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DIY server/NAS for apple time machine.

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Ive set up Kodi on the NAS as a UpNp (Universal Plug & Play Server) so i can watch my movies and music on my Zgemma box and on my Raspberry Pi. Components I've used are, H97N-D3H , Core i3 4360, 8GB DDR3 Crucial 1600Mhz, Intel 82576 2 Port Ethernet Card its a HP Ethernet card which works perfect. 3x 3TB NAS Drives. Im using the Server App which can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. If you're only using a hack as a Time Machine back up machine then you wont need the Server App. Only using the Server App as i needed more services such as the VPN, FTTP service.
I see, thanks!
 

pastrychef

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I built a NAS that runs the Synology DSM. I compared many different NAS operating systems and the Synology DSM seemed the best to me. The features that attracted me:
  1. Easy to use.
  2. Allows for mixing of different drive brands and sizes.
  3. Allows for dynamic expansion of capacity by swapping out smaller drives for larger ones.
  4. Can run add-on apps such as Plex server.
  5. Supports 10GbE.
  6. Supports AFP.
  7. Supports Time Machine.
My NAS was built using the following components:
  1. ASRock Rack > C2550D4I
  2. SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION:DS380
  3. SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION:ST30SF
  4. 8x Seagate 8TB Archive drives
  5. (Optional) Mellanox ConnectX-2 10GbE card
I ended up with:
  1. A NAS that has been running 24/7.
  2. Fairly power efficient with a CPU that has a TDP of 14W.
  3. All hard drives in hot swap bays.
  4. Runs Plex server to stream content to my Apple TV 4, iPads, and iPhones flawlessly.
  5. Has dual disk redundancy.
  6. Gives me 800MB/s reads and 300MB/s writes over 10GbE (this can be much, much faster with the use of faster drives.)
  7. Supports Time Machine.
The software used and directions can be found at: XPEnology NAS • View forum - XPEnology General discussion

I am still on Synology DSM version 5.2-5967. The most current version from Synology is version 6.0.x. This is fine for me since DSM 5.x does everything I need and runs absolutely flawlessly. The way it works is very similar to how hackintoshes work. A boot loader is used to fool the software in to thinking that it is being installed on to Synology hardware.

The total cost of my build (not including drives and 10GbE) was about $430. The specs of my build are extremely close to the Synology DS1815+ which normally retails for over $800.
 
Last edited:

wildwillow

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I too like the Synology DSM. I've been using a Synology DiskStation DS212J with 4TB Seagate drives (2x2) for quite some time. So simple to use/set up to access the content anywhere. @pastrychef what bootloader do you use to run the DSM?
 

pastrychef

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I use the XPEnoboot boot loader. Links to it can be found at: XPEnology NAS • View topic - XPEnoboot 5.2-5967.1 (17/07/2016)

One of the great things about XPE is that you can run it as a virtual machine to test it out if you want. Some people even run it as a VM full time.

Just as how it is in hackintoshing, if you choose compatible components, the installation process can be extremely easy and will run perfectly. Fortunately, XPE does come included with support for a very wide range of hardware.

Prior to taking the plunge to purchase hardware for my build, I tested XPE on an old Intel SS-4200 NAS that I bought from Ebay for $75. I had the Synology DSM up and running within an hour and had the four drives set up as SHR1. It's a great system for people with basic NAS needs. The down sides are (1) it's not as power efficient as newer equipment and (2) the stock CPU is not powerful enough to transcode videos in Plex efficiently, otherwise, it's great. These can still be found on Ebay for about $100 or less.

It was my success with XPE that lead me to taking another look at hackintoshing. lol
 

wildwillow

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Thanks for the link and info. I'm getting pretty tight on space and could do with another or replacement NAS, either way the drives are the added cost whether I build or buy another. It looks and sound like a great little project. I've got a
GA-H77N-Wi-FI ITX board with an i3-3225 that would be perfect to change into a NAS. Thanks again.
 

WonkeyDonkey

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Seems like another good option for building a custom NAS :)

I was aware of XPEnology but haven't given it a lot of attention. I'm curious about a couple of things though, which were important when I built my NAS :

1. Can you run full fat desktop versions of apps you choose ? I'm particularly thinking about PostgreSQL here, since I run this but with PostGIS, pgRouting add-ins, as I develop tools for spatial intelligence and mapping systems. I also rely heavily on my collection of VM's, which I currently do with Virtualbox.

2. Can your storage volumes be mapped directly to the OSX desktop as shared drives/connected servers ?

3. Do you have any wireless cards up and running ?

I did have a couple of small Synology units in the past, both dual drive units. What annoyed me about them at the time was that they were rather noisy with no fan control, and took an inordinate amount of time to boot up and the services being made available. It all felt quite sluggish overall. When I say in the past, it was quite a few years back; when 256mb ram was the norm, and quite old arm chips that would probably have done better being used in a kitchen appliance.
 

pastrychef

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1. I've never personally done it, but apparently PostgreSQL is possible... Running postgres on synology box - Synology Forum

2. Yes, the Synology DSM supports iSCSI so you can share it that way if you like.

3. No, my NAS is on 1GbE and 10GbE only.

I've only read about the performance issues of Arm based Synology NASes and have never seen it first hand... With XPE, you can construct a system as powerful as you need. On their forum, there are users who are running powerful Xeons. I chose the Avoton C2550 for its low TDP and it's ability to transcode in Plex effectively.
 

WonkeyDonkey

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1. I've never personally done it, but apparently PostgreSQL is possible... Running postgres on synology box - Synology Forum

2. Yes, the Synology DSM supports iSCSI so you can share it that way if you like.

3. No, my NAS is on 1GbE and 10GbE only.

I've only read about the performance issues of Arm based Synology NASes and have never seen it first hand... With XPE, you can construct a system as powerful as you need. On their forum, there are users who are running powerful Xeons. I chose the Avoton C2550 for its low TDP and it's ability to transcode in Plex effectively.
Thanks for the info.
 
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I built a NAS that runs the Synology DSM. I compared many different NAS operating systems and the Synology DSM seemed the best to me. The features that attracted me:
  1. Easy to use.
  2. Allows for mixing of different drive brands and sizes.
  3. Allows for dynamic expansion of capacity by swapping out smaller drives for larger ones.
  4. Can run add-on apps such as Plex server.
  5. Supports 10GbE.
  6. Supports AFP.
  7. Supports Time Machine.
My NAS was built using the following components:
  1. ASRock Rack > C2550D4I
  2. SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION:DS380
  3. SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.INTRODUCTION:ST30SF
  4. 8x Seagate 8TB Archive drives
  5. (Optional) Mellanox ConnectX-2 10GbE card
...

I am still on Synology DSM version 5.2-5967. The most current version from Synology is version 6.0.x. This is fine for me since DSM 5.x does everything I need and runs absolutely flawlessly. The way it works is very similar to how hackintoshes work. A boot loader is used to fool the software in to thinking that it is being installed on to Synology hardware.
Pastrychef, I'm thinking about a similar system (but lots less disk space -- lol) for when I move to a large house where there'll be 3 other family members with desktops and laptops, etc. A NAS would be great for us to share. Your configuration looks great but I've been reading about a bug in the BMC (whatever that is!) that was killing a lot of Atom CPU systems. Have you had any problems since the date of your posts? Have you changed anything?
 
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