Synology DS1511+, DroboPro and more

Well, my buddy Scott recommends the NAS from Netgear I think, but when I look at reviews, folks seem to really like the Synology. They have their new DSM 3.2 which is finally Lion compatible so it can emulate a Time Machine. That is very useful for doing restores directly. So just to check, what would it take to build a decent size server. Right now I’m running a Mac Mini with an 8-drive DroboPro and it is finally working all right with a new UPS and all comfy downstairs. It’s been quite stable and with the latest Drobo release, iSCSI finally works so I’m getting back to 40MBps on that drive. (Although with a Mac Mini, it doesn’t have two gigabit ethernet ports, so while the Mac Mini is fast, even on a wide band (e.g., two channel 802.11n), I’m only getting at most 300Mbps over that pipe.
So what to do?

  1. Well, I’m going to try to see if I can create an iSCSI network so that my fast iMac can connect directly to the DroboPro via a virtual LAN that I will create with the gigabit Netgear box I bought. Theoretically, you can have two computers attached to the DroboPro this way and get 1Gbps speeds to the Drobo. I have no idea how it handle contention though.
  2. I’m going to see about a new 5th generation Airport Extreme since it now supports three channels so gets to 450Mbps. I just lost an Airport Express, so this will let me move the current 2nd generation Airport Extreme over to that room so the Tivo finally can connect to the Internet.
  3. Then get this Synology 1511+ box with a bunch of 3TB (need to decide between Hitachi, Seagate etc) drives so that I can have a full hot standby for the DroboPro. Right now the DroboPro is backed up partially across three old Time Capsules (not an ideal solution) and CrashPlan (a better thing) and some files are on the iMac. If I do this this will give full mirror on the DroboPro, the Synology and in the Crashplan cloud 🙂
  4. Try the new HD HomeRun Prime box which takes cable out and puts it on the internal ethernet for any iPad, iPhone or Windows Media box to see (thanks to DRM issues, no native mac solution yet). But this would long term mean I coudl get rid fo the $100/year Tivo boxes that are my DVRs right now.
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