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NAS device

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎24-09-2008

NAS device

I seem to be continually running short of disk space and swapping external drives between PC’s to exchange data.
I’ve been looking at NAS storage 2 bay, my home office has a GB hub.
Has anyone any tips or recommendations?
22 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: NAS device

I'd suggest a NAS that holds more than 2 disks, so you can run various flavours of RAID (apart from mirroring).
Have a look at FreeNAS - which runs from a USB stick (avoids OS disk overhead).
Are your PC's also on Gb connections?
How will you backup your NAS?

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: NAS device

OK I maybe naive, the point to me of a NAS is that in a 2 or more disk solution, there is always two copies of the same information and so there is little or no need for further backups.
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VileReynard
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Re: NAS device

I have a very slow thing that calls itself a NAS - which is probably technically correct.
Really, though, it is a single disk with an ethernet card bolted on and it runs NFS & SAMBA.
I use it as my backup device:
I use rsync to transfer files (via NFS) from my PC to the "NAS".
This is very fast to transfer small files or files which have few changes.
Backing up of large video files is terribly slow.

kmilburn
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: NAS device

Quote from: godsell4
OK I maybe naive, the point to me of a NAS is that in a 2 or more disk solution, there is always two copies of the same information and so there is little or no need for further backups.

Even if you have multiple discs running RAID 10,  they're all in the same place with the same power supply. As such,  there is a (small) chance that that the entire array could be taken out in one go  (power spike, flood, fire).
In theory,  you can never have too many backups.  and keeping some off site is a good idea too.
Merlin
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: NAS device

I'm a bit paranoid about data security having been burnt in the past.  We have a Thecus N299 NAS with 2 x 750GB HDDs running in RAID 1 so  we have total storage of 750GB.  It's a bit long in the tooth now at about 5 years but it works well.  We don't save 'working' data to the local hard drives on our desktop pcs (mine & wife's)  but use the NAS as a file server so we can both access data as needed.  Every evening GFI free backup runs on both desktops to sync the data to the desktop HDDs hence we  have 3 copies of any data  more than a few hours old.  We could run GFI more frequently than once a day but that is not really needed for our stuff.
We also sync to a laptop using MS SyncToy which is also free.  The NAS is powered from a UPS so is well protected from power outs, spikes etc.
Community Veteran
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Re: NAS device

Quote from: Un
Really, though, it is a single disk with an ethernet card bolted on and it runs NFS & SAMBA.

Thats pretty cool.
My new nas is actually my router - cisco linksys x3000. Comes with usb so that you can plugin an external drive and share it over the lan but also run an internal ftp server to share files online etc. Very cool although it only supports one drive even with a hub in use.
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Merlin
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Re: NAS device

Thanks.  The Thecus N299 also has USB for an additional drive etc, it allows ftp and HTML web access and can serve media files over the network.
The latest NAS drives have a very comprehensive set of features.  When funds allow I may change the Thecus for something from either QNAP or Synology.
The drives on the Thecus can be swapped after power down.  The RAID then rebuilds the data set.  A newer NAS should allow hot swapping as well as providing DNLA support
Community Veteran
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Re: NAS device

Quote from: Merlin
The latest NAS drives have a very comprehensive set of features.  When funds allow I may change the Thecus for something from either QNAP or Synology.

I'll get shot by ReedRichards for suggesting this..
What about a xp driven mini-itx fanless system? - Then you can plug in as many usb drives as you need, setup raid, run any servers you need / want (ftp, http, email etc), have the full configurability of windows and be able to use it with any other usb devices you may want to share such as printers. Then you can also plug in a 3G dongle for backup Smiley
Don't get me wrong, I think my nice new little cisco is great but it still doesn't offer me the full configurability of a windows box which can handle multiple connection types.
In essence, its a full blwon computer that is fanless (hence quiet like a normal router ./ nas) but is smaller and dedicated to certain tasks instead of all sorts of normal use.
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alanb
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Re: NAS device

Quote from: Sprite
What about a xp driven mini-itx fanless system?

That is what I have, except my O/S is Suse Linux.
I've got a fanless 1.6GHz dual Atom mini-itx motherboard, with a 3.5 inch Samsung Spinpoint hard disc (this disc was designed for PVR use, so it is very quiet) and a slimline DVD drive. All running off a 60 watt laptop style power supply. Actual power consumption is around 20 to 25 watts. I don't bother with RAID though. I do regular backups instead - my workstations are backed up to my server, and my server is backed up to a portable USB disc drive.
This server is about 9 months old, but I had an earlier version with older slower components since 2003. The case and PSU are all that is left of my first mini-itx server, they have been in constant use since 2003 except for an occasional shutdown for upgrades or due to a power cut.
Community Veteran
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Re: NAS device

Another advantage to a mini-itx system would be that you can use it to wake up other machines on your lan from an external machine (all those that aren't using wifi anyway).
I used to use a full size machine for this task but it was too noisy to live with. A mini-itx system would do a great job.
@alanb thanks for the tip re the quiet hard drive - I will look into that!
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MJN
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Re: NAS device

Quote from: alanb
this disc was designed for PVR use, so it is very quiet

You shouldn't really use so-called 'consumer electronics' HDDs for data use because the error detection/correction capabilities are far reduced.
A few random errors matter little when streaming video recordings and by forgoing error management it is possible to increase the recording/streaming performance (i.e. keeping up with demand in real time) however the same cannot be said for the storage of data. If you write a bit to disk you really want to make sure it was written as intended, similarly when reading it back off - that's what the error detection/correction routines built in to data HDDs are there for.
With regards to power consumption and noise there are plenty of 'conventional' HDDs available that perform perfectly well in this regard and so there's little reason to feel compelled to go for a CE drive given the downside of increased potential for corruption of data.
Mathew
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Re: NAS device

I finally found it, I knew there would be at least one fault with my new cisco router...
Tried connecting to my dynamic dns via ftp the other day.. no connection. It seems our cisco had been disconnected in the night. Now, it does support two dyndnys hosts however both of those are paid services. The only way I can keep my dyndns domains alive is to run a windows service which requires a PC to be turned on - rendering the very point of a router usb shared HDD pointless  Crazy
More support for the mini-itx WinXP powered router. I've been wanting to build one for years.. I really should find some cash and just do it.
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MJN
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Re: NAS device

You could always get a static IP address off PlusNet for, amazingly, a one-off fee of £5.
Mathew
oldgeezer
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Re: NAS device

I use a Synology USB Station 2 feeding two 500 GB External HD's and located in a secure outbuilding. The Synology shuts down the drives after a few minutes of in-activity and only uses about 4 watts itself. The ethernet link is via Homeplug 200 which works well over the armoured cable supply to the outbuilding and is encrypted.
The heat from the three power supplies keeps the hard drives happy in the sealed box during winter. The entire thing takes about 12 watts when idlling.
I can download  a 50 GB image in about 3 hours to one or the other drive which I use alternatively.
Oldgeezer