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Storage External HDD/NAS suggestions, please!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jesthar, 3 Jan 2016.

  1. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Hi all, long time lurker (been reading CPC since it came out!) in need of a bit of (hopefully quick!) advice :)

    First off, I'm after an external HDD for basic backup purposes - any brands come recommended/to avoid at the moment?

    Secondly, I'd like to clear me some space on my 750GB Win7 laptop hard drive (my only computer at the moment) by offloading a big chunk of the myriad files to some form of NAS. Mainly audio and photos (which there will be more of as I have acquired a better camera :D), work files, a few home movie clips but no films or anything like that. I'd want to play the music back from the laptop, potentially a couple of other devices.

    Although I'm a geek by trade I'm not really a hardwear/config confident type, so to keep things simple I've been eyeing the Synology DS215j - thoughts/suggestions on good hard drives to pair with it and/or potential alternatives very welcome! :) Essential requirements as follows:

    • Quiet (tiny, open plan house!)
    • Small footprint (again, tiny, open plan house!)
    • Energy efficient
    • Easy to set up
    • A decent amount of spare capacity
    • Don't really want to stray too far over the £300 mark if possible

    Thanks!

    ~Jes :)
     
  2. deathtaker27

    deathtaker27 #noob

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    Have you got any old PC parts you can reuse?
     
  3. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Not really, sorry, haven't had a desktop since my first (and only) homebuild, and that was back in the days when AMD was king of the processors and a 9GB hard drive was considered huge overkill ;)
     
  4. deathtaker27

    deathtaker27 #noob

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    I would see if you can grab a microserver, stuff some drives in it and install freenas/nas4free/openmediavault they will do everything you will need and are pretty simple to use :)
     
  5. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    What size/cost do those things run to (my £300-ish budget needs to include the hard drives)? When I say my house is small, I mean it - I don't have even a 2.1 audio system because I don't have anywhere to put a sub.

    Actually, I'll apologise in advance for the battery of dumb questions that you lot are going to get asked about microservers if that rout interests me - when I said I wasn't hardware or config confident I meant that too ;)
     
  6. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    I guess your options are (in order of cheapest to more expensive):
    • A USB harddrive plugged straight into your laptop
    • Or, if your router supports it, you might be able to plug a USB drive into that and share it via the network
    • A cheap and basic NAS, (basically just a drive in a box with an ethernet port)
    • A more expensive but more capable NAS, depending on your budget
    • A small server, either one built from cheap/second hand parts or a purpose built microserver
    My suggestion would be for something with at least two drives in it for redundancy, that way your files can survive one harddrive dying.
    If you just want a backup then you'll probably get away with just a basic NAS offering SMB sharing, but more expensive ones will also offer streaming etc.
    An alternative might be to put everything in the cloud (eg dropbox). It would depend on your internet connection, and it would probably come with a monthly fee, but once the file is uploaded you don't have to worry about drive failure or anything. Wouldn't be my choice, but it's an option.

    That Synology looks to be in the right ballpark which would leave you about £170~ for drives so, a couple of 4GB drives should fit in just under your budget.
     
  7. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    HP Micro Server. Just read one or two guides and it is really simple with the above mentioned OS's. Basically if you can read this you will be able to do it. I will try to remember and post some links when I get home.

    Sent from Bittech Android app
     
  8. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Thanks, phuzz. :) I have the pleasure of running a large corporate net based document system as my day job, but like you I can't say I see the appeal of using the cloud for home storage... ;)

    Having had time to sleep on it, I think a microserver is overkill for my needs at the moment, so I'm going to go with the Synology. Having trouble finding a pair of 4TB HDDs for under the £200 mark, though, let alone £170 - Dabs has a bundle deal on for the Synology plus a pair of WD Red 3TB for just under £300 or 4TB for £360, so it may be a toss up between those two unless anyone has other suggestions :)
     
  9. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    If you want something close to a plug-and-play solution I'd suggest a used Drobo from eBay. I just got an 8 bay version with 11Tb installed for $300 shipped. Awesome deal.

    I see the 4-5 bay versions often for much cheaper than new, often empty or pre-installed with some hard drives. Your machine will recognize it as a hard drive with whatever capacity you allocate to it. The Drobo software will manage the actual capacity as well as data redundancy.

    So far I've been extremely pleased with mine. I'll be roughly doubling its capacity as well with hard drives I already own (which is why I got it in the first place).

    Hopefully that helps!
     
  10. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    QNAP HS 210 is a two bay, fanless device. I specify these for clients needing storage and home media serving. It's very good and ticks all your boxes.
     
  11. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions people, please keep them coming especially for hard drives :) The Drobo is overkill for my modest needs, and I'm not keen on the proprietory format side either, but I'll have a look at the QNAP :)
     
  12. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    I can't maths :(
    But Scan do 4TB disks for around £100-110 and 3TB for around £70.
    So it looks like 3TB is still the sweet spot as far as price goes, and a 3TB RAID0 is almost four times the capacity of your current storage so it should be enough for a while.
     
  13. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    http://forre.st/storage
     
  14. GiGo

    GiGo was once a nerd.....

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    Personally I think you are making the right choice with the DS215J.

    My friend introduced me to Synology NAS' last year when I wanted to replace my two 9TB boxes with one larger more powerful box.

    There is some bundles on Amazon for just over the £300 mark:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_s...s=aps&field-keywords=DS215j&rh=i:aps,k:DS215j

    But it would work out slightly cheaper buying the drives separately will come in under £300 ;). I personally (at the moment) not consider anything other than WD Red's for NAS boxes:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-3-5-in..._1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452028496&sr=8-1&keywords=3tb

    I ended up with the 'DS1815+' 8 Bay enclosure with 8x6TB drives on RAID 6

    Hope that helps

    EDIT:

    As far as HDD's go for NAS's in my old NAS Boxes I had 3TB Seagate Barracuda Drives in them, 4 failed within 2 years and were replaced via warranty with Seagate and 2 others since failed and were replaced at my cost with WD Red's and the other 2 still live on. Not saying that Seagates are bad, I have a few other smaller ones wizzing away as 'once a night' backup boxes for work which have had no problems.

    Seeing the link to Scan's offering of the Seagate's for £70 spend the extra £10 on WD Red's, it will be worth it! Especially if your only buying a 2 bay NAS, which I assume will be running RAiD1 which would mean your date would be vulnerable if one drive failed.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2016
  15. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Thanks, GiGo :) I've heard plenty of Seagate horror stories too, not a brand I'd consider at the moment.

    I think I will go for one of the Dabs bundle deals, the DS215J 2x3GD WD Red drives is £294. Am a bit tempted by the 4GB at £363, but it's quite a price jump and the 3TB is definitely the best bangs per buck :)
     
  16. GiGo

    GiGo was once a nerd.....

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    Blimey Dabs beat Amazon by £3! Shocked, never find Dabs prices very good.

    There is a hugh price difference between 3, 4 and 6TB drives, £83 for a 3TB, £131 for 4TB and £200 for 6TB, good to see the prices haven't dropped that much since I invested in the 6TB drives.

    Personally if you can afford the extra £60 go for the 4TB drives, you will need it eventually. I spent a good £1000 on my previous 2 NAS boxes that lasted me 2 years. My new NAS box I ummed and arghed over for ages due to cost and considered buying a 6bay unit and various other combinations of of 3 or 4TB drives but settled on the 6TB and figured it will last me 5 years without having to worry about space and hopfully not worry about drive failure.

    Getting a NAS box is very useful. Always good to have so much storage at your finger tips.
     
  17. Jesthar

    Jesthar New Member

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    Hey guys, just dropping by to say thank you :)

    Bit the bullet and went for the Synology bundle with the 4TB drives from Dabs, and it's now sitting purring away, backup sync completed and awaiting further action :) Glad I went that route, it was a doddle to set up.

    Thanks again for everyone's input :)

    ~Jes
     
  18. GiGo

    GiGo was once a nerd.....

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    Glad your happy with it :thumb:
     

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