Advice on Network attached Storage??

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vestureofblood
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Advice on Network attached Storage??

Hi all,

I have a PC in my shop, and one in my house. I need to work from both with exactly the same files (pictures, spreadsheets, some video maybe).

My priorities:
1. The system needs to be so that when I change data on a spread sheet or modify a photo etc every pc has access to that same data not a bunch of scattered mismatching trash. No updating it in one place then going to another to update it again.
2. Must be FAST when I open files. Little to no load time.
3. Clouds are OUT. No backups or large data exchanges can be made using the internet. The laptop can access the file pool via wifi but that is about it.
.
.

My idea:
Since my shop PC is the most used and already pretty fast (all my computers are at least quad core with SSD main drives etc) I thought maybe I should replace the HDD storage on the shop PC where all the main files are stored with a large SSD. Network the house computer so that it thinks of the file drive on the shop PC as being its storage drive. Then have the NAS backup the shop pc files by crating a backup once per week or what ever, keeping up to 5 backups or so from older dates in case the shop pc storage drive gets corrupted and the NAS makes a bad backup etc.. The NAS would be the type that has 2 drives and creates a backup of itself maybe? This would give me 3 copies and do everything but give me an off site backup. I estimate the entire drive contents of the shop pc storage drive to be only about 500 gig to 1TB max because I offload old video footage to other drives anyway.
.
.

My questions:
1. Is this the right way to do it? If not do you have a better idea?
2. What are the bottle necks I need to watch out for in hardware?
3. I was thinking this might be a good NAS, but if you have a better idea (that is under $1,000) what is it?
This Nas:https://www.amazon.com/Synology-Bay-DiskStation-DS220-Diskless/dp/B087ZC...
These drives:https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-IronWolf-Internal-Hard-Drive/dp/B07BDV5HG...

EDIT: One other thing I should have mentioned. My internet is an LTE router that all the devices connect to via wifi. So all the networking stuff will be hardwired I guess, since I don’t want to use internet data?

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Edited by: vestureofblood on 02/13/2021 - 00:17
g_damian
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Hi, qnap and synology products are usually recommended NAS. Synology provides backup solution for PC, I didn’t check qnap. The biggest, and probably the only one, bottle neck is network throughput.

You can mount directory with files from NAS to any number of clients. Those clients will “see” always the same version of the file, since the file will be served directly from NAS.

If you have at least 2 drives in the NAS, they can be configured to be a mirror of themselves, so it’s pretty safe Smile of course USB external drive can be connected from time to time and files can be copied there to be extra extra safe.

zoulas
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Forget about the NAS. Just use the One Drive built in to Windows 10. It does what you want with tremendous accuracy. If you don’t know what you are doing with the NAS you can and will lose all of your data.

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You can do nice local backup system with “Synology drive” (PC <-> synolgy) + “Hyper backup” (inside synology) with synology (they come free with synology DS220+)

We used WD RED PRO disks on synology (they OK) so cant comment Seagate IronWolf drives

Dont understand your home-work situation. My experience are that you can somthing do over internet but there allways big latency (big internet speed dont help) so you cant do normal work with bigger (not needed be very big) files or databases. And all “cloud” solutions are that you work with local file and they are syncronised (for checking from big brother Smile ) to someplace after that

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Since I started out with Hollerith Cards, you can’t accuse me of pushing the IT envelope every day.
But you are talking about speed, redundancy, and safety.
I missed the term Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
Making lots of backups is fine, but you need to have just that extra bit of time, and energy, to do so.

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Great thread! I’m building a house with CAT8 going from every room to a network room in my basement. Planning on putting a NAS down there and a WiFi 6E 10 gig router. Dealing with my slow mofo wifi network right now. Going to put repeaters all over the house with Ethernet backhaul

I also learned that people often back up their NAS. This one looks good for $10 a month

https://www.cloudwards.net/review/crashplan/

Here’s a review of some other options https://www.cloudwards.net/best-cloud-backup-for-synology/

vestureofblood
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I ordered the nas and the drives. One thing I am unclear about though. Can I plug two computers directly into that and have them share one drive. Or do I need some kind of adapter? I don’t want to do anything over the internet. I want all of it hard wired.

This is the Nas
https://www.amazon.com/Synology-Bay-DiskStation-DS220-Diskless/dp/B087ZC...

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zoulas
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The NAS attaches to the router/switch just like your PCs do. You don’t connect the computers directly to the NAS. In some cases you can attach one PC via USB but then it wouldn’t be “network attached storage.”

zoulas
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Photon Master wrote:
Great thread! I’m building a house with CAT8 going from every room to a network room in my basement. Planning on putting a NAS down there and a WiFi 6E 10 gig router. Dealing with my slow mofo wifi network right now. Going to put repeaters all over the house with Ethernet backhaul

I also learned that people often back up their NAS. This one looks good for $10 a month

https://www.cloudwards.net/review/crashplan/

Here’s a review of some other options https://www.cloudwards.net/best-cloud-backup-for-synology/

WIFI 6 and Cat 8 are not standards. By the time they become standards (if they ever do) the specifications will have likely changed.

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I only used NASes for bulk storage, as big as I could reasonably afford (back a ways, 4/6/8TB). Hooked up right to the back of my router, accessible from any ‘puter that got onto my net. Could be wired, too.

Then I found that as long as the drives were powered, I could hook up plain ol’ external USB drives to the back of the router, too. It’d even work on usb flash-thingies, but not usb spinny-disks.

I’m still using the same WD routers even today, going uninterrupted for who knows how many years, 24/7. Yeah, WD as in Western Digital, they actually made routers, too. And pretty good, too. Dual-band 2.4Ghz and 5GHz, iirr.

Drives, I always stuck with WD NASes (RAIDable, too). So an 8TB drive with 2 physical 4TB drives inside could be configured as a single 8TB drive, or RAIDed as a single redundant 4TB drive. RAID0, RAID1, whatever that is.

Now I pretty much just stick to external USB drives, Seagate and WD.

Oh, I keep things separate, too. One router is JUST internal, zero connection to the outside world, airgapped, wifi disabled, wired-access only. Another router has 2 networks set up, one internal-only but via wifi, the other that plus innernet access. Airgapped network has zero connection to that.

I might stick a small external usb drive onto the wifi router just for movies and the like, but that’s it.

Anyway, whichever way you want to do it — wired and airgapped, wifi internal, wifi all-access — whatever’s tweaked on one drive will be accessible to everything else on that net instantly… unless things are buffered, or there are “lazy writes”, etc.

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vestureofblood
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Lightbringer wrote:
I keep things separate, too. One router is JUST internal, zero connection to the outside world, airgapped, wifi disabled, wired-access only. Another router has 2 networks set up, one internal-only but via wifi, the other that plus innernet access. Airgapped network has zero connection to that.

.
I think this is basically what I am after. If I purchase a second router and have no internet connection to it. Plug the NAS and my 2x PCs into that, then only the computers that are plugged into that second router directly will have access to the drives right? Even though those computers are both connected to my wifi using my original house router no one else would be able to access any of the drives etc?

Alternatively if I were to plug everything in to my existing router using lan cables then anyone who connected to the Wifi would have access to the NAS? Or can it be setup so only computers I choose have access? Trying to determine risk factor here……….

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zoulas
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We must not forget. The NAS is a computer. It just does not look like one. As such, it has permissions and other forms of security that can be set. So its not that easy for just anyone to go on your network and see your files. As for the router, I personally use a guest network for any computers that need internet access that I don’t personally own. The guest network does not allow any browsing to the local area network. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing.

Photon Master
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Yeah CAT8 will get you up to 40 Gbps but the only widely available hardware that’s not super expensive is 10 gigabit

I thought about going with fiber which can go to 100 gig and even beyond but the idiot who’s building my house didn’t want to wire it at all and then he wanted to use CAT5.

Here’s some info on the new Wifi 6e

https://www.tp-link.com/us/blog/86/what-s-the-difference-between-wifi-6-...

Lightbringer
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vestureofblood wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
I keep things separate, too. One router is JUST internal, zero connection to the outside world, airgapped, wifi disabled, wired-access only. Another router has 2 networks set up, one internal-only but via wifi, the other that plus innernet access. Airgapped network has zero connection to that.

.
I think this is basically what I am after. If I purchase a second router and have no internet connection to it. Plug the NAS and my 2x PCs into that, then only the computers that are plugged into that second router directly will have access to the drives right? Even though those computers are both connected to my wifi using my original house router no one else would be able to access any of the drives etc?

Alternatively if I were to plug everything in to my existing router using lan cables then anyone who connected to the Wifi would have access to the NAS? Or can it be setup so only computers I choose have access? Trying to determine risk factor here……….

As to the first part, I think that’s correct. Those computers (only) would have access to the internal network, and no one from the outside should. Possible to get hacked, ie, once the computer itself is compromised, it might sniff around and see what else is connected, but that’s kinda remote.

But you never know, nowadays.

As to the second part, pretty much.

You could connect to the internal-only wifi channel, ie, innernet disabled.

You could connect to the full-access wifi channel, ie, internal network and innernet.

You could enable “guest” mode, ie, innernet only and (ideally) no access to the internal network.

As for me, when I’m not using the NASes, I keep ‘em powered off to save wear’n‘tear. It’s only when I want to dump more stuff down the hole that I even power it up.

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Lightbringer
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zoulas wrote:
We must not forget. The NAS is a computer. It just does not look like one.

Yeh, the WD NASes have small Linux boards inside, and you could actually SSH right in.

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Photon Master
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That’s great info, thanks. They have helium filled 18 TB drives now but I’ll probably go with SSDs. Right now I have a difficult time streaming 4K video to my Nvidia shield across my wifi network

Thinking of doing RAID 6 to avoid losing stuff that can’t be replaced (family photos, etc.) and then doing an offsite backup

strayz
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I just RDP to what ever computer I need to pull the file and keep on trucking…

All these fancy NAS, extra computers, supper routers and stuff with the Network sharing going on. What, do you guys live in 2021?

It is ok, I just don’t worry about sharing things across the network at home. My needs are generally all on one computer and several tablets and 2 TVs that I can watch youtube how to vids…

jeff51
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Someone mentioned it.
But don’t forget UPSs. For the router, NAS, and, PC.
They are not sexy hardware, but a decent UPS is the best gift you can give a network where data integrity is paramount.
And airgap is a good thing. If you can see the Web. The Web can see you.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Great advice! Any recommendations for a good large heavy duty UPS?

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I have a Cyberpower GX1325U that has my computer, modem, router, and NAS all hooked up to it. I wanted to get a pure sine UPS so that’s why I chose said model.

zoulas
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APC is not what it used to be but probably still the best.

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I only have experience with QNAP. It's very reliable and has lots of features. My first NAS is still running since 12 years ago.

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APC used to be The Fæces, but lost its lustre a while ago. Things check out, even the self-test, but pull the plug, and it can’t detect a dead battery (even though the self-test says everything’s fine) and the stuff just drops dead from no power.

And you’d have to replace the Pb-acid batteries every coupla years at worst if you wanted protection.

I got (for no other reason than it was on sale) a Cyberpower or something like that. Surge suppressors for network cable, coax, usb, other stuff. Seemed pretty robust, but it’s well out of the way and I can’t get to it, so who knows the condition of the battery inside.

What I personally think should be best would be to have a bank of raw 12VDC power, and everything and its grandmother that takes 12VDC input (external usb drives, routers, NASes, cablemodems, you name it) gets plugged into that, and separately would be all 120VAC stuff that needs AC power would run off the inverter. Rather than have the battery inside and generally inaccessible, you could have a bus-battery for power and keep crap going overnight in case of a power failure, if you wanted to.

In fact, one idea I had (never implemented, though) was just that, all my NASes and external drives in a vented/cooled cabinet, all fed off the same 12V rail, with battery backup and an ATX supply providing the bulk 12V. Let the battery trickle charge when not needed, but kick in and switch over within microseconds if the ATX would lose AC input.

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I used to be an APC fan. In fact I was an authorized dealer for a while. .
But of late the consumer level APC have not impressed me. I have old APCs from DOS 3 era still going strong. But I have ones from 5 years ago that are now junkers. The are not correctly charging the batts.

Cyberpower is what I have been recommending of late in the consumer side.
With Cyberpower you need to check the Web site to see what replacement batteries the things use.
The 1500VA (at least the ones I know about) use a pair of 12v 7AH (or 8AH) batts.
These are common and you can make up a pack easy and not have to pay for a high dollar OEM replacement pack.
All sorts of equipment uses these things.

Some of the 1350VA UPS use 12v SH7 size. Think 3/4 the length, taller, and thicker than the 12v 8AH.
Nobody has those things locally. So you get stuck with shipping a lead cell.
So it’s worth paying the extra to get a UPS that uses a common sized battery.
The UPS will last for years, but you will be replacing the frigging batteries ever 3 years or so.

I keep threatening to make up a LiFe UPS, with a good BMS. But the darn things are so expensive.
If you want long run times, you can always makeup an external lead-acid battery pack and cobble it into a source for a consumer UPS.
All the Best,
Jeff

zoulas
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Electronics fail eventually, capacitors etc. Can’t blame APC for that. They used to be the gold standard though.

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jeff51 wrote:
Some of the 1350VA UPS use 12v SH7 size. Think 3/4 the length, taller, and thicker than the 12v 8AH. Nobody has those things locally. So you get stuck with shipping a lead cell. So it’s worth paying the extra to get a UPS that uses a common sized battery. The UPS will last for years, but you will be replacing the frigging batteries ever 3 years or so.

I wasn’t really joking all that much about using a bus-battery. One of my old… 150VA? 200VA?… whatever was the cheapest long’n‘skinny APCs with just the lit rocker-switch up front, no other lights… I couldn’t find a replacement battery that wouldn’t cost as much as a whole new UPS (ain’t kidding), so I drilled a hole in the little trapdoor on the bottom, and used quick-connects to run nice thick wires out of the now scarily-light carcass and to a spare car-battery I had. (Car took something like an 80AH but the “emergency” one I got from the boneyard was only 60AH or so.)

Worked great, lots more runtime even if not that much oomf.

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zoulas wrote:
Electronics fail eventually, capacitors etc. Can’t blame APC for that. They used to be the gold standard though.

Back when the only competition they had was TrippLite and that other brand that slips my mind. It was all about quality in the mid-high level single workstation UPSs. Like the SMART 1500s and the XL versions with more batteries. These things refuse to die.

The little flat jobbies that sit on the floor are good for a few battery replacements. But I’ve had too many fail in clients systems to recommend them for critical stuff.

The APC enterprise type UPS are still worth looking at, but are way too expensive and who wants to deal with a UPS that arrives on a pallet?

I also like that you can get a Sine wave output in some of the Cyberpower UPSs at reasonable prices. An O-Scope shot of some older cheap UPSs was an eye opener. Yet still they kept the systems running.
I do have some failed Cyberpower units at the shop. Often it is the LED display that get flaky. One had BMS problems and couldn’t’ be trusted not to over cook the batts.

But none have caught fire and burst into flames like an APC that was on a server several years ago.
It was out of warranty, but still I expected something more from APS other than, well, you are SOL. Buy another.
Then again, I bet I’ve sold 20 or 30 APCs to 1 Cyberpower, so my sample base is skewed.

The problem I face with most users is what to do when the power actually fails. Depending on the battery capacity, a smaller UPS is really only good for giving you (or the OS) time to shut down in an orderly manner.
They are not designed to let you keep working for the next hour.

Another benefit of UPSs is power conditioning. When the guy with the welder comes online next door, the UPS will protect against brownouts and the like.

And LB, I’ve got a pair of deep cycle truck batts powering my test bench power. I don’t want to be shut down in the middle of a data recover run that I may only get one chance at.

All the Best,
Jeff

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Wow I definitely asked this question on the right thread. Thanks for all the great advice!

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> Must be FAST when I open files. Little to no load time.

Things would be easy and quite inexpensive it if weren’t for this requirement.

Ok, if you’re using Microsoft Office (or, like me, Google Apps), you can take any supported document and open it via web-interface in parallel on all computers attached to the drive the file is on. Easy. Often used this feature in seminars and workgroups.

My setup is a HP Microserver with 4 HDDs. One boots the system (240GB), two keeps the data in RAID1 (have a spare HDD lying around, each 1 TB), the 4th is a 2TB backup HDD that keeps backups from the RAID system (only data files), the boot HDD (the shortest working image) and my laptop. Disadvantage: It’s good but slow hardware (AMD Turion). Last key element is a USB flash-key that keeps a bootable Linux with my backup software (Acronis True Image).

If you need everything superfast, you’d need a real Proliant-type server for lots of money. If you’re going this route, spent some more money for extra safety (hot-plug drives to keep backups in a safe).

Of course, today you’d take SSDs for the data. They work well if there are not too many writes. Sooner or later I’ll replace HDDs with SSDs in the RAID1 system.

Edit: Of course, a Cyberpower UPS powers the Microserver and the router.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

vestureofblood
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What about the cables. Are Cat5s going to give me what I want or do I need to be getting something fancy like this
https://www.amazon.com/Ethernet-Outdoor-Connector-Weatherproof-Resistant...

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vestureofblood wrote:
What about the cables. Are Cat5s going to give me what I want or do I need to be getting something fancy like this
https://www.amazon.com/Ethernet-Outdoor-Connector-Weatherproof-Resistant...

I’m a bit late to this thread, but I do this type of thing for work (on a different scale).

Lots of text to follow.. TL;DR – CAT6 is my recommendation (check the link) and don’t trust the second HDD in your NAS as a backup unless the data isn’t critical.

First some thoughts: 2 Bay NASs are pretty good for your use case, but a mirrored drive is not a “backup”. Mirrored drives (RAID1 in this case) are for continuity, not disaster recovery. It is possible to lose both at the same time and without a proper backup you would be sad. I always tell people to follow the 3,2,1 rule for any data that is critical:
3 copies of the data, 2 different mediums (disk, tape, cloud, DVD, etc), 1 copy offsite.

In your case, you have LTE internet which likely has a data limit or speed limit. As you’ve mentioned, cloud isn’t really an option you would consider.

You can network your devices with a wired connection or over the existing Wi-Fi network. Wired networks tend to me bore reliable and faster as a rule, and Wi-Fi is more convenient for non-fixed location devices like a cell phone or a laptop. If you plugged the NAS into an ethernet port on on your cellular modem/router/wireless access point combo unit (sometimes called a “gateway” by the ISP) it would be available to anything on your network (wired or otherwise) and should be functional in this configuration.

If you wanted to connect several other devices with wired connections, you may not have enough ports on your gateway device to do so, and you would need a network switch.

If you want to keep your NAS inaccessible to the main Wi-Fi network, the easiest way would be to use a guest Wi-Fi network for non-trusted devices if your gateway has that functionality. If it doesn’t, you can get an access point that does.

What I do at my house is I have several different VLANs (virtual LAN) that separate devices I want to keep more secure or to keep certain devices from snooping (smart home devices, visitors, etc). Setting this up takes a bit more equipment, and if budget/time is a concern, it is probably not the best path to take in your case.

On your question about the cable:
I’d recommend CAT6 cable like this: https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Flexboot-Ethernet-Patch-Cable/dp/B00AJH...

They have lots of length and color options, and I like the “flexboot” style connectors. I have these installed all over and they’ve been great. You can get them directly from Monoprice, but I shared the Amazon link since that is what you had listed.

CAT6 can do 10G, but I’d bet your equipment is only 1G anyway. CAT5E is capable of 1G, but the price difference between quality CAT5E and CAT6 isn’t that much for a few cables. As was previously mentioned, CAT8 isn’t a “real” thing at the moment anyway. If I install permanent cable for a business these days I use CAT6.

You can install the cable in your walls and run it through an attic or crawlspace. If you want to go that route, you need solid wire instead of stranded, and that typically comes in a big spool or a box. You also need special tools to terminate the cable, so if you only need a couple of runs, I’d go with the pre-made cables above.

I’m happy to answer questions you may have, and provide recommendations on hardware if needed.

EDIT: UPS is a good call, but match the output and runtimes for your needs. those little powerstrip style UPSs work ok for a router, but you probably need something bigger for the NAS if you have a longer power outage. APC/Schneider has a calculator on their website for sizing a UPS.

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