Singapore Expats Forum

Any Thoughts About Network Attached Storage (NAS)?

Discuss about computers & Internet. Including mobile phones, home appliances & other gadgets. Read about Windows security risks or virus updates.
User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Tue, 26 Aug 2014 9:23 am

Create a linux live disk (CD or USB), boot off of that and take a look around your file system.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Tue, 26 Aug 2014 8:05 pm

Feeling a bit like The Boy Who Cried Wolf now - after hooking up to another PC (Steve's idea and what WD Support suggested) then bringing it back to my PC, it appears to be working. But I'm not taking an y chances, there still could be something wrong and I have to back this thing up pronto.

Normally I'd do more troubleshooting before posting like I did, but I was a) pre-coffee, b) in a huge rush, and c) woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, so thought to put it out there ASAP to get suggestions.

It was a wake-up call though, and hopefully others reading this will realize. I hadn't backed up that disc in a long time and thought I lost everything. I originally bought that disc as a backup device for my other (which is actually dysfunctional, see earlier posts in this thread) drive but never finished setting that up.

I will post the next part separately.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Tue, 26 Aug 2014 8:19 pm

So, going forward, a redundancy / backup plan based on what I have and what I need to get.

I have:
. 1 500gb disc drive, >6 years old, no issues, has legacy data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 NAS >5 years old, no issues, has multimedia data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 external drive >4 years old, at lease one disc has errors, I (used to) access this daily or weekly, but not since it stopped working and I haven't fixed it or got the data off it yet, if I even can

. 1 2tb 1-disc external drive, 3-4 years old

All of these are separate units. All are over half utilized with different data.

In hindsight, I don't think I really need anything RAIDed, just backup.

I thought to get a multi-bay chassis to house 4 or 5 discs and RAID 5 that, but given all of what I already have, and being on a limited budget, need to make the most of what I have.

I am open to suggestions.

Steve1960
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon, 13 Aug 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 7:22 am

Brah wrote:So, going forward, a redundancy / backup plan based on what I have and what I need to get.

I have:
. 1 500gb disc drive, >6 years old, no issues, has legacy data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 NAS >5 years old, no issues, has multimedia data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 external drive >4 years old, at lease one disc has errors, I (used to) access this daily or weekly, but not since it stopped working and I haven't fixed it or got the data off it yet, if I even can

. 1 2tb 1-disc external drive, 3-4 years old

All of these are separate units. All are over half utilized with different data.

In hindsight, I don't think I really need anything RAIDed, just backup.

I thought to get a multi-bay chassis to house 4 or 5 discs and RAID 5 that, but given all of what I already have, and being on a limited budget, need to make the most of what I have.

I am open to suggestions.


Couple of things.

I back up to four places for important files. Maybe overkill but I don't want to lose photographs, video and my movie collection. Not sure about a 5 bay array of drives as they are all still in the same physical location. It feels like your backup strategy is a little weak. I have:

1 & 2) WD multi bay with two 4TB hard drives Raid 1
3) 2TB USB hard drive hanging off a router on the network
4) Something you might consider for very important data a 1TB drive stored in a small fireproof safe we also use for jewelry and stuff

Secondly your drives are all getting old now. I appreciate you said this is on a budget but it's risky.

I wish this had come up a few weeks ago, I sent my daughter back to the UK with a couple of new 500GB USB hard drives I had no use for and I doubt she will use anyway :-(

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9313
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 7:49 am

Brah wrote:So, going forward, a redundancy / backup plan based on what I have and what I need to get.

I have:
. 1 500gb disc drive, >6 years old, no issues, has legacy data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 NAS >5 years old, no issues, has multimedia data I rarely access

. 1 2tb 2-disc RAID 1 external drive >4 years old, at lease one disc has errors, I (used to) access this daily or weekly, but not since it stopped working and I haven't fixed it or got the data off it yet, if I even can

. 1 2tb 1-disc external drive, 3-4 years old

All of these are separate units. All are over half utilized with different data.

In hindsight, I don't think I really need anything RAIDed, just backup.

I thought to get a multi-bay chassis to house 4 or 5 discs and RAID 5 that, but given all of what I already have, and being on a limited budget, need to make the most of what I have.

I am open to suggestions.


If you don't want any centralized / raid based solution just buy external drives to pair with each of your storage unit and make additional copies. Somehow less safer but more practical solution would be to buy 1x4TB external drive and use it to back up all your existing drives. For very crucial data I would back up it also to optical disks, preferably BDs.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 8:24 am

First, thanks all for the suggestions so far.
Steve1960 wrote:Couple of things.

I back up to four places for important files. Maybe overkill but I don't want to lose photographs, video and my movie collection. Not sure about a 5 bay array of drives as they are all still in the same physical location. It feels like your backup strategy is a little weak. I have:

1 & 2) WD multi bay with two 4TB hard drives Raid 1
3) 2TB USB hard drive hanging off a router on the network
4) Something you might consider for very important data a 1TB drive stored in a small fireproof safe we also use for jewelry and stuff

Secondly your drives are all getting old now. I appreciate you said this is on a budget but it's risky.

I wish this had come up a few weeks ago, I sent my daughter back to the UK with a couple of new 500GB USB hard drives I had no use for and I doubt she will use anyway :-(


Thanks for that Steve. Well, I am on a bit of a budget but I clearly have to do something, and fast. You're too kind to say my strategy is weak - at this point it's non-existent....

Question - how confident are you with that 2xRAID 1 setup? That's basically part of what I have and I don't even know if I can recover the bad drive (but have been too lazy to try yet).

x9200 wrote:If you don't want any centralized / raid based solution just buy external drives to pair with each of your storage unit and make additional copies. Somehow less safer but more practical solution would be to buy 1x4TB external drive and use it to back up all your existing drives. For very crucial data I would back up it also to optical disks, preferably BDs.


Ok, I do have to consider an array like 4x1tb. Do you have any suggestions? Buffalo, Synology, other? Is 5x1 better than 4x1? What would you do, if money was not a huge factor and still being somewhat practical?

Plus when you get drives for such an enclosure, or really anything, do you look for specific models within brands, such as WD Red vs. Blue, etc.?

There was a time I considered a Drobo since I have such a mix of drives (not to mention handfuls of 2.5 unmounted drives that either went bad but still are quasi usable or were replaced in laptops), but I seem to remember after reading reviews I declined out on that.

Re the OD, that is interesting to hear as I didn't think anyone did that - do you? Is this still a viable option? Do they last long (probably longer than hard drives..). I haven't thought about ODs for a long time forgot all about them.

Long ago I considered ripping my rather large music collection lossless and to put it on ODs. But that is a very separate conversation.

Sorry, lots of questions.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9313
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:37 am

Brah wrote:
x9200 wrote:If you don't want any centralized / raid based solution just buy external drives to pair with each of your storage unit and make additional copies. Somehow less safer but more practical solution would be to buy 1x4TB external drive and use it to back up all your existing drives. For very crucial data I would back up it also to optical disks, preferably BDs.


Ok, I do have to consider an array like 4x1tb. Do you have any suggestions? Buffalo, Synology, other? Is 5x1 better than 4x1? What would you do, if money was not a huge factor and still being somewhat practical?

Plus when you get drives for such an enclosure, or really anything, do you look for specific models within brands, such as WD Red vs. Blue, etc.?

There was a time I considered a Drobo since I have such a mix of drives (not to mention handfuls of 2.5 unmounted drives that either went bad but still are quasi usable or were replaced in laptops), but I seem to remember after reading reviews I declined out on that.

Re the OD, that is interesting to hear as I didn't think anyone did that - do you? Is this still a viable option? Do they last long (probably longer than hard drives..). I haven't thought about ODs for a long time forgot all about them.

Long ago I considered ripping my rather large music collection lossless and to put it on ODs. But that is a very separate conversation.

Sorry, lots of questions.


I have no personal experience with multi-bay commercial NAS/ES (I run my own, custom built) but I believe most of the products coming from well established companies should be fine. I would just pick a model and search Internet on what people have to say about it.

As of the logical structure I would definitely go for 4x2 / 5x2 or even ..x3 architecture with Raid5. 1TB drives are being phased out and are only slightly cheaper comparing to 2TB drives. 2TB WD green/red is ca S$125; 3TD WD green is ~S$140. A 4 bay enclosure (WD, Synology, Thecus) could be bought for S$600-800. You could start with a 4 bay NAS enclosure with 2x3TB or 3x2TB drives and later expand it.

OD. I have some Verbatim CDs from, I believe, 1993 still readable without any problems. What I don't like in any hard drive based solution is that is enough to drop this solution on the floor and you are in trouble. Optical discs are not that resistant neither but offer an alternative that may have a a better chance to survive (depending on the damaging factors).
Besides, there are also some special discs designed to last. They are called M-disc (http://www.mdisc.com/) and can be bought from Amazon. More expensive but still cheap enough.

bgd
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed, 25 Jul 2007

Postby bgd » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:45 am

I have a 2 bay Synology and happy with that. Did do a bit research and Synology came out well. It is my first NAS so don't have anything to compare to.

Have a look at the site below. Lots of good info.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Steve1960
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon, 13 Aug 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Steve1960 » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:49 am

Brah wrote:Thanks for that Steve. Well, I am on a bit of a budget but I clearly have to do something, and fast. You're too kind to say my strategy is weak - at this point it's non-existent....

Question - how confident are you with that 2xRAID 1 setup? That's basically part of what I have and I don't even know if I can recover the bad drive (but have been too lazy to try yet).


Ok, I do have to consider an array like 4x1tb. Do you have any suggestions? Buffalo, Synology, other? Is 5x1 better than 4x1? What would you do, if money was not a huge factor and still being somewhat practical?

Plus when you get drives for such an enclosure, or really anything, do you look for specific models within brands, such as WD Red vs. Blue, etc.?

There was a time I considered a Drobo since I have such a mix of drives (not to mention handfuls of 2.5 unmounted drives that either went bad but still are quasi usable or were replaced in laptops), but I seem to remember after reading reviews I declined out on that.

Re the OD, that is interesting to hear as I didn't think anyone did that - do you? Is this still a viable option? Do they last long (probably longer than hard drives..). I haven't thought about ODs for a long time forgot all about them.

Long ago I considered ripping my rather large music collection lossless and to put it on ODs. But that is a very separate conversation.

Sorry, lots of questions.


I chose the raid array from a limited list as I wanted an Apple compatible Thunderbolt connection. WD seemed to get good reviews particularly the fact that the drives were very quiet in operation. I am happy with 2 x 4TB as it gives me ample space even in raid 1 configuration and as I say I prefer to have separate additional back ups which are not in the same physical location.

As for recovering the bad drive, do you want to? I would be inclined to junk it and replace you still have the mirror image on the other drive.

As for the media, nothing is perfect of course and we could take backing up and preserving our data to the nth degree. I think you need to decide what is comfortable for you.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 7:27 pm

x9200 wrote:As of the logical structure I would definitely go for 4x2 / 5x2 or even ..x3 architecture with Raid5. 1TB drives are being phased out and are only slightly cheaper comparing to 2TB drives. 2TB WD green/red is ca S$125; 3TD WD green is ~S$140. A 4 bay enclosure (WD, Synology, Thecus) could be bought for S$600-800. You could start with a 4 bay NAS enclosure with 2x3TB or 3x2TB drives and later expand it.

OD. I have some Verbatim CDs from, I believe, 1993 still readable without any problems. What I don't like in any hard drive based solution is that is enough to drop this solution on the floor and you are in trouble. Optical discs are not that resistant neither but offer an alternative that may have a a better chance to survive (depending on the damaging factors).
Besides, there are also some special discs designed to last. They are called M-disc (http://www.mdisc.com/) and can be bought from Amazon. More expensive but still cheap enough.

Saw this on RSS news this morning:

Seagate has started shipping the first-ever 8TB desktop hard disk, doubling the 4TB capacities that seemed huge just a couple of years ago.
http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/26/seag ... ard-drive/

That should push the 4tb prices down.

So I may go with 2tbs instead of 1tb drives, but maybe consider 4tb depending on their price. I used to be against larger drives than the average since there is more at risk, though if RAIDed it is supposed to protect you from that, I guess only certainly if it is RAID 5, I lost confidence in RAID 1, or at least, any RAID setup with only 2 drives. Or do I have that wrong?

I'm going to look into the M-disc.

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Wed, 27 Aug 2014 7:34 pm

Steve1960 wrote:I chose the raid array from a limited list as I wanted an Apple compatible Thunderbolt connection. WD seemed to get good reviews particularly the fact that the drives were very quiet in operation. I am happy with 2 x 4TB as it gives me ample space even in raid 1 configuration and as I say I prefer to have separate additional back ups which are not in the same physical location.

As for recovering the bad drive, do you want to? I would be inclined to junk it and replace you still have the mirror image on the other drive.

That's if I can get the data off - all I care about is getting the data off either of the 2 drives and then trashing one or both of them.

Then there is the question of what use the WD enclosure is after that - if they can not accommodate new drives as the chassis become obsolete every few years, there has got to be a better solution.

I am not sure this is the case but seem to remember a discussion with WD Support that you can't use new drives in the old enclosure because of configuration issues.

And so my question from this morning to you remains - do you trust a 2-disc / RAID 1 setup, and if not and are simply relying on your backup devices, what is the value of RAIDing?



Steve1960
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon, 13 Aug 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 28 Aug 2014 8:57 am

Brah wrote:
That's if I can get the data off - all I care about is getting the data off either of the 2 drives and then trashing one or both of them.

Then there is the question of what use the WD enclosure is after that - if they can not accommodate new drives as the chassis become obsolete every few years, there has got to be a better solution.

I am not sure this is the case but seem to remember a discussion with WD Support that you can't use new drives in the old enclosure because of configuration issues.

And so my question from this morning to you remains - do you trust a 2-disc / RAID 1 setup, and if not and are simply relying on your backup devices, what is the value of RAIDing?


[/quote]

The answer is I don't know because I have not yet had to deal with an event. What I hope to do is minimise the risk of even seeing an event which means despite spending a lot of money on the unit after 2 years I will either replace the drives if I can or replace the entire array with enclosure. In my opinion it's money well spent to preserve my precious data.

Are you having issues getting the data off the second (presumably good) drive? If so I would be very interested to hear about this as that would be worrying.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9313
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 28 Aug 2014 8:59 am

Brah wrote:Seagate has started shipping the first-ever 8TB desktop hard disk, doubling the 4TB capacities that seemed huge just a couple of years ago.
http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/26/seag ... ard-drive/

That should push the 4tb prices down.

So I may go with 2tbs instead of 1tb drives, but maybe consider 4tb depending on their price. I used to be against larger drives than the average since there is more at risk, though if RAIDed it is supposed to protect you from that, I guess only certainly if it is RAID 5, I lost confidence in RAID 1, or at least, any RAID setup with only 2 drives. Or do I have that wrong?

I'm going to look into the M-disc.

I would not wait for the 4TB hdd price to drop significantly. This is going probably to take 1-2 years. Besides, do you really need such capacities?

RAID5 is similar to RAID1 in terms of data protection (RAID1 being actually a bit safer). RAID5 is faster (in principle). Apart from the speed, RAID5 simply has much better total capacity to actual capacity ratio. For RAID1 it is always 50% so you put 4TB drives and end up with 2TB usable. For 4 hdds in RAID5 it can be 75%. (total 8TB, usable 6TB). Also, depending on the implementation and with some larger arrays you may have spare drives registered in the system so in case of a failure the system starts to rebuilt itself immediately.

The uber safe one is RAID6. It can survive 2 drives failures at the same time but requires a min of 4 drives.

BTW, I've just realized that you need at least 3 drives for RAID5 so it should be 3x2TB or 3x3TB.

Lastly, I don't think you should lose your confidence in RAIDs. These are industrially proven standards. The troubles with your array may be related not necessary to RAID itself but, for example, to bugs in the system drivers delivered by the vendor (or bugs in the OS).

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Thu, 28 Aug 2014 8:23 pm

Thanks Steve and x9200.

@Steve - since I have had an issue with a 2x RAID 1 maybe you can learn from my experience, as soon as there is something to learn. I thought I could simply get data off the other drive if one failed. That may prove to be the case, but when I read up on this a while back I saw that many people had problems with this and there are no guarantees with this kind of setup.

@X9200 - Thanks for the continued suggestions. Any issue I may have with RAID is a) any assumption that it is an alternative to backup for disc failure, and b) for a 2x config, that it is not much safer than 1x, and less safe than 1x with a backup.

Re 4tb vs. 2tb, I haven't priced them so don't know what's needed, although for just music alone, if I were to rip my entire collection both lossless for backup home listening, and smaller format for portability, it would equate to an enormous amount of storage, not to mention documents and photos. But I am not prepared to do that yet so a 3-4tb-usuable setup with backup for now would probably be about right.

Why I regard RAID >1 higher that RAID 1 is that that involves more drives = less likelihood of total loss (save for things like fire, flood, theft, etc. ). Like you said, you could have RAID 1 with >2x but not sure why anyone would do that.

But please let me know if I'm talking out my butt on any of this.

SE - you're getting a good lesson in this thread.

Steve1960
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon, 13 Aug 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Steve1960 » Fri, 29 Aug 2014 7:37 am

Brah wrote:Thanks Steve and x9200.

@Steve - since I have had an issue with a 2x RAID 1 maybe you can learn from my experience, as soon as there is something to learn. I thought I could simply get data off the other drive if one failed. That may prove to be the case, but when I read up on this a while back I saw that many people had problems with this and there are no guarantees with this kind of setup.



I think this weekend just for fun (if you can call it that!) I will remove the primary drive from my array and see how easy it is to access the mirror drive. It may not help you specifically as I run Apple hardware and software but it could be a useful exercise anyway.

I think RAID is fine as long as you pay attention to your hardware. If you have an array both drives arrived at the same time, arguably they are both working almost as hard as each other (depending on the RAID configuration). If you flog them to death then they may well die around the same time. I think RAID setups only protect you against a catastrophic drive failure within the normal life of the drives and RAID only works if you are prepared to buy new drives or a new array on a regular basis.

At the company where I work they put in a policy of not changing laptops for 5 years. Guess what is happening? Yep multiple instances of hard drive failures as peoples hardware ages. Personally I would not use a hard drive beyond 3 years and will probably change after 2.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Computer, Internet, Phone & Electronics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest