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Best options for N40L as a backup box


NL40_User
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Hi all,

I've been running an N40L for a few years in a home environment as a DC/File/Print/Media Server. It was originally configured with the shipped 250Gb disk in the ODD bay (via O/B SATA), and 4 x 2Tb Seagate drives in the 4-bay array, in a SW RAID5 array. (BIOS is the modified version which allows - amongst other things - the support of 3Gbs/sec across the 4 internal/ext. esata port).

 

OS was 2008r2 standard.

 

Recently, Windows started to report disks in the (SW) RAID 5 array as "failing redundancy".

 

Taking the longer-term view, we purchased a reconditioned Dell T320 Server, and specced it with 8x4Tb Enterprise SATA disks (HGSTs), with an H710P running the 8-bay array, plus 2 x 500Gb disks in a RAID 1 array for the OS (running off the supplied H310 controller). All of the data on the Microserver was copied across, and a final backup was done.

We then "decommissioned" the N40L, to set it up as a backup box. The 250Gb and 2Tb drives were removed, and a (mechanical) 2.5" drive was re-purposed as an OS drive (tucked under the ODD bay). 5 6Tb WD Red drives were purchased, with the idea that I would run a 4-disk RAID5 array in the 4-disk array, with the 5th drive in the ODD bay (connected via esata-sata cable) as a hot spare.

 

So, which RAID controllers, compatible with the N40L, will support 6Tb drives...?

 

(and, yes...I realise I need to clone the OS drive on to a newer 2.5" drive, and add a 2nd one in that "under the ODD spot" and mirror")

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Just throwing this idea...

 

I use an N40L as backup NAS running XPEnology. I've read people using 8TB drives using the on-board controller so it follows that It should support 6TB drives, no problem.

 

I use SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) with four drives (3-data, 1-hot spare). I can add a 5th drive in the ODD bay if I want to. This is software RAID of course but I've had no issues with it whatsoever. The box has been running 24x7 for around a couple of years and have only been shutdown a few times for maintenance.

 

XPEnology boots from a USB flash drive which is permanently inserted in the internal USB port.

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Just throwing this idea...

 

I use an N40L as backup NAS running XPEnology. I've read people using 8TB drives using the on-board controller so it follows that It should support 6TB drives, no problem.

 

I use SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) with four drives (3-data, 1-hot spare). I can add a 5th drive in the ODD bay if I want to. This is software RAID of course but I've had no issues with it whatsoever. The box has been running 24x7 for around a couple of years and have only been shutdown a few times for maintenance.

 

XPEnology boots from a USB flash drive which is permanently inserted in the internal USB port.

 

Hmmm...thanks for the idea.

 

In typical fashion, I "hunted around" for info on XPEnology, to see if/how it might benefit me in my situation...Seems there's a bit to like about the solution, if I'm honest. I'd looked into Synology boxes in the past...was in fact going to spring for one of the 12-bay arrays when the Dell T320 we now have came up for a price which I couldn't go past). I'm now getting an idea about why the DSM system was quite highly regarded in the reviews I read.

 

Followed a few of the guides out there, and now have a working XPEnology system on the NL40. 5 x 6Tb WD Reds (the 5th via externally routed esata ==> sata cable, and all running at 3Gb/s off a modified BIOS). XPEnology has been set up, and the 4 disks in the cold/hot swap bays are configured as RAID5 (obviously ext4 as the file system), with the 5th drive as a hot spare. The system is booting off a 512Mb usb stick in the internal slot, with the rest of the system (the PAT file?) hosted on the RAID5 volume...

 

What I like about it is the simplicity of the interface. Point and click, and you've got almost instant Apple, NFS and Windows/samba sharing happening...

 

I appreciate the recommendation...gave me a bit of a new direction to look in.

 

People will say I should be using a hardware controller for RAID5, but the reality is that this box runs the XPEnology OS, and...that's it. It's pretty light, and leaves the CPU effectively on it's own to manage the RAID parity striping etc. As a backup box, I'm reasonably comfortable with things as they sit. (Naturally, the box being backed up runs two RAID controllers - 1 for the mirrored OS drives, the other - which has 1Gb BBWC - runs the 8-bay storage array).

 

Might need to look into NIC teaming next (the HP box has three 1Gb NICs in it).

 

Thanks again!

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