NAS drive in desktop docking station

BosseBe

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I have 2 RAID backups of enterprise drives for security and reliability, and would use the SSD version for traveling, as they are so lightweight. I buy high quality Samsung or Sandisk SSD's and have not had any problem, nor have I every had a SanDIsk SD card go bad and I probably have over 25. The only Lexar and Transcend SD cards I bought did have problems though.

Right now I am using the Oyen Digital MiniPro RAID with 2 of the WD 5TB drives for my mobile setup. The 4TB version of Segate 2.5" drives only lasted for 18 months until my DriveDX app said they were past recommended maximum life.
Using a SSD or USB memory for backup while travelling would not bother me so much as long as I didn't delete anything from the SD card in the camera, so I have 2 copies at least.
But for long term backup I prefer HDDs.
I usually have my laptop PC with me while travelling and then I even backup to the cloud as I go, 1 copy on the SD card, 1 copy on the PC HDD and 1 copy in the cloud.
I might be paranoid, but am I paranoid enough? Obviously not as I still have lost files, but at home where I am not that diligent. ;)
 

Stanga

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I got a backup of the Windows partition on a SSD. For the periodic incremental backup I use a USB hard drive that has been designed to withstand a bit of rough handling. But an accident with the data table on that caused me to split that 4TB drive into three smaller partitions. I back up active documents folders on one, inactive Library files on another, and installation programs etc on the third. Then I have another USB drive mainly for music files on one partition and pictures plus videos on another.
My laptop also has a 128GB SD card to back up documents and CAD libraries, using File History in Windows.
I have tried network drives, but after more then 15 years of that I just couldn't live with the slow speed of backing up over the network. USB3 works so well for me, I am OK with the inconvenience of plugging and unplugging drives.
 

threeOh

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I see a lot of internal 5TB drives but almost no 2.5", mostly 3.5". Many of them do not say they are CMR/PMR, either. Most that do are NAS drives.

The docking station has two slots that can be used either for 3.5" or 2.5" SATA drives.

I'm thinking of either using the docking station ($40) with a drive and then either getting an internal 1TB SSD or external 1TB SSD for interfacing with my Mac. That's probably all I really need on a daily basis.
I have Samsung, Seagate and Toshiba 5TB 2.5” spinners. They are readily available. They are internals. Doesn’t bother me as I use them for either media streaming or backups. I did have 2 Seagate 4TB versions bite the dust almost immediately. The 2 replacements also quickly died. They were early PMR drives and Seagate tried to dance around the issue, then “refurbed” them and stuck them in backup enclosures, those died as well but, being Seagate, the drives somehow ended up on various sites at unbeatable prices. A lot of folks got burned on that one. Other than those 4 copies of one drive, my 2.5's have been more reliable than my 3.5” experience. I believe Backblaze' experience supports mine.

My suggestion was based on noise. If the 3.5” does not bother you from a noise and heat POV, you already have it, use it. The flip side is the 3.5” will be quicker as, to my knowledge, all 2.5” spinners, 3 TB and over, will be PMR drives. They can be dreadfully slow with incremental backups. I accept slow backups for low heat, low noise and portability (bus powered).

I swear by ssd's. Been using them since 64 GB was large. Old ones get assigned to clones as part of my backup routine. I run conservative with Crucial's. I don’t need to be on the bleeding edge when it comes to data storage.

Picking up on some other comments: I've had several of the Oyen mini Pro's. Great unit and cost effective. Had a couple at our former summer home and have a couple in the USA. Dust with a docking station has been mentioned. The Oyen's are a nice solution if dust becomes an issue. No fans, excellent cooling.
 

BrentC

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Do not use SSD as your main backup drives. A backup RAID does not need to be fast. And if you are using it to backup not just photos but important documents get a proper RAID box. I have been using Synology for along time now. 5-bays, 4 drives RAID 5 configuration and 1 hot spare. Drives are, if i remember correctly, WD NAS drives. not the fastest but they are meant for NAS and the vibration you get from all the drives in one enclosure. Synology comes with great software you can run to do everything from streaming, schedule backups, VPN's, etc, etc. I even stream 4k movies from it, not just for backup. there are others besides Synology, you can build your own. But I find Synology has great packages with everything you need.
 

Dinobe

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My question is whether the NAS drive would be perfectly suitable for daily or weekly updates on this docking station, since it will not be running 24/7 in an RAID array
If you don't use the drive in a RAID config, I wouldn't be to concerned with these drives. If you run a NAS with multiple drives in RAID config, it's strongly recommended to use 'special' NAS drives.
They don't differ physically from a desktop drive, but have different firmware which makes them respond 'in time' to the RAID controller. If they do not respond with X milliseconds, the RAID controller might consider a member of the RAID config lost and start rebuilding the RAID on a different (spare) disk. This takes hours, days, to complete.
You don't want to end up there, just because your desktop-grade drive didn't answer in time.

I'm running WD REDs for this. They are run for over 5 years 24/7 in a RAID5 config
 

felipegeek

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Backup is necessary but often fraught with errors in setup, settings, and erroneous assumptions. Thankfully, storage drives and backup software have become a lot more reliable over the years. My PC has a 1 x 1TB NVMe SSD for OS/user profile/application data, 2 x 2.5 1TB HDDs for old photos and miscellany and 6 x 2.5 SATA 480GB-512GB SSDs for photos installed internal to my PC . I currently use a 4TB external USB HDD for my local backup since moving from a house in Miami to an apartment NYC and losing a dedicated closet with a Windows storage server for backups and serving media files. I use a program called "Macrium Reflect" for system image backup of the OS, user profile, installed applications so I can have a bootable restore for recovery if the OS got trashed in an update or drive failure. I currently use a program called "Freefilesync" which is similar to a lot of other sync/copy tools. I setup the same folder paths across each of the SSD photo drives (X:\users\felipe\photos\YYYY\...) and the one-way sync job copies them to the external drive merged into a single tree since the base folders are by year anyway. For offsite backup I've had Backblaze since 2017. I go in and exclude lots of folders it backs up by default that aren't particularly helpful to keep in the cloud backup. I currently have 2.5 TB stored in Backblaze Backup and recently upgraded from 30-day retention to 1 year retention so if something was deleted recently there is a higher chance of recovering it from BB. 30 days is not much time to find a mistake and end up not being able to recover..

I have plans build my own NAS using parts from my prior PC to run FreeNAS/TrueNAS Core OS or just buy a Synology or QNAP NAS if it ends up not being suitable. For the photos backed up on the NAS I'd consider setting up cloud replication to Backblaze B2 or Wasabi cloud storage for yet another offsite backup target.
 

threeOh

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Do not use SSD as your main backup drives. A backup RAID does not need to be fast. And if you are using it to backup not just photos but important documents get a proper RAID box. I have been using Synology for along time now. 5-bays, 4 drives RAID 5 configuration and 1 hot spare. Drives are, if i remember correctly, WD NAS drives. not the fastest but they are meant for NAS and the vibration you get from all the drives in one enclosure. Synology comes with great software you can run to do everything from streaming, schedule backups, VPN's, etc, etc. I even stream 4k movies from it, not just for backup. there are others besides Synology, you can build your own. But I find Synology has great packages with everything you need.
Depends on your objectives. I use ssd's for my backup drives and see it as the correct approach for me. On a Mac they provide a bootable clone. One that’s always there if the internal has an issue. One where I can experiment with new software or system config's while the following day's backup will reset everything back (or I can skip that backup for further testing). One I can grab for travel and quickly boot my GF's Air or friends' Mac's off of and have my main Mac booted in seconds. Spinners are used for history via Timemachine. Not that I’ve ever had the need to use any of it. On-the-other-hand, the ssd backups provide valued service frequently.
 

felipegeek

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Adding to above. SSDs are fine for backups if the cost per GB makes sense for the situation. SSDs wear out based on writes to the NAND memory cells. Backup use is mostly write but most modern backup software is only writing net new data after the first full backup. Also called "forever incremental" where only new files/changed bits are written in subsequent backups. If you are using the older style methods of such as a Full monthly, differential, weekly, and incremental daily with flushing of older backup sets to make space for newer ones then your writes will be substantially higher. Furthermore, the impact of wear on SSDs varies with the NAND cell bit count. See Multi-Layer SSDs: What Are SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC, and PLC? (howtogeek.com) for more info on that. Most mid-tier TLC drives use an SLC cache chip to take the initial hit then sort out how to best write to the TLC NAND for efficiency and wear-leveling. QLC has only been around for a couple of years with some models having relatively low total writes. For static photo storage they are fine since overall writes are relatively low other than for new photos or other low churn use.
 

MacBook

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I have changed things around since originally posting, based on the conversation here and another recommendation.

I have returned the (unopened) HDD and docking station. The noise, dust, and complexity sort of changed my mind about it. Instead, I ordered a 1TB NVME card and a suitable enclosure for it. My plan is to use this drive actively with my desktop and then backup regularly to one of two larger HDD drives.
 
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BrentC

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Depends on your objectives. I use ssd's for my backup drives and see it as the correct approach for me. On a Mac they provide a bootable clone. One that’s always there if the internal has an issue. One where I can experiment with new software or system config's while the following day's backup will reset everything back (or I can skip that backup for further testing). One I can grab for travel and quickly boot my GF's Air or friends' Mac's off of and have my main Mac booted in seconds. Spinners are used for history via Timemachine. Not that I’ve ever had the need to use any of it. On-the-other-hand, the ssd backups provide valued service frequently.
SSD's has a lot shorter life than regular HD. I used SSD we backupps as well, most for traveling and temp. But not for my main backup of all my data. Regular HD is recommended for Main backup and especially for Raid.
SSD are more expensive, much shorter life span and the fast speed of SSD are not needed for backup. I would never waste money on SSD drives for a NAS.
Also SSD requires 20% free space at all times or performance starts declining rapidly.
For OS and regular data drives in a laptop/computer or traveling backup SSD's are great. For NAS and main backup they are not recommended because of price and lifespan.
HD are so cheap comparably and you can have a huge backup capacity for a fraction of the cost
 

threeOh

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SSD's has a lot shorter life than regular HD. I used SSD we backupps as well, most for traveling and temp. But not for my main backup of all my data. Regular HD is recommended for Main backup and especially for Raid.
SSD are more expensive, much shorter life span and the fast speed of SSD are not needed for backup. I would never waste money on SSD drives for a NAS.
Also SSD requires 20% free space at all times or performance starts declining rapidly.
For OS and regular data drives in a laptop/computer or traveling backup SSD's are great. For NAS and main backup they are not recommended because of price and lifespan.
HD are so cheap comparably and you can have a huge backup capacity for a fraction of the cost
As I said, spinners (hdd's) are used for Timemachine. All of these backup methods incorporate incremental routines. My aim is no more than 50% full. I suppose a further waste of money. The writes will never come close to wearing out anything with my replacement routine. These days, SSD's are good for around 10 years of use as a main drive. Figure that’s at least 50 years as an incremental backup drive. In the last 11 years I replaced my ssd's every 3 years. More due to price/performance than any concerns about wasting my own money or inappropriately wearing down my drives.

While I put myself out to pasture quite some time ago, a good part of my career was spent in the development and manufacture of mainframe hdd's or logical peripheral interfaces for early Mac's. I do try to stay somewhat current. Though I try to always listen. As we all should.
 

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