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Standard User cheshire_man
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 06-Jul-11 11:38:40
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External NAS RAID recommendations sought


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I'm considering going for external NAS storage with RAID. I'm more concerned about reliability then performance so I'd guess RAID 1 (mirror) is appropriate.

Any comments or recommendations, or points to possibly be aware of?

Presumably it can just be connected to 4-port hub on my Netgear DG834GT?

Thanks in advance.

Tony
Standard User Spasch
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 06-Jul-11 11:53:06
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
I have a Thecus unit, the N4100Pro. Takes 4 drives (mine currently has 4 2TB Seagate 5900Rpm drives inside) in a RAID 5 config. Performance is excellent (we can stream 2 HD movies to different streamers in the house with ease).. I've had it for more than a year now, and absolutely no issues (touch wood).

Yes, it can just be connected to a hub or a switch.
Standard User jhurrell
(experienced) Wed 06-Jul-11 11:53:37
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Take a look at the Synology and QNAP products. I have a QNAP 239 in a small business environment - it's been "up" for six months without issue.

I would recommend you put whatever you decide to go with on a UPS device to avoid issues - the QNAP will shut down cleanly after a user specified delay in the event of a prolonged power failure.


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Standard User cheshire_man
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 06-Jul-11 16:32:28
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: jhurrell] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for these.

I should have said that it's for my backup drive, also that as my PC is not on all the time, neither will the NAS drive so UPS is probably over the top.

Tony
Standard User jhurrell
(experienced) Wed 06-Jul-11 22:17:47
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Just be careful - personally I wouldn't want to run a RAID array (regardless of the hardware involved) without a battery backup, especially if it was holding my backup data. Maybe that's being over careful, but I've experienced first hand what a power failure can do to a RAID array and it wasn't pretty.

In general these NAS systems are designed to be left on 24/7 (mine is in a cupboard hidden away!) - if you turn them off, make sure you go through the proper shutdown routine in the web interface.

EDIT: Just a thought - QNAP do a 1 drive NAS enclosure, which you could then backup to any old external USB drive (plugged into the NAS)... that way you avoid the raid/ups but still have a backup of your backup (this is what I do with the 2 drive QNAP 239 anyway)...

Edited by jhurrell (Wed 06-Jul-11 22:23:10)

Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 06-Jul-11 22:39:10
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Have you thought about Freenas??? I recently went for this and am running freenas on it.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/253305

I am completely new to using freenas however, I read up on it on the net and its working all well so far. I would read the reviews of the machine on ebuyer then make your choice from there and the reviews about freenas,
Standard User cheshire_man
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 12-Jul-11 11:09:47
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: jhurrell] [link to this post]
 
I must admit I hadn't appreciated that RAID is more susceptible to power loss data corruption than a single drive. Thanks for that.

I use Genie Timeline to secure my data to an external drive. Then every day or so I use SyncToy to update a second copy of the TimeLine data to a second external drive, and once a week or so also use LapLink to update an independent copy of my PC's data to a third external drive, as well as using high capacity USB sticks, I've more or less come to the conclusion that using RAID is unnecessary. Perhaps my strategy is already more than adequate grin.

Thanks for all the comments.

Tony
Standard User AEP
(knowledge is power) Tue 12-Jul-11 11:19:29
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
I think that depends upon what sort of RAID you use. Mirroring (RAID 1) should make the system more robust, even in the case of a data loss. The chance of both disks being corrupted is less than the chance of a single disk suffering that fate.

RAID 0 is another matter and does make the array more susceptible to damage. With the current price of hard disks I see no reason to use RAID 0 in a backup role. The only possible use would be for performance considerations where security of the data was not important (i.e. a small OS partition that doesn't change and can be easily restored). Even there there are better techniques nowadays to provide performance.

The ideal compromise (IMO) is RAID 5, but that implies that you have at least 3 disks. Of course, no RAID system provides protection against other forms of corruption (viruses, deleted files, etc.) but Genie Timeline is doing that for you to a large extent.
Standard User shtu
(experienced) Tue 12-Jul-11 11:26:32
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Your strategy looks complex. Lot of manual work there.

I'm afraid I'm also a fan of FreeNAS. Ideal if you have an old PC lying about.

You could, if you wanted, build two and use the inbuilt rsync facility to clone changes from one system to the other (keep one in the house, one in the garage?)

You could also transfer data offsite using the same mechanism.

As for UPS, you can get APC brand ones off eBay for sub-£50 easily, more than enough to run a single box and a switch or two.
Standard User cheshire_man
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 12-Jul-11 11:40:48
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Re: External NAS RAID recommendations sought


[re: AEP] [link to this post]
 
In the OP I said I wanted to go RAID 1, I don't like RAID 0 as the loss of 1 drive loses the data.

Tony
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