Home media storage

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 07:53

Hello folks. Totally non gaming related but I'm hoping someone here will be able to offer me some IT advice.

Basically, I need an easy and, hopefully, affordable way of storing media at home, mostly photographs. I'll need a minimum of 3TB storage, preferably with backup and it needs to be accessible from separate devices, currently just 2 laptops but this my change.

A local personal 'cloud' with backup seems the immediately obvious choice to me but that's where my knowledge ends really. Any help?
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  paulyg on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 08:19

I can tell you what I do, but not sure it's the absolute best thing (haven't investigated for a few years).

I've got 3 Drobos. These are NAS devices which can each hold several hard disks. The main advantage of having something like this with multiple disks is that if one (or two depending on config) of the hard disks fail then you don't lose your data. The Drobo also lets you mix and match different sizes of disk and can rebuild on the fly without you needing to rebuild the whole thing (which is the case with normal RAID systems). I've heard that the Synology products are also good for this, though I haven't tried them. Some of the Drobos attach directly to your network (you can just plug it into your router/switch/whatever and so are accessible by all your devices) whilst some would connect via USB or Thunderbolt (you could either share them from a computer or a lot of routers and switches will have USB to add storage in this way). The only downside I find is that they're not the fastest (fine for streaming video but just a bit slow for big file transfers). However, mine are older models and some of the newer ones now claim to be a lot faster (and let you put an SSD in them for hot caching, etc. so I believe it). Take a look at something like the Drobo 5N.

For backups I use Crashplan. I've got my two 'production' Drobos backing up locally to the third one so I've got a local backup. I also use Crashplan to back up to the cloud so that I have something off-site. If your data is really important then do consider taking at least two backups, with one of them being off site (in case the house burns down, all your computer equipments gets stolen, etc.).

If you're after something a bit more 'all-in-one' and cloud like then there are now some 'personal cloud' devices (I work in cloud computing and would rather dispute that they meet the definition of cloud, but I'll not go into that here!). These also tend to be a bit cheaper, but will be more limited and won't necessarily give you the 'RAID-like' protection that I mentioned above. I haven't personally used these but I hear good things about the Drobo Transporter.

There are also plenty of alternatives to Crashplan for backups: Mozy, Carbonite, Backblaze, ... I found Crashplan to be my favourite after trying all these as it had the fewest restrictions on the files and locations that could be backed up (some of them won't let you back up from external drives, for example). It also has a nice feature where you can back up to your friends (with an encrypted backup) so that you have something off-site but without paying for cloud storage.

I know that there are plenty of much more IT-literate people on this forum than me, so I'll shut up now, but happy to talk to you more about my setup some time if that sounds useful.
avatar
paulyg
Starting player token

Posts : 1792
Join date : 2014-03-09
Age : 38
Location : Greenhill

View user profile http://www.antigeek.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  PaulC on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 08:32

Just wrote a lengthy reply that gave pretty much advice that PaulG did. Rather than you having to read two lengthy replies, I'll just endorse PaulG's response!
avatar
PaulC
Starting player token

Posts : 1612
Join date : 2013-06-17
Age : 45
Location : Sheffield

View user profile http://www.iamasexybitch.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  DaveB on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 08:37

karl_b wrote:Hello folks. Totally non gaming related but I'm hoping someone here will be able to offer me some IT advice.

Basically, I need an easy and, hopefully, affordable way of storing media at home, mostly photographs. I'll need a minimum of 3TB storage, preferably with backup and it needs to be accessible from separate devices, currently just 2 laptops but this my change.

A local personal 'cloud' with backup seems the immediately obvious choice to me but that's where my knowledge ends really. Any help?

As an IT sysadmin there's not many buzzwords that make my teeth itch more than "the cloud" Smile

As per PaulG, for home storage in the 3tb and larger area you're probably best served by using a NAS. He uses Drobo, I went with Synology, there are others out there, QNAP for example are generally regarded. I've only got personal experience with Synology gear but I'll happily hang my recommendation on them, it's been rock steady in the time I've owned it.

I would strongly recommend use of RAID on these things - this will protect against the failure of one of the disks by spreading recovery info around the device. If you need decent but not blistering performance I'd recommend RAID 5 which sacrifices one disk as a "parity" drive. Should a disk fail you can swap it out, the array automatically rebuilds itself and then everyone carries on from there.

As for backups, the ghetto solution would be simply to dump everything to a USB HDD and chuck it in your desk drawer at work. The sensible recommendation here would be to use two drives rather than one, so you can rotate them and always have a backup offsite, using only one disk its possible something bad would happen while you're updating your backup...

Looking at the cloud backup providers, I'd probably echo Paul again in his recommendation of Crashplan but you'd likely need an unlimited plan to dump that much data on their servers, not to mention quite a lot of time to do the initial upload (shouldn't be so bad afterwards as only the deltas will get updated then). It's worth considering if all 3 TB need to be backed up?
avatar
DaveB
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1409
Join date : 2013-06-18
Age : 39
Location : Deepcar

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Aneurin on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 09:34

I'm a Dropbox junkie... expensive but integrates well into windows and is really easy to use. The only problem is that each device (excluding tablets) creates a local copy... I just like being able to access from anywhere and any computer (you can access them via 'the cloud' - I always imagine the aliens from Toy Story when I used that word)


Last edited by Aneurin on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 09:37; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Aneurin
Starting player token

Posts : 2710
Join date : 2011-07-20
Age : 37
Location : Deepcar

View user profile http://www.sheffieldboardgamers.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  DaveB on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 09:36

Aneurin wrote:I'm a Dropbox junkie... expensive but integrates well into windows and is really easy to use. The only problem is that each device (excluding tablets) creates a local copy... I just like being able to access from anywhere and any computer (you can access the via 'the cloud' - I always imagine the aliens from Toy Story when I used that word)

I use Dropbox for keeping stuff handy that I might want to access anywhere (my password database for example, game rulebooks, all that sort of stuff. Would cost a fortune to store 3+ TB in there...
avatar
DaveB
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1409
Join date : 2013-06-18
Age : 39
Location : Deepcar

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Jamie on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 13:20

I have a 2 bay Synology NAS (put my own WD Red 3TB drives in it). I couldn't be happier with it. There's also a local network cloud storage thing (like Dropbox, but synced to your NAS rather than to the internets).

For backup, I have it periodically backup (upload) to AWS Glacier; which is super cheap (you can upload quick, but have to request downloads and takes maybe 4 hours or so, so it's really designed just for backing up stuff that you probably don't want to retrieve, unless in emergency).
avatar
Jamie
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1199
Join date : 2014-08-03
Location : Camelot (nr Intake)

View user profile http://www.mrqwak.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 13:23

Thanks for your responses guys, lots for me to digest and look in to in more detail. Physical storage with backup is really what I'm after, so I'll do some research. I may pester some of you further.
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 18:08

Ok, I think I have a better idea. Basically I buy a NAS, Synology/other, with at least 2 bays and use one as storage and one for backup, right? How does RAID work, is it something I have to install?
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Jamie on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 18:26

Raid5 is good (think Synology have their own version of Raid, very similar to Raid5).

You have X number of drives, and one of them is a parity drive. The idea being that, if one drive goes down, you can reconstruct the missing data from the remaining drives. Say you have a 4 bay NAS with 4 3TB drives in it, with a Raid5 setup, you'll get 9TB storage, with the remaining drive used for parity.
avatar
Jamie
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1199
Join date : 2014-08-03
Location : Camelot (nr Intake)

View user profile http://www.mrqwak.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  DaveB on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 18:49

karl_b wrote:with at least 2 bays and use one as storage and one for backup, right?

That's a pretty risky strategy - having two independent copies of the data is good, in case of accidental deletion etc, but will do you no favours in a disaster scenario - for example fire or theft, or for that matter a device malfunction that sends a power spike to both disks in the unit. You've got very little separation there.

To use PaulG's setup as an example. His is a tiered setup and quite sensibly designed. He has three NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices in play. Two of those are what he calls "production" use - they're in use for day to day storage operations - storing and serving videos/pictures/documents/whatever to his network at home.

The third one is assigned to backup operations - it maintains a copy of the files on the other two devices, so should Paul accidentally delete something or maybe save changes when he didn't intend to or whatever he can easily recover the data and carry on.

So far this is the same basic system you're talking about (although significantly more resilient (I'll come back to this)).

So far then he's (mostly) covered in the event of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair) issues but not so much on the stuff outside his control, such as a fire, or some scrote nicking his stuff.

This is where the next tier comes into play - he's got a subscription to a cloud backup service called Crashplan which allows him to backup to an encrypted backup on the Crashplan company servers - its more of a faff to get at, and will take much longer to recover/backup large files, but his data will be safe even in the event someone drops a meteor on his house.

So I mentioned that Paul's local setup was more resilient that what you're talking about. There are two factors to this - one is his local backup is a separate device to his storage system so an indivitual device failure won't take both out. The other is RAID...

RAID is a complicated subject that NAS devices tend to make very simple for normal people, but essentially it involves abstracting the data from the storage mechanism - so you can create a single volume spread across many disks. At it's most basic is RAID 0 (striped) and RAID 1 (mirror) - RAID 0 creates a single volume across two discs which makes read and write operations significantly faster but at the cost of half the reliability - if even one disk dies the entire volume is lost. RAID 1 creates a copy on both disks so if one disk dies you still have the data safe on the other one. This is at the cost of space.

There are many MANY different ways to implement RAID, but as Jamie mentioned, RAID 5 is a common one - in a four-disc array you lose 25% of your storage to gain the ability to lose one disc.

Paul's Drobo's all use some form of RAID and will therefore be able to tolerate the loss of at least one disc - your proposal wouldn't.

Hope that lot isn't too technical... but if you have any questions please let me know and I'll try to answer them.
avatar
DaveB
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1409
Join date : 2013-06-18
Age : 39
Location : Deepcar

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 19:24

Dave, thanks. That's a great summary of what I need to consider.

It's more complex than I initially thought; I'm/We're willing to spend the money to protect ourselves now and in the future but that's not to say we have unlimited cash to do so.

I may have to discuss this with you further in person but you've given me a much better idea than I had, so thanks.
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  OwenW on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 00:18

In a business environment you will have a backup drive backing up data to a removable environment. (Outside building) in case of fire/theft etc.
Ofcourse at home you can't really do that unless you're in a very large house, so there is no major need for disaster recovery scenarios with multiple NAS drives in my opinion.

For personal usage a Single 2 bay NAS in RAID 1 Mirrored (Basically 2 exact copies of the data across 2 drives for data redundancy) should be more than enough.
The most suitable scenario for at home storage with large amounts of data would be to have the data stored on the laptop and Sync software running to
back up all data to the NAS drive for recovery, which could then be easily accessed by any new networked device on your home network.


https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=synology+DS215j+amazon.com
We're currently using one of these for our Design team's drawings at work, it's cheap, very simple to setup and easy to use.
There is the Synology Cloud Station which will sync your data between the PC/Laptops automatically, and also Synology have
a lot of useful reporting functions to keep you up to date on the health status via email or text without having to actively the device.

An easy way to think of the ideas like RAID, backup, etc is:
RAID should only be thought of as a Redundancy. If one drive fails you still have the data available in the device.
Backup however is, if that device was to go missing, destroyed, etc etc. There is another copy of the data in another location.

There seems to be a lot of us in the IT field here.. Nice to know Very Happy
avatar
OwenW
Admin
Admin

Posts : 10
Join date : 2015-04-11
Location : Shirecliffe

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Jamie on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 13:45

It's like IT experts anon in here! Smile

I have the 2012 model of this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Synology-DiskStation-Desktop-Network-Attached/dp/B00OZ0CTAU

I really can't fault it. Like Owen, I use it in mirrored mode (am more concerned with losing data, than with getting additional capacity).

For off-site back up; you can install the Amazon Web Services Glacier module on it. You can set it to periodically upload data (you can specify drives and folders etc) to the Amazon servers. AWS Glacier is probably one of the most cost effective cloud storage options there is, I think the first X amount of usage is free. It just takes quite a while to download data, which you should only be doing because something went very badly wrong with the data on your NAS.

Also, it can do Time Machine backups, if you're a Mac user and are in to that kind of thing.
avatar
Jamie
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1199
Join date : 2014-08-03
Location : Camelot (nr Intake)

View user profile http://www.mrqwak.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Sun 30 Aug 2015, 11:14

I'm going to do some shopping around but I'm leaning towards just getting one of these with 4tb:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00OZ0CTAU/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1440929433&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165&keywords=synology+2+bay+nas&dpPl=1&dpID=31rtFDamCEL&ref=plSrch

Then I'll sort out some off-site backup. Thanks for your help folks!
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Jamie on Sun 30 Aug 2015, 18:02

I have the 2013 model of that Karl, been very happy with it.
avatar
Jamie
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1199
Join date : 2014-08-03
Location : Camelot (nr Intake)

View user profile http://www.mrqwak.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 08:33

I think I'm convinced that does the job, along with something like Crashplan.

How much space do you lose with the Raid hybrid on the 3tb Synology Jamie? Is yours set up so that one mirrors the other, so 50%?
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 08:49

This is why I hate the internet...I'm stuck in an endless loop of reviewing and shopping.

Next question - doesn't something like this, aligned with Crashplan, do what I need?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00FOKN7D8/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1441007167&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=wd+my+cloud&dpPl=1&dpID=31ZIHA14mOL&ref=plSrch

Or is that over-simplistic because it doesn't have Raid/similar?

When I said I need 3tb in my first post, that's not how much space I currently have but what I think safeguards me for a few years.
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  DaveB on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 09:05

You're thinking of just the WD and Crashplan or the NAS as well?

Just the first two is OK - you sacrifice local backup which may be useful but if you're picking one to do away with between on-site and off-site backup then you're right to keep the offsite option - it's less convenient but more resilient.

If you're going for all three then I'd say you've picked out a good little platform and my only recomendation would be to set the NAS up with RAID 1 so content is mirrored to both disks.
avatar
DaveB
Count of Carcassonne

Posts : 1409
Join date : 2013-06-18
Age : 39
Location : Deepcar

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  karl_b on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 09:12

Cheers Dave, I'm just trying to keep it simple - as I'm sure you can tell, this isn't my area of expertise!

I was thinking of scrapping the NAS and just getting the WD and Crashplan. It's admittedly not as convenient or robust but I think it would serve us well.
avatar
karl_b
Admin
Admin

Posts : 844
Join date : 2012-09-04
Age : 32
Location : Norton, Sheffield

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Aneurin on Mon 31 Aug 2015, 09:25

Shouldn't you be saving for a wedding Wink
avatar
Aneurin
Starting player token

Posts : 2710
Join date : 2011-07-20
Age : 37
Location : Deepcar

View user profile http://www.sheffieldboardgamers.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Home media storage

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum