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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:00 PM   #1
bucks-daddy-o
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Synology as a file/media server and backup drive

I just got a Synology DS213 with 2 x 3TB WD Red. I have never used NAS in the past, and I would appreciate any suggestions for configuring the hardware to use as file/media server for my home network.

I have an iMac, MBP and an HP laptop. I also have an AppleTV. Combined together, the total HDD usage is about 1 TB. I have tens of thousands of photos and iTunes music (and just a dozens of movies).

I'm not interested in setting up DS213 and 6TB HDD as a RAID, but as a file/media server and a back-up device. My question is if I could treat the NAS as if it were two external hard drives and partition them into multiple volumes for user accounts, a media server and a back-up drive.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:13 PM   #2
flynz4
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Originally Posted by bucks-daddy-o View Post
I just got a Synology DS213 with 2 x 3TB WD Red. I have never used NAS in the past, and I would appreciate any suggestions for configuring the hardware to use as file/media server for my home network.

I have an iMac, MBP and an HP laptop. I also have an AppleTV. Combined together, the total HDD usage is about 1 TB. I have tens of thousands of photos and iTunes music (and just a dozens of movies).

I'm not interested in setting up DS213 and 6TB HDD as a RAID, but as a file/media server and a back-up device. My question is if I could treat the NAS as if it were two external hard drives and partition them into multiple volumes for user accounts, a media server and a back-up drive.
Treating a collection of drives as independent, vs as an array is called JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Drives). That would meet your objectives.

Some people feel that it is better to keep your data and backup in different drive enclosures... and as separate as possible. The theory being that the less common elements between your data and your backup... the fewer things that can affect both. I agree with this philosophy.

I also believe that it is best to use at least a dual backup strategy... one locally (ex: one to your DS213)... and a second backup to the cloud (for offsite disaster recovery). I also think they should be automatic (no human interaction)... and use two different backup programs.

/Jim
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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It's a great NAS, you'll have no problem setting it up as two separate drives, when you setup shares it'll ask you where you want them.

I've got a DS212j with an external USB drive just for weekly backups of the NAS drives.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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Jbod

Thanks but I was under impression that JBOD handles, say, a movie file to be evenly divided and stored across all available HDD units in the NAS. I didn't like this idea because if one HDD fails, then the entire system would fail too.

Is there a way to treat two HDDs independent from each other?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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Just set it up as two volumes. One has to be the boot but otherwise it's just a set of 3TB drives. Put your movies on one and everything else on the other.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 11:57 PM   #6
flynz4
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Originally Posted by bucks-daddy-o View Post
Thanks but I was under impression that JBOD handles, say, a movie file to be evenly divided and stored across all available HDD units in the NAS. I didn't like this idea because if one HDD fails, then the entire system would fail too.

Is there a way to treat two HDDs independent from each other?
What you describe is RAID-0, where the data is striped across all of the physical drives in the array. By contrast, JBOD is exactly what you want. Each JBOD drive is completely independent from each other. They would show up as 3 independent network attached drives in your finder.

/Jim
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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If you have two disks and want redundancy use raid-1, which is mirroring. Three disks or more, use raid5 or 6 if available.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:13 AM   #8
flynz4
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If you have two disks and want redundancy use raid-1, which is mirroring. Three disks or more, use raid5 or 6 if available.
The OP is not asking for redundancy. The OP seems to be asking for completely independent drives.

To the OP:
  • JBOD: Each drive is independent
  • RAID 0: Data is striped against all drives... high performance. Any drive fails, then the entire array fails
  • RAID 1: Data is mirrored across two drives. Any drive fails... the other drive still has the data
  • RAID 5: Data written across multiple drives, with parity. Any single drive fails... the remaining drives can recreate all data
  • RAID 10: Data stripped across dual drives... and the stripped data mirrored across two other drives. Offers both high performance... and data resiliency. Any drive fails... the data is still intact on the mirror. Up to two drives can fail... if the right two (on the same striped pair)

There are more RAID types available. This is not an exhaustive list.

/Jim

Last edited by flynz4; Jan 16, 2013 at 12:20 AM.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
The OP is not asking for redundancy. The OP seems to be asking for completely independent drives.

/Jim
I'm more familiar with qnap, but I assume synology has support for logical drives on top of a physical disk set w/raid. I would never trust a single disk in a jbod config with my pictures.

A
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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I'm more familiar with qnap, but I assume synology has support for logical drives on top of a physical disk set w/raid. I would never trust a single disk in a jbod config with my pictures.

A
Personally I use RAID 10. However... I do not consider that backup. I double back up all of my data. Locally via Time Machine... to the cloud via Crashplan+. I am paranoid about my pictures. I additionally backup my Aperture 3 library manually via CCC to a set of cloned drives. The most up to date of these two drives is always kept offsite in my office. It allows me to continue using A3 on any other Mac in case of emergency.

Because of the difficulty of affordable cloud back up of a NAS... I choose to never store any primary data on a NAS. Instead, I use a Thunderbolt attached DAS... which can be backed up by the iMac the same as any internal drive. I do use NAS for sharing data... but I ONLY keep data on the NAS that is either a copy of primary data... or data that I would not mind losing in a disaster (such as commercial movies).

/Jim

Last edited by flynz4; Jan 16, 2013 at 12:31 AM.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
To the OP:
  • JBOD: Each drive is independent
Strictly speaking: No. JBOD combines all drives into a single drive. It does not distribute data evenly, but fills the first drive first, then starts using the next and so forth. It is still not very easy to recover data from a JBOD if one drive fails.

Synology has an additional mode called "Basic" which does allow you to access each drive independently as if they were in separate enclosures.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 07:37 AM   #12
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I too initially thought JBOD was what I would want... but then came across this page from Synology that suggested JBOD to be something along the line nurivo explained.

When I read about Synology's "Basic," I somehow understood it as not relevant for NAS since it was indicated to support only one disk, but I had two. I guess I'll have to try this out to find out what it really is.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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[] since it was indicated to support only one disk, but I had two.
It DOES support only one disk, as they work separately. In a multi-bay enclosure you will just to have to create as many "Basic" volumes as there are bays.

(Put another way: It does not mean Basic is not supported in multi-bay enclosures, it means a "Basic" volume only works with a single drive. The number of volumes is not limited.)
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:31 AM   #14
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That's how I have mine set up.

RAID is handy if downtime is a problem, but for home use I just needed a simple NAS backup solution (i.e. the external USB drive, slow but gets the job done)

If I had unlimited internet bandwidth I'd consider using rSync (another NAS at a remote location) or more cloud storage.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 09:58 AM   #15
flynz4
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Strictly speaking: No. JBOD combines all drives into a single drive. It does not distribute data evenly, but fills the first drive first, then starts using the next and so forth. It is still not very easy to recover data from a JBOD if one drive fails.

Synology has an additional mode called "Basic" which does allow you to access each drive independently as if they were in separate enclosures.
This is not correct... at least per definition. Maybe it is what Synology does... but JBOD would refer to multiple independent disks... each being its own independent volume. What you are describing is a "span" or "concatenation" of disks. I do believe that OSX once implemented JBOD as "span"... but that would have been a deviation from JBOD architecture which is a collection of independent disks.

Here is a Wikipedia article that explains it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-RAI..._architectures

/Jim
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 10:42 AM   #16
nurivo
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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
This is not correct... at least per definition. Maybe it is what Synology does... but JBOD would refer to multiple independent disks... each being its own independent volume. What you are describing is a "span" or "concatenation" of disks. I do believe that OSX once implemented JBOD as "span"... but that would have been a deviation from JBOD architecture which is a collection of independent disks.

Here is a Wikipedia article that explains it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-RAI..._architectures

/Jim
Yes, you are absolutely correct. Sorry for claiming that this is what JBOD is everywhere. Synology does in fact mean "span"/"concatenation" when they say "JBOD": "Spanning of data across multiple odd-sized disks"
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 10:51 AM   #17
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Thank you all of you. I believe I now have a better understanding. I was also confused about JBOD on Synology website. So in short, Synology "Basic" is in fact JBOD, and Synology "JBOD" is a spanning/concatenation.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:59 AM   #18
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Maybe you want to set your HDD's as single drive. Idk if Synology will support it as I still have to figure out if my QNAP will.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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Suggestions on partition?

So I'll do "Basic." For actual partitioning, I plan to go like:

Drive A (3 TB)
  • User 1: 333 GB
  • User 2: 333 GB
  • User 3: 333 GB
  • Media server: 2 TB (photos, music, movies, and some shared data)

Drive B (3 TB)
  • Back-up for Drive A


One question I have though is, would I need the back-up drive to be the same size as the Drive A? Or can it be smaller?

Also, what would be the most suitable back-up software for my purpose? I hear Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, and SuperDuper are some of good choices. Would they be equally all good for my use?
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:49 AM   #20
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Also, what would be the most suitable back-up software for my purpose? I hear Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, and SuperDuper are some of good choices. Would they be equally all good for my use?
You don't need a specific software, there's a module in DSM that handle backup very well.

In your case, you shouldn't put Drive B in the Synology but rather in an USB case (3.0 with a DS213 I guess) directly plugged to the Synology. That way you still have room for future capacity increase.

In addition, you should look at Amazon Glacier for cloud backup, it is dirt cheap and integrated in DSM.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:36 AM   #21
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You don't need a specific software, there's a module in DSM that handle backup very well.
Thanks. That would be nice. I guess I could set up automatic update on a nightly or weekly basis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurpaul View Post
In your case, you shouldn't put Drive B in the Synology but rather in an USB case (3.0 with a DS213 I guess) directly plugged to the Synology. That way you still have room for future capacity increase.
Would I be able to run a Synology (2 bays) with just one of the bays occupied? Also, I already have 2 x 3T WD Red, which is supposedly for NAS. Can I put one of WD Reds into a USB case and leave one of Synology bays empty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurpaul View Post
In addition, you should look at Amazon Glacier for cloud backup, it is dirt cheap and integrated in DSM.
I looked it up and it's penny per GB for storage. 3 TB would be $30 per month, just for storage (data in/out seems 10x more expensive per GB). On top of this, my ISP might charge extra for trafficking TB's of data. Not sure if I wanted to spend that much money on this, but thanks for suggestion.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 02:31 PM   #22
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Would I be able to run a Synology (2 bays) with just one of the bays occupied? Also, I already have 2 x 3T WD Red, which is supposedly for NAS. Can I put one of WD Reds into a USB case and leave one of Synology bays empty?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucks-daddy-o View Post
I looked it up and it's penny per GB for storage. 3 TB would be $30 per month, just for storage (data in/out seems 10x more expensive per GB). On top of this, my ISP might charge extra for trafficking TB's of data. Not sure if I wanted to spend that much money on this, but thanks for suggestion.
You should use it only for your most important data. For example I am using Glacier for my photos and some important documents and folders = around 100 GB for 1$/month, and backup is automatized in DSM. A game changer in my opinion (I don't own any Amazon stocks ).
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