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Best NAS for my needs - Advice from experienced peeps

Discussion in 'General NAS Discussion' started by spartacusroo, May 22, 2019.

  1. spartacusroo

    spartacusroo New Around Here

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
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    Howdy all,


    I am writing this in hopes of getting some advice from people who are more experienced with NAS devices than myself.


    I currently use Onedrive for my family home (currently wife, two kids and myself) for photo storage, document storage and anything else we find useful. I had a bad experience with Onedrive recently and to keep it simple I am looking for an option to not require Onedrive anymore (or at least not have it as a total failsafe). I am currently keeping everything on One drive (which syncs locally as well) and periodically backing up to an external HDD as well. Needless to say this is a borish process and feels needless with todays technology.



    I am hoping someone will be able to recommend me a personal NAS which suits my requirements below.


    Requirements:


    1. Price - My price range is up to $2500 AUD (including SSDs/HDDs). However, I don't want to buy something that is beyond what I will use it for.


    2. What is will be used for - It will be used to store photos, documents, and hopefully I will set it up to act as a media center which will eventually integrate into a Google eco system (future plan for home). It will be used by my wife, the two kids will have folders (hopefully bringing them into when school starts) and for any small business documents (home business).


    3. Storage/Speed - I am not an expert with storage but I have a basic understanding that HDDs are slower than SSD storage. If this is the same with a NAS I would prefer an SSD option so my documents read and write fast and I can access them faster/ including stream movies etc faster. We used an old NAS many years ago and my wife hated it because it took sometimes a whole day to transfer large photo documents from her local folders to the NAS. I am assuming 8-10TB would be more than enough storage for my family to house all documents, photos and act as the media center (happy to be told otherwise). *Note* It can either be plugged into an ethernet cable or used as Wifi.


    3. Seamless - We both like how seamless Onedrive is, as in it automatically syncs photos we take with our phones and categorizes them. Additionally, if Onedrive fails we still have access to the documents on our physical computers. We have access to Onedrive on our mobile phones, which is a must if we want to easily be able to access our documents from our phones or any other computer anywhere in the world.


    4. Security - I know most systems are fairly secure these days and moving to housing our own storage seems to be a step in a more secure direction.


    5. Failsafe - I have a rudimentary understanding of how RAID works, I know some will be hot-swappable, meaning that if a HDD fails, the other HDD/s will keep the data so it is safe and I can replace the broken one? Ultimately, I don't want to have to worry about my data being lost and I don't want to have to manually back up to an external HDD as another failsafe. I would assume this means it would be a three bay minimum? because how could three HDDs all fail at once right? :p


    6. User friendly - I am not hugely tech savy, however I would do some study if required to set it up. Ultimately, I do not want to have to do a CCNA course in order to use my device, I want it to be simple to use for my wife and kids in terms of accessing, storing etc, and rather user friendly when I want to integrate it into my home eco system/media center eventually.


    7. Future Plans - I currently use Windows 10, however I may be switching to linux in the future (had some real bad issues with Win 10 recently, privacy issues...)


    I would really appreciate anyone with more experiences in NAS to provide me a couple of options after noting my requirements.


    Look forward to any responses of guidance or advice.


    Kind regards
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Welcome to the forums! :)

    Cloud storage is definitely the future, even if I too wish it wasn't so. :)

    A NAS like you want will be hard to get in your budget, not because they're not available, but because contrary to what you now believe, you will still need to back it up (and for your requirements I recommend a fully set up and working, second NAS).

    There will be nothing in your price range for how OneDrive currently works (and similar options). And, you will have to know how to manage your own hardware too.

    Can you approach what OneDrive does for you now? Yes and within your budget.

    Can you guarantee the uptime and data redundancy as it does too? Not without a second unit (different model, different HDD's, same capabilities).

    The brand I would recommend is QNAP. A three-drive bay set up for what you want would not be adequate, IMO.

    I would recommend instead 6 or 8 drive bays instead (even if you only used 4 right now in RAID 10, to start).

    I would not be too worried about the speed of the drives. They will most likely saturate a 1GbE connection easily.

    What you need to consider is the ISP you have and if you have symmetric up/down speeds of at least 250Mbps or more to satisfy the whole household.

    The way you would access your NAS would be via OpenVPN or similar, running on your own equipment (I would not use their cloud services which leaves the NAS potentially vulnerable). If you're not using a symmetrical 1Gbps ISP (up/down) then the RT-AC86U or the similar (processor) RT-AX88U should be your first choice for the fastest OpenVPN connections possible. Ideally, to max out your ISP connection (and remembering that your upload speed will be the limit of the download speed any individual device will attain), you want to build your own dedicated 'box' that you can throw more hardware at than the baby routers we have in consumer-land today.
     
  3. spartacusroo

    spartacusroo New Around Here

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    3

    Thanks for the reply :)

    Using this as an example (an 8 bay Qnap) https://www.qnapshop.com.au/QNAP-TS...AS-Alpine-AL-324-Quad-Core-1.7GHz-CPU-8GB-RAM - and what you have described. Wouldn't this 8 bay suffice as redundancy? Because I would assume you would have 4 HDDs acting as the active drives, running a RAID redundancy of their own in case one died, and you would also have the other 4 which could be mirrored from the first 4 HDDs. So essentially it would be 2 sets of 4 HDDs mirrored as redundancy for the NAS? The only way that could fail as redundancy would be if the unit burnt down with all 8 drives?
     
    L&LD likes this.
  4. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    No, a single device is never redundant. :)

    There are many ways for it to fail. Ethernet port(s) die. Cooling fan dies, CPU overheats. RAM becomes flakey. The device is stolen, flooded, dropped.

    The data may be there in some of my examples above, but it would be in an unusable state until you got another unit and set it up again. ;)
     
    Dave Parker likes this.
  5. spartacusroo

    spartacusroo New Around Here

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
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    Ok. So maybe full-scale redundancy is not what I meant.

    In terms of redundancy, I was talking about HDDs. IE if a HDD burns out or goes down, even if down for awhile the data is safe, so I guess it is more data protection than redundancy.

    I don’t want to lose years of photos if one HDD fails, which is why I thought if it is mirrored on multiple HDDs there is less chance of ALL failing. And really, if for whatever reason the entire NAS goes down with all HDDs inside, I would have the important documents on my local machine (my pc) as a secondary in worst scenario.

    So in this event is an eight bay still best? Or I could get away with a four bay with all 3TB each?

    From what you described before I am assuming maybe an eight bay would suit my needs for size storage because 4 HDDs to reach the 8-10 TB storage I want and the other 4 are mirrors of the first??
     
  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    If performance and high capacity is important, then I would avoid any ARM-based NAS, and go for one with at least an Intel Celeron (or an AMD equivalent).

    If over a gigabit link, then an SSD won't bring you any performance gain - the bottleneck is the 1 Gbps Ethernet link. Any modern HDD will have no problem saturating that link. I get 100-110 MB/s out of my Asustor with a pair of Caviar Red.

    Backups ARE a must. A power surge in that NAS could fry all internal HDDs. If dealing with large capacities, then a second (lower-end) NAS could do the trick. I use a QNAP TS-228A myself to backup the data from my larger Asustor AS5004T. Any decent NAS will have support for scheduled remote backup/syncing.
     
    Dave Parker and L&LD like this.
  7. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    This still won't get you what you're looking for. :(

    As RMerlin correctly points out, anything attached to the same power supply and/or motherboard will likely have the same fate. Even if only one or two drives die, the whole array is effectively dead.

    Seems like the best option going forward for you is to get as fast an ISP package as possible (upload being as important as download speeds, if not more so).

    Use a powerful (Core based) main NAS with at least 6 drives in it set up as 4x RAID10 for your data and 2x RAID1 for the drives the NAS uses for the os.

    Use a secondary NAS as a backup. I would still recommend a 6 bay model. But 4 bays would be sufficient too.
     
    Dave Parker likes this.