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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup 
Thread started 05 Mar 2015 (Thursday) 12:59
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NAS recommendations?

 
KatManDEW
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Mar 05, 2015 12:59 |  #1

I'm tninking of getting a NAS. I was wondering if I could get a four bay enclosure and use only two drives initially, running RAID 1. And then add another RAID 1 pair later.

Is this possible, and if so, do you have on which brand/model to get?




  
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shocolite
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Mar 05, 2015 14:55 |  #2

Hi, yes you can buy a 4-bay and start off with two drives. Most units should support this.

However, just be aware in a RAID 1 setup if you mix drives of different sizes (ie 1 x 3TB & 1 x 4TB) Raid 1 will only be good for storage up to the size of the smaller drive.

Also, lower end NAS units have lower CPU's and Ram, not so much of an issue if you are just using them for limited use such as file storage, but if you want them to stream photos and videos and for other serious networking functions you should consider a better spec'd unit.

I use Synology (preferred) and Zyzel. I find that Synology is better in many ways, except that they can be dearer than some of the competitors, but the adage "you get what you pay for" definitely applies here!

I originally bought a 2 bay Synology DS 212+. (I should have bought a 4 -bay in hindsight!). When I needed more storage I bought an additional 2-bay Zyzel - it is broadly similar to the Synology but I find its power management setup is not as good. However, it was half the price for the NAS unit (excluding the HDD's) so I suppose it does give good value for money. It is fine as a secondary NAS, I run it alongside the Synology. I use the Zyzel for large file storage and have remote access and streaming setup on the Synology which is an excellent feature. I have no need for third party cloud services.


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KatManDEW
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Mar 05, 2015 19:52 as a reply to  @ shocolite's post |  #3

Many thanks for the reply!

I have been running RAID 1 in my desktops for years, so I'm familiar with it. But my current desktop houses three RAID 1 pairs and I'm out of space. I would like also like to move primary storage outside my desktop so that that my storage remains the same when I upgrade the next time.

I have no desire to stream video, but it would be nice to be able to access my photos remotely, which I guess is "personal cloud" capability?

What do you think about the WD My Cloud EX4100?




  
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shocolite
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Mar 06, 2015 02:08 as a reply to  @ KatManDEW's post |  #4

The WD My Cloud EX4100 looks very good with it's specs.

With Synology, they offer "Cloudstation" and this was the main reason I went with them. I looked at WD's lower offerings (this was several years ago) and the lower end WD's did not get great reviews. Cloudstation is a "syncing" service (both LAN and WAN) that enables me to keep both my laptop and home PC's atomatically updated with the latest files.

There is also remote access services that allows you to browse the NAS and move files around etc. If all you want is to access photos remotely, then nearly all NAS's seem to offer this service. But if you want friends or family to remotely view your photos then the likes of Synology have (free) apps that work across all platforms to enable them to stream your photos. This is where it is preferable to have a NAS with decent CPU / ram such as the WD My Cloud EX4100 offers - any pictures you put in the dedicated "pictures" folder will be optomised for web streaming (the original pictures should remain untouched, don't worry!).

Most NAS's offer a large array of functions, once you have an idea of what you need then this may help narrow your choice, if the WD My Cloud EX4100 offers what you want then my suggestion is to read reviews about what people are saying. The WD My Cloud EX4100 looks like a new model so you may need to read about the previous model to get a feel as to whether or not you would feel happy buying it.

Havin


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kelvinj
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Post edited over 3 years ago by kelvinj. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 06, 2015 02:27 |  #5

Hi I am also researching on upgrading my 2 bay nas to 4/5 bay nas due to capacity issue like you facing. So far I filtered down to either QNAP or Synology. QNAP is a bit more costly than synology but it got more features.

My shortlisted so far, based on my USD$800 budget

1. QNAP TS-451
2. Synology DS415play
3. Synology DS1513+ (5bay if my wife approved it :) )

Synology provide a website to help u plan to your future expansion, find it cool. Link (external link)

Planning to purchase 2 x 6TB Seagate/WD hdd. 1 thing I learn from my network engineer though, make sure the hdds are from different manufacturing date .... if hard to ask, try purchase from 2 sources. Why ? So that the lifespan is different, wont spoil at the same time. if 1 failed (touch wood), the other will still survive.

My personal choice of NAS review is smallnetbuilder ... u may want to check it out ... link (external link) ... u can filter by number of bay (drive), raid type, brand etc. It will also show u the price. anyway u may already know about it.

Hope this help :)



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KatManDEW
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Mar 06, 2015 17:44 |  #6

Many thanks for the replies! Going to look at smallnetbuilder now.




  
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DiMAn0684
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Mar 06, 2015 23:51 |  #7

kelvinj wrote in post #17462884 (external link)
1 thing I learn from my network engineer though, make sure the hdds are from different manufacturing date .... if hard to ask, try purchase from 2 sources. Why ? So that the lifespan is different, wont spoil at the same time. if 1 failed (touch wood), the other will still survive.

I'm a slightly different kind of engineer, but this sounds like BS. Having two devices with such lengthy life span within hours of one another is quite unlikely regardless of which batches they come from.


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Jon
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Mar 07, 2015 09:51 as a reply to  @ DiMAn0684's post |  #8

Actually it isn't. There are cases where manufacturers have gotten bad batches of resistors, capacitors, . . . which have led to widespread failure of the devices using them. By getting devices from two different batches you reduce the likelihood of having two drives blow at ore near the same time.


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DiMAn0684
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Mar 07, 2015 17:36 |  #9

Jon wrote in post #17464579 (external link)
Actually it isn't. There are cases where manufacturers have gotten bad batches of resistors, capacitors, . . . which have led to widespread failure of the devices using them. By getting devices from two different batches you reduce the likelihood of having two drives blow at ore near the same time.

I understand the reasoning, and have seen certain batches of HDDs fail within a span of a few month in our R&D lab, but having multiple failures hours / days apart is pretty unlikely (in my opinion). Anyways, if you guys feel safer buying same model disks from different manufacturers that's fine by me :)


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amikhailny
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Mar 10, 2015 09:53 |  #10

Here are my 2cents in this discussion - hard drives are easy to upgrade, but upgrading NAS is more expensive. So get the one with more bays than you need. If you need 2-bay, buy 4-5-6 bay system. Just get only 2 hard drives, and expand later.

Now, in my experience hard drives do fail all at approximately the same time. This is not theory, but experience. I have Qnap 669 NAS, with only 3 drives installed originally. When I first set it up, I checked compatibility of drives. Than, one day when I was away on a trip, I get an e-mail about HDD failure. And before long second e-mail about failure. So by the time I come back - I have RAID5 with 2 failed drives.... Fortunately, working with QNAP, I was able to revive one of the drives to read condition, so we rescued the data, but it was scary. And when I started to check why this happened - HDDs I used were no longer recommended - apparently due to high failure rate. I have since replaced all 3 drives and installed same size different vendor "spare" - hope to never have to use it. And I still have 2 empty bays, that I have a lot of plans to create a separate time machine backup engine.

And when I was getting "wife" approval, I asked how much she would value kids pics if they are lost :)




  
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Spats139
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Mar 10, 2015 12:43 |  #11

I just picked up the Drobo 5N and four 3TB drives; looking forward to getting it up and running. Might be worth a look.

http://www.drobo.com/s​torage-products/5n/ (external link)


Dale

  
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RileyNZL
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Mar 12, 2015 04:14 as a reply to  @ Spats139's post |  #12

Looking at a Drobo 5N or 5D myself, can't decide if I want the faster performance of 5D, or NAS features of the 5N. (N is network attached, D is direct attached via USB3 or thunderbolt). From what I've seen drobo offer the best features of most consumer NAS's, offering many features only available in enterprise NASes, but also at the same time lack some of the more consumer friendly features that synolgy/WD offer.

Also considering making my own using Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS (Software RAID on a very advanced file system), One big disadvantage of RAID 5 a lot of people don't consider, is if the hardware supporting it (the NAS itself) fails, often the data can't be recovered at all, particularly if the NAS you're using is no longer made/repairable.


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KatManDEW
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Mar 12, 2015 12:36 |  #13

RileyNZL wrote in post #17471417 (external link)
Looking at a Drobo 5N or 5D myself, can't decide if I want the faster performance of 5D, or NAS features of the 5N. (N is network attached, D is direct attached via USB3 or thunderbolt). From what I've seen drobo offer the best features of most consumer NAS's, offering many features only available in enterprise NASes, but also at the same time lack some of the more consumer friendly features that synolgy/WD offer.

Also considering making my own using Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS (Software RAID on a very advanced file system), One big disadvantage of RAID 5 a lot of people don't consider, is if the hardware supporting it (the NAS itself) fails, often the data can't be recovered at all, particularly if the NAS you're using is no longer made/repairable.

How much faster would the 5D be?




  
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RileyNZL
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Mar 12, 2015 13:39 as a reply to  @ KatManDEW's post |  #14

It depends on the drives you are using, bit the 5N is bottlenecked by the gigabit port, which is roughly 120MB/s, whereas users of the 5D, have achieved well over 500MB/s using SSD's, although at the end of the day your drives will affect speed. Many users of the 5N have reported actual speeds to be in 50-70MB/s range.


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tim
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Mar 12, 2015 14:52 |  #15

Just read about
this (external link), looks cheapish and decent.

Personally I went with Windows 10, 2x4TB HGST drives, ReFS format and mirror storage spaces. I didn't see the point of having a NAS if my PC is on all the time anyway.


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