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Gear / Technical Help => Ask The Tapers => Topic started by: bobstammers on February 08, 2020, 09:18:39 AM

Title: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: bobstammers on February 08, 2020, 09:18:39 AM
Hi,



I'm in the market for revamping my home storage.



I currently use a WD EX4100 with 4 x 2TB drives giving me 7.2TB overall (back up is done to a couple of external drives).  1 drive has failed and I'm thinking I may as well upgrade the while system instead of replacing the drive as I'm up to 6TB in files.



My current thinking is a WD PR4100 with 4 x 10TB in Raid 5 giving me 30TB usable space including some drive failure security.



I guess what I'm really asking is what is the current thinking on the best way to go and which manufacturers have the best reliability both in terms of the drives and the hardware itself. Also considering best RAID format etc, doesnt have to be RAID 5, am I missing some other configuration..



I run SONOS throughout the house, have the PLEX app for movies and Transmission app for torrents currently on the NAS. Music storage is bog standard MP3 collection, FLAC live stuff, WAV new stuff, also store some movies, music vids, family photos etc.



Your wisdom would be very much appreciated.



Budget is 2k GBP but hopefully closer to 1.5K



Cheers.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Blakeq on February 09, 2020, 04:02:05 PM
Seems like Synology and qnap are the leaders for Nas stuff and have the best software support.

I just got a lower end Synology. Have not set it up yet.

For drives, some people prefer Western digital or Seagate. I went with Western digital. I got some 12 tb externals during Christmas sales that I will shuck. ( Remove the cases from).

Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: rumbleseat on February 09, 2020, 07:04:11 PM
I have so little objective information that was thinking of not even offering it, but anyway, here it is.  I don't have any experience with the WD NAS boxes.  But, I've been running a Synology DS414 for almost 6 years with Seagate NAS 4x4TB drives.  It has been flawless.  I've requested help from Synology a couple of times and they've provided excellent advice, even logging into my NAS remotely and helping me free up space and get it configured properly.  I also have to put in a good word for Newegg - I had originally purchased WD Red drives and for some reason (bad lot I'm guessing) the NAS trashed all 4 during installation.  Newegg took them back and refunded the purchase without a question.  The Seagate drives installed fine and have been running smoothly ever since.
The NAS is running Synology's version of RAID so I'm covered if a disk fails.  Even so, I have it do a weekly backup to an 8 TB and 10TB set of WD MyBook drives.

I particularly like the "DS Audio" phone app that gives me access to my entire music collection wherever I am.  I'm guessing WD and QNAP have similar apps...
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: daspyknows on February 09, 2020, 10:50:47 PM
I have been very happy with my synology unit.  On the otherhand stay away from Buffalo products.  Their stuff is unreliable, things failed shortly after warranty expired and support horrible.  The head of support told me I should expect things to fail.  Ended up corresponding with EVP of Sales and Support and they sent a refurbished unit that was DOA.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B) on February 09, 2020, 11:49:14 PM
I've been running a Synology DS918+ with 4x6TB  WD Red drives. Gives me about 16GB total storage.

It's been 100% reliable (knock on wood). It was easy to set up, and has a lot of options to use it for other things. Currently I have Deluge (torrent client) running on it. One of these days I'll get around to setting up Plex (media server) as well.

Don't forget that a NAS is NOT a backup solution by itself. Yep, a drive can die and you'll probably be ok...but if you're house burns down...it's gone. If you accidentally delete a bunch of stuff it might also be gone.

Because of this I also have a Synology DS218+ that lives at my brothers house. I initially backed it up and home and then brought it over to his house where it gets sync'd to the 918+ nightly.

Finally, I keep 1 HD in a safe deposit box that is a back up of my critical data (mostly my recordings and photos). That gets updated about once a year
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: morst on February 10, 2020, 03:31:42 AM
... I also have a Synology DS218+ that lives at my brothers house. I initially backed it up at home and then brought it over to his house where it gets sync'd to the 918+ nightly.
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
This is a great plan
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: borjam on February 10, 2020, 10:16:06 AM
The best thing I can recommend (it's what I use) is a good quality small server, like the HP Microserver, with four disks and running FreeNAS as the operating system.

I have both of them actually and I can even replicate content between them.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: jb63 on February 10, 2020, 11:19:10 AM
I've been pretty happy with a Drobo 5N, but it screwed me out of files I had labeled with ">" (as in dpa4021>miniME>R44).
Those files existed but were renamed to HHGVBLJZJ or some such nonsense, so I lost a lot of source info.

Otherwise, yay for the NAS system!
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: todd e on February 10, 2020, 02:52:09 PM
I've been pretty happy with a Drobo 5N, but it screwed me out of files I had labeled with ">" (as in dpa4021>miniME>R44).
Those files existed but were renamed to HHGVBLJZJ or some such nonsense, so I lost a lot of source info.

Otherwise, yay for the NAS system!

good to know, i'm on a drobo 5n myself.  no problems, all 5 drives are healthy and i use all the extension/apps like transmission/plex/drobopix etc.
i wanna go synology, but also dont want to spend the time to change my setup
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: georgeh on February 11, 2020, 03:31:16 PM
I've been pretty happy with a Drobo 5N, but it screwed me out of files I had labeled with ">" (as in dpa4021>miniME>R44).
Those files existed but were renamed to HHGVBLJZJ or some such nonsense, so I lost a lot of source info.

Otherwise, yay for the NAS system!

good to know, i'm on a drobo 5n myself.  no problems, all 5 drives are healthy and i use all the extension/apps like transmission/plex/drobopix etc.
i wanna go synology, but also dont want to spend the time to change my setup
Drobo 5N crashed, but managed to get it all back, very very long process. So, now have a seagate drive that just gets backed up too and left alone, had to get it to back up the Drobo 5N when it crashed.
Multiple storage drives seems to be safest thing.
But the NAS Drobo 5N is absolutely wonderful hooked to my Oppo for play back of 24bit shows.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Ultfris101 on February 12, 2020, 08:41:26 AM
I got a synology 1819+ recently and love it. I've had plans to build a Freenas box myself for years but never got around to doing it right. Pulled the trigger on a synology and 32gb of ram. I was able to put all of my old 500gb and 1tb drives in it and then bit by bit move data from USB's onto it. Then when the USB externals (2tb and 4tb mostly) were free I shucked one and put it into the synology to get a little more space. Rinse and repeat.

I bought two new WD Red 8Tb and now I'm all set. Gigabit ethernet for my main workstation and the synology.

I dabble with Proxmox and VM's and can use it as storage for those too.

Very happy. No more piles of USB drives or digging them out of boxes to find something.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: borjam on February 13, 2020, 02:15:30 AM
I've had plans to build a Freenas box myself for years but never got around to doing it right.
It can be a bit tricky, admitted, because not all PCs are born equal despite claims. There is a list of dont's and many
people choose to ignore it because, well, they know better.

Other than that, FreeNAS can offer the levels of reliability you can only find in big name, high end storage kit costing many thousands of dollars.

The FreeNAS forum has comprehensive lists of recommendations.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: rocksuitcase on February 13, 2020, 10:24:42 AM
Synology DS1515+ owner here. Had it almost four years. the base unit died, under warranty, about 3 months ago and they were incredibly responsive support wise, exchanged my 1515+ with a refurbed one and the 5x4TB drives (RAID) all re-built almost immediately. I use WD Red Pro drives. Got them from B&H and one was dead out of the box, exchanged no problem.
We use Synology at work for backup boxes. Highly recommended (compared to other brands) if you can afford them.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Ultfris101 on February 13, 2020, 06:46:10 PM
I've had plans to build a Freenas box myself for years but never got around to doing it right.
It can be a bit tricky, admitted, because not all PCs are born equal despite claims. There is a list of dont's and many
people choose to ignore it because, well, they know better.

Other than that, FreeNAS can offer the levels of reliability you can only find in big name, high end storage kit costing many thousands of dollars.

The FreeNAS forum has comprehensive lists of recommendations.

Freenas is awesome. I've setup freenas a couple times in old cases and then for various reasons wasn't ready to commit to the upgrades to make it production ready. When I looked at getting a case recently with hot swappable bays, H310 raid cards, etc I decided my time is worth the investment in a synology. It just works. Synology is basically a productized version of what i'd build myself on freenas. I highly recommend that anybody with the inclination take a hard look at freenas.

Now i'm thinking about backups. Options are to build a freenas box with the spare drives and some upgrades or get a dx517 or a smaller unit like a 1019+. I'm pushing everything to backblaze buckets but if I ever had to restore a lot of data that would be expensive so I'd like a local copy.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: morst on February 14, 2020, 04:20:26 AM

 >:D  Devil's advocate, but I really do wonder:

Someone please remind me why "Cloud" (some other entity has your data) or "Multiple Drive" solutions (RAID? Redundant array of inexpensive devices? They are all relatively cheap now!) are better than JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Discs.)
Is it that you have trouble organizing your files? *
My goal for backup is at least three copies of anything important, and one of those should be moved "off site" to another location for safety.
WHY NAS?
Do you truly require 100% availability? All files on line at all times? Why? Are you sharing files at all times?
*I have a program on my Mac called DiskTracker that indexes volumes so I can search for things which are not plugged in at the moment.
I just don't understand the "need" for all files to be available at all times, unless you are hosting a server for remote access. If you have told others that they could go to an Internet address and find a file, then I DO understand. I just don't think most of us are doing that!?
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: aaronji on February 14, 2020, 06:29:03 AM
^ One of the biggest reasons, for me, is that I have my playback system connected to the NAS. All of the music on the NAS is instantly available for listening. Additionally, I have web access to all of my files and can give someone else access if I choose; the NAS automatically backs up my computer's internal drives at regular user-specified intervals; RAID is great in case a drive crashes; and some of the other software tools are useful (for example the photo application).
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: morst on February 14, 2020, 04:32:07 PM
All of the music on the NAS is instantly available for listening.

I agree that NAS is a great solution for hosting files you wish to keep available, but I don't listen to raw masters on the home stereo, only finished stuff. My hard drive collection includes large quantities of "raw" recordings that really don't belong on a household server if I have to pay to keep it spinning.


I am suggesting that folks use NAS for its good point, media server availability, but not to consider it a good place to keep most files. For instance, do you really need your personal tax info available to guests who want to watch a cartoon? If not, then why pay for the juice to spin that drive?


If you are so gracious that you would allow folks to pick from your music collection remotely at any time, I applaud that, but wonder if the leeches would not prefer finished file sets to raw unmixed/unmastered large files?


TRYING TO SAVE Y'ALL SOME MONEY HERE!!!

PS RAID is not a good backup strategy because if you delete the file once, it disappears from the entire array!
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Scooter123 on February 14, 2020, 06:32:39 PM
I use Synology, which is just a empty box with a RAID card in it.  It has a Cat5 interface, so your router will assign it an IP address then you scan for the device and add it as a drive under "My Computer."

I had two out of four Seagate Enterprise drives go bad out of the box last month. 

I would recommend Western Digital Black. 

I will note that the Synology box is a little slow to wake up when writing to the device--it takes about 30 second to wake up and be recognized.  Other than that, the box works very well. 
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: aaronji on February 15, 2020, 05:59:00 PM
All of the music on the NAS is instantly available for listening.

I agree that NAS is a great solution for hosting files you wish to keep available, but I don't listen to raw masters on the home stereo, only finished stuff. My hard drive collection includes large quantities of "raw" recordings that really don't belong on a household server if I have to pay to keep it spinning.

I am suggesting that folks use NAS for its good point, media server availability, but not to consider it a good place to keep most files. For instance, do you really need your personal tax info available to guests who want to watch a cartoon? If not, then why pay for the juice to spin that drive?

If you are so gracious that you would allow folks to pick from your music collection remotely at any time, I applaud that, but wonder if the leeches would not prefer finished file sets to raw unmixed/unmastered large files?

TRYING TO SAVE Y'ALL SOME MONEY HERE!!!

PS RAID is not a good backup strategy because if you delete the file once, it disappears from the entire array!

RAID is for redundancy, in case a drive crashes. The backup system on my NAS is a separate function that copies my computer's internal hard drive at regular (user defined) intervals and keeps multiple (user defined) restore points. Both are valuable to me, although I need to get an off-site option also, in case of fire or flood or whatever. The music is in a special dedicated folder, which only contains playback ready files (although I sometimes drop a raw recording in there temporarily to see how it sounds).

As for letting others into the server, I have complete control over what they can (and cannot) access. Usually, I will set up a single folder containing only the files I want to share, and, even that, only for people I trust. 
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B) on February 16, 2020, 03:33:14 PM

I would recommend Western Digital Black. 


WD Red's are designed for NAS usage.

Blacks are for high performance. I'm not an expert, but I don't think having a super fast drive running over a network is necessary.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: morst on February 16, 2020, 07:03:53 PM
WD Red's are designed for NAS usage. Blacks are for high performance. I'm not an expert, but I don't think having a super fast drive running over a network is necessary.

Speed requirements would depend on usage. If you might have 4 people watching HD movies at the same time from the same NAS then faster might help. If it's just for folks leeching MP3's over a cable modem then it won't matter as much.

Drives designed for use in multiple drive situations like RAID need to give users control over timeout. If a RAID drive times out, the controller might think it's disappeared and try to rebuild it when it comes back.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_recovery_control
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: Scooter123 on February 17, 2020, 02:31:29 AM
I'm no expert, but my IT guys, a national company that does medium to large businesses, recommends WD Black for SATA drives in all applications. 

I get that they are double the price of Seagate Enterprise, but like I said, I had two out of four Seagate go DOA out of the box. 

I won't buy those again. 

Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: borjam on February 17, 2020, 05:06:05 AM
Drives designed for use in multiple drive situations like RAID need to give users control over timeout. If a RAID drive times out, the controller might think it's disappeared and try to rebuild it when it comes back.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_recovery_control[/font]
Actually you want the drives to return an error when something goes wrong. Desktop class drives tend to retry
operations ad infinitum and it can be a real disaster.

In an storage system with enough redundancy you need a drive that will perform a finite number of retries and signal a failure in
case it's beginning to degrade, so that the storage system can flag it as bad and have you replace it.

If you mask errors in the drives you may end up with a redundant system of broken drives beyond the self healing capacity of your system.
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: rocksuitcase on February 17, 2020, 11:28:54 AM

 >:D  Devil's advocate, but I really do wonder:

Someone please remind me why "Cloud" (some other entity has your data) or "Multiple Drive" solutions (RAID? Redundant array of inexpensive devices? They are all relatively cheap now!) are better than JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Discs.)
Is it that you have trouble organizing your files? *
My goal for backup is at least three copies of anything important, and one of those should be moved "off site" to another location for safety.
WHY NAS?
Do you truly require 100% availability? All files on line at all times? Why? Are you sharing files at all times?
*I have a program on my Mac called DiskTracker that indexes volumes so I can search for things which are not plugged in at the moment.
I just don't understand the "need" for all files to be available at all times, unless you are hosting a server for remote access. If you have told others that they could go to an Internet address and find a file, then I DO understand. I just don't think most of us are doing that!?
What's the one who replies to the Devils advocate? The Promoter of the Cause? LOL     OK, here's my responses to your basic hard drive, NAS vs PC box truths.
1] For me, I initially set up the RAID as Synology offers, but as you say, I do not need it, so next time around I will go JBOD. My buddy has two 1818's and goes JBOD on both, one is the backup to the other.
2] To that end I am not doing proper offsite backup- kindms and I occasionally transfer all our masters to the other's NAS. but that ain't a great backup scheme.
3] I do host my server for remote access, although the number of users is low and the actual number who truly use it is about 2-3 people. It IS handy to retrieve things from your own server while being miles away.
4] I also do use it for live access/playback on our home network though I don't take advantage of PLEX to serve up movies etc.
5] As an IT guy who doesn't play or serve up movies much, I knew it was overkill for me, but it sure has been handy and a solid device. Has saved me multiple times when forgetting files needed for uploading to LMA, or needing to access photos for other people etc
Title: Re: NAS or similar storage options
Post by: bobstammers on February 20, 2020, 02:10:45 PM
Thanks for all of the input!

I went with Synology DS918+ c/w 4 x 4TB WD Red using their version of Raid.

Setup was super easy, it seems a little noisier than my WD EX4100 but nothing offensive. I have Transmission running for torrents and Plex as a media server.

After weighing up the options, including HP Microserver I figured I haven't the time to meddle and getting a microserver to run as I want whereas Synology was just plug and go out of the box, other than the hours spent transferring files to it.

Thanks all!