The last couple of months I have been preparing for a return to hobby music production after a long hiatus. I have realised that my computer will not have enough storage space for my coming sample library, so I need to look at external storage solutions.
I basically have two options:
- Store the samples on a Gigabit Ethernet-connected Synology DS415+ NAS that's already on my network. I could potentially make use of double LAN ports if I purchase an extra Network switch, since all Ethernet ports on my router are already occupied.
- Purchase an external drive with either SSD or Thunderbolt (but probably not both – that would be too expensive). I am using an iMac from mid-2011 with Thunderbolt 1 and USB 2, but may upgrade to a new Retina iMac within 1-2 years, and not sure if now is a good time to invest in Thunderbolt 2 technology in an external drive.
Which one of these alternatives would be advisable from both a technologically functional and cost-benefit purchase recommendation standpoint?
- Does it make sense to store relatively large sample libraries on a remote location on the network for use in a DAW, or will it become a waiting-game headache?
- In case network transfer is too slow to work with, would it be smarter to get a network switch to enable double LAN ports instead of getting an external drive? But then again, my computer has only one Ethernet port, so I guess that would be the bottleneck.
- What's the wisest technology to prioritise from a cost-benefit perspective: External SSD with USB 2 or External HDD with Thunderbolt 1 connection (both due to my computer's limitations).
- Given the above point, what's most future-proof given that I may upgrade my computer to USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 3 within 1-2 years?
- Storage requirement: I need at least 0.5 – 1 TB.
- Budget: Preferably less than $300 USD.