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Martin Boekers
05-22-2012, 3:49 PM
I am looking to get a NAS drive as I set up a small network.
Any recommendations?


Thanks!

Matt Meiser
05-22-2012, 3:53 PM
Synology...

lamar bailey
05-22-2012, 6:29 PM
I use Windows Home Server. It works great and I have been using it for years you can build your own system or buy one already setup.

Matt Meiser
05-22-2012, 6:47 PM
I do too, but it appears to be a dead or dying product and its pretty much impossible to buy one already setup anymore. I actually run my WHS backups to my Synology unit which is located in my shop about 100' from the house--offsite backup!

Lex Boegen
05-22-2012, 7:47 PM
Synology is a great choice. If you have the technical ability to build your own system, you can download the open-source version from SourceForge. Another good choice for a DIY NAS is the FreeNAS software (also open-source.)

Jerome Stanek
05-22-2012, 7:56 PM
I have an Ximeta drive on my system no need for a browser. It shows up as a hard drive and I can set it to read only or read write to it from each computer. It just connects to an open network port.

Matt Meiser
05-22-2012, 7:57 PM
Same is true of Synology.

paul cottingham
05-22-2012, 8:35 PM
Synology is a great choice. If you have the technical ability to build your own system, you can download the open-source version from SourceForge. Another good choice for a DIY NAS is the FreeNAS software (also open-source.)
FreeNAS is great. And very easy to use.

Eric DeSilva
05-23-2012, 11:21 AM
I've been happy with my ReadyNAS Pro. Packs six drives--I run 1TB drives--and can be configured in a variety of RAID set ups (I use RAID 5). It also has the benefit of being able to run some host software for media distribution--I use mine for SqueezeCenter and audio distribution throughout my house. Works with both our PC and Mac computers fine. I have hot swapped drives in it--started picking up a lot of SmartDisk Errors on one and decided to replace it in an excess of caution--and can attest that process works smoothly. Mine is on 24/7 and attached to a battery back up--bought in January of 2009, so it has been running constantly for 3.5 years.

Larry Browning
05-23-2012, 12:52 PM
I have yet another alternative. If you have not purchased your wireless router yet, have a look at this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002YLAUU8/ref=pe_171530_24097670_pe_vfe_dt1
It has a usb port that you can plug one of those external hard drives into. It will then act as an NAS. I have no experience with this router, but it looks like it could provide a pretty hassle free way of turning an existing external HD into a NAS. I was looking at it because of the gigabit Ethernet connections to replace my 100mb router.

Greg Portland
05-23-2012, 3:05 PM
I am looking to get a NAS drive as I set up a small network.
Any recommendations?


Thanks!
What capacity, uptime, and speeds are required? How important is data loss?

Martin Boekers
06-11-2012, 5:04 PM
What capacity, uptime, and speeds are required? How important is data loss?

This is a new territory for me, basically I run and engraving shop with 4-5 workstations. I want to be able to save all my files
and graphics at a common spot so each station has access to all client files and latest graphics. I hope to be able to back it
up easily and safely.

Right now each workstation has access only to the files that are created there, so it's difficult to track previous orders. I am
new to this networking territory and there definitly is a learning curve! I have 5 Computer I want to network with a NAS drive
and 6 output devices. I bought a switch box a while back with 16 slots. So far I have 3 computers talking with each other and
to 2 output devices.

I have been too busy at work to take the time to get this to where I envision it to be. I would like to keep the NAS portion under $500
but be usable for a few years and then take it from there.


Marty

Larry Browning
06-11-2012, 11:44 PM
So this is your business? This means that backup and uptime are very important. You also say that you have been too busy to get this done as you envision. Do yourself a favor and call a local networking company, spend a hour with them describing your requirements and get them to fix you up with a proper solution. This is your business and lively hood, how much will it cost you if you lost all you data? Don't mess around with this, get professional help!

paul cottingham
06-12-2012, 12:27 AM
Let me tell you, if I had a dollar for all the people who called my business and started a sentence with "I don't have any backups, but the data is really important....." There is no substitute for backups, and screaming at a poor tech doesn't work either. Even an external hard-drive with synchback running a synch every night is better than nothing. And it is cost effective and easy to set up, too.

Bill ThompsonNM
06-12-2012, 1:19 AM
Look at the Netgear WNDR 3800 router-- even if you don't need a new router. Like the router mentioned by Larry above, it has a port to attach a hard drive. I have a 100 gb one attached now, but I'll put a couple of terabytes on if/when I run out of space. Works great! Easy to back up to.... I think one of there newer routers supports usb3.0.
The advantage of using a router is its not much power to have one on and providing file services all the time. A pc adds a lot of complexity and power consumption

Steve Meliza
06-12-2012, 10:15 AM
I don't have any experience with the dedicated NAS products such as Synology, but I have been using network based storage for several years.

The cheapest way will be to grab some old PC that is too slow to use as a desktop and someone is just looking to give it away. Drop a big hard drive or two in, put on FreeNAS or even a full blown OS like Debian then configure the drive to be shared over the network. This method takes the most time, requires the most technical know-how and uses a fair amount of energy at all times.

The easiest to setup would be something simple like the Apple Time Capsule with 2TB drive for $300, plug it in, configure the wireless, and you've got a NAS and a wireless router. If you've got any Apple products you can back up those computers with Time Machine.

The last option would be to go buy a dedicated NAS product such as the Synology units mentioned previously, and one or more hard drives. I've not used one of these before, but setup should be quick and easy. Not sure if you'd be able to get under $500 though unless you only get one hard drive.

Now that you've gathered your data into one place you are even more vulnerable to thieves, drive failures, fires, floods, and so forth. Performing proper backups is a whole topic of its own, but the basic gist of it is that the best protection is to back up your data every night to secure off-site storage. Good luck finding a way to do that inexpensively unless you have a friend that will host your back ups securely and vice versa. However, even doing easy stuff like buying a 2 bay NAS and using RAID 1 so that both drives have the same contents on them will protect you from a single drive failure. If the NAS supports hot swapping then buy 3 drives and every Friday swap out a drive in the NAS and take the warm one home with you for the week. At least that way you lose one week at most even if your NAS gets destroyed or stolen.

Eric DeSilva
06-12-2012, 11:35 AM
Steve is right. NAS, even with RAID, is NOT a backup. If someone deletes files off the NAS/RAID, they are gone. Do you have any idea how much data is critical that you need to store? You might also look into the cloud storage options. My wife is a photographer, so her data is important. She also accesses the data from different computers in the house for processing. We run a ReadyNAS with 6TB configured as RAID 5, but I also back certain critical data up to Mozy (although I'm probably going to switch) and regularly copy data off onto a rotating series of 2TB USB drives.

Think about how much you have to store and how much that is worth to you. If it is a small amount of data, you might even just think about something like dropbox. Or Amazon's cloud drive or something. But, there are lots of other options like Mozy or Carbonite.

Martin Boekers
06-12-2012, 12:08 PM
I manage and engraving shop on a military instalation so I have limitations on what I can and can't do.
We have an NAS drive hooked up to our Center's system, but there are issues that affect my shop, so I
figured the best was to put something in I have more control over. I have been approved to do this.

I do back up on seperate external drives right now, but am looking for an easier method as well as a way
to make sure all my co-workers are using the most up dated files and graphics from a central location. I
don't need something that is too sophisticated and expensive at this point, maybe down the road.

These are what I am looking at now as they seem to fit my needs as right now.

www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755402-REG/Iomega_35430_4TB_2x2TB_StorCenter_ix2_200.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755402-REG/Iomega_35430_4TB_2x2TB_StorCenter_ix2_200.html)

www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755401-REG/Iomega_35427_2TB_2x1TB_StorCenter_ix2_200.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755401-REG/Iomega_35427_2TB_2x1TB_StorCenter_ix2_200.html)

Let me know what you think!

Thanks!


Marty

Larry Browning
06-12-2012, 12:37 PM
I had a dedicated NAS (HP mediaserver I think it was called). The only things that were replaceable were the hard drives. The integrated network card went out and could not be replaced and it had no expansion slots. This pretty much turned it into a boat anchor. I managed to salvage the hard drives by putting them into an old computer I had and installed Ubuntu server on it. Anyway I am just saying that these dedicated NAS devices work great until something goes out on them, then there is no repairing, just replacement. If you are ok with that, those look like pretty good units.

Martin Boekers
06-12-2012, 12:48 PM
I guess that is the issue with any computerized device :) I have had computers that work fine until that fatefull morning then RIP.

I will have an external drive backing this up also. It's just easier to back up from one spot than the 5 computers I am running right now.
At under $400 I think it will pay for itself in a couple months. We'll see! I need to come up with a decent solution at least for the time being.
I hope this will take care of that.


Thanks for the input!

Marty

Prashun Patel
06-12-2012, 1:22 PM
Synology is reputed to be very good.

However, if yr small network is just a home network, and y'll be using yr nas for backup, then an easier solution might be a USB hard drive. They're fast, and when they're off the network, they can't be compromised.

A dedicated NAS (or even a second PC) is good really only if you have 2 pc's or more on the net and any one of them has a high prob of being off or disconnected at any time and can't serve as the file server.

Larry Browning
06-12-2012, 2:01 PM
I guess that is the issue with any computerized device :) I have had computers that work fine until that fatefull morning then RIP.

I will have an external drive backing this up also. It's just easier to back up from one spot than the 5 computers I am running right now.
At under $400 I think it will pay for itself in a couple months. We'll see! I need to come up with a decent solution at least for the time being.
I hope this will take care of that.


Thanks for the input!

Marty
Actually another simple no cost solution would be to pick one of those 5 computers and set up a dedicated folder as a shared public folder. Then have the other 4 computers use that folder as the network drive. Backup is already happening anyway, so that would not be an issue. The only issue would be that the one designated "server" computer would have to be on all the time.
Just trying to save us taxpayers a buck or 2:D

Greg Portland
06-20-2012, 3:26 PM
This is a new territory for me, basically I run and engraving shop with 4-5 workstations. I want to be able to save all my files
and graphics at a common spot so each station has access to all client files and latest graphics. I hope to be able to back it
up easily and safely.

Right now each workstation has access only to the files that are created there, so it's difficult to track previous orders. I am
new to this networking territory and there definitly is a learning curve! I have 5 Computer I want to network with a NAS drive
and 6 output devices. I bought a switch box a while back with 16 slots. So far I have 3 computers talking with each other and
to 2 output devices.

I have been too busy at work to take the time to get this to where I envision it to be. I would like to keep the NAS portion under $500
but be usable for a few years and then take it from there.


Marty
What I'm hearing is the following:

1) Speed isn't important (compared to high end server solutions)
2) You have at least 1 PC powered on when you need to access NAS data
3) You want it to be cheap

Solutions:
Option 1) Stick a large hard drive in 1 PC that will always be on when you need to access the data. Share the drive on your network; all other computers will now be able to R/W to the drive. This is your cheapest option but the downside is if the 1 PC gets corrupted then it could damage the data.
Option 2) Get a Western Digital "My Book" or similar network storage. This isn't going to win any performance awards but it is low power & will meet your needs. If your data is ultra important then I'd get a second one and make 2 backups. Keep the 1 drive fully unplugged except to make a full backup once a week. If lightning hits then that once-a-week backup will be OK and you can recover your files.

Joshua Culp
06-21-2012, 8:59 AM
Option 2) Get a Western Digital "My Book" or similar network storage. This isn't going to win any performance awards but it is low power & will meet your needs. If your data is ultra important then I'd get a second one and make 2 backups. Keep the 1 drive fully unplugged except to make a full backup once a week. If lightning hits then that once-a-week backup will be OK and you can recover your files.

I highly recommend the Western Digital My Book World Edition. It plugs into your router with a cat 5 cable and contains two drives in it that are mirrored. When you write to it, it automatically keeps a copy on both drives. This doesn't cover all your bases (fire) but it does let all computers access the latest data and protects you from a disk failure - which I think is more likely than fire. I've had several disks crash, but my house has never burned down, flooded, or been broken into. It's well within your budget too.

Matt Meiser
06-21-2012, 9:19 AM
That's called RAID and quite a few of them offer it.

I haven't looked at WD's offerings lately so maybe they've redesigned them but the quite a few of the dedicated NAS units use user-installed off the shelf sata drives. If one fails, you can swap it out yourself in a few minutes instead of throwing the whole unit away, or IMHO, worse, sending it to WD for "repair" which actually means they'll send you someone else's repaired unit, repair yours, and send it to someone else. When I last looked, I couldn't find any information on their data security practices.

Eric DeSilva
06-21-2012, 12:37 PM
Having a proper back up isn't necessarily limited to destruction of the media, which, as you note, may be somewhat uncommon. It also addresses--which a standalone RAID array does not--the issue of accidental (or malicious) deletion. If all your employees have access to the data on the drive... Say one doesn't know what they are doing and accidentally deletes everything. RAID doesn't help there. A real back up would.

Prashun Patel
06-21-2012, 12:59 PM
What you seem to want is a file server. personally, I would just get a PC for it. That way you can access it directly with a keyboard and monitor if you ever need to take it off the network. For an extra $200, that's a nice feature for me. Also, you can then connect the external HD directly to that PC and have the backup program running directly on that PC.

Also, before you go implementing a NAS or file server, you might try simulating the situation by sharing one of the PC's drive, and then working from another PC to access the files from the first. Graphics can be notoriously slow when working over the network.