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May 30th 2014 12:54 pm

Preferred method for managing the data in your house

I never really cared or thought much about centralizing my data, I always just relied on external drives and sharing them with my wife if she ever needed something off of them. That was until I started working from home and realized this wasn't entirely practical. I've discussed this before about best options and practices, but a lots changed than.

Two years ago when I was ready to finally get something I opted for the DIY route, going with unRaid in a SFF configuration. 4 1TB WD Green drives giving me ~3TB in data after a parity drive was put in use. The experience has been mostly awesome, but I'm beginning to want something more out of this thing. unRaid has an awesome community, but a lot of the stuff requires digging into the command line and telnet sessions. I'm not completely opposed to do things, but I'm not the only one relying on this data and the processor I went with is only a single core; when I built this I didn't plan on plug-ins. So I'm looking into pre-built boxes, but those things are pretty damn expensive.

There's also cloud options from Dropbox, Google, Box, Skydrive, etc but those have never felt like the right solutions for data management. They're syncing services, and the data is on someone else server. Plus they're damn expensive on a yearly cost. With Dropbox I'd need at least 100GB, but probably closer to the 200GB just for documents and photos. That's $200 year!!!

How are you handling data across multiple devices in your house? Do you really care that much about redundancy/RAID and having some kick-ass server, or have you made do with using cloud syncing services?

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Qnap NAS 6 x 3TB raid 10 for 9TB fast, redundant and hot swappable storage. Two generic backup raid 5 drives 4 x 3TB for 9TB redundant backup. One backup drive always kept off site and one at home connected to the NAS and scheduled sync once a week. I try to swap my backup drives once ever few weeks or months depending on how lazy I am. I also have everything on a UPS in case our power goes out.

We keep ALL of our data on the NAS so I have tried to implement and keep up a robust backup system because a raid is not a backup even if it is a redundant raid. I learned that the hard way once years ago. All of the NAS raids I have had over the years (going on 9 or 10 years of NAS raid setups) fail at one point or another. By fail I mean the file system became corrupt or the hardware (not hard drives) failed. A raid can't help you get to your data in those cases. My single biggest piece of advice is to keep at least one regularly synced backup of your data even if it's on a raid. To be even safer in case of fire, flood or theft having a 2nd off site copy that you swap regularly is the way to go for piece of mind.

I have, generate and need access to a lot of data regularly at home for my personal projects so cloud storage has never made much sense for me. I currently have about 7TB of my 9TB of space filled after about 2 years in to the current setup. I did start with 4TB from my previous NAS. I might get a few more years before I need to look into expanding again.

Any way, 9 or 10 years of NAS love here.
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That is a lot of drives and a lot of redundancy, but I totally get it. I pay for an offisite back up service on top of having unRaid because like you said, RAID is not back up. I also find this beneficial because it gives me version history, de-duping and in the event I need to restore all the data I can just request a harddrive filled.
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Our setup is fairly uncomplicated. I've got a Windows 8 desktop that sits in our home office with a four drive USB 3.0 enclosure (Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox) that has 4 1.5TB drives (built this thing a while ago). I've got those configured into semi-redundant storage through Storage Spaces. The setup works well, and I get pretty decent throughput. My wife isn't super tech savvy, so I shared that storage and permanently mapped it to her laptop, so it just shows up as a drive on her machine.
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we currently use 2 3TB WD MyBook Live external drives and have them set up where they can be accessed via Western digital's website so when the kids or wife are away they can drop files off on the drive(s) or have them accessible to them when they are out at a friends at work or else where. I work from home and I always have access as well as another 6TB of storage on my desktop. I had considered a DIY NAS but found out I would spend just as much or more for proper parts for a reliable NAS as I would if I bought a Drobo or QNAP and with a Drobo or QNAP Its plug and play and I dont have to worry about configging or other CLI stuff not that I couldnt figure it out by why bother Im busy and I gain superior support from either DROBO or QNAP and by fall I will pull the trigger on one of these NAS boxes from heaven
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Nice. But Currently I am using CloudBacko (free.cloudbacko.com­/­?r­=1d) for my data. CloudBacko requires only common web browsers to run. You can start backing up right away after logging in with your favorite social media account. It supports majorly windows, mac, linux etc. You also check this software for backup.
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