Cost effective NAS solution

Offloading HDDs and other functions to remote NAS or servers is increasingly popular
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Cost effective NAS solution

Post by xev » Thu May 24, 2018 3:11 pm

I'm having trouble figuring out a cost effective and secure way of creating a backup.

I bought 3 - 4tb easystores but haven't opened any yet.

I was going to get a qnap or Synology but that's another $400 min. Totaling about 700-900 depending on Plex capability.

What if I get a my cloud duo 12 or 16tb for 500-600. I know it will be raid 1.

I have about 4tb of my personal home media.

My main goal is to have a copy of all my photos and videos outside of my PC. Being able to play downloaded media is a plus but not required as I can just copy stuff over to a USB and connect to the tv when I need.


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Re: Cost effective NAS solution

Post by guermantes » Fri May 25, 2018 10:19 am

I was more or less in the same situation like you but then upped the ante as I realised I would not be protected against ransomware unless I had backup offsite. So I moved away from the idea of having a server to send backups to, and decided I wanted a server to make backups from, and carry them offsite. So I ended up building a FreeNAS server instead of buying a NAS-unit. I wanted to have 6 x 4TB drives in order to run the server with double parity which gives more headroom if/when disks start going down. I also wanted freedom to do as I want on a "proper" server and not have to be constrained by the Qnap/Synology software. In addition to having moved my photolibrary, music and videolibrary and all workfiles all to the server, I also run Nextcloud, Plex and Pi-hole and I feel the whole platform is just much more open and as I learn I can do more with it - and given the number of drives I wanted it was certainly cheaper for its performance than a Qnap/Synology equivalent). It may have cost me 1100-1200 $ here in Sweden but would be less expensive in the US (if that's where you live). The learning curve was steep, but feasible for me who just switched to Linux from Windows one year ago. The freenas forums are friendly and helpful if you show that you have tried to do your homework but not succeeded (plenty of resources to learn it all on the same forum); though they can be tough and arrogant if you just show up starting to ask questions (they do have a newbie section though).

What really sold me on the FreeNAS was the ZFS filesystem, which with a decent double level of parity (RAIDZ2) will protect your sourcefiles from bitrot and corruption, making sure that what you send to external backups are always usable files. The simplicity of snapshots make creating backups a breeze and fast. ButterFS (used in some Qnap/Synalogy units) tries to do the same thing, but to my understanding the development is much slower, sometime it was said to be dead, and the file system is simply not as solid as ZFS.

You mention Raid1: it is strongly not recommended for data integrity purposes since a few years, because the sizes of HDDs nowadays have outgrown the single disk parity scheme, and the risk is huge that you lose your whole array because another disks fails when rebuilding after one disk has gone bad. (Of course if you can restore from backup that is less of a huge problem). There is plenty about this if you google.

FreeNAS might be more than you are eyeing for at this stage, but as a friend of mine who simultaneously with me building my FreeNAS was going down the Synology route said: "Darn, I wish I would have stopped and thought this thing trough a bit more before buying the Synology."

I you just want something to backup to and don't care so much about your source files becoming compromised, I think maybe those Easystores (I take it they are essentially external drives?) are a better choice than a NAS-unit.

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Re: Cost effective NAS solution

Post by whispercat » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:52 pm

Interesting what you mentioned about btrfs and zfs. In a recent inteview with Alex Wang (Synology), he said they researched many different filesystems for over two years and finally decided on btrfs, because zfs was still too new. ... gy-america

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