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NAS - Build, buy, or what?


Jazman
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Ok, I want to put together a shared storage solution for a setup at our church.

 

Requirements: 

1.  Accessible by Windows and Linux machines in the building

2.  Able to be backed up to an off-site computer using Crashplan (ie: free when backing up to my computer resources at home)

3.  Strong wish:  Able to be accessed remotely from off-site as if you were on-site (VPN like)

4.  Medium wish:  Ability to choose which directories get replicated.  RAID solutions are not as desireable since they are all or nothing.  This is not as big of a deal since I will most likely want to replicate everything.  Not a fan of RAID though if it's controller dependent so I would probably choose to go with a mirror setup and eat the space.

 

Do I:

1.  Buy a disk/diskless solution from Synology/QNAP/etc?  If so, which one and why?

2.  Do I spin my own using an OS out there like FreeNAS/etc?

3.  Do I just put together a Windows box, use Stablebit or similar, share the directories and go from there?

 

Thanks in advance!

Keith

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Depends on what you're comfortable with. 

 

To be honest, a client version of Windows will handle most of this. Just create an "incoming connection", forward the VPN ports, and you have a VPN server (or use openVPN or the like).  And yes, feel free to use StableBit DrivePool or the like. 

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WHS 2011 + StableBit DrivePool will do what you want (can't validate the Linux requirement). In particular the "duplicate only some folders" is handled quite well by DrivePool (that I can personally verify). And Crashplan runs fine on WHS 2011 (again, I can personally verify). DrivePool also runs fine on Windows 7 (I can personally verify).

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+1 for DrivePool on 2011 and Windows 10.

 

I'm also debating the NAS option, QNAP 453 Mini maybe? It's just a bit of money for a less powerful box than I already own.

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How many computers will backup to it?

You mentioned it is for a church and you mention cloud or VPN like access. Is this access for a small number of users or for the congregation to access information?

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Main use will not be for backing up (although that will probably be added).  Main use is shared data storage.  Essentially, all of the media and files we use for our Sunday visuals.  We are also adding a small TV for digital signage that will be in the entry area (during the week the building functions as our daycare/school).  If we go with a Windows solution for this, I'll run the digital sign server software on there as well.  We're probably talking about access from 5-6 computers.  The VPN idea is that the Pastor and myself (and others in the future) would regularly like to access it while doing content work outside of the building.

 

I thought about WHS2011, but I haven't even gone to that at home despite having a license.  I'm still running V1 but am in the process of migrating away from that.  I never went to WHS2011 since Drive Extender is a BIG use for my home server needs.  I don't want to duplicate all of my movies/TV but do want to duplicate my data.  It tool a little bit for the alternative solutions to develop.  And by the time they did, I was still getting by with V1 so never moved.  I did by Drivepool though and use it on my main computer.  I'm looking at solutions for a V1 transition but am leaning toward just using a Windows client with Drivepool on it.  I've been a Drivepool customer for quite a while and am quite happy with it.

 

Thanks for the assist so far!

Keith

 

EDIT:  Data size question:  Without the backups, I'd probably be looking at a 2TB starting solution since video files are included.  But, I'd want to be able to expand down the road.

Edited by Jazman
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I did by Drivepool though and use it on my main computer.  I'm looking at solutions for a V1 transition but am leaning toward just using a Windows client with Drivepool on it.  I've been a Drivepool customer for quite a while and am quite happy with it.

 

Thanks for the assist so far!

Keith

 

EDIT:  Data size question:  Without the backups, I'd probably be looking at a 2TB starting solution since video files are included.  But, I'd want to be able to expand down the road.

 

Well, if you own a license for StableBit DrivePool already, you can purchase additional licenses at a discounted price. Just scroll down on the purchase page, and there should be an "Already own one of our products?" section. input your Activation ID there, and hit "Apply" and it will refresh the page with the discounted price. 

 

:)

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Well, if you own a license for StableBit DrivePool already, you can purchase additional licenses at a discounted price. Just scroll down on the purchase page, and there should be an "Already own one of our products?" section. input your Activation ID there, and hit "Apply" and it will refresh the page with the discounted price. 

 

:)

 

Yup, thanks.  I am aware of their additional license stuff.  Whether it's needed or compatible will depend on what solution/path I go down.

 

Definitely love their products!

Keith

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How much do you think your data needs will grow over the next 2-3 years? You say you have 2TB of data now. Also do any of the files need to be stored encrypted?

Edited by itGeeks
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