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Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replac...
  
 
amacal1
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p.1 #1 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


I've always used a separate internal HDD for storage on my desktop. A few months back I added a 1 TB WD Blue drive and stored all of my photos and documents on it. I also did a complete backup of the contents onto a 1.5 TH WD Green drive (fortunately).

Well, the drive in my computer seems to have failed. It's taken with it everything I've created in the last few months, because I haven't done a backup since then. It's not a devastating loss, but it's painful to lose, nonetheless.

I'm an amateur, photographing family, friends, and events. I consider my photos, especially the irreplaceable ones of past memories and deceased loved ones, to be some of the most valuable items in my possession. I have my I first child on the way in a few weeks and I will not tolerate a loss like this again, if I can help it.
I've been considering getting a NAS device, and in the wake of this failure I can justify it. Also, considering the loss, I may be interested in a RAID configuration that can minimize data loss. I'm tech-savvy, but I've never fully warped my head around the nuances (or even basics) of RAID systems.

I'd like something that's easy to set up, but with good features and an emphasis on preventing data loss. A reasonable price would be nice (did I mention that I'll have a baby in a couple of weeks?).

Can anyone recommend a device and/or tips on preventing data loss?



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:32 PM
mikejl29
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p.1 #2 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


I'd strongly recommend something from OWC - Great RAID systems at an affordable price.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/External-Enclosures/3.5-Inch-Drives



Feb 26, 2014 at 08:38 PM
amacal1
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p.1 #3 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Those do look nice, but I was more interested in something with networking so that I can access documents/images from any of my devices, even when my desktop is off.


Feb 26, 2014 at 08:49 PM
Bernie
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p.1 #4 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Even if you have raid, consider another backup which is normally kept offline / off site. Power surges can take out a computer and raid NAS as well...


Feb 26, 2014 at 08:58 PM
BobCollette
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p.1 #5 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


There are a couple of ways you could go. First way would be to go with a dedicated NAS drive. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with them, so I can't give you a recommendation.

An alternative(what I use) is to use the storage provision in some routers. I'm currently using a WD N750 wireless router (got it on sale for $30). It has two USB 2.0 ports on the back which can be used to setup a "poor man's NAS". While not for power users, it' fine for general purpose usage and can be accessed by any computer on the local network. Virtually any external HD with a USB port will work with it, and it's virtually "free" (as long as you have a router that supports sharing a USB drive).



Feb 26, 2014 at 09:03 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #6 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Look at Synology or QNAP NAS's if you're going to go that route. They are the best.


Feb 26, 2014 at 09:36 PM
Ho1972
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p.1 #7 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


My wife got me a QNAP 212P for Christmas. It's really overkill for what I needed but I'm happy with it thus far. I populated it with WD Red 2TB drives, but it will accommodate 4TB drives if you need more storage.

Link
Review

Edited on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:18 PM · View previous versions



Feb 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM
amacal1
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p.1 #8 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Bernie:
Yes, I absolutely see the value in maintaining an offline backup. I should now seriously consider offsite backup, too.
I've seen some NAS units that can interface with a battery backup and safely shut down in the event of a power surge/failure. That's something I was very interested in.


BobCollete:
I think I'm ready to go all in, half-measures are going to leave me half-satisfied, I think.


howardm4:
What makes you say that "they are the best"? Features? Price? Technology? Reputation?
What makes those two better than similar offerings from, say, Buffalo, WD, or Netgear.
I ask specifically about Buffalo and WD because they are cheap, popular, and full of features.



Feb 26, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #9 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


BobCollette wrote:
There are a couple of ways you could go. First way would be to go with a dedicated NAS drive. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with them, so I can't give you a recommendation.

An alternative(what I use) is to use the storage provision in some routers. I'm currently using a WD N750 wireless router (got it on sale for $30). It has two USB 2.0 ports on the back which can be used to setup a "poor man's NAS". While not for power users, it' fine for general purpose usage and can be accessed by any computer on the
...Show more

I'll chip in that I find Bob's way here to be the best solution. But unlike him I've owned many many different "NAS Products" in the past and even still have a few going. Basically these days they're just overpriced and that's really their only distinguishing feature over other alternatives. If you need the funky RAID levels for some reason (like you operate a very busy photo studio) then DIY kits for far less money (typically less than half) will actually serve you better - more features, more expandability, and much faster!

Another way akin to Bob's suggestion is to get a used laptop for about $50 with USB 2.0 and networking, upgrade the internal drive in it to a $70 new 1TB unit to use as an intermediary buffer and just hook up your USB storage drives to that. Share everything and that'll provide you with both fast ethernet and wireless access throughout your home as well.

If you do go for this think about installing Red Hat Enterprise as the OS. It delivers noticeably faster throughput over the network than Windows or MacOS / OS X - especially given the older hardware - and offers features unavailable on either of those - even via reasonably prices 3rd party solutions - not to mention near perfect stability.

There, now go compare the prices between a "NAS Solution" containing a 14" 24bit color control panel, 6 hours of battery backup, wireless, full keyboard and touch-pad for input, and 512MB of buffering memory to the $125 solution I just suggested - which also has all of that. If you have money to burn you could even splurge and get a used laptop that has USB3.0 but I think you need to spend about $250 instead of $50 for one of those.


Congratulation on your new baby BTW! WooHoo! Kids ROCK!



Feb 26, 2014 at 11:37 PM
tived
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p.1 #10 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


I have been very happy with my Synology 1812+ 8 driver NAS I am getting 110mb/sec over my network with just a single NIC, and if you ran with parallel NIC's you could almost double it - depending on your setup.

I use Western Digital RED 3TB drives and I have been very happy with it.

I also use Hard drive cradles for back up on to bare hard drives e.g. not case on them.

I have set up this kind of systems for other photographers - where they have a copy on their workstation (usually in some raid config) then they have a NAS using a 1-2 drive redundancy and finally they have the Harddrive cradles with bare hard drives that they can take away from the office. so there is always 3 or more copies

All the best of luck with it

Henrik



Feb 27, 2014 at 03:37 AM
 

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amacal1
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p.1 #11 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


That exact option is cost effective, considering I have all of those things lying around. However, that's really no different than the setup I already used (networked drive within my desktop).

It doesn't solve the problem of drives potentially failing, as I've just experienced. I can get x2 1TB hard drives for ~$55 each, so a mirrored RAID setup doesn't seem that absurd. That way I can prevent similar episodes of data loss in between my backups.

I still have to buy another HDD to replace the one that's failed. The only price difference is whether or not I'll get two (for RAID 1) and then whether I,ll put them in the desktop or in a NAS unit.



Feb 27, 2014 at 03:50 AM
amacal1
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p.1 #12 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Here are some models that I may be considering. Can anyone recommend for or against any of these? Comments, etc?


Buffalo LinkStation 421e
2 Bay, diskless. RAID, personal cloud, backup software, etc.
$99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CO0DE0W/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=29VTTEUESI73O&coliid=I1POLS6YHYU8RY


BUFFALO LinkStation Pro Duo
2 bay, diskless. RAID, personal cloud, backup software, etc.
$111
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008DWAGPG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=29VTTEUESI73O&coliid=IZJK0TKVLYPXD


Qnap TS-212P
same as others, generally, except has USB 3.0 ports
$184 (though the TS-212E is $30 less, and I don't know what the difference is)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G2HZNXO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=29VTTEUESI73O&coliid=I2A3U9VSNTQF7R


Synology DiskStation DS213j
same as others, generally.
$199
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CRB9CK4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=29VTTEUESI73O&coliid=I30X0RH9CT752G



Feb 27, 2014 at 04:14 AM
mhayes5254
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p.1 #13 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Raid is of limited value in preventing data loss. Sure , it works when one of the drives has a hardware failure, but that accounts for only a portion of the possible data loss events. A RAID copy should only be considered equal to a single copy on a single drive. Multiple INDEPENDENT backups are the key. If you want network access, use one of the options mentioned above, but do not worry about the device being RAID. Have a minimum if 2 full backups of whatever you set up.

I have a live real-time backup to an external 2 TB Passport (using Mac time machine). This is not fully independent. I have a second one in a safe deposit box and swap them about once a month or so. Very low tech but it works well. So far, single drive capacity has kept up with my storage needs. I have started scanning large format film so that may change eventually. Then I will consider multiple drive options.



Feb 27, 2014 at 04:28 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #14 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


amacal1 wrote:
That exact option is cost effective, considering I have all of those things lying around. However, that's really no different than the setup I already used (networked drive within my desktop).

It doesn't solve the problem of drives potentially failing, …


Yes it does actually. The drives you would use with it will be RAID5 (~$150 for a 5 bay enclosure + $80 for each 3 or 4 TB drive capable of each delivering 190 to 210 megaBYTES (mB not mb!) per second. Five such drives in a RAID5 will give you about 400 to 500 mB/s and if RAID0 make that the full 600 MB/s possible over a single eSATA cable.

Over a network you will never get more than 80 MB/s over a 1000BASE-T ethernet connection. It's 1000Mb/s or 80 MB/s limit prevents it from doing so. That's a little slow I can tell you from working with higher spec systems. But 110mb/s is too slow - unless you're just stepping up from a Commodore 64. It doesn't even cut it for supplying a one-man 24mpx camera, usage scenario let alone if there are tablets, pads, phones, and TVs in the home using it too.

as I've just experienced. I can get x2 1TB hard drives for ~$55 each, so a mirrored RAID setup doesn't seem that absurd. That way I can prevent similar episodes of data loss in between my backups.

Well as one author above points out; you mean to say "drive loss" rather than "data-loss" but sure, a 2-drive RAID1 enclosure costs $30 and like you say, $55 for each drive (I like the Seagate Barracuda single platter 1TB drive for their 212MB/s speed at $45 myself) so that's… figure a round $150 after tax for the storage unit - and you say you already have the rest? Great, $150 it is then. How much are the NAS Product units you're looking at and I bet they only have 100BASE-T (less than 10MB/s) rather than 1000BASE-T or better still TX, and also without an 802.11n WiFi broadcast point.

I still have to buy another HDD to replace the one that's failed. The only price difference is whether or not I'll get two (for RAID 1) and then whether I,ll put them in the desktop or in a NAS unit.

Yes, RAID1 is safer than no RAID or RAID0 don't let anyone tell ya different but it's often not at all (0%) of consideration. The reason being is that the media drive you're talking about is a host. It lives to serve. It doesn't live to protect. If you want the protection part then the mirror drive(s) need to be kept offline when backups are not happening. Right, it's the obvious thing:

Q. How do you prevent a hard drive from failing?
A. Don't turn it on or connect it.

Typically it seems that most people who have been through what you just have opt for keeping an off-line backup synchronized (between weekly and monthly). Myself I currently keep multiple 3TB RAID0 sets off-line and rotate them. My current system is three 6TB RAID0 sets internally (six 3TB Seagate Barracuda drives) - (set1=System, Set2=Data, Set3=Hourly online Backup) - and then the sets I keep off-line as well. - _ - But anyway the important bit is that one volume is kept mostly off-line (and some guys even insist "off-site") in order to ensure a reasonable level of protection.


PS: I hope this doesn't sound like I'm trying to sell you something - just letting you know what I've experienced so you can arm yourself against potentially unneeded expenditures.

EDIT:
- And after telling you I'm not trying to sell you anything it's only fair to mention that these are RAIDable and simply wonderful when it comes to swapping RAID sets around.



Feb 27, 2014 at 08:33 AM
Ho1972
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p.1 #15 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


amacal1 wrote:
Qnap TS-212P
same as others, generally, except has USB 3.0 ports
$184 (though the TS-212E is $30 less, and I don't know what the difference is)

A quick look at the specs shows the E model has half the RAM of the P model (512 vs 256). The Synology unit uses a slower processor and does not have USB 3.

Regarding the bandwidth or throughput issue, it's something to consider if you're going to be setting up a media server/working with video (neither of which is a concern for me), or if you have limited patience. My NAS exists to make real time backups of my work plus act as a secondary store for all the files I want to have immediately available (as opposed to loading up something from the offline archives). In general, I don't work on or load files from the NAS. My working images (work in progress) are kept on an internal SSD and recent, completed files (not yet archived) reside on an internal HDD. Both of those are backed up to the NAS and elsewhere (minimum two levels of redundancy).

If I need to retrieve something from the NAS, it takes longer — sometimes considerably longer — for a ~1GB+ file to open than loading up the same file from one of my internal drives. Whether this is a limitation of the NAS or an Ethernet speed cap I don't know. For my purposes it doesn't matter that it's slower since I rarely need to load anything on the NAS into Photoshop or LR. When the situation occurs that I do need several files from that location, I just let them transfer in the background while I do something else.

Also note that the lower tier NAS devices are a little less snappy when using their web interfaces due (I assume) to the processors used. This also isn't an area of concern in my case, but your needs may be different.



Feb 27, 2014 at 09:59 AM
amacal1
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p.1 #16 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


These are all good points and it's a lot to consider. Thank you all for your input.


Right now I think I'm still leaning towards a NAS and still leaning towards a RAID 1 setup. I think I may go with the Buffalo Linkstation 421e. It's very reasonably priced, but I'm reading good reviews about its speed, features, and lifetime 24/7 support that people are praising.



Feb 27, 2014 at 03:42 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #17 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


That's not bad if there are no gotchas… 1000BASE-T and USB 3.0, a 1.2GHz processor with 512MB of RAM in a dual bay enclosure for a hundred bucks. You can safely disregard most of my previous suggestions tho I'd still wanna have an off-line backup for the security bit.

It's 1000BASE-T and not TX but that's only downside I see to it.



Feb 27, 2014 at 04:27 PM
amacal1
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p.1 #18 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


Damn. Gotcha!

That's not an official Amazon sponsored seller. All prices from more established stores (other Amazon sellers, Newegg, Dell, etc) are more expensive. I think I'd rather not chance it from a Joe Blow seller, even if it is a good deal.



Feb 27, 2014 at 05:02 PM
garydavidjones
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p.1 #19 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


I am also an amateur and copy everything onto archival DVDs, which you can copy
onto the hard drive of the new computer.

On trips I transfer photos to both my laptop and to Hyperdrive, which can hold 500gb of
data. If the laptop crashes on the trip, still have all the trip photos on the Hyperdrive.

Edited on Feb 27, 2014 at 05:23 PM · View previous versions



Feb 27, 2014 at 05:18 PM
Squirrely Eyed
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p.1 #20 · Internal HDD failed, Please recommend NAS unit for replacement


I have a Synology NAS and rather like it. I use it for RAID + internal backup drive + USB backup capability for offsite backups. I have it connected to a UPS (highly recommend for any storage) that also powers my USB drives, network router, and modem.

As Bob and Bifurcator point out, there are other options that could be a whole lot cheaper. Using a laptop may take more work to set things up and not be as dummy-proof as some of the NAS options, but it will also come with much higher flexibility.



Feb 27, 2014 at 05:21 PM
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