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148 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 686916 17-Sep-2012 06:58 Send private message

My 2 cents supports homebuilt. Currently running ESXi5, with an FX8150 and 16GB RAM. FreeNAS gets half of this as a VM, and has 3 x 2TB barracudas in a raidz1 array (presented as Raw Devices to the VM). Pretty good community support and developed regularly, the features list is pretty attractive. And I really like zfs :-)

368 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 687177 17-Sep-2012 15:45 Send private message

The QNAP TS-112 is a low end system, so I'm not sure how much overhead is placed on it when Q-RAID is active, but I'm guessing it's not much.

Android QManager on Google Play Store

Figure 1-1 Android QNAP manager displaying my TS-112 accessed over OpenVPN from off-site.



The above is my TS-112 just idling, so one can see resources are used to maintain it's service.

I have a WD Black 2TB HDD in my TS-112 at the moment and it runs a bit hot. This is a bonus point for the WD Red HDD.
The unit is pretty quiet, even when the fan is on.
It normally goes to sleep (30min no activity) at night so the HDD gets a break and the power used drops right off.

I have almost the exact same setup as you're proposing with the QNAP TS-112 and a eSATA/USB2.0 dock for backups and secondary network HDD access. I see on DX dealextreme, some of these eSATA/USB 2.0 docks can get quite kitted out with many additional interfaces too.

All-in-1 Dual HDD Docking Station with 2.5"/3.5" SATA HDD

I only backup my data when I either update something critical or whenever I feel there has been a bit of time (weekly) between the last backup.

The backups can be locked to a HDD ID and thus if another HDD is in the eSATA dock and a backup starts, it's not going to start dumping data on the current HDD, but rather just complain the incorrect HDD is currently in the dock and await the correct one.

You can define multiple backup points and then just have the eSATA dock enabled(powered on) and select the backup points you feel need backing up. You can also schedule the backups for given time frames. It'll notify you via email or whatever method if there is a problem.

I have a few movies and songs on my NAS, but not a lot and when they're backed up... nothing much changes, so..

There is a build in Anti-virus scanner too that can be scheduled to run weekly or whatever. [Feel good factor]

One can also use the eSATA dock to provide a second 'hot swappable' network accessible HDD if required. 

eSATA gives a pretty good high speed disk access point and gives you a 'cheap' secondary disk access point if needed.

Backup wise, it all really boils down to what your home/working environment dictates.
How critical is your home/work data on a millisecond, hourly, daily or weekly basis.

RAID (and also external off site storage) for me would be a MUST if I had transactional databases running and/or client data with SLAs.

But for a 'manageable' home/family environment one may find timely/scheduled  backups are enough and RAID is not required on a budget.  

One benefit of RAID1 and higher is the higher read access from the NAS.

And hay, my thinking is, that if you out grow the QNAP TS-112, it's a pretty easy box to sell (especially with an eSATA interface) as with QNAP firmware updates still improving the service it only gets better.

Oh, and you'll need a 'good' Gigabit Ethernet/300Mbit+ WiFi router as the core of your LAN. 100Mbit Ethernet via an ADSL2+ modem wont cut it, unless you offload to a Gigabit switch instead of a gigabit router. However, WiFi would still be a bottleneck going from Gigabit switch to modem via 100Mbit Ethernet.



615 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 687192 17-Sep-2012 16:13 Send private message

Thanks for another comprehensive reply. This is really useful for me to get a better feel for what I'm trying to achieve.

My data backup needs aren't really what I'd call "mission critical." We're talking family photos, a music collection, and some home movies. Life would go on if they were lost, but equally it would be heartbreaking to lose some of that stuff (especially the photos). It's definitely not a business environment, but I figured a weekly/monthly backup schedule would be fine, and provide some peace of mind that the hardware in our house wasn't the only repository for those files.

My current modem/router is only 10/100 ethernet, but I'm planning on getting a new router at the same time as the NAS, to resolve some wireless QoS issues with my VOIP phone, which would provide gigabit ethernet (TP-Link WR1043ND). So I figured that would ensure data transfer around the network would be fast enough, and when I eventually get switched over to UFB, and can replace my ageing Linksys modem, I can make the most of faster broadband as well.

Both my dekstop and the wife's laptop will be connecting via wireless (G for now, but N when the new router arrives), but I think it should be fine for the most part. The most common files that we'll be accessing over the wireless network from the NAS will be documents, MP3s and photos (digital camera, rather than super hi-res photoshop work). There may be some videos, but just SD footage, which I figure a wireless N connection should be able to handle without too much difficulty.

368 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 687785 18-Sep-2012 15:58 Send private message

I've streamed 720p mkv and mp4 movies from my NAS via WiFi router at 15metres to an XPERIA X10i using 802.11G with bandwidth of 11Mbits/s and it's fine. No lag or jitters.

Bit painful waiting for large downloads over 802.11g though.



615 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 687796 18-Sep-2012 16:33 Send private message

Thanks for that. I heard from others that 802.11g should be able to handle video streaming reasonably well. It's probably more to do with my Linksys modem/router.

I'm feeling reasonably happy with the suggestion of a QNAP TS-112 NAS plus e-SATA dock for backups. Are there any other suggestions or thoughts on this setup?

Also, I mentioned in my first post that I would probably use Synctoys (or similar) to synchronise the user folders between the NAS and the desktop/laptop. Does anyone have any comment about this approach? Good idea/bad idea/neutral idea?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 687827 18-Sep-2012 17:47 Send private message

I've got a 5 Bay and 6 bay QNAP pro Turbo if your looking for something? pretty expensive though. Will put them on Trademe probably.





368 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 687963 19-Sep-2012 02:53 Send private message

Lizard1977: Also, I mentioned in my first post that I would probably use Synctoys (or similar) to synchronise the user folders between the NAS and the desktop/laptop. Does anyone have any comment about this approach? Good idea/bad idea/neutral idea?


Ha ha! I spent days looking for applications/tools that did just the opposite to Synctoys.

You've centralised your data on a NAS, you're doing timely backups... and now you're creating a copy of your data on your PC's and other network devices....and then trying to keep it all sync'd....
Sounds like mega much to much fun to me.

OK, this depends on your situation and whether you have access to your NAS most/all of the time and/or you want updated documents to be in a consistent state even if they're being managed locally on a PC/Laptop.

I have PPTP and OpenVPN clients on my mobile phone(s) and notebook(s) and my Desktop stays at home.
So my Phone and Notebook always have access to my NAS files/folders via VPNs and access is the same as if I was still at home.

On Windows XP (old netbooks which I don't really use) I use Junction

Windows XP Junction downloaded from Microsoft

On Windows 7 I use Win7 Library Tools from Zorn Software.

Softpedia Win7 Library Tool 1.0.10.0

This 'maps' your NAS folders to your Windows 7 Libraries and allows structures as follows:

Libraries -> Music

-> NAS Public Music
-> NAS Music
-> PC Music
-> PC Public Music

You'll need to manage your NAS folder permissions as required.

This means you open your Music folder on a Windows 7 (Vista) OS and it includes your NAS and Laptop/notebook folders in the order you wish to view them.  No sync'n required.

You could still use Synctoys on maybe one or two folders, but trust me, you don't want it on Pictures, music and videos and probably just about everything else.

In the past I had sync'n and I hated it!

A QNAP NAS will allow you to Sync with Google Drive so you will still have access to 'key' documents when not at home and as they're sync'd.. any changes are reflected in a timely fashion. This is good it you don't have a VPN to access the home NAS, but still have access to the web/Internet.

On my Android phone(s) I use Common Internet File System (CIFS) to mount folders from my NAS via a PPTP or OpenVPN connection so in effect I'm editing/accessing the document on the NAS, but looks like a local partition on the phone.

But that's what works for me and everybody's situation/requirements are different.



615 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 688001 19-Sep-2012 08:42 Send private message

The situation I have at home is that my wife and I each have separate computers.  We have a lot of common files - photos, music, videos, etc - which I figured is best managed by storing these on the NAS, and then having each computer access the NAS when they need to access those files.  In other words, those files would not exist on any local computer.

But we each have files which are particular to us.  For example, my wife maintains a blog and she will have photos that she stores for use on her blog, but which I would have no interest in.  To try and separate the files which are communal, and the files which are personal, I figured the best way was to create a shared folder on the NAS, with separate folders for each of the different file types (docs, photos, music, videos), which we access across the network, and have user folders on each PC which stores our personal files.  But for backup purposes (for simplicity, a single backup process), I figured some kind of synchronisation between the local user folders and the NAS would achieve this.

To be honest, though, it probably doesn't make much difference.  I could still have the user folders on the NAS, separate from the shared folders, and have them mapped to the libraries on each PC.  The only issue is when my wife needs to take her laptop off-site.  We don't have a VPN (not sure how to go about it - possibly a future project) and when we do go off-site, our connectivity and data options aren't always clear.  We both have iPhones, which we can use as a personal hotspot for internet connectivity, but our data allowances aren't huge, and this could be wiped out if we had to use it regularly.  Sometimes we might have access to local wifi.  To be honest we don't take the laptop off-site often enough for it to be an issue - my concern was making sure the setup was clear so that when we did need to go off-site, we didn't have to resort to a messy arrangement with USB thumbdrives, etc...

I guess it's possible to set things up with all the files stored on the NAS to start with, and if it isn't quite right we can always copy the user folders over to the PCs, and set up some kind of sync'ing arrangement later.



615 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 688003 19-Sep-2012 08:53 Send private message

Zeon: I've got a 5 Bay and 6 bay QNAP pro Turbo if your looking for something? pretty expensive though. Will put them on Trademe probably.


$250 for the 5-bay?  Somehow I doubt it... Wink

368 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 688114 19-Sep-2012 11:58 Send private message

Lizard1977: The situation I have at home is that my wife and I each have separate computers.  We have a lot of common files - photos, music, videos, etc - which I figured is best managed by storing these on the NAS, and then having each computer access the NAS when they need to access those files.  In other words, those files would not exist on any local computer.

But we each have files which are particular to us.  For example, my wife maintains a blog and she will have photos that she stores for use on her blog, but which I would have no interest in.  To try and separate the files which are communal, and the files which are personal, I figured the best way was to create a shared folder on the NAS, with separate folders for each of the different file types (docs, photos, music, videos), which we access across the network, and have user folders on each PC which stores our personal files.  But for backup purposes (for simplicity, a single backup process), I figured some kind of synchronisation between the local user folders and the NAS would achieve this.

To be honest, though, it probably doesn't make much difference.  I could still have the user folders on the NAS, separate from the shared folders, and have them mapped to the libraries on each PC.  The only issue is when my wife needs to take her laptop off-site.  We don't have a VPN (not sure how to go about it - possibly a future project) and when we do go off-site, our connectivity and data options aren't always clear.  We both have iPhones, which we can use as a personal hotspot for internet connectivity, but our data allowances aren't huge, and this could be wiped out if we had to use it regularly.  Sometimes we might have access to local wifi.  To be honest we don't take the laptop off-site often enough for it to be an issue - my concern was making sure the setup was clear so that when we did need to go off-site, we didn't have to resort to a messy arrangement with USB thumbdrives, etc...

I guess it's possible to set things up with all the files stored on the NAS to start with, and if it isn't quite right we can always copy the user folders over to the PCs, and set up some kind of sync'ing arrangement later.


Dude, like, you're going to be pleasantly surprised. Dream big...No, even bigger...

The following is not unique to QNAP, but is 'standard' NAS structures/administration.

The NAS is like a mini server(administration system) and manages ten's of user accounts and services and file structures and stuff and things and even thing-a-me-bobs and what-nots.

For data structures you may have something like the follow:

/Downloads [everyone] [mm]
/Downloads/Microsoft
/Downloads/Microsoft/Windows XP
/Downloads/Microsoft/Windows 7
/Downloads/Microsoft/Windows 8
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/IE 6.0
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/IE 7.0
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/IE 8.0
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/IE 9.0
/Downloads/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/IE 10.0
/Downloads/Mozilla
/Downloads/Mozilla/Firefox
/Downloads/Mozilla/Thunderbird
/Downloads/ftp Clients
/Downloads/Media Players
/Downloads/Apple
/Downloads/Apple/iPhone
/Downloads/Apple/iPhone/Applications
/Downloads/Android
/Downloads/Android/Applications

/Technology [tt1][mm][ww]
/Technology/NAS
/Technology/NAS/QNAP
/Technology/NAS/QNAP/TS-112
/Technology/NAS/QNAP/TS-269L
/Technology/Routers
/Technology/Routers/Linksys
/Technology/Routers/TP-Link
/Technology/Modems

/Media [%%][mm][ww]
/Media/Pictures
/Media/Music
/Media/Videos
/Media/Videos/Home Holidays
/Media/Videos/Kid 1 [kk1]
/Media/Videos/DVD
/Media/Videos/DVD/Dads Army
/Media/Videos/DVD/Forbidden Planet
/Media/Videos/DVD/Saving Private Ryan

/Design [uu]

/Tool Shed [mm][shed]

/Blogs [ww][bb1][everyone]

/home
/home/Me [mm]
/home/Wife [ww]
/home/Kid1 [kk1]
/home/Kid2 [kk2]

Key of user and group permissions

[everyone] = Everyone Read
[mm] = The fat controller
[ww] = Lovely Wife
[kk1] = Child1
[kk2] = Child2
[tt1] = All people in Technology group
[shed] = Blokes in the Tool shed group
[bb1] = Blog administrators


A NAS has MANY different controls to manage your environment, Users, groups and data structure.

Someone will have admin access and be able to control the NAS however I recommend every person who has access to the NAS has there own user account and uses that to access the NAS.
Try to avoid using the admin account for access where possible.
Use the group permissions to grant access like everyone can read the Download folders, but only John and Mary can write/update the Downloads folders.

The person/people controlling the NAS can have additional group permissions like system, music-admin and etc.
You can make up your own groups and grant them access levels and etc.

One thing I do strongly recommend it that you DESIGN your NAS data structure/User access with some thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For all personal folders I would create a top level folder, say /home and then have all the user folders (with their own permissions) accessed from there.

You can then link to the User folder within the home folder.

This is a boon when it comes to backup and etc as then you just backup /home and you know you've got all 'user' accounts.

This also separates /blogs, /technology, /media and etc from user accounts/folders and thus allows discrete backups for individual folder hierarchy.

The following QNAP document gives you a bit of an idea.

Advanced Folder Permissions on QNAP NAS

If you've ever managed a Unix, VAX/VMS or HP or Microsoft server environment you'll be right at home. ;-)

For a new admin to a NAS I'd suggest you play around with folders, permissions and etc for a day or two before creating the data structures you'll use. The reason for this is that once set up it is a MASSIVE pain to restructure a whole NAS  folder structure with group and user permissions.

It'd be interesting to know what other people think, as I'm VERY sure I not a system admin(Even though sometime I think I am) and have much to learn myself.



615 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 690153 23-Sep-2012 14:19 Send private message

It now seems that supplies of the WD Caviar Red 2TB HDDs are thin on the ground, with Computer Lounge reporting a backorder delay of between 2-6 weeks (with the latter more likely).  Anyone have any recommendations for a good alternative at the same or lower price ($199)?

I looked at the compatibility list on QNAPs website, and the only other 2TB drive (for up to $199) that looks compatibile without faffing about with patches and workarounds is the Seagate ST2000VX000.  However, I hear disturbing things about Seagate drives failing.  What do you guys think about the Seagate brand?

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  Reply # 690211 23-Sep-2012 17:50 Send private message

Hi, I have used standard Black series WD drives in Synology NAS's with no long term issues, recent installs have used Red drives, but as you say still thin on the ground. If you speak to some of the distributors about the % of early disc failure/returns, you will quickly find, stay with WD, Hitachi, Samsung, and avoid Seagate.

Cyril

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  Reply # 690894 25-Sep-2012 02:37 Send private message

cyril7: Hi, I have used standard Black series WD drives in Synology NAS's with no long term issues, recent installs have used Red drives, but as you say still thin on the ground. If you speak to some of the distributors about the % of early disc failure/returns, you will quickly find, stay with WD, Hitachi, Samsung, and avoid Seagate.

Cyril


WD bought Hitachi's drive division and Seagate bought Samsung's.. so the only choice now once old stock is gone is WD or Seagate.

368 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 691282 25-Sep-2012 18:26 Send private message

Ragnor:
cyril7: Hi, I have used standard Black series WD drives in Synology NAS's with no long term issues, recent installs have used Red drives, but as you say still thin on the ground. If you speak to some of the distributors about the % of early disc failure/returns, you will quickly find, stay with WD, Hitachi, Samsung, and avoid Seagate.

Cyril


WD bought Hitachi's drive division and Seagate bought Samsung's.. so the only choice now once old stock is gone is WD or Seagate.


Which means prices will not come down any time soon.

Bought my WD 2TB black for $204.00 one year ago almost to the day and now I see the same shops sell them for $247.00

See some online stores indicating December before WD red drives are available again.

Guess one could really use any drive in a QNAP TS-112 as it's not doing RAID or anything or even if you have no existing drives, purchase a 3TB WD Green at approx $230.00 and then swap it over to being the backup when a WD Red is available.

Power, heat, speed and reliability all seem to stack up in the WD Red's favour at the moment, especially for a SMB NAS.

Mind you, if you really want'd to pull the pin on storage you could always try the Hitachi 4TB.
It appears the consumer level supports the drive on a TS-112. One can never have to much storage. :-)
Mind you, it is a buttock clenching and eye watering ~$688.85



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  Reply # 691314 25-Sep-2012 19:36 Send private message

The reds are the drives I'm watching, and will use when the pricing gets a bit saner and they are more readily available. Currently they are about $290 and, as I want 4, I need the price to fall a bit. Drive prices seem to be creeping down, but are still well above pre-flood levels.

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