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Thread: Tips on Backup Solutions (4TB+, Mac/Win, Business)

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    Default Tips on Backup Solutions (4TB+, Mac/Win, Business)

    Hey guys, thought I'd come to my favourite forum for any thoughts on this:

    I've been roped in to help a small (1 person) charity / business ensure they have a semi decent backup solution in place. As someone who's had 0 backup solutions in place for his own company for 8 years, I figure I better get some advice Nothing's life + death critical, but it could be 6 months of livelyhood for the owner if things go wrong, so we both figure it's worth spending a bit of time on.

    Not sure of the exact setup yet, but there's a number of windows laptops, win PC, Mac desktop. Drive capacities are around 4 x 1TB total. At least 1 to 2TB+ of file data (much of which is long videos which probably do need backing up).

    They're currently just using some portable drives and storing off-site but I figured something a little less involved and more automated might be called for. Here's my issues:

    - NAS - onsite, not a good idea on it's own, and possibly too expensive to run multiple NAS (on/offsite). Also any issues with NAS subject to virus / ransomware?

    - Offsite NAS - backing up large media files over FTP at a possible 8Mbps is gonna hurt. Maybe a quick backup to local NAS, then constant mirroring of NAS via FTP to an offsite NAS (is that even possible?) - saves issues with PCs not being on all time.

    - One-time disk image (prob via Acronis) to portable media, stored offsite. Any way to semi automate this (like - plug in drive, auto incremental update of image)?

    - Internal drives / raid gonna be pointless due to laptops / mac.

    - Cloud too expensive (vs alternatives) for the amount of data, may use it if there's some smaller files / folders but not sure on software (needs to be fully automated).

    - Windows/Mac inbuilt solutions don't seem great, or a bit ott (File History seems to have issues recognising drives, and they don't really need a full history ala time machine, just regular backups). And constant backup of entire system probably is a bit much too. Unless again it can be automated and not cost the world.

    - May get them to do 1 time backups of media files, then see what's left - may be able to make do with the portable drives they already have if that's the case.


    So yeah, tell me how wrong I am

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    You could buy two synology NAS's... Put one on site and one offsite, and they sync.. It won't be real time, but would be better than like 99% of most people, provided your offsite area is somewhere good/not in the same room/building. Or you could use backblaze , but is that too slow+expensive? You can automate both.

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    Thanks ridgid - that's exactly the kinda setup i'm leaning towards now. Bit pricey and overkill but at least it's minimal involvement and does the job well.

    Can you do similar things reliably with wd or other (cheaper) brands, or is offsite dual-nas syncing a synology favourite (as google appears to be suggesting)?

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    You should be able to do it with a My Cloud Mirror.... Synology is the usual brand, makes it easy for you to set up.

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    Having looked in to it, syncing offsite is bringing up two big issues...

    1. Dynamic IPs. Most connections here have them. And getting any NAS to support one with Rsync/equivalent looks like a massive headache (many NASs only accept numeric IPs in the web config - Synology are the exception - leading to a whole heap of telnet / host config / custom scripting nightmare).

    2. This: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=SynoLocker (made worse if indeed rsync is used and ssh is opened up)

    So now I'm thinking 1 NAS, 1 OFFLINE (and offsite) copy. Which opens up the choises a bit Right now, for 4TB, I'm looking at WD MyCloud Personal 4TB which I can get for around $130. It'll do offsite syncing if needed (give or take a static IP, and another MyCloud) but mostly I'm thinging a semi regular manual USB drive backup and store offsite (already have these so $free).

    The equivalent with Synology is over $100 more for a single NAS fitted with 4TB WD Red.

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    I use a small mirrored RAID; in my case an old Western Digital Studio II

    But one also wants an off-site backup in case of fire; for that I just use a thumb drive; you might want to use a DVD burner.
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    Last edited by ashiekh; 08-19-2018 at 12:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    I use a small mirrored RAID; in my case an old Western Digital Studio II

    But one also wants an off-site backup in case of fire; for that I just use a thumb drive; you might want to use a DVD burner.
    RAID is not a backup solution, it is a high availability solution.
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    Without a RAID, if the drive fails, one loses the backup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    Without a RAID, if the drive fails, one loses the backup.
    Only if that backup is very poorly designed.

    A good backup will be independent from the live data-carrying system, in terms of integrity and function. Meaning, it will reside on a separate device/network and possibly also off-site. Backup is a method for data integrity assurance, meaning that a complete loss of a part or entirety of your live data processor and storage will not mean losing the data itself, at least to an acceptable restore point.

    RAID offers redundancy, as indicated by its very name, which is a method for high availability. This ensures your live data processor/storage will be resilient to a certain number of component failures before going offline. Losing enough components (over a characteristic threshold dependent on the layout) means losing the data too. This is decidedly not even similar to having a backup.
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    Without a RAID, if the drive fails, one loses the backup.
    Only if we talk about a Partial backup or one that only backups the changes made, not a full backup.

    And a Backup that can't be used when the main drive fails is stupid and useless. Because that's one of the things you'd want the Backup for!

    The other is for accidentally deleted files but that's why you usualls have full and partial backups and for example do a full backup once per month and partials daily.


    So if your drive dies and you can'd restore the data with the backup, someone seriously fucked something really up.

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