the drives configured in RAID5 with a hot spare. If I
was doing this again I'd use RAID6.

In the end, it's a trade off - cost vs. time invested. If you buy and
off-the-shelf NAS solution, it will likely be more expensive but you
will not have to spend much time getting it working. With a custom
solution, it will be cheaper but you'll have to spend time
building/configuring it.

HTH,

R.

egd
2006-04-17, 07:31
In the end, it's a trade off - cost vs. time invested. If you buy and off-the-shelf NAS solution, it will likely be more expensive but you will not have to spend much time getting it working. With a custom solution, it will be cheaper but you'll have to spend time
building/configuring it.

I've purchased two NV's and I can tell you they're definitely not plug and play nor trouble free. If I had to do it again I would definitely opt for an old PC with a RAID controller and a few hard drives rather than spend weeks troubleshooting what should be a plug-and-play device. The PC is likely a cheaper option too and you will get substantially better performance. A key issue with the ReadyNAS products is slow throughput even across gigabit ethernet. I'm still trying to solve my throughput issues:7-8kB/sec whereas the same PCs do a server to server copy at close to 6x faster than that. Infrant support is assisting, however, if you're thinking user error I'm definitely not the only one experiencing these and a host of other issues. Look carefully at the ReadyNAS forum posts before deciding on a course of action.

fuzzyT
2006-04-17, 08:29
I've had a good experience with the ReadyNAS NV. Gives good performance
over GigE. Setup was straightforward. Good feature set.

I did have some networking issues on first setup, but it turned out to
be a problem with my router handling the 'burstiness' of the NAS
traffic. Solution actually turned out to be getting better power to the
router.

I was a bit torn between that and the DIY small box solution. I would
have liked to have the extra horsepower to give the option of running a
better performing SlimServer on the storage box. In the end, I went for
the ease of setup and am happy. I know I would have spent a good deal
of time getting the DIY box configured.

One option you might consider is going with a 3x400GB drive config.
Price should be similar. At the cost of a bit of storage today you'll
get room to grow and one less drive device to fail.

--rt

AndreasG
2006-04-17, 08:43
Hi again,

thanks for all your answers. I did think about DIY, too, but at the moment I have very little free time, so I decided not to go that way... Hearing about the problems of the ReadyNAS gives now me some doubt again. The whole point of buying the ReadyNAS would be to save some trouble and not having to spend time configuring it...

Andreas

P.S.: Can anybody say anything about the Terastation Pro?

AndreasG
2006-04-17, 09:19
...I just realised that the prices listed for the ReadyNAS NV at the German distributor's site are without VAT. So this means that the empty unit costs 800 Euros, not 688. Ouch...

What makes the huge price difference between the Terastation Pro and the ReadyNAS NV?

Andreas

Jetlag
2006-04-17, 09:35
You may want to spend some time reading the posts on the Bufallo forum vs. the Infrant forum. Quite a difference and it is what made me choose first the X6, then follow that up with an NV. I have had 0 issues with my units.

My NV has been "up" for over 4 weeks, running SS non-stop. I do not know how to write Linux, so home-grown was not an option and I've never had my PC up for 4 weeks without a reboot (even if it is just for a security patch re-boot).

My neighbor and good friend also has an NV, and his has also been trouble-free. He is running 4x500, and my HDDs are 4x300.

YMMV

poyntzj
2006-04-17, 09:56
I have a 1GB Terastation connected to a SlimServer on an old EPIA Eden based machine. I want the later as I use AlienBBC an awful lot.
The Terastation has been fine for me so far, speed is more than adequate. - it can happily stream to Slim server, Twonky server (for a netgear MP101) and video to a machine with no dropouts.

The Pro looks better in a couple of respects - 1 it is easier to swap disks - they are caddy's whereas the non pro is a complete dismantle.
The Pro also works with ADS whereas the non pro does not.
Mac connectivity is fine as it is a standard SMB connection..

I do backup my data onto an external USB HDD. I have seen a massive difference in performance in backing up between choosing EXT3 and FAT. You can read the former natively under OSX, but under windows you will need an additional driver.

fuzzyT
2006-04-17, 10:02
Please don't misinterpret my post. Installation and configuration was a
breeze. And performance is good. This is a very slick product.

It /is/ technology. There is a lot to potentially go wrong, and it has
to get along with other gear. Most of the support threads on the
Infrant forums show good interactions with the company and have happy
endings. In most cases, the fault and the fix seem to be with
associated equipment. In my case, it was the router's fault. Or more
accurately, the router's wall wart's fault. Others have had issues with
bad cabling, NICs, NIC drivers, etc. Just the nature of the beast. For
most users, I'm guessing this is their first foray into GigE.

I give Infrant credit for corralling a host of potential issues and
putting out a highly usable device. And since finishing my setup and
writing some robocopy scripts I've not had a single issue.

--rt

AndreasG
2006-04-17, 10:21
You may want to spend some time reading the posts on the Bufallo forum vs. the Infrant forum. Quite a difference and it is what made me choose first the X6, then follow that up with an NV. I have had 0 issues with my units.

My NV has been "up" for over 4 weeks, running SS non-stop. I do not know how to write Linux, so home-grown was not an option and I've never had my PC up for 4 weeks without a reboot (even if it is just for a security patch re-boot).


well, for all that reasons I was almost decided to buy a ReadyNAS NV. That was when I still thought it would cost 688 Euros, which is already a lot. Now I found out that this price was without VAT and the only German distributor sells it for 800 Euros (which is around 1000 Dollars!!!). That is empty, no HDs included. These prices are just insane, I am definitely not going to pay that... Maybe I will have to go the DIY way after all... Pricing in Germany has already been a topic in the Infrant forum. If I knew anyone in the US who could buy one for me, I would definitely take that option....

Can anybody give more information/experiences about the Terastation Pro? I heard about a Mac OS X filename issue (15 characters limitation) with the old Terastation. Has this been fixed? What other alternatives do I have?

Thanks again, Andreas

JJZolx
2006-04-17, 10:29
I've had a ReadyNAS 600 that I bought without drives last August. I populated it with four 320GB Western Digital WD3200JD drives, giving me about 872 GB of RAID5 storage. After some initial strife getting the drives installed and set up the way I wanted (mostly my own fault) and one failed drive in the first month, the thing has run pretty much flawlessly.

I tried running Slim Server on it, but wasn't impressed with the performance, so canned that idea. I also tried using their included backup software, but ran into issues, so switched to using NTBackup and now back up PCs on my network that way. At this point I use the NAS for absolutely nothing but storage and have all of the included software services disabled. Performance isn't mindd-boggling, but it's adequate. Adding a 1000 Gbps switch to my home network helped a lot, plus I've found the performance of the PC doing the reading or writing to the NAS plays a large factor.

To give you an idea of up time, my NAS has been shut down exactly _once_ in the last six months, when I upgraded its firmware in March. Looking at the logs, it ran continuously from 20-Oct-2005 to 16-Mar-2006. Almost five months without so much as a hiccup.

I think you could successfully use it wirelessly with a USB wireless adapter, but I'd have two large reservations about doing this:

1) Troubleshooting Slim Server problems, particularly wireless issues if you use your SB wirelessly, will be compounded by having your storage connected wirelessly.

2) Library scanning will take a performance hit. While I think the wireless storage connection will be more than adequate to keep a few Squeezeboxes fed a music stream, the scanning will be slow. If you only scan occasionally, this may not be an issue, but if you're like me and constantly adding new music, you'll want to scan fairly often and may not like waiting.

HST
2006-06-25, 13:12
1. Storage
I have just installed my 1TB TeraStation and copied my MP3. Hours later ... I wanted SlimServer to search the new mapped network drive (X:\Music) but SlimServer tells me "Ups ... not valid. Try again."

What am I doing wrong? (Any Ideas or Links, please.)

2. SlimServer on NAS?
Can I avoid keeping my PC on all the time?

Thanks

JJZolx
2006-06-25, 17:44
1. Storage
I have just installed my 1TB TeraStation and copied my MP3. Hours later ... I wanted SlimServer to search the new mapped network drive (X:\Music) but SlimServer tells me "Ups ... not valid. Try again."

What am I doing wrong? (Any Ideas or Links, please.)
Use a UNC style path instead of a mapped drive letter. When the service starts up, it won't know the mapped drives that you've set up for yourself. A UNC share name looks like:

\\MachineName\ShareName\folder\...

The \folder\... part isn't needed if your library is in the root directory of the share.

dannyd
2006-08-01, 03:17
Some interesting information above. I'm wondering how quiet the Ready Nas NV actually is. I'm considering getting one and putting it in my living room. How many fans does it have and are they noisy? Is it comparable to having a pc on? Is it as quiet as an Apple mac mini ? Thanks in advance.