Question NAS for Homeuse

Halfdan

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Aug 26, 2020
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I have a Pc, which i use mostly for gaming. But also to work on Uni stuff, do programming etc. I also have a Laptop and a Phone. Same for my Girlfriend, she has a Phone and a Laptop.
I wanted to buy a NAS for saving our data externally and have aceess to it from different devices.

What would you recommend? Also, do i recognize a difference between saving/opening my stuff on the NAs or my SSD thats build in to my pc?

Additionally i really have to start to backup my stuff. How should i do this? With an external Hardddrive and Cloud or a sepparate disk in the Nas & Cloud/externad drive?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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NAS. The big 3 are QNAP, Synology, Thecus.

I have a QNAP TS-453A. Coming up on 5 years old, running 24/7. Nary a burp.

Backups.
The basic concept is 3-2-1.
3 copies of any data, on at least 2 different devices, 1 of them offsite if possible.

All my house systems back up to the NAS either daily or weekly. The NAS backs up to other connected space weekly.

My procedure has changed a little bit since I wrote this, but the basic concept still holds.
 

Halfdan

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Aug 26, 2020
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Thanks for your help. Ok that's the. The backupside. But can I use the Nas also for external storage/shared storage for thwse device's?

And if so..how many bays do I need?
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Thanks for your help. Ok that's the. The backupside. But can I use the Nas also for external storage/shared storage for thwse device's?

And if so..how many bays do I need?
You can use the NAS for shared storage. Phones can be a pain. You may have to add an APP to get the phone to access network storage.
Number of bays is usually a budget question. Four bay units are more expensive than two bay. Two drives is usually the entry point.
Remember that prices you see for QNAP, Thecus and Synology are usually just the enclosure. You still have to add disk drives.
 

Halfdan

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Cool, but I still don't understand how many disks I need for shared storage and backup.
Is it as easy as: I need 4tb of Storage..so 1 disk 4tb+ and then another for the backup?!
Or should the shared storage be in raid and I need at least 3 disks?
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Cool, but I still don't understand how many disks I need for shared storage and backup.
Is it as easy as: I need 4tb of Storage..so 1 disk 4tb+ and then another for the backup?!
Or should the shared storage be in raid and I need at least 3 disks?
If you want 4TB then a 4+ (probably a 6 to get 4TB usable space) plus a second would be fine.
Once you have that raw space you can display it to clients in different ways. You can put quotas on usage. Lots of options.
I recommend that you visit the websites of the manufacturers. They have "virtual" NAS units that allow you to play with the software. Your comfort with the software is more important than the hardware. The hardware from the "big 3" listed above is similar.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
For 4TB, you can buy two 4TB drives and put them in Raid1 for mirroring. If one drive fails, the other should still be good and the NAS unit will email you to tell you 1 drive failed. That's when you shut down the NAS and wait for your new drive to arrive and replace the failed one.

The NAS won't be as fast as your internal SSD unless you upgrade you connect your desktop and NAS to a multigigabit switch and use SSD's for the NAS drives. I suspect at 4TB, that's super expensive, so you'll use regular magnetic drives which will probably max out at about 150-200MB/s. Plenty fast for backups, but not really something you want to work directly off of.

Keep in mind that gigabit ethernet is limited to about 100-110MB/s real world speed. But 2.5GBe ethernet switches can be bought for about $110 now. That'll get you up to 250+MB/s of speed, so you can get the full speed out of your hard drives on the NAS. A 2.5gbe network card for your desktop is like $30-$40.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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For 4TB, you can buy two 4TB drives and put them in Raid1 for mirroring. If one drive fails, the other should still be good and the NAS unit will email you to tell you 1 drive failed. That's when you shut down the NAS and wait for your new drive to arrive and replace the failed one.
RAID 1 vs two independent drives is a question of availability and criticality. Critical data is better with backups rather than RAID. Accidentally deleting critical data instantly wipes both copies. Backups can be restored. @USAFRet already talked about the 3-2-1 rule.
 

rchamlen

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Sep 15, 2014
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FWIW - I have two Netgear ReadyNAS units at home .... one a two bay, the other a four bay. I have had good luck with them .... easy to use and configure ... and these have been going strong for, what, 4 years or so now (knock on wood :) ) Technically speaking, the two bay is configured as a RAID 1, the four bay is configured as a RAID 5. There are reasons for doing one or the other, which is a MUCH longer discussion - I would STRONGLY recommend you back away for just a little and get on the web and read about RAID, and what are the benefits and disadvantages of each configuration - there is lots of good guidance out there on that. IF you opt for a RAID 1 level (whatever the hardware you decide on) then the answer to your question about storage amount becomes 1) how much do you decide you need with room for growth? then, 2) buy two disks of that size and fire them up as a RAID 1 config.

Another point - a RAID, even with a Level 1 config, is NOT a backup - even though there may be two identical copies on the two disks ... the two disks are there to allow you to recover "easily" should one of the disks die. plenty of events can cause you to lose all the data on the RAID (fire, theft, mistaken deletion of all the data, hardware failure, etc). A "backup" is an additional copy on ANOTHER device (either external disk (removable), or a totally separate RAID/NAS box on the network. "Way back when" I originally chose the ReadyNAS because it has USB ports on the back that allow you to REALLY easily back up the data (in whole or incrementally) to that external disk. That external disk can then be periodically moved and replaced, with the removed copy being placed somewhere safe (like a fireproof or filing box). I do this, and have something like four past copies that I rotate. If I ever get hit by ransom ware, I just give the finger to the ransomer, wipe my computer, reload OS and software from scratch, and recover my data (with little loss) from that disk in the safe .... EVEN IF the ransomware managed to propagate over the the NAS (which would be somewhat of a challenge, as it runs a totally different OS .... but never say never....)

I've been using and administering computers since 1971 .... and I am like one of the original data safety/backup wienies. Been there, experience that .... never again. It only took something like six years for my efforts to finally get through to my son (now in grad school) .... who now has a NAS with external backups :)
hope that helps...
 

USAFRet

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Example of why RAID is not a 'backup':


RAID is good if you absolutely need uninterrupted uptime in the event of a physical drive fail. For instance, hosting a money making webstore.

It does nothing for all the other forms of data loss.
And if you don't really need that 100% uptime, you don't need the RAID.
 

USAFRet

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Thanks for your help. Ok that's the. The backupside. But can I use the Nas also for external storage/shared storage for thwse device's?

And if so..how many bays do I need?
Shared drive space, absolutely.
My NAS is the central hub. Accessible from all PCs, and the android tablets.

A shared folder on the NAS....the mapped as the "S drive" on all systems.
So I can tell the wife - 'Save it on your S drive'...and it is then seen and usable by all relevant systems.
 

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