Question Network Attached Storage suggestions for small home and business setup

ddub35

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Feb 20, 2012
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Can anyone suggest a NAS solution for my situation?

My current setup is a main computer that I work at most of the time in my office and a laptop that I work at when out of the house. From the laptop I often RDP into the main computer where more heavy duty programs are running. The main computer has 2 x 3TB HDDS (*see details below) - one is the MASTER and the other is just a backup of that, which is currently backed up using GoodSync software. To start with, if compatible, it would be handy to just use these 2 HDDs and so only needing to purchase an empty NAS case.

I am thinking of going down the NAS route as:
  1. I may want to upgrade the HDDs at some point or add more HDDs to my bank.
  2. It would be a lot more pure and simple if, for example when I am working remotely I can just access the NAS drive and open a file rather than having to RDP into my main computer and work from there.
  3. A RAID configuration to do the backup would be handy.
  4. I don't really want to have to leave my main computer on at all times.
  5. I've got into a big mess with duplicates of files because I sometimes copy a file over to the laptop for convenience.
Any suggestions on a NAS product that would suit my needs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Dan

HDDs:
1 x Seagate Desktop ST3000DM001 internal hard drive 3TB (8.9 cm (3.5 inch), 7200rpm, 64MB cache, SATA III)
1 x WD30EFRX-68EUZN0, DCM DHNNNTJCA, Western Digital 3TB SATA 3.5 Hard Drive
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Can anyone suggest a NAS solution for my situation?

My current setup is a main computer that I work at most of the time in my office and a laptop that I work at when out of the house. From the laptop I often RDP into the main computer where more heavy duty programs are running. The main computer has 2 x 3TB HDDS (*see details below) - one is the MASTER and the other is just a backup of that, which is currently backed up using GoodSync software. To start with, if compatible, it would be handy to just use these 2 HDDs and so only needing to purchase an empty NAS case.

I am thinking of going down the NAS route as:
  1. I may want to upgrade the HDDs at some point or add more HDDs to my bank.
  2. It would be a lot more pure and simple if, for example when I am working remotely I can just access the NAS drive and open a file rather than having to RDP into my main computer and work from there.
  3. A RAID configuration to do the backup would be handy.
  4. I don't really want to have to leave my main computer on at all times.
  5. I've got into a big mess with duplicates of files because I sometimes copy a file over to the laptop for convenience.
Any suggestions on a NAS product that would suit my needs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Dan

HDDs:
1 x Seagate Desktop ST3000DM001 internal hard drive 3TB (8.9 cm (3.5 inch), 7200rpm, 64MB cache, SATA III)
1 x WD30EFRX-68EUZN0, DCM DHNNNTJCA, Western Digital 3TB SATA 3.5 Hard Drive
First RAID and backup are not equivalent. If this is really a small business situation then you need true BACKUP in addition to RAID. Many NAS units have USB3 ports which can be used to create a backup of data on the NAS.
Remote access and mounting a file requires a VPN. Many commercial NAS units can be a VPN endpoint, but it does require setup on your remote machine.

If you want to expand beyond the 2 drives you have (personally I am not a fan of mixing types of drives in a RAID), then you have to buy the chassis larger to start with. Something like a 4 or 5 drive unit rather than a 2 drive.
Synology, QNAP and Thecus are the big three manufacturers in the small business/home NAS market.
Go to their websites. The all have "virtual" NAS units that you can play with to see if you like the software. THAT is the most important thing. Not the hardware but the software.
 
Not sure you are going to have to read the specs to see which NAS you like better almost all of them can do what you want. I know a lot of user like qnap but there are a number of good brands.

Although you can put most drives in a NAS ones that are designed to run in a NAS are best.

So I will assume since you have RDP you already have setup some kind of port forwarding to make that work. Having set that up before is going to make it easier to get a new remote access. The safest for of remote access is a VPN. Some NAS units support vpn or you can run VPN on your router if it supports it. Using VPN it appears as if you were on your local lan. Now some NAS systems even work when you do not have a public IP but then your data is passing the nas companies servers unencrypted.
 

ajohnson30

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Jul 26, 2012
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On thing, on upgrading, Synology seems to have the easiest path for this in many cases in that if you use their SHR raid setup, you can start with a small number (even just one I think) of drives and add more later without having to convert/change anything. In most cases this means you'd want to buy an enclosure with several drive slots so you can add the drives into those slots later.

All of the manufacturers will support some kind of "in place" upgrade, which is time consuming, and semi-hazardous. You'd buy a new set of larger, replacement drives, pull one out, replace it with a new drive, and wait for the unit to rebuild the data onto the new disk. Once that's done you'd do the same with the next disk, etc. The hazard comes if there's a failure during this process, because the RAID is broken at that point and your data would be gone.

As kanewolf mentioned, having a NAS is not a backup if that's the only place your data resides. If you copy data from your PCs to it, but the data is still on your PCs, then that's a backup. If you store files on the NAS ONLY, that is not a backup.
 

gggplaya

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I have a QNAP. I don't think it matters much which brand you go with, they tend to have the same features. Synology and QNAP have good app stores and I do recommend getting an X86 NAS with expandable RAM slots. X86 is more flexible with which apps you can install and you may need more ram in the future for apps you may run. A NAS with a PCIe expansion slot is also nice, you can add a 10gbe adapter or an M.2 SSD cache drive.

I'd recommend you buy a 3rd 3TB drive. So you have one in your desktop backup Then two drives in the NAS as a RAID 1 mirror setup. I would try to do your work from the NAS drive depending on the bandwidth needed. Then use RTRR to keep the raid drive sync'd with your desktop over the LAN. That's a true backup solution.
 

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