Help: Need a mass storage solution for home record label

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Sean Ohara

New Member
Hello all!

I am currently looking for a mass storage solution to solve the storage issue that my label is currently having.

Currently: We have a Mac mini running a WebDav & Apache server with a 2TB internal Samsung EVO SSD as storage and an 8TB external HDD for onsite backup. We are running low on storage and want to look into getting a better and more reliable solution.

How it is used: We store all of our archived and active projects on this server. We also store all of our business docs and other related files on the server. Locally, I use my Mac Pro workstation to edit projects (Logic Pro X) directly from the server. I currently have 1 gigabit link to the server that works fine, so a 10 gigabit link isn't really necessary as all video projects are stored and edited directly from my Mac Pro.

What we want: A solution that can directly connect to our Mac mini by either Thunderbolt or ethernet that can be mounted as an external or network drive. We do not want to modify our sever structure as we can point our WebDav server to any attached, network or local drive as the storage source. We also want something for the least amount of money possible. Many "home NAS" solutions are too expensive and only host at most 4-6 drives. We would probably only need at the most right now 40-50Tb of usable storage.

I've seen many used storage arrays that can hold a crap ton of 2.5-Inch drives for around $100-$200 (without drives), but I understand that these in themselves need to be connected to a server in order to be configured and function.

What do you guys think would be the best bang for your buck (new or used) solution out there?


Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2010
Cheap is relative.

You can connect disks directly via Thunderbolt but this is not cheap and not an acceptable solution for a 40-50 TB Raid array as OSX is no longer a reliable storage server option in that range.

Cheap would be using USB disks but this is slow and the full contrast to reliable.

What I would do:
- buy an entry level (new or used) server from SuperMicro (my preference), Dell, HP or Lenovo that is capable of holding at least 6 x 3.5" disks + bootdisk (can be a cheap m.2). Disks must be connectable either to Sata/Ahci or SAS/Sata with a pure HBA with an LSI chipset (no raid 5/6 controller).

- or use any case that can hold the same number of disks and add a SuperMicro Mainboard from X11 series with 1151 v2 socket, an i3 and at least 8GB ECC RAM. Add 6 x 12TB disks in a ZFS Z2 config (48TB usable).

Add an OpenSource webmanaged ZFS storage applliance. I prefer Unix/ Solarish based ones due the best of all ZFS integration and the unique and easy to use kernelbased SMB server. For them I offer napp-it for webmanagement, see napp-it // webbased ZFS NAS/SAN appliance for OmniOS, OpenIndiana and Solaris : Manual. The other option would be an appliance based on Free-BSD, another Unix like FreeNAS but without support for newest ZFS features like encryption or special vdevs to improve performance (expected mid/end 2020). You can also use Linux but without the easyness of the former options. ZFS is also available on OSX but like ZFS on Linux, this is more a CLI adventure game.

You can use such a ZFS storage appliance via SMB, NFS or FC/iSCSI.
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