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Getting confused, NAS and backup of NAS...

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I have just started a small business and I have to decide on a NAS pronto.

I am torn between a Netgear Readynas Duo (£200, without drives), or a QNAP TS-219 (£330 without drives).

I'm planning on putting in 2 x 1Tb drives in either, using Raid1.

I've read all the superb articles that Tim has written here on backup, not doing raid etc. but i am still confused as to what my best solution for a NAS and NAS backup are ?

(As an aside I was keen as mustard to get the best 4 bay NAS, but after reading Tim's articles, quickly decided that was a bad move.)

My initial thoughts for the NAS backup, are to get another NAS, ie Readynas, or QNAP with just 1 drive in to backup to. But is that an approriate and resilient enough backup ? Neither of these units have eSATA, so USB backup would probably be too slow. So what is the best, or if not best most appropriate way to do bakup of a NAS. I cannot figure out what is the way forward on this. I have tried Mozy etc, but right now cloud backup is just too damn slow right now.

It will be the repository for source code and work. Which is why I am very keen to get this right first time.

I've read that the Netgear Readynas is very reliable and robust, for both hardware and software, I have no view on whether QNAP kit is viewed in the same way. Are the extra feature set, faster CPU of the QNAP , worth £130 ?

Hope this all makes sense.

Can anyone help ?

There is no "right" solution for everyone. Your backup strategy depends on your budget, usage patterns and business needs.

Here is a simple three-layer plan:

- RAID 1 to protect against disk failure at a reasonable cost and ease of emergency recovery if needed.

- Completely automatic periodic (at least daily, more if possible) backup to another local physically separate device. A networked device is preferable both for the ability to be located away from the primary NAS to mitigate damage / theft loss.

- Automatic offsite backup to an online service.

Right now, between the two options, the ReadyNAS Duo would be the better choice. The only problem with it is that it uses a modified form of EXT3 that prevents the drives from being read on a normal Linux system. But for everything else, it's the way to go. Just upgrade to the latest firmware that adds ReadyNAS Vault online backup and use the RAIDar utility to configure the Duo for RAID 1 (vs. XRAID) operation.
Thanks Tim,

My backup strategy priority would be driven a business need of "got to be able to get to the data quickly, no matter what has failed"

So just so I have it right.

  • Readynas Duo
  • Ideal: local networked device (ie. readynas duo); OK: USB Drive (Seagate Freeagent)
  • Mozy, or ideally a good UK online storage facility(if there is one)

This would be an ok SOHO NAS and NAS backup solution ?

Thanks enormously for all your help Tim, seriously, very much appreciated.

Actually, I recommended the ReadyNAS Duo because it has the most flexible networked backup options. Basically, if you can mount it as a network share, the Duo can back up to or from it. So you don't have to use another Duo. You can use a computer, or single-drive lower-performance NAS.

The Duo also has the ReadyNAS Vault service (partnered with ElephantDrive). So for automated backup directly from the ReadyNAS, you would need to use it.

If you want to backup from clients, then you can use Mozy or whichever other "cloud" backup you prefer.

I use this approach now, except for the "cloud" backup. I will be trying the ReadyNAS Vault service shortly, which just became available for the SPARC-based ReadyNASes (the rest of their product line, except for the Pro and new NVX).
Thanks Tim,

Before I order one of these today, with a couple of the approved Samsung 1tb drives, do you know if the Readynas Duo supports AD ?

Active Directory

Is Active Directory relevant on a home, or secure SOHO network ?

Just curious


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