View Full Version : NAS / data backup solutions?

10-08-2014, 06:27 PM
Hi all,

I've been procrastinating about my data storage setup for a long time, but I need to finally do something about it as I'm running out of hard drive space. Looking here for some advice and guidance, please.

Firstly, here's my current set-up (about 4 years old now):
CPU: Intel Core i7 860
HDD: C drive for OS: 1GB capacity, about half full
D drive for data (seperate physical drive): 1.5GB, nearly full
external drive: 2GB, data from D drive
Win 7 64 bit

PC is running OK but a little slow, as I often have many programs running at the same time. I may try a RAM upgrade to fix that, otherwise I might need to consider a new PC next year.

Currently, I have my data backed up automatically from D to the external drive, daily. So far that system has worked quite well. However my D drive is getting full.

What I'm wanting to achieve:
I'm looking to upgrade to a longer term, larger storage capacity data system - something that should be able to meet my needs for the next say 5 years at least, and hopefully beyond.
I really want to increase my data storage quite substantially, because I also want to rip and store a number of DVD's I own physical discs for, so I can stream them - I want to rip them in near full quality so I know that I will need a large storage capacity.
I also have a quite a number of old home movies that I want to transfer from tape to the PC and edit and then store, in full quality.
I don;t know quite how much space I will need but as I said I'd like something that can last me many years into the future, and preferably be upgradeable too (eg add more storage later). So I guess for all of this, I probably want at least 10TB and maybe even more.

I am quite keen on the idea of a NAS setup using RAID (RAID 1?? RAID 6??) to provide the backup automatically, rather than doing a seperate backup once a day to an external drive. I realise that this will double my available storage requirement though.
I've read a bit about some of the Synology NAS solutions, and their "Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR)" setup which sounds quite good. I like the idea of just pluging in drives, and then just hot-replace them if any fail and have everything managed automatically for me.
File transfer speed is also important but not absolutely critical.

I also travel a lot, so I'd like a solution also that will give me secure, web access remotely to the NAS drive, if possible.

Does anyone have any recommended solutions bearing in mind the above?

Thanks in advance!

11-08-2014, 11:05 AM
I also travel a lot, so I'd like a solution also that will give me secure, web access remotely to the NAS drive, if possible.

If you really want secure , then you dont want remote access .
Just look at the recent synolocker debacle, where users had all their NAS backups encrypted by hackers.

Alex B
11-08-2014, 01:13 PM
Which is why you set up VPN rather than just exposing SMB to the internet. It's not like there is no secure way to remote access things.

BTW, buy an SSD for your desktop as a boot drive, it will greatly increase performance.

11-08-2014, 01:40 PM
Which is why you set up VPN rather than just exposing SMB to the internet. It's not like there is no secure way to remote access things.

And they previously had a VPN vulnerability . So if you are truly serious about security, why expose backups to the internet ?

12-08-2014, 12:05 AM
I understand the risk. The synolocker issue only affected people who were running older versions of the software. Proves the point, yet again, to update software when vulnerabilities are fixed.

Putting that issue to one side for the moment, does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions bearing in mind what I'm trying to achieve?

12-08-2014, 09:18 AM
Guess the big questions is whats the budget ?

I've put in a few Netgear NAS units, have a look at their site: http://www.netgear.com/home (http://www.netgear.com/home/products/connected-storage/readynas-100.aspx#tab-models) All the units I've put in have the ability to allow web access, although I've never set one up for external Access other than Over a LAN.

If you are using a NAS as a Backup, that's fine, BUT if you are using a NAS as a main storage unit, keep in mind to be safe you really need a second option as backups. At the end of the day they all have HDD's and can fail just like any other HDD.

There are Actual NAS drives available, one is marketed byWestern Digital RED NAS Drives (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810&utm_source=WD%20Red%20redirect&utm_medium=collateral&utm_content=en&utm_campaign=product). At the moment the largest my suppliers have are 6TB Drives ( they are NOT cheap)

12-08-2014, 10:13 AM
Guess the big questions is whats the budget ?

That would be the issue and, if you went down this path http://woodel.com/index.html - time as well. I did and for my requirements, it works very well (although getting the job done was definitely not trivial).
To access the server remotely; I've created a jailed user and can connect, using SFTP Net Drive Free -https://www.eldos.com/sftp-net-drive/wishlist.php. Also I use a dyndns address.
A lot of work, if one can be bothered - but it works and I'm really pleased I gave it a go.

With your undoubtedly better Singapore internet speeds, it'd work a dream.

12-08-2014, 10:37 AM
At the end of the day they all have HDD's and can fail just like any other HDD.

True that - our NAS's HDD failed just the other day.

12-08-2014, 12:26 PM
I have one of the cheaper Netgear units with 2 drive bays and intended it to be for scheduled backups of my PCs, that didn't work out and I'm very dissapointed with it.
The software is slow and clunky, transfer rates are terrible, and there is no way to store an image of my OS automatically. Turns out windows 7 needs to be the pro version to back up to a network drive (no Idea about 8) and netgears software doesn't do imaging.

If you use the official software to back things up it goes at less than half the speed of just using windows networking to copy files to the same NAS drive..... which is still very slow. I'm sure there are ways to make it work but the whole experience was so dissapointing I just took the drives back out and installed them back in the PC.

I think to get a decent performing NAS you either need to spend quite a bit of money or re-purpose a PC for the task. I've had much better results using a 4 bay external USB 3 drive for backups myself, the NAS sits on a shelf doing nothing.

If you plan to use RAID for backup purposes don't. It protects from drive failure only and is not a backup solution. The cheapest easiest option - replace your 1.5 TB drive with a 3 or 4 TB one (or keep both) and buy a matching capacity external drive for backups. Also your specs are still good, if it's running slow maybe it needs a clean out or as suggested an SSD. 6GB is plenty of RAM for most home use.

12-08-2014, 01:08 PM
I use active@ dugi as win7 home doesn't do network backups

12-08-2014, 01:20 PM
I use active@ dugi as win7 home doesn't do network backups Yep, W7 on its own wont work but third party backup software that has LAN capabilities works fine. :)

12-08-2014, 08:17 PM
Yeah I know there will be a solution and I did pay for active@ a while after giving up on the NAS, but it was such a disappointment I didn't really feel like trying it again.
Normal windows file sharing between PC's with the same hard drives is significantly faster. Next time I have a drive spare maybe I'll resurrect it.

13-08-2014, 12:59 AM
Currently, my internal HD (D) is for primary storage of my data, and I back it up daily to a external HD.
Yes, I'm aware that ideally I should have a back-up in a different physical location, but I'm prepared to take that risk. My absolutely critical data is backed up separately again to Dropbox or Google Drive, the rest I am prepared to take the chance of one primary copy plus one backup stored both at home.

My idea was to replace this set-up with a NAS drive in a RAID config (I'm not to good on RAID configs, RAID 1 or RAID 6??). So this RAID would act as both my primary storage, and my backup too. I figured by using the correct RAID configuration I can achieve this and still have protection in case of one physical drive failing. As I understand it, the Synology hybrid RAID also achieves the same result.

Is my thinking correct, and is this a feasible solution?

13-08-2014, 03:30 AM
I am using syncovery (http://www.syncovery.com) for all of my backup solutions. It is really easy to use and got some pretty good features as real time bidding and stuff like that. Especially the online backup feature is quite useful. You should take a look at thos software it might help with your problem.

13-08-2014, 11:46 AM
Using RAID as a backup solution is not the best Idea. If you accidentally delete a file, it get's corrupted, you get a virus etc - it happens to both copies. The only thing
RAID protects you from is a physical drive failure which is actually probably a lot less common than accidental file loss for other reasons. You would be less protected than you are now but I guess it would be more convenient.

Alex B
13-08-2014, 12:18 PM
How many drive bays are you looking at? You need at least 4 for RAID6, but you would be better off with RAID10. Or RAID5 if the disk aren't huge.

16-08-2014, 09:15 PM
I think I'd like something with at least 4 bays, yes. Preferably something expandable for the future, too. Is there any solution where I can just add more drives in the future?

@ Dugimodo, yes point taken, but it's probably little different to what I do now in terms of risk. Only difference is currently my backup is just a sync/mirror from my data drive, to an external drive. It's set to auto-run once a day. RAID will basically do the same except near real time, rather than overnight. But in both cases I am subject to risk of a virus or file corruption happening to both copies.
Really though I am open to suggestions, if NAS/RAID is not the best option, what would be better?

Alex B
17-08-2014, 01:43 AM
Run a local drive, and a NAS, and do shadow protect images to the NAS on a schedule.

17-08-2014, 02:21 AM
The only problem is, my local hard drive is near capacity. I can probably add more (need to check my MB specs) but that's only a finite solution, I was hoping for something more as a long term solution?