We are looking for a new NAS at the moment to upgrade from our old Maxtor Shared Storage. Do you recommend purchasing a 4 bay NAS so the storage can be upgraded by installing another drive when needed, since a 1TB dive is only about $55 compared to buying another single or double bay NAS.
On the other hand, if you won't need the additional storage for awhile, you could always buy an older-generation NAS later for less money. Plus you'll have the added benefit of a physically separate unit with newer power supply and fan.
If you're not going to run RAID be sure you get a NAS that supports drive per volume configuration (sometimes called "basic" mode). Synology and QNAP NASes support this mode.
The missing feature I see (in the units I know of), NAS and Windows Home Server - is good backup of the data on the NAS itself.
I work in enterprise IT and am familiar with a wide range of solutions.
I don't run RAID, but like to backup to another internal disk nightly. I then do an offsite copy every 3-6 mths to a USB drive and leave it at a mates house.
The offsite can be a replica, as it's only to protect against catastrophic failure.
The onsite however should have a history associated, this way, data accidentally damaged or deleted can be recovered after some time.
The features I value for my home are:
a) Simple nightly backup to a second internal disk
b) A rotation that keeps a history of changes over time - NTFS hard links can help here for single instance storage. This gives me the last 3 months or so without chewing heaps of space.
c) Auto reclamation of space - set a limit, oldest backups deleted first.
My new QNAP doesn't do this.
Windows Home server (latest version) isn't much better. V1 did all except (c).
I would be interested if any other product had good "backup" functions for the data on the NAS, not simply "replication".
More drives = more power, noise, heat and people do lose RAID arrays.
KISS is always best.
OK, but I am leaning towards a dual-drive RAID1 solution for redundancy's sake. But again, I have maybe 1TB at most to store. Was hoping to store my Acronis backups to the NAS thereby safely storing all my previous digital photos.