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Old 11-23-2012, 09:02 PM
Spink Spink is offline
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Default Network Storage and backup suggestions

Hello,

I'm seeking your advice or suggestions about where to go from my current setup.

I have a WHSv1 for the last few years that's been working in my home office fine. A couple of days ago a drive failed. This resulted in 2 days + of down time. While the drive failure didn't cause any data loss, the down time has made me reconsider my current server and backup scheme.

I'm a part time professional photographer with aspersions of going full time within the next few years. Right now I generate around 50 gigs of data per job (guesstimation). Right now I work around 10 jobs a year. In the future I will be shooting more like 25 jobs a year. In addition to this, my wife and I work on a couple different computers. Centralized data helps us keep organized. I don't really download movies or anything like that, the bulk of my data comes in the form or raw camera data + the resulting exports.

Things that work well for me and I hold as important:

1) Automatic PC backups (both machines are windows 7)
2) Pool style storage so I can add space on the fly
3) Very low management time (I have a full time day job, a 2 year old, another one on the way on top of my photography business).
4) Easy backup process for the whole server. As it is, I backup regularly to 2 offsite locations manually on a regular basis. (backup is about 1TB of data so far, but this will start growing very quickly soon).

Things I'm not a fan of:

1) Custom setups that require time - I'm technical, but I just don't have the time to manage a complex system (although I've considered freenas and amahi and am currently checking them out under a virtualbox setup)
2) Cloud based backup - I guess you could say I'm not trusting, but I just don't like the idea of someone else playing with my data. I like the fact that if I have a massive failure (hardware or house fire) I can just go get a backup drive and I'm good to go.

I've looked into a few things, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. Windows 8 or windows server looks OK, but the pool system they setup seems goofy (does not balance storage across all drives?!) NAS solutions seem OK, but then I'm managing RAID and when I need to expand it, I can't just drop a drive into it. Drobo looks pretty awesome, but the price is astronomical and proprietary hardware and support scares me; I've read some horror stories with Drobo.

I was hoping for some suggestions on what works for other people and what does not. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Spencer
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:05 AM
oab2 oab2 is offline
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I think a BYOD NAs is what you are looking for. This would allow you to select the size drives you want and go from there. As your needs grow you can easily swap out the drives (in steps) to go to larger drives. I have the Qnap TS-212 and I love it. It's drives aren't hot swappable but the TS-412s are. My 2 1TB drives are in a RAID 1 (mirror), and if I want to go to a larger storage, I just log onto my NAS, go to RAID management and click expand capacity. It then allows me to remove 1 drive and replace it with the larger one, then it rebuilds the mirror, and this is followed by replacing the next drive with the larger one. A comparable NAS would be ones from Synology. I have heard good things but have never messed used them.

As far as maintenance and setup goes this thing rocks! I have created different shares for each of my different computers. The shares are tied to users and groups so I can keep guest from seeing all my backup files ect. I also have a matching ts-212 in my work office across town. In addition to work file backups on the second NAS, I am able to back up my important files (family pics ect) from my home NAS to my work NAS.

There are numerous backup programs including free ones from Qnap (NetBak Replicator) and Synology's Data Replicator. One backup program that I like is SyncBackFree. It has just been updated and it's pretty good. I have purchased it for a client once to get some of the more advanced features, but the free version does pretty well since they just updated it.

One thing that I like for creating off site backups is the USB port on the NAS. This can either be used to just hookup a usb drive and backup files or you can configure a button on the NAS to (1-touch-backup) to back up selected files with the push of a button.

So with this little baby you have huge backup potential, as well as offsite ease. I know you don't like cloud(neither do I) but it's easy to setup an account with Amazon S3 Cloud storage if you want to in the future.

Really, once I set this thing up I just leave it and forget about it. My backups hum away at their scheduled times and I don't even worry about things.

I hope this helps as you plan your backup. Fire away if you have any questions.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:09 AM
stevech stevech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oab2 View Post
I think a BYOD NAs is what you are looking for.
BYOD == Build Your Own?

The OP wants to be, almost is a full time photographer.

Seems to me that a BYOD would take way too much time and attention understand, configure, administer. Not worth the diversion of time and effort.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:12 AM
oab2 oab2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevech View Post
BYOD == Build Your Own?
BYOD = Bring your own drive

All you do is open the case, plop in the drives, close it up, hook it to your network and set up a user login and you're up and going. Its all managed through your browser.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:27 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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Ah, then BYOD is also called "Diskless NAS".
That's what I bought as I had two 2TB drives; not same model or speed (one "green", one not) but just fine for my 2-bay non-RAID use case.
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