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  1. #11
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post

    That's the Problem with Mirroring - what one drive does the other copies. So while its OK incase of a Drive failure, any sort of Infection, corruption = no good.
    Ive had that issue with a server , it mirrored the corrupted hard drive. :-(


    As for backup to NAS, Most NAS's have a backup to USB HD option , the NAS really does need to be backed up

  2. #12
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post


    As for backup to NAS, Most NAS's have a backup to USB HD option , the NAS really does need to be backed up
    Yep exactly, but most people are of the opinion that its a NAS (same for external Drives) and some sort of device that wont fail. --- Till it does

  3. #13
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    If you are going to invest in a NAS I highly recommend getting one that has at least 4 disk bays, anything with fewer bays offers a "nominal" level of network based storage redundancy which is actually the reason behind NAS storage... a single or dual bay is nothing more than a USB over Ethernet external drive really.

    Sadly, 4-bay units are not cheap but are worth the cost and if setup correctly can save your bacon in numerous ways.

    The benefits of the 4-bay units (this is based on my experience using QNAP units.... but I suspect they will largely be the same across most manufacturers)

    1) Wider variety of RAID options (not just 0 or 1)
    2) The ability to upgrade the disks individually without losing the existing array and the data stored on it (RAID5) - I like this because it means you can start with smaller disks and then gradually upgrade.
    3) They tend to be a little beefier than most 2 bay units (not by much but just enough)
    4) A wider variety of applications can be run on them (web servers, DNS, multimedia streaming etc.) - so will not be restricted to just a single use case if you are in two minds about return on investment.
    5) All your data is not stored on your computer, so less disks in your PC, means less heat means quieter PC (probably not a benefit but I have no mechanical disks in my rig as all my data is on the NAS)
    6) As stated before, getting an off-site copy of your data onto a USB disk is straight forward, just plug the USB in and away you go within a few clicks and as long as you remember to run that copy once a month/week/2 weeks etc. it can provide a solid data redundancy/recovery option.

    If buying a NAS is not plausible you can also look into FreeNAS or similar products - all you need is a spare PC laying around, at least 4 disks of the same size and you can be setup in less than an hour.

    Just my 2c worth.

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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    It all depends on how much effort and or cash an individual is willing to invest in preventing a possible disaster. Personally with very few exceptions I would have little trouble getting things back to a useable state for what I need now. It was definitely a far different story when I was still running a business.
    Horses for courses I guess

  5. #15
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post
    Yep exactly, but most people are of the opinion that its a NAS (same for external Drives) and some sort of device that wont fail. --- Till it does
    Are you referring to one of the HDD's in the NAS failing? Or some other hardware failure in the NAS?
    HDD failure in NAS you can just swap out for a new one.
    In the case of a non-HDD failure, is this generally something repairable? EG swapping out some component as easily as you could on a PC? I am not so knowledgeable about the internal components of a NAS vs a PC, but I imagine it's mostly the same with MB, RAM, CPU etc? Just maybe more costly and specialised to replace?

  6. #16
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by Chikara View Post
    Are you referring to one of the HDD's in the NAS failing? Or some other hardware failure in the NAS?
    HDD failure in NAS you can just swap out for a new one.
    In the case of a non-HDD failure, is this generally something repairable? EG swapping out some component as easily as you could on a PC? I am not so knowledgeable about the internal components of a NAS vs a PC, but I imagine it's mostly the same with MB, RAM, CPU etc? Just maybe more costly and specialised to replace?
    Both - Meaning depending on What RAID setup they are, sometimes its not just a case of Swapping HDDs. Often the Theory of how things are meant to work doesn't always match events.

    Anyone using just one device to store data with no other form of backup is open for trouble.

    At the end of the day drives fail no matter what type they are. Take a NAS with no power protection - gets hit with a power surge, its possible to fry everything, all internal drives, all the NAS hardware. That's why you also back up the NAS to someplace else if its being used as a main storage.

  7. #17
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post
    Both - Meaning depending on What RAID setup they are, sometimes its not just a case of Swapping HDDs. Often the Theory of how things are meant to work doesn't always match events.

    Anyone using just one device to store data with no other form of backup is open for trouble.

    At the end of the day drives fail no matter what type they are. Take a NAS with no power protection - gets hit with a power surge, its possible to fry everything, all internal drives, all the NAS hardware. That's why you also back up the NAS to someplace else if its being used as a main storage.
    Wise words...

    I think another important thing to remember is determining how important your data is to you.... if you can stand "losing" it then backups/remote/NAS storage is probably not required and you could get away with storing everything in the cloud.

    Things get complicated when you have:

    a) Data you do not want to/cannot afford to lose for whatever reason.
    b) You have a lot of data you do not want to/cannot afford to lose for whatever reason.

    So don't invest in a NAS if you don't meet the above criteria.... or possibly if the only data you want to keep are documents and photos. In this case I would just stump up some cash for an online/cloud based storage solution that has good integration with whatever OS you are using...

    I would class myself as an advanced user, so I have gone all in with backups, redundancy etc... the setup I have now is a few notches down from what I had previously (as we are renting) which was a full on QNAP NAS as primary, a FreeNAS box in the garage away from the house (remote) and then a cloud backup of both those... my main motivation was I had a lot of software which I use when working on PC's so I keep all of those... at one point I had like 4 HDDs in my rig, it was loud and toasty, and following a power outage I lost 3 of those drives along with the motherboard.... so when I replaced everything I went all in with a NAS solution for file serving and storage... including a UPS etc.

    Granted the above setup may not be the best suited for everyone out there BUT as I mentioned before.... the key question is "How important/valuable is your data to you and how much of it do you have" the answers to those questions will ultimately set you on the path to the solution which fulfills your needs.

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  8. #18
    Junior Member Chikara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    And just to clarify, I do already have a NAS, which I was already using for backups, but after a recent Win 10 reinstall I wanted just to review my setup.
    By the way, the NAS is set up in RAID mode with 1 disk fail tolerance and hot swap ability.
    After reading this thread and other articles, and trying out some of the software over recent days, I'm pretty comfortable with what I have decided.
    I treat my PC as the main 'source of truth' of data, it's my primary data storage. I have C drive for OS, and two other physical HDD - one for other apps I don't want on C, and the other for data.

    Before my reinstall I had a nightly batch backup job from PC (data only) to NAS using Free File Sync with versioning. Now I've changed that to use Synology drive with continous (real time) backups from PC to NAS also with versioning, and still just for the data drive. Basically it's doing the same thing as before, except as it's real time I don't need to leave PC to run overnight when the batch was due.
    Previously I didn't bother with disc image backups, as I always planned to do a fresh install if needed. Now I have decided to also take weekly drive image backups of C drive and the other app drive, so I have the option to do a fresh reinstall, or restore from this, in the future. I have enough space on the NAS to store this too, so why not.

    With the amount of data I have (lots of high res photos, raw videos I've shot, etc) its not feasible or cost effective to back it up to the cloud. So storage on PC and backed up to NAS is the best option for me, I feel.
    I have power surge protectors on both, but based on this thread I might look at a UPS for the NAS too.
    The risk of NAS being in the same physical location as the PC, I can't really do much about, so I accept that risk.
    So the way I see it now, apart from risk of fire in the building etc etc, the main risk I have is both NAS and PC failing at the same time which is low bit not zero. If NAS fails, I still have my data on PC that I can back up again once NAS is running again. If PC fails, I still have my data on NAS I can restore once PC is back running. If I get a UPS for the NAS I don't think as a home user there's a great deal more I can do.

    Thanks all for the discussion on this thread, it's been helpful and interesting to me.

  9. #19
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on backup options

    Quote Originally Posted by Chikara View Post
    ...If NAS fails, I still have my data on PC that I can back up again once NAS is running again. If PC fails, I still have my data on NAS I can restore once PC is back running.
    .
    backup : its only there to cover you for the worst possible

    so
    virus wipes out all data on both NAS & the PC. Seen it happen, everything gone . This is one issue with backup drive/nas allways connected . Its why you need a removable backup for the NAS .
    electrical surge wipes out both NAS & PC . A UPS or cheap surge protector is not reliable protection against this . Even the PC's PSU can do this if it fails horribly (seen one toast the whole PC incl HD's)
    PC data gets corrupted & then you find the backups arnt usuable (seen it happen ): so check/test the backups .

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