Need home NAS advice. Synology DS420+ or ?

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If you have a spare computer of reasonable power, you might consider building your own with TrueNAS Core (used to be FreeNAS). It is the foundational level of the enterprise quality TrueNAS. It runs a ZFS file system allowing for pooled storage, Copy-on-write, snapshots, data integrity verification and repair, and RAID Z, among other features.
I'm running it on a Dell desktop running an i5-3330 processor with 16GB RAM I bought used for $80. I then put in a SSD for the OS/App layer, and 4 8TB hard drives in RAIDZ. It is robust, and I can connect LRC directly to file shares I've created on it(you can create either AFP or SMB shares that can be seen by any Windows or OS X system). It also has a web interface, so all maintenance can managed remotely by opening a browser and pointing to its IP address. Additionally, you can set it up for remote access if you need that.

I realize this may be more than you want to take on, but the results for me have been remarkable. Here's a link to their site.
https://www.freenas.org
 

DeeJayK

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If you have a spare computer of reasonable power, you might consider building your own with TrueNAS Core (used to be FreeNAS). It is the foundational level of the enterprise quality TrueNAS. It runs a ZFS file system allowing for pooled storage, Copy-on-write, snapshots, data integrity verification and repair, and RAID Z, among other features.
I'm running it on a Dell desktop running an i5-3330 processor with 16GB RAM I bought used for $80. I then put in a SSD for the OS/App layer, and 4 8TB hard drives in RAIDZ. It is robust, and I can connect LRC directly to file shares I've created on it(you can create either AFP or SMB shares that can be seen by any Windows or OS X system). It also has a web interface, so all maintenance can managed remotely by opening a browser and pointing to its IP address. Additionally, you can set it up for remote access if you need that.

I realize this may be more than you want to take on, but the results for me have been remarkable. Here's a link to their site.
https://www.freenas.org
Thanks for the suggestion. Ten years ago I would have found this solution to be very intriguing. Unfortunately I no longer have any old desktop hardware lying around and my spirit for adventure on projects like these has been tempered a bit.

I'm really looking for a solution that will just work out of the box with no fuss that will require minimal ongoing maintenance, even if that means the upfront cost is a bit more. I guess in short I'm just not the geek I used to be (no offense).

- K
 
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Thanks for the suggestion. Ten years ago I would have found this solution to be very intriguing. Unfortunately I no longer have any old desktop hardware lying around and my spirit for adventure on projects like these has been tempered a bit.

I'm really looking for a solution that will just work out of the box with no fuss that will require minimal ongoing maintenance, even if that means the upfront cost is a bit more. I guess in short I'm just not the geek I used to be (no offense).

- K
None taken. I understand that it's not for everyone. I agree with the other information provided on this thread - as beefy a processor as you can get, and the cache on the hard drives matters more than their spin rate. Good luck!
 

DeeJayK

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@DeeJayK, if you've already decided what to do, why do you ask for opinions? I have no interest in arguing with you.
I'm not trying to argue with you. Your advice has been very helpful and is appreciated.

I'm only trying to understand the benefits of your suggested two box solution over my proposed 4-drive single box solution. It seems that running two boxes doubles the chance I'll have a non-drive failure of some sort while halving the impact of such a failure. That seems like a wash to me.

But perhaps I'm missing something. What additional benefit does your solution provide that I'm not seeing? Again, not trying to argue, just trying to understand this stuff so that I (and perhaps others who are reading this) can make an informed decision.

- K
 

Armoured

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I also agree that the likelihood of multiple, concurrent hard drive failures is remote (perhaps even vanishingly so) and that running a RAID 10 is a "belt and suspenders" type of solution. I'm okay with belt and suspenders in some cases.
...
So perhaps it makes sense to look into a cold spare transformer as well as a cold spare drive. That said, delivery timelines being what they are in today's connected world it might not be worth bothering, either. This is just a home NAS and the cost of downtime is relatively insignificant. Even if it were down for a week or more, I have no doubt I would survive.

Given the profile you've outlined and your use, having effectively two disks for spare/redundant data (SHR-2 in synology speak) really is more than is needed. SHR-1 should be more than fine. To the extent that there's a monetary saving in doing so, using that money for a larger disk or disks for backup and rotation makes more sense (with extra room for versioning, after all, a lot of data loss is operator error / mistakes and not just disk failures).

Having the extra disk for hot swap is great - but I would think of that as primarily a necessity for a critical-use always-on application, not home use. If you would be fine with it down for a week, you don't need two redundant disks/hot spare capacity, the one in an SHR-1 arrangement should be enough.

I'm not quite clear what you see as the disadvantages of btrfs. I don't see any significant ones, and for synology, it's their preferred (native) filesystem for a reason (there are advantages).

Another personal view that others may disagree with: for home use in a consumer/home office oriented application, I don't believe enterprise-level drives are absolutely necessary and may not be worth the extra expense. There are some caveats and things to look out for, but even consumer drives are up to that kind of task. You're not running a data centre.

Synology's software is darn good and makes swapping in a drive if one is having trouble easy, and even upgrading size by swapping out smaller-for-larger drives is dead simple and quite reliable.
 

John King

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Given the profile you've outlined and your use, having effectively two disks for spare/redundant data (SHR-2 in synology speak) really is more than is needed. SHR-1 should be more than fine. To the extent that there's a monetary saving in doing so, using that money for a larger disk or disks for backup and rotation makes more sense (with extra room for versioning, after all, a lot of data loss is operator error / mistakes and not just disk failures).

Having the extra disk for hot swap is great - but I would think of that as primarily a necessity for a critical-use always-on application, not home use. If you would be fine with it down for a week, you don't need two redundant disks/hot spare capacity, the one in an SHR-1 arrangement should be enough.

I'm not quite clear what you see as the disadvantages of btrfs. I don't see any significant ones, and for synology, it's their preferred (native) filesystem for a reason (there are advantages).

Another personal view that others may disagree with: for home use in a consumer/home office oriented application, I don't believe enterprise-level drives are absolutely necessary and may not be worth the extra expense. There are some caveats and things to look out for, but even consumer drives are up to that kind of task. You're not running a data centre.

Synology's software is darn good and makes swapping in a drive if one is having trouble easy, and even upgrading size by swapping out smaller-for-larger drives is dead simple and quite reliable.
If one is prepared to take risks, why use any raid, any backup, use a NAS, etc, etc?

Applied to life generally, don't 'waste' money on house/car/health insurance either. (Just BTW, I can never make a 'loss' on my health insurance, even if I should live to be 130 y.o. ... ).
 

Armoured

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If one is prepared to take risks, why use any raid, any backup, use a NAS, etc, etc?

There are always risks, it's just a question of what trade-offs (costs) and whether it makes sense to mitigate one specific risk or use those resources to deal with other risks.

NASs (NASses?) have other uses beyond just backup or critical data repository - file server, data sharing, sync, etc.

And please, don't misrepresent what I said: in no way did I suggest not having backups or ignoring risk altogether. Quite the opposite - my suggestion at heart was to worry less about having two drives fail in the NAS simultaneously (a rather long-tail risk), and to make sure other parts of the backup chain (off-site etc) of the critical NAS data were better protected.

This was specifically informed by the comment that he would be fine if the NAS were to be offline for a week. In other words, not meant to be universal advice but (somewhat) tailored to specific situation as described. For those for whom NAS always-on is critical, a different approach would definitely be needed.

It's perfectly fine to disagree or think the balance of risks lies elsewhere, of course, or that specific risks are higher than I may think. But I didn't suggest or claim that risk should be ignored.
 

Armoured

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@Armoured I certainly didn't mean to misrepresent what you said. Apologies that you felt that I did.

My point was the other extreme. If one is trying to mitigate risk, one should not be half-hearted about it. I suspect that this is also your stance, in general

No worries, no offense taken. I don't know what exactly is meant by 'half-hearted' about risk. My point is there's always risk, and it's always a balancing act - and some risk mitigation techniques run into diminishing returns (or create their own issues). [And I used to argue at work that some insurance policies were just dumb, and others under-utilised - but very sector specific so I won't bore you with that.]

In this case (SHR-2 vs SHR-1) - my simple point is that it's true SHR-2 protects against two drives simultaneously failing - but that's a rather rare event and a proportionately high cost for a home use (eg always-on not critical) in a 4-disk NAS with a good backup strategy. I don't think it's worth it but that's a judgment call, won't begrudge anyone who decides differently.

It's a proportionately low(er) cost for someone with a 12-disk array and critical always-on use profile. The math is just different. But then hopefully those users aren't making NAS enterprise planning deciisons from randos like me on a photography forum. :thumbsup:
 
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John King

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I wouldn't think that they would be ... :rofl: .
Although the internet is chock full of 'experts' who patently don't understand the most basic things that they are supposedly 'expert' in ...

I was at a Tech Pacific convention on this very issue, data storage, protection and backup equipment and strategies.

I found myself talking to a chap whose company had just lost about 6 weeks of movie editing for 4-6 staff. I said to him that you go to your bank manager and get a $100,000 loan for a SCSI disk farm with two sets of striped sets with 5 disks each, mirrored to each other.

A short while later the convenor came over and was asked the same question while I stood by. His answer was all but word perfect the same as mine.

All this was a bit over 20 years ago, but the questions and answers haven't really changed all that much!
 

RickinAust

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Just remember, this does not provide either site protection (theft or destruction) or severe power spike.

Offline storage (backup of the NAS) provides this last essential step.

Fully agree. My power supply failed on my NAS and corrupted a disk. Luckily it was a raid so after replacing power supply was able to re-create back up array.
However, it could have been much worse. That is why I back up everything to the cloud, it's fairly cheap to get a Home solution with versioning and auto back up and backs up from the NAS to the Cloud.
I also use a little program called Quickshadow back up that automatically backs up to the NAS only those folder/files on my PC that I need backed up.
Also for added protection I have a APC UPS connected to the NAS that automatically shuts it down after 5 mins if we have a power failure.
 

robcee

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I don't know about that model, info should be out there on internet.

Even better machines with ample ram.

some people are incapable of not arguing when presented with an alternative point of view. It's fine. it has enough for my needs. Not everyone wants or needs to upgrade the RAM in a fileserver.

1616496520723.png
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Armoured

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some people are incapable of not arguing when presented with an alternative point of view. It's fine. it has enough for my needs. Not everyone wants or needs to upgrade the RAM in a fileserver.

Not attempting to argue the point, just mentioning a possibility. If you're happy with the ram and performance, by all means. I simply found 1gb insufficient but clearly I'm running more services (or something).
 

robcee

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Not attempting to argue the point, just mentioning a possibility. If you're happy with the ram and performance, by all means. I simply found 1gb insufficient but clearly I'm running more services (or something).

yeah, if memory serves, the last time I looked into it, the DS416 (non-play) used surface mounted RAM so it wasn't an option for me. I've survived this long without it. :)
 

DeeJayK

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For others who are interested in using Lightroom with a NAS, I found this video very helpful:


His method utilizes a Synology NAS, but I suspect something similar would be available with other modern NAS options. The workflow he described is fairly similar to the way oldracer explains he uses his NAS with Lightroom, with similar caveats and limitations.

This guy's YT channel and website has been one of the most helpful resources I've found while researching NAS options.

- K
 

DeeJayK

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Given the profile you've outlined and your use, having effectively two disks for spare/redundant data (SHR-2 in synology speak) really is more than is needed. SHR-1 should be more than fine. To the extent that there's a monetary saving in doing so, using that money for a larger disk or disks for backup and rotation makes more sense (with extra room for versioning, after all, a lot of data loss is operator error / mistakes and not just disk failures).

Having the extra disk for hot swap is great - but I would think of that as primarily a necessity for a critical-use always-on application, not home use. If you would be fine with it down for a week, you don't need two redundant disks/hot spare capacity, the one in an SHR-1 arrangement should be enough.

I found this video to provide a good way to think about fault tolerance with regard to different levels of redundancy:

Obviously the chances of two drives in a four drive array failing simultaneously is remote, but he also makes the point that rebuilding an array from the loss of a disk presents its own risk in that the rebuilding process itself causes significant stress on the disks. He further quantifies this risk using in a spreadsheet.

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Granted his assumptions here approach worst-case scenarios, but when assessing risk that sort of thinking is worthwhile.

Like I said previously, I understand fully that RAID 6/ RAID 10/ SHR-2 is probably overkill for this situation and each person's risk tolerance is going to be different.

I'm not quite clear what you see as the disadvantages of btrfs. I don't see any significant ones, and for synology, it's their preferred (native) filesystem for a reason (there are advantages).
I don't have any personal experience with BTRFS, all I know is what I've learned through research. From that I was able to glean the advantages BTRFS offers. I just saw some chatter online that folks had experienced (or perceived, at least) performance penalties of using BTRFS in certain use cases. That said, none of those use cases sounded similar to what I envision mine to be. I was just curious if you had encountered any downsides of BTRFS.

- K
 

oldracer

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... He further quantifies this risk using in a spreadsheet. ...
Well if it's a spreadsheet it must be gospel, right?

4% annual fail probability? I have never seen anything close to that during the 30+ years I've had hard disk systems. Data to support?
4x fail probability increase during rebuild? I'd like to see that data that backs that up, too.
20 days to rebuild? Not on the kind of systems we are talking about here.

Years ago I met a guy who frequently marked his cost estimates as "PITOOMA." The first letters stood for "Pulled it out of ... " I call BS on the YouTuber's whole analysis.

@DeeJayK, with all due respect, I think you are a victim of confirmation bias.
 

DeeJayK

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Well if it's a spreadsheet it must be gospel, right?

4% annual fail probability? I have never seen anything close to that during the 30+ years I've had hard disk systems. Data to support?
4x fail probability increase during rebuild? I'd like to see that data that backs that up, too.
20 days to rebuild? Not on the kind of systems we are talking about here.

Years ago I met a guy who frequently marked his cost estimates as "PITOOMA." The first letters stood for "Pulled it out of ... " I call BS on the YouTuber's whole analysis.

@DeeJayK, with all due respect, I think you are a victim of confirmation bias.
I don't think I presented his analysis as gospel. In fact, I specifically pointed out that his assumption were extremely pessimistic. Understanding that, the value of this (to me, at least) isn't in the specific probabilities that he arrives at, but rather at the relative probabilities between the various scenarios.

Regarding your assertion as to my biases, you are likely correct. I've tried to be very transparent in admitting that anticipating two concurrent drive failures is likely overkill. Beyond that, I'm not sure which biases you're referring to. I've tried to approach all recommendations in the spirit they were offered, but I'm also trying to educate myself to understand the logic behind them. To that end I'd love to understand further the advantages you see in a two box approach.

- K
 

oldracer

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... I'd love to understand further the advantages you see in a two box approach.

1) twice as much actual data storage for a given number of raw terabytes.
2) highly fault tolerant of disk failures and, given a reasonable mean time to repair, the probability of a second disk failing within the MTTR window is almost zero.
3) Completely tolerant of any single disk, box, or wall wart failure. Worst case you might have to swap drives between boxes to get access to all your data.
4) Probably some speed advantage due to parallel operation where data access patterns happen to fit. Minor point, though.

In my case, one of my 2-bay boxes is used exclusively for backups from my machine and my wife's machine. I don't back that one up again to the gun safe SATA drive and I don't really care much if we miss a few day's backups. It's a joint proability thing again. we have gone literally years without needing anything from those backups, so for us to need something inside the MTTR window for a failed Synology box is near zero probability. So if my main NAS box failed, I'd just move its disks into the other box and be back on the air in a few minutes.
 
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