I don’t have a home server/lab/NAS yet, but I’m in the process of looking at all the options: Synology with DSM, DIY with Ubuntu Server, TerraMaster with Ubuntu Server etc. Since I’m living in Apple’s ecosystem, one of the options is a Mac Mini used as a server/NAS with Thunderbolt 10GbE SFP+ and a Thunderbolt DAS as storage for the server, e.g. an OWC ThunderBay Flex 8.
Thing is that I also want to use the server both as destination and source for audio production, e.g. recording audio directly from the client digital audio workstation (DAW) to the server, and definitely loading/streaming hundreds of GB of music & sound libraries and recorded audio files into the client DAW, i.e. using the server for active projects, not just for project backups.
What I could gather so far: SMB is not a good option for this; some audio plugins don’t even accept server storage for their libraries. Apple’s Logic Pro itself allegedly doesn’t work well with SMB mounts either. NFS is buggy on macOS; just look at Marcel Bresink’s notes here: NFS Manager: Notes
So imho iSCSI would be the way to go. On the client Mac hosting the DAW, you could easily connect to & mount iSCSI targets, e.g. with a software like this one: Xtend SAN | iSCSI Initiator for Mac® | ATTO
However, this is really about creating those targets in the first place, on the Mac Mini server’s macOS. In Synology it’s done in the SAN Manager, and on Linux you have CLIs like
scsi-target-utils. But none of this is available for macOS, neither as a GUI application nor as a CLI via Homebrew or MacPorts, for example. (At least I couldn’t find any.) I could unearth only very little information online, but it seems that there’s no way to create a logical disk for iSCSI on macOS, and one user on another forum told me that it’s impossible.
True? Then a Mac Mini as a home server would be off the table for me.
PS: please move to the proper category if “HomeLab” isn’t the right one.