Teacher Buying NAS for Yearbook and Videography Courses. Help! Please!

Aug 17, 2018
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Disclaimer ... I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I do not know NAS/storage solutions. So ...

I teach and coach at a middle school. I've got 27 students in my Yearbook Class, this year. They will generate 2-4TB of still images, throughout the year. I'm also pioneering a Videography class. No idea how much storage that will consume. I cannot convince the district to give me space on their network storage, so I'm wiring the 30 computers in my room too access this NAS. The NAS will also live in my classroom.

Needs: I need an NAS that can quickly upload images/videos from multiple devices. I need a system that will allow up to 27 students simultaneous access to edit those images and videos. I need a system with enough capacity that I can isolate original files from what the students are working on, in case they really screw it up.

My budget is around $1000.

What should I get?

My thanks, in advance.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
With 4TB of images, you need 10 to 12TB of space IMO. You want to keep a backup copy. I would do a four bay NAS with four 6TB drives in TWO RAID 1 volumes. You would have one volume that is accessible and one that is ADMIN only accessible. The ADMIN volume is your first backups. You could use a USB drive for second backup or to export last years photos so that you could keep digital record of each year's class.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I have a 4 bay Qnap TS-453A. 4x 4TB drives in mine.
Scaling up a bit, 6 or 8TB drives in one of those or similar would work.
As above, 2x RAID 1 volumes. 1 accessible to the students, and then that is mirrored to the other volume, and inaccessbile to the student population.

Then the next level protection would be a an 8 or 10TB USB connected drive, for a weekly backup. At the end of the school year, label it, stash away, and replace with another one for next year.


With a Qnap or Synology, you can designate a home folder for each individual user. They can't see or impact any others data.
Each Student gets xTB of drive space. All stored on the NAS, and multiple layers of redundancy.
 
Aug 17, 2018
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SOUNDS GOOD. SHOPPING NOW.
Open to suggestions on specific products.
 

why_wolf

Honorable
Well from Synology I'd think either of these two would work. Price 369.99 and 549.99. But remember you have to buy the hard drives separately.
https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/compare/DS418/DS918+

Space calculator if you want to play around with drive size, # of drives and what type of RAID. For example two 8 Tb hard drives cost $240ish a piece.
https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/RAID_calculator?hdds=4%20TB|4%20TB|4%20TB|4%20TB

Regardless of what you do you should get this, goes on sale a lot too, for an external backup. This is the model I use. RAID is not a backup so DO NOT rely on it to keep your photos safe. https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Expansion-Desktop-External-STEB8000100/dp/B01HAPGEIE/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1534528662&sr=1-4&keywords=8tb+external+hard+drive
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
@USAFRet uses QNAP, I use Synology. They are equally good. I would ask your IT folks for some input. Also ask your IT folks if you have network hardware that will support "link aggregation" (LAG). If so, that will help with the multiple simultaneous accesses.

The NAS units from QNAP, Synology or Thecus (the third of the big 3) are all "BYOD" -- bring your own disk. The price you see is for the chassis. You buy the disks separately.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
As far as "reliability", my Qnap has been "on" 24/7 for the 18 months I've had it.
The only reason it doesn't show 18 months of Uptime is the once a month or so firmware updates, and me messing with configurations.
That firmware update takes about 10-15 minutes. Most of it just in the 2x reboot process.
 
Aug 17, 2018
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Here's what I'm thinking: Synology 4 Bay DS918+, 4 Gb of Synology RAM (bring the total to 8 Gb) and four WD Red 4TB hard drives. Redirect me if needed.

AND ... What do I need (aside from wires) to connect 30 computers to this NAS?

Thank you.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator


Do you not have an IT group at the school you can work with? Are the PCs not already on a network?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


I would consider 6TB or 8TB drives instead of the 4x 4TB drives.
WD Red or Seagate Ironwolf.

Connectivity? That depends on how your school and classroom is connected.
If this is all self contained:
A router, and 2x 16 port or a single 48 port switch. Doesn't have to be a fancy 'managed switch'. Just your regular dumb switches would work.

If this is also connected to the school LAN, or needs to talk outside....then talk to your IT dept.
 
Aug 17, 2018
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Ill see if I can stretch the budget to 6TB or 8TB.
I do have desktop 3TB and 8TB exterior hard drives for backup.
As for our IT department ... they are rather territorial. I'm getting push-back concerning placing this NAS anywhere on the network. So ... thinking I'm going to start by hard-wiring it to the 30 computers in the room. Maybe next year convincing all that we need remote access via the district server.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


So then, a standalone network.

NAS, router, 48 port dumb switch.
 

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