NAS / RAID help

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Dilby, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Dilby macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #1
    Hi - hope this is the right place to post this.

    I'm a little confused by NAS drives, but simply want a way to backup both my wife and my MacBook pros and also a 15year collection of photos. My thoughts were to use a NAS drive setup as RAID with 2x 2TB drive (one a master, one backup) and use whatever software we see fit to backup our stuff to the relevant folder (my Mac, my wife's Mac or the photos). Is that a logical move to make?

    I've found these on amazon which seems budget friendly approach:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008HNRD4I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_QAu5ybSW46SZB

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0151KM4VG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_pPu5ybK2D9QSX

    Thoughts really appreciated! Thanks
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #2
    For a backup, I strongly recommend thinking hard about getting your backup offsite. Consider a fire, earthquake, flood, or similar event that wipes out your belongings. The backup is no good if it wipes your primary source and backup.

    For me, CrashPlan makes sense.
     
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    I agree that offsite is a good idea, and if all you have are a couple of MacBooks it would be pretty inexpensive.

    Speaking of cheap, an external drive (or two!) and Time Machine would be a lot cheaper than a NAS. Buy a drive for each of you, and once in while 'borrow' the other one. Time Machine supports multiple backups.

    A.
     
  4. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #4

    Just so you know, you'd need 3x 2TB drives for what you are wanting to do. With RAID, you need a minimum of 2 drives to make it work, so there won't be a master and a backup. RAID doesn't work like that; hence why it is a Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Additionally, and this can not be stressed enough: RAID IS NOT A BACKUP. RAID provides redundancy in case of hardware failure, not a fail-safe for backups.

    So for your NAS, if you are using RAID 1 (mirroring), if your primary disk in your NAS fails, you are covered because the second disk (the mirrored drive) is still available and can function until you replace the primary disk and restore the RAID. You will still be on the hook for backups.

    And while I'm at it, is there any sensitive data on your Macs that would be backed up? names, phone numbers, credit cards, bank account numbers, etc.? I ask, because you need to ask the hard question of if you feel comfortable with that being stored somewhere cloud-based. If you do not, that is where the third drive comes in. you can back up the data on your NAS to a third drive (say via USB), and store that drive off site.

    Personally, I use a Synology DS216j NAS, back up my wife's MBP, my MBA, sensitive info on our windows box, pictures, music, and movies to that guy (2 x 4TB RAID 1), and also use a dock to drop a third 4TB SATA drive into it, and back up the NAS to that over USB. So there is redundancy (via the RAID) on the NAS, and backups of the NAS to the single drive. I then store that drive off site (currently, a safe in our storage unit; I'm not comfortable with storing sensitive data like I mentioned above in the cloud, especially if the provider has a catastrophic failure or is breached/hacked).

    Finally, I went the Synology path, because it is very friendly with Time Machine. In fact, it has its own Time Machine-like backup process that you can go through on the NAS just like you would on a Mac to get particular versions of a file. It's a bit more expensive, but definitely more robust and has more tools to protect your data.

    BL.
     
  5. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #5
    I am also a fan of Synology and would recommend it. Along with using two drives in RAID for hard drive failure, setting up BTRFS (the file system) in Synology with daily Snapshots to recover any accidentally deleted/corrupted data.

    But for BTRFS you need to spend a bit more on a system with an Intel chip like DS216+II or DS416play.
     
  6. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #6
    Good point. I may do that. as I typoed. I actually have the DS213j, not the 216j. I may consider upgrading just for BTRFS alone.

    BL.
     
  7. HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #7
    The golden rule is to have 3 backups on 3 different types of media (disk, tape, maybe internet) in 3 different locations. Since tape isn't normally an option for me, I use a disk strategy.

    As above you need more disks for a RAID setup. Doing a backup and a mirrored backup to the same RAID physical unit counts as just one backup. There have been other discussions where the RAID hardware failed, and the replacement unit used a different file structure. The backups were lost. This is a very rare case, but you need to be prepared so if it happens it isn't a problem.

    Assuming that your pictures are your most critical files, there is an advantage to backing up to just a single disk assuming you have < 10 TB of pictures, the largest disk size I've seen. If you purchase 2 different disks from 2 different vendors, after backup you can then place one disk offsite, say in a bank safe deposit box. The other disk remains to be backed up as you add new photos. When you reach a critical mass you then replace the off-site disk with the newly updated disk. The issue of whether the disk you are using isn't corrupt is a totally different discussion.

    For the 3rd location you could, as mentioned above, backup to an online service, such as Crashplan, BackBlaze, or Amazon drive all which offer unlimited storage for an inexpensive price. Just be aware that it may take months, or even a year, to get all of the files there as uploads are throttled.

    In my case I purchased a Mobius 5 bay enclosure which I use as a JBOD:

    (https://www.amazon.com/MobiusTM-5-B...=1491448357&sr=8-1&keywords=mobius+5+bay+raid)

    It's USB-3, which is more than enough bandwidth since you are backing up just one disk at a time. There is a Thunderbolt version which does not support RAID. It might be useful if that is only port you have available, but it's a waste of money in terms of speed. The only problem I have with the unit is issues with sleeping when unexpected dismounts can occur, fixed by never letting my disks sleep. This is a common problem so I'd be sure to look at the reviews of the unit that you intend to buy to make sure that it's not an issue.

    Here's how I use my 5 slots:

    1 Time Machine Backup 1
    2 Time Machine Backup 2
    3. Carbon Copy Cloner image of my small boot disk (most of my content is on an external disk)
    4. Pictures backup via CCC
    5. Media Server backup via CCC

    I learned the hard way to keep 2 Time Machine backups as multiple times in the past I've gone to do a restore and the TM backup was corrupt.
     
  8. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #8
    also just a little bit of additional information, there's nothing inherently "different" about a NAS-specific hard drive versus a normal drive besides firmware designed to play nice with the hardware. WD Red drives for example are just WD Green drives with firmware set to turn off the aggressive head park and idle spindown thresholds, and a few other obscure options like TLER enabled.
     
  9. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #9
    Time Machine corruption is the exact reason I stopped using it. I have not yet experienced a corrupted CrashPlan backup, whether it's for my personal account or the PROe systems I managed in the past. *knock on wood*
     
  10. Dilby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #10
    Wow thanks for the help everyone - it's even more involved than I thought! I was using crash plan, but I was having issues with internet speed and thought my original idea made more sense. The issue I found with crash plan was that it had to be a mirror of your computer, and I liked the idea of having separate folders for separate things. I had perviously looked into cloud storage for photos (google photos and google drive) but it just wasn't suitable; google photos doesn't have folders (such an oversight I think) and google drive causes the photos to lose my time stamping. I suppose I could just continue backing up computers to crash plan and also have a NAS drive for photos.
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #11
    What do you mean it had to be a mirror? You can select individual folders for backup. I don't backup my OS, only my data. Additionally, since it deduplicates, you're sending much less data over the network.
     
  12. HDFan, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017

    HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #12
    Just be aware that if your RAID NAS fails, you have to restore from Crashplan, and you have gigabytes of photos, it is going to take a long time. I just started a restore on a single 36 GB Crashplan file and the estimated restore time is 12-16 hours at ~815 KBps. I suspect that this throttled download bitrate is the case for most inexpensive backup services. In my case a restore of just my photos would take 50 days. If I restored everything on my main disk it would take ~194 days (it is a large RAID). If your ISP has a datacap then you have to take that into consideration as well. That's why my backups are to both RAID and single disks, with on-line services being a tertiary option.

    Backblaze has a similar cost to Crashplan will restore your files to a 4 TB hard disk and then send the disk to you. If you return the disk you are credited for the cost of the disk:

    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/introducing-the-restore-return-refund-program/

    I use Crashplan and Backblaze.
     
  13. haddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Location:
    NZ
    #13
    Okay this is from a previous post of mine:
    #15

    Guys... I have 2 x Synology DiskStations....DS215j (10TB) and DS414 (16TB) on my LAN.

    Both are RAID 0 ....... I want the fastest throughput. Not interested in data mirroring or recovery. And I agree NAS is not backup.

    From RAID Wikipedia:
    "Correlated failures[edit]
    In practice, the drives are often the same age (with similar wear) and subject to the same environment. Since many drive failures are due to mechanical issues (which are more likely on older drives), this violates the assumptions of independent, identical rate of failure amongst drives; failures are in fact statistically correlated.[11] In practice, the chances for a second failure before the first has been recovered (causing data loss) are higher than the chances for random failures. In a study of about 100,000 drives, the probability of two drives in the same cluster failing within one hour was four times larger than predicted by the exponential statistical distribution—which characterizes processes in which events occur continuously and independently at a constant average rate. The probability of two failures in the same 10-hour period was twice as large as predicted by an exponential distribution.[64]"
     
  14. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #14



    Like others have said previously, cloud based is the way to go. For computer backups you should encrypt everything, a great program I use at my office is Arq, all backups are auto-encrypted, compressed, and uploaded.
     
  15. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #15
    This is where I'd have to differ. When you are talking about catastrophic failure and disaster recovery, by going to something cloud based for a full restore, you are dependent on your internet access and the bandwidth of your pipe to get all of your data back down to you. If you lost your data and your disks containing the backups are shot, you are only down for the time it takes for you to retrieve your offsite backup and an extra disk, throw those in, and you're back in business.

    For example: my offsite backup, including a blank HD, is approximately 10 minutes drive from my home. If I lost both drives in my NAS, I'm either dependent on 1 day or more for 3TB of data to be sucked down my pipe after I get new drives for my NAS installed and configured (and that is assuming no network latency or issue between my network and the server in the cloud containing my backups; otherwise I'd have to start the restoration process all over again), or 30 minutes to retrieve the offsite backup and blank drive, put the drives in the NAS, set up mirroring, and I'm back in business.

    The cloud is convenient for having data easily accessible, but in the case of DR, it is no-where near as fast or reliable as keeping local backups plus one offsite.

    BL.
     
  16. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #16
    I agree with you except for the reliability of cloud backups. If your Internet connection is unreliable then your concern is legitimate and that impacts both backup and recovery. It may also be more reliable, because for me, I get a backup offsite every few minutes and I'm not greatly concerned about restore time. I'm more concerned with getting the backup offsite as quickly as possible.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #17
    Hi - This really is not very complicated to do at all, some of the answers have been very involved and give you a lot to think about, but there is no need to overcomplicate it.

    1. Get yourself a Synology or QNAP NAS. I recommend the DS216+II. Purchase 2x identical hard drives, such that they are enough storage to back up your combined storage space (E.G. Your computer is a 1TB Mac, your wife's is a 500GB Mac, 2TB should cover it).

    Enable Time Machine backup on this NAS, and you will have an easily accessible backup of your machines.

    2. Pick a cloud backup product of your choice, preferably one that is compatible with the NAS you choose (Synology can sync to DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon, Baidu, Box, and more). The idea here is that you will be able to run the sync program 24/7 from the NAS, and not your computer(s).

    Have a shared network folder on the NAS, that will then copy folders up to the cloud. This could be as simple as once every 6 months (Or when you see fit), copying your pictures folder over and slowly letting it upload over time, to as complex as having particular scripts copy data over for you (Such as CarbonCopyCloner, or etc).

    Goodluck!
     
  18. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #18


    By all means keep a local backup of data you need quickly. But I would argue the majority of users really don't have much critical data they can't do without for a period of days. By using AWS the data has a 99.999999% durability and the chance of losing files is tiny, you'll never achieve that with a local spinning platter. No to mention to rebuild your array of 3TB is going to take a day to complete anyway.
     
  19. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #19
    In something like a Synology NAS, a 3TB array at RAID 1 takes less than 5 minutes, and I'm being liberal with that time.

    On something like a DAS, like a Dell PowerVault MD1220, you can have a maxed out, 24-drive array, or even split it into 2 12-drive arrays, and have it up via Fast Init in less time than it would take for the head for the DAS to complete its POST and start up the OS. I currently have that DAS up and running with 12TB on each side and took about 7 minutes from getting into the DAS via the controller card to setting up the RAID to formatting it.

    Anything more crucial with data is going on a SAN that is backed up and replicated, but that's way outside of this.

    But for something consumer based, it all comes down to convenience versus time versus ROI, versus the criticality of the data. I just wouldn't trust putting any PCI or PII data into the cloud, even with encryption.. but then again, I've worked with companies who have had their data compromised, and under federal regulations, had to disclose that to their customers (the entire state of California), and deal with all compensation from that breach.

    BL.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #20
    Initiation wise, yes sure it will literally take that long. For a rebuild though, that's going to take a while to write an entire drive.

    You deal with Dell storage a lot? I'm staring at my MD3 right now!
     
  21. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #21
    We're trying not to. Dell really screwed things up when it dropped a number of their EMC developers...

    .. those developers went on to form Nimble Computing, who is absolutely killing it in the SAN storage sector. They created basically the technology at the SAN level that Apple would then take for the Fusion drive: volatile, active data stored on SSD in RAID, with more static data offloaded back to SATA drives also in RAID.

    Dell screwed up so much on that, that when asking their clients if they have or are interested in other SAN solutions compared to their EMC arrays, and Nimble is mentioned, Dell can only counter with discounts, knowing that their hardware can't compete.

    We relegated our MD1120s and MD1220s to development use, as their data isn't as production critical, and only used as a DAS.

    BL.
     
  22. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #22
    The MD arrays are considered the "My First SAN" of Dell storage arrays. They are absolutely horrid. To get anything remotely performant on pre-EMC gear, you have to step up to Compellent, which does RAID on data blocks, not disks.
     

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