Advice on NAS

Started Apr 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Robbster Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: Why it failed

Ah, got it. SO, NAS will connect over your network, and will therefore be limited in speed by your network. If the connection to the backup computer was too slow, so likely will be a NAS (hence the name, Network Attached Storage).

May I suggest you create your extra storage locally connected to your main computer. There are many ways to do this, here is my preferred setup that I have implemented on both my wife's and my main computers that we use for photos:

  • Boot drive (SSD) is separate from storage drives.

  • Primary Storage drives are in RAID to protect from single drive failure.

  • Storage drives used are WD Enterprise drives rated at 1 million hours MTBF. These do not cost all that much more than good fast hard drives with normal failure ratings.

  • Secondary backup - Added super-large single backup drive in the desktop to backup the RAID, this is done automatically, and protects against multi drive failures on the RAID as well as some virus or user error scenarios.

Regarding RAID, I've been at it a long time, and use some top notch indexing RAID cards with XOR processors on board, with the result that my RAID setups are faster than my SSD :-). However, on my wife's machine, I just used the built in RAID on the MB and Intel's Storage Manager software to manage it. Works fine, slower, but she does not notice nor care, with same level of protection.

Finally, I do have an old NAS that I use for data transfer between machines and small backups, not so much for full backups, as I like you found that I hate to have to make sure all this stuff is running, and now it's too small anyway. It's kind of amazing, it is a first gen Buffalo TeraStation, must be close to a decade old now, 1 GB RAID 5 with never a failure!

Weekly my wife and I sync our Photo folders over the network so that they are further backed up across the two machines, but I consider this icing on the cake from a backup standpoint, this is just more for convenience in sharing all our photos.

Great double redundant local storage on my main computers is my answer, does not cover every single loss scenario, e.g., fire, but over the decade or more that I've used this approach, have never lost a single file, (but have had half a dozen or more drive failures in that time, though none so far on the enterprise class drives).

Don't know what kind of computer you have as your main computer, but you could implement this easily through external storage, using a RAID 1 external enclosure as your primary backup over eSATA or USB3, and second large external drive to back up the first external. You'd have the same level of protection as I describe above, and not too awfully expensive either.

Food for thought...
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