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-   -   Suggestions for "Safe" Network Storage (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/storage/59976-suggestions-safe-network-storage.html)

Drossier March 2, 2013 10:37 AM

Suggestions for "Safe" Network Storage
Looking for some advice here. I have a fair amount of experience with PCs, but considerably less with network storage.

I'm looking at options for storage and backup for the local museum in town. Basically they have boxes and boxes of photos, tapes, videos, etc that they want to digitize and preserve. This data will be the Museum's backup of all their documents in case something happens to the museum itself (fire or whatnot), so I want it to be as disaster proof as possible.

For now, they have two computers that work is done on, with the possibility of more in the future.

The idea I have in my head is a 2 bay NAS with 3 HDs, two in the NAS in Raid 1, with a third HD being hotswapped once a week and stored off site. Would this work? Are there concerns about hotswapping too often?

I'm planning on 3TB drives, I think that should be enough storage for now. Most of the files will be pictures scanned at 800dpi, which don't take up a huge amount of room.

If the above plan would work, what do people suggest for brands for NAS and HDs? Briefly looking at NCIX, they all seem to be highly rated.

The budget is ~$1000, but flexible. I would likely be buying from NCIX or Memory Express, but I'll also talk to the local store in town for their pricing.

Thoughts or advice?

Perineum March 2, 2013 11:04 AM

What you are suggesting requires a rebuild each time, and I'm thinking that's going to be a risky process for what you're thinking - basically I wouldn't do it like that.

It would be better to leave it in RAID 1, then copy everything over to an external at a regular interval, or to a dedicated drive on on machine in the office.

Offsite backup would be recommended as well.

I kinda feel you're being thrown under the bus as it is "the Museum's backup of all their documents in case something happens to the museum itself (fire or whatnot), so I want it to be as disaster proof as possible." but yet "The budget is ~$1000, but flexible."

An option like Box.com or dropbox.com would probably work as well for the offsite.

RAID 1 at the minimum.
Another backup outside that machine / NAS but still in the building.
Cloud storage or other offsite storage

This is what I would do at the minimum.

Drossier March 2, 2013 11:17 AM

I was worried it there would be something like that (the full rebuild). I'll look into USB backup option instead.

This is a volunteer gig, so if I'm being thrown under the bus, it's my own fault :p I feel comfortable with a NAS on site and a USB backup off site, and I think it could be done for the budget.

I would love to use Box or Dropbox, but I don't think we could justify the ongoing expense. Better to pay somebody to spend an extra hour or two starting the backup and taking it off site than the subscription price.

3.0charlie March 2, 2013 12:23 PM

QNAP 2-bay device, dual 3Tb WD Reds in Raid 1 with an external 3Tb (or 4Tb) USB3 drive as the weekly back-up; well under 1k$. I would be more comfortable with a Raid 5 setup though (4x 1Tb Red drives, QNAP TS-412), same external back-up. That's my Home back-up setup, actually. My main server is a Raid 6 7 drives + 1 hot-spare.

You lose your data only once. You learn the hard way then.

token1828 March 2, 2013 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by 3.0charlie (Post 693887)
You lose your data only once. You learn the hard way then.

I totally agree, I once lost 2 years of family photos when the HDD died and I didn't have any type of backup.

My advice about any type of backup is: there can never be enough backup. I learned my lesson and now my photos and files that are on my PC are backed-up on to a RAID 5 NAS and I also use an online cloud backup service just in case something like a fire destroys both my PC and NAS. I also recently started backing everything up to an external HDD that I bring to work for safe storage. Call me paranoid but better to have and not need than to need and not have :bleh:.

As to something that is as disaster proof as possible I would recommend something from ioSafe like the ioSafe N2. No need to worry about something as mundane as a fire or flood :thumb:. Add 2x4TB Western Digital RE4s or 2x3TB WD REDs if the RE4s are too expensive.

Daedalus2002 March 2, 2013 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by 3.0charlie (Post 693887)
QNAP 2-bay device, dual 3Tb WD Reds in Raid 1 with an external 3Tb (or 4Tb) USB3 drive as the weekly back-up; well under 1k$.

To do it properly you really need tapes or an online backup service like Amazon Glazier. But since the budget doesn't allow for that Charlie's solution is probably the best you're going to get.

I would suggest to get at least 2 USB drives for backups and swap them every other week. That way you always have a copy offsite. For the actual backup process you'll need to use something like robocopy with logging so you can check the integrity of your backups.

Daedalus2002 March 2, 2013 08:23 PM

One more thing...this document library, in order for it to be useful it needs to have some sort of searchable and indexable metadata. Without it its just a bunch of files that only means something to the original content creator. (So first make sure they're doing it right! SharePoint maybe?)

Second thing, your backups need to also include this index/metadata or its useless when restored. So test your backups after every couple months - restore it to completely separate machine and make sure it actually works.

Drossier March 3, 2013 11:25 AM

We're also working on the filing system, we will be talking to other museums about it.

Going with Charlie's suggestion:
2xWD Red 3TB
2xSeagate 3TB External
Cyberpower 810W UPS

Subtotal is $965, and there's a few things that can be pricematched.

What do you recommend for external harddrives...combined enclosure & drive like the Seagate above, or buy the case and drive separately? I've had one WD external brick, another work fine, and that's the extent of my experience.

Daedalus2002 March 4, 2013 04:39 PM

That's a pretty good price for a 3TB external drive, its more expensive if you build it yourself.

I personally like to build them myself, but if you need the warranty/included software the prebuilt may be the way to go. Not to mention it may look more professional.

3.0charlie March 4, 2013 05:43 PM

The external drives are fine, and that's some serious UPS you got there. If it's within your budget, that would be perfect and allow proper computers shut down without data loss.

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