Advice on Network attached Storage??

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prototype3a
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I have a DS1817 connected to my desktop via 10gb ethernet with a Netgear switch in the middle. For large files, it is FAST. I regularly see 500-600mb/s. If you can reserve two bays for SSDs and enable read/write caching, it is probably even faster (I haven’t tested that just yet)

I don’t use “nas” disks. I just shuck WD external drives and wait for sales. ~$15/tb is when I buy. I currently have 6× 8tb drives but I’ll likely upgrade to 12tb if they go on sale again.
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On the other hand, there is this…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z37nLmgRHY

sb56637
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I strongly prefer something that uses commodity hardware with an unlocked bootloader that allows for installing a variety of open source operating systems. I just don’t trust the NAS manufacturer to keep supporting the device with firmware updates for the long run. I was given a LaCie NAS as a gift quite a few years back, and it had a proprietary firmware OS based on an extremely ancient version of Debian that they stopped supporting forever ago. But it was still decent hardware for my needs, and so fortunately I found some extremely sketchy instructions and scripts to unlock the bootloader and do a netinstall of Debian current for ARM. Actually it only worked to install Debian current minus 2 and then dist-upgrade it to the latest Debian release. From there I installed OpenMediaVault on top of that, which converts a vanilla Debian installation into a good NAS-specific low maintenance appliance. But it would much nicer to just have standard x86 hardware with an open bootloader that allows for a normal USB installation of any run-of-the-mill Linux or BSD flavor or a specialized NAS system based on those, preferably FreeNAS.

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northbeard
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sb56637 wrote:
I strongly prefer something that uses commodity hardware with an unlocked bootloader that allows for installing a variety of open source operating systems. ..

I’ve found that Synology is actually very good about supporting pretty much all of their hardware over significant time. I sent away a 4-bay DS410j unit to a friend a few years back when I got a replacment for my own needs. It ran the current version of their OS at that time. The replacement unit I have dates from 2012, and is still getting front-line updates.

That said, nothing beats rolling your own if you have the time and budget to do it. The advantage to the units from Synology (and similar) is that they kind of just work out of the box.

sb56637
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northbeard wrote:
sb56637 wrote:
I strongly prefer something that uses commodity hardware with an unlocked bootloader that allows for installing a variety of open source operating systems. ..

I’ve found that Synology is actually very good about supporting pretty much all of their hardware over significant time. I sent away a 4-bay DS410j unit to a friend a few years back when I got a replacment for my own needs. It ran the current version of their OS at that time. The replacement unit I have dates from 2012, and is still getting front-line updates.

Good to know that, thanks. Thumbs Up What is their OS based on? And what filesystem does it use?

Quote:

That said, nothing beats rolling your own if you have the time and budget to do it. The advantage to the units from Synology (and similar) is that they kind of just work out of the box.

Yeah, I agree that if a turnkey appliance style of device is supported on the long term and uses a solid foundation it can be a good option. That’s why I use Mikrotik routers, I have some really old devices, and yet their Linux-based proprietary RouterOS still supports basically all of their old devices just the same as the newest ones, and it leaves almost nothing to be desired in terms of features.

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Photon Master
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Hey here’s an article on the different levels of CAT cables. I’m building a house and going with CAT 8

https://www.sfcable.com/blog/cat-7-vs-cat-8-cables-difference

Photon Master
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prototype3a wrote:
I have a DS1817 connected to my desktop via 10gb ethernet with a Netgear switch in the middle. For large files, it is FAST. I regularly see 500-600mb/s. If you can reserve two bays for SSDs and enable read/write caching, it is probably even faster (I haven’t tested that just yet)

I don’t use “nas” disks. I just shuck WD external drives and wait for sales. ~$15/tb is when I buy. I currently have 6× 8tb drives but I’ll likely upgrade to 12tb if they go on sale again.
.

On the other hand, there is this…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z37nLmgRHY


This is great advice thanks. You’re using the m.2 10 gigabit card? I’m going to be putting my NAS in my network room, plugged into my 10 gigabit switch which has all the ends of the CAT 8’s going to all the rooms of the house.

Just read the specs – dual 10 gig ports!!

Photon Master
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Hey is it easy to set up remote access to a synology NAS? Although the ideal setup for me would be to set up some kind of VPN server so I can tunnel into my network from anywhere

prototype3a
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BTW, Qnap has some new multiport 10ge over copper switches that are not astronomically expensive.
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On the other hand, my brother has found that Qnap seems to have systemic problems with the backplanes in their NAS units which causes a drive slot to stop working.
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I need to look into this Cat8. I believe on Cat7, you’re limited to something like 40ft runs at 10ge speeds. Fiber with SFPs can go further but SFPs are EXPENSIVE.

Photon Master
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Ha yeah I looked at fiber but the idiot I got to build my house could barely figure out CAT cable. Jackass kept asking why I didn’t just use wifi

yes there is a distance limitation – I thought it was 30 meters – but that’s a long run. I like having the option to replace the switch and other gear with 40 gigabit down the road if I want

jeff51
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Photon Master wrote:
Ha yeah I looked at fiber but the idiot I got to build my house could barely figure out CAT cable. Jackass kept asking why I didn’t just use wifi

Yeah, the cable BOZOs who came out with Sudden-link had these tools. 1 portable drill. 1 Drill bit, 1 Phillips screwdriver bit, a cable crimping tool, a fish tape, and phone for a light source. They needed my ladder to get to the 10’ ceiling.
Now mind you, this was a new hire and a supervisor. While buggering up my walls, I asked if they didn’t have a drywall saw?
The Sup said he had lent it to someone.
Geeze…
All the Best Jeff

And like was stated before. NAS is not backup. You need to be able to archive data. A second NAS is backup.
Rotating offline storage is a wonderful thing. Offsite offline storage better still.
I ask my clients. “If I took your computer and your external backup away right now. How long would it take you to get up an running again?”
Blank looks follow. Matt, this may be overkill in your case.
All the Best,
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Photon Master
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Yeah, I never thought about backing up a NAS. I’m going to do RAID 6 on mine so i have two parity drives and I found a “unlimited data” backup service that’s like $10 a month. Not sure if they’ll complain when I start putting tens of terabytes up there. i have thousands of family videos in 4K, big ripped music collection, etc.

zoulas
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Personally for saving hundreds or thousands documents, pictures, etc. you cant beat the OneDrive. Its works perfect, it works anywhere in the world (you don’t have to be on the same LAN,) and its completely free, not to mention , you have it already on your windows 10 computers.

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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...

2PC + NAS and ordinary file sharing, Cat5E OK

PS. Personaly I think that you dont find workman who install to you Cat6 or better sockets and plug, but of course them are easyer change than wire and buy some simple 1G switch too, if you already dont have. I think your router are not 1G switch

Photon Master
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zoulas wrote:
Personally for saving hundreds or thousands documents, pictures, etc. you cant beat the OneDrive. Its works perfect, it works anywhere in the world (you don’t have to be on the same LAN,) and its completely free, not to mention , you have it already on your windows 10 computers.

Ya I have a 1TB OneDrive that comes with my ~$10 a month Office subscription but 1TB goes pretty fast. 3 iPhones taking 4K video non stop, backups for half a dozen PCs, etc
prototype3a
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If you think OneDrive and Google drive are “secure”, I’ve got bad news for you. The only secure storage is local.

Photon Master
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prototype3a wrote:
If you think OneDrive and Google drive are “secure”, I’ve got bad news for you. The only secure storage is local.

Excellent point!
vestureofblood
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jeff51 wrote:
And like was stated before. NAS is not backup. You need to be able to archive data. A second NAS is backup.

My NAS has 2 drive slots, but I bought 3 total drives. First drive is storage, second drive will be a duplicate of that. Third drive will be installed periodically to be a copy of the first. That third drive will live in my safety deposit box at the bank. I do the same thing with my SSDs that contain operating systems and programs. Years ago I did a proper install of all my programs on an SSD. That is my “master copy”. From there I cloned that drive to two other SSD and they run in my house and shop computers. Every now and then I clone the main shop computer to yet another SSD to have a backup copy the “updated” system.
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I realize how all that cloning must sound sketchy or unreliable, but so far I have never had any problems with it as long as I run the same type of drives, and you absolutely must take the cloned drive and boot it from the original computer (in my case the shop pc) and let everything level out and debug a few minutes before plugging that drive into any other computer. Of course any paid software must be re-keyed if you put it into another PC, but I started with a hard copy of windows so no problems with the OS.
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Question:
I am thinking about using the same router that runs my internet for the system rather than creating an air gaped network using a second router. If I plugged the NAS into the router using LAN. Then plugged two computers into the router using LAN cables to give both PCs access to the data pool in the NAS. *Am I correct in assuming that the data traveling across those cables would NOT be using my internet data? But the computers would still have internet access through those same cables if I did go online right? * If that is correct I am thinking I will just create the VPN for security and then also I could access the NAS remotely using the VPN?

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vestureofblood wrote:
jeff51 wrote:
And like was stated before. NAS is not backup. You need to be able to archive data. A second NAS is backup.
My NAS has 2 drive slots, but I bought 3 total drives. First drive is storage, second drive will be a duplicate of that. Third drive will be installed periodically to be a copy of the first. That third drive will live in my safety deposit box at the bank. I do the same thing with my SSDs that contain operating systems and programs. Years ago I did a proper install of all my programs on an SSD. That is my “master copy”. From there I cloned that drive to two other SSD and they run in my house and shop computers. Every now and then I clone the main shop computer to yet another SSD to have a backup copy the “updated” system. . . I realize how all that cloning must sound sketchy or unreliable, but so far I have never had any problems with it as long as I run the same type of drives, and you absolutely must take the cloned drive and boot it from the original computer (in my case the shop pc) and let everything level out and debug a few minutes before plugging that drive into any other computer. Of course any paid software must be re-keyed if you put it into another PC, but I started with a hard copy of windows so no problems with the OS. . . Question: I am thinking about using the same router that runs my internet for the system rather than creating an air gaped network using a second router. If I plugged the NAS into the router using LAN. Then plugged two computers into the router using LAN cables to give both PCs access to the data pool in the NAS. *Am I correct in assuming that the data traveling across those cables would NOT be using my internet data? But the computers would still have internet access through those same cables if I did go online right? * If that is correct I am thinking I will just create the VPN for security and then also I could access the NAS remotely using the VPN?

Data can move across those cables in the local area network (“LAN” or “your house” if you prefer) without touching the internet or your data cap. Unless you block it, they’ll also be able to talk to the internet.

Basically, they’ll be part of the same LAN as the Wi-Fi devices unless you do something to separate them.

A VPN is a virtual private network that is used to communicate across two or more private networks as if they were one. It generally works in both directions.

You can use a VPN to hide the true destination of your traffic from your ISP (what most people are talking about when they say “get a VPN” these days) or you can use it for secure remote access since the data flowing across the VPN will be encrypted. I’m not sure that your ISP router would support it, but you could use OpenVPN or wireguard to set up a VPN for remote access from one of your computers for free.

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I was thinking today that I can plug my NVIDIA shield directly into the NAS with a USB 3.1 cable so that i won’t have any issues with enough bandwidth. The shield will be sitting right beside the router and NAS, with an HDMI and CAT8 going up through the ceiling into my media room and plugged into my 4K Laser projector… This will be so sweet

My network struggles if I’m streaming a large 4K HDR Atmos video across my network

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f0xx wrote:
I’m not sure that your ISP router would support it, but you could use OpenVPN or wireguard to set up a VPN for remote access from one of your computers for free.

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If my ISP router is a turd and I cannot set up for remote acess to the data on my NAS. Would I still be able to keep all of the data secure where guests accessing the wifi network would not be able to get into it? Or is it an all or nothing deal, either your router supports VPN or it does not?

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Sorry to be a bit late replying…

sb56637 wrote:
northbeard wrote:

I’ve found that Synology is actually very good about supporting pretty much all of their hardware over significant time. I sent away a 4-bay DS410j unit to a friend a few years back when I got a replacment for my own needs. It ran the current version of their OS at that time. The replacement unit I have dates from 2012, and is still getting front-line updates.

Good to know that, thanks. Thumbs Up What is their OS based on? And what filesystem does it use?

It’s a thoroughly trimmed down Debian Linux distribution, apparently. The file system is either EXT4 or BTRFS.

matik42
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vestureofblood wrote:
f0xx wrote:
I’m not sure that your ISP router would support it, but you could use OpenVPN or wireguard to set up a VPN for remote access from one of your computers for free.
. If my ISP router is a turd and I cannot set up for remote acess to the data on my NAS. Would I still be able to keep all of the data secure where guests accessing the wifi network would not be able to get into it? Or is it an all or nothing deal, either your router supports VPN or it does not?

If your NAS are Synology, then it like computer and you can protect access to it with username and password.
VPN are for other things.

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vestureofblood wrote:
f0xx wrote:
I’m not sure that your ISP router would support it, but you could use OpenVPN or wireguard to set up a VPN for remote access from one of your computers for free.
. If my ISP router is a turd and I cannot set up for remote acess to the data on my NAS. Would I still be able to keep all of the data secure where guests accessing the wifi network would not be able to get into it? Or is it an all or nothing deal, either your router supports VPN or it does not?

Matik’s point is a good one, that you will be able to set up access control (via username/password ) on most NAS devices.

VPNs are more for remote access (like if you take a trip, but need to work on some of your files at home from the road), or privacy on networks you don’t control (if you’re out and about, and need to access your bank account over some public Wi-Fi or hiding your activity from your internet service provider).

Your router may have a “guest mode” for your wireless network, which would be the easiest way to protect your network from untrusted devices connected to the Wi-Fi. Typically “guest mode” will isolate each wireless client connected to the guest network so that they can only communicate with the internet and not anything on the local network. This, plus password protection on the NAS should be pretty good for anyone you’d trust in your house but not on your network. If you don’t have a “guest mode” option, you could get a device called an access point that would have that feature, and run your Wi-Fi network off of that instead of your router. I like the Uni-Fi AP AC Lite for about $100. You’d have to run a cable from the router to a central location in your house and mount it to the ceiling like a smoke detector.

Photon Master
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It looks like there’s a way to run an OpenVPN server right on a synology NAS https://tylermade.net/2017/09/29/set-up-openvpn-server-on-synology-nas/

I’m not knowledgeable on network stuff though… I’d love to be able to securely tunnel into my home network

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The VPN functionality is another reason why I plug Mikrotik routers, they come with VPN functionality built-in:
https://mikrotrik.com/how-to-setup-vpn-in-mikrotik-router/

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manithree
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I use SyncThing. That’s going to make all your file access local, and synchronizing just runs in the background. That means synchronization may not be instantaneous, but except for huge files, by the time you get up and walk to the other computer, they’re usually going to be up-to-date.

ETA: Syncthing is like your own private dropbox optionally using the NAS as a central server/backup.

That only works if you have enough space on all your PCs/laptops for a local copy of everything. I don’t have a Synology, but according to DDG, syncthing can run on it.

I’ve never had a network and drive fast enough to let me do video editing on a remote mount. Even raw photo editing is sluggish over the Wifi for me, so I avoid the “one server with everything mapped to the same drive” approach, but it might work for you.

sb56637
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@manithree: I’ve read a lot about SyncThing, looks like a great product. How CPU and RAM intensive is it? The problem for me is that my NAS is extremely under-powered, basically enough for the kernel and SMB and rsync to run and not much else.

Quote:
I’ve never had a network and drive fast enough to let me do video editing on a remote mount. Even raw photo editing is sluggish over the Wifi for me, so I avoid the “one server with everything mapped to the same drive” approach

That’s a good point actually. Same experience for me with WiFI. But the thing for me is that I need different data on different machines, my main workstation needs to have a local copy of most of the important files as well as any heavy projects that I’m currently working on, and I would want most of those same folders to be duplicated on the NAS. But then my auxiliary laptop might only need occasional access to some of those files. I guess I could choose with SyncThing different folders to be synced on different machines right? And only 1-way syncing too?

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manithree
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sb56637 wrote:
@manithree: I’ve read a lot about SyncThing, looks like a great product. How CPU and RAM intensive is it? The problem for me is that my NAS is extremely under-powered, basically enough for the kernel and SMB and rsync to run and not much else.

The only time I’ve had a problem with that is on Android. If I leave it running I notice the battery drain. I usually just start it when I want to sync, then stop it.
On my desktops, I’ve never even seen it show up in top. Compared to Crashplan, it’s trivial.
sb56637 wrote:
That’s a good point actually. Same experience for me with WiFI. But the thing for me is that I need different data on different machines, my main workstation needs to have a local copy of most of the important files as well as any heavy projects that I’m currently working on, and I would want most of those same folders to be duplicated on the NAS. But then my auxiliary laptop might only need occasional access to some of those files. I guess I could choose with SyncThing different folders to be synced on different machines right? And only 1-way syncing too?

Besides using some battery on Android, my only other issue with syncthing is that it has a power user interface. Yes, you can have multiple shares, choose 1-way or bi-directional synch. It is VERY flexible. A little confusing at first, but once you get it set up, it just works.

I have my two desktops synchronizing with each other and my htpc. The htpc is the “backup” but if it’s down the 2 pcs keep right on sharing. And I have a small share for things I want to share with my phone.

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Cool, thanks @manithree, good to know that.

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prototype3a
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sb56637 wrote:
The VPN functionality is another reason why I plug Mikrotik routers, they come with VPN functionality built-in: https://mikrotrik.com/how-to-setup-vpn-in-mikrotik-router/

HA! I happen to have a Mikrotik. They’re amazing but they’re also a royal pain in the butt to program and setup if you’re not a CCNA or something.

I’m using SynologyDrive to sync files between my computers and back them up. Best thing I’ve found about it thus far is that it is a LOT faster than GoogleDriveShareFileWhatever-its-called-now. I shouldn’t be surprised that it is faster since the storage is local…

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