Recommendations for long term storage: RAID or ??

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Jon555 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,925
Re: Recommendations for long term storage: RAID or ??

gilliano wrote:

So I have reached well over 1TB of photos/ video. Although I have a fairly robust multi-copy backup system in place I do not want to use a dead end like an external HD for any kind of long term storage (long time field researcher and data manager, seen way too many people do that and lose everything). My internet connection is slow and not unlimited and I am aware of the ways cloud systems can go away/ go out of business so cloud back up is not my preference. I'm looking at RAIDs but not really sure what is practical / affordable for a small operation like mine. Any specific recommendations? Anything to consider? Alternatives? Assume I know nothing about them, which is basically where I'm at.

Also atm I am limited to USB 2.0 on my current computer but in the next year or so will upgrade to a new computer with 3.0 or faster file share capability. Not sure if I should wait or if most systems can handle both types of connection?

It depends on how you are planning to interface to the NAS. Strictly it would be a DAS not a NAS if you connect via USB rather than Ethernet. (A lot of NAS wouldn't allow an incoming USB connection BTW.) For USB maybe buy a cheap PCIe USB3 add-in card?

Whatever you do you will want a backup of the storage that isn't on-line, so if you get ransomware it won't get nuked along with the NAS.

Budget is a factor too. Also don't go too low-end on a NAS, check what write speeds it supports with encryption enabled.

For speed you could use SSDs at the capacity you are talking about. Although mechanical drives will saturate any likely computer connection so SSDs mostly offer low access times and quietness.

With a NAS noise and power consumption can be issues.

BTW get drives from the NAS manufacturer's approved list or support will most likely respond to problems by saying first get approved drives...

You could backup a NAS to a plugged-in-to-it USB3 drive (assuming fault tolerance isn't required of the backup, although you can get RAID dual USB3 boxes too - I have one beside me as I type). But that doesn't provide much disaster-tolerance. You want it further away for that.

I got a bit confused when you talked about having an automatic off-site backup after mentioning a too slow Internet connection?

NAS can be a bit techy sometimes, usually just after something went wrong.

(BTW never upgrade NAS firmware just as it comes out, wait and see if people are screaming about it on the manufacturer's forums - unless it has a critical-to-you fix that is.)
I have three NAS currently. Never lost anything. Have had the odd exciting moment. I'm very computer and linux techy...

P.S. Network options:
(1) Fast WiFi
Need a router with 802.11ac AC1800 or faster
Need a computer WiFi card at least that fast
Plug NAS1 into the router
Want a fast media bridge so you can put whatever NAS1 backs up onto at the other end of the house.

(2) Power Line Networking
Never messed with this, some people love it

(3) Ethernet up the house with 1G, 2.5G, 5G or 10G

P.P.S. Cheap-ish option
2-bay NAS (Qnap TS-251D-2G?) mirrored with two 4GB WD Red drives
4GB USB3 external drive to plug into NAS when backing it up, leave it a long way away the rest of the time
Optional second external drive for off-site backup, rotate with first one

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