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skullsession

Buying advice: Travel NAS + Home NAS

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skullsession

I've used a few low end NAS units in my work career but have yet to invest in one for myself. Looking for some advice from wiser folks than myself.

 

Summary: 

I'm a sports/tournament photographer. I photograph 50-200 gb per event (1-5 days). At the event my assistants import, sort, edit and customers view/order onsite in viewing trailer. 

 

Looking for advice for two NAS units:

A - basic, 6-8 TB 2 bay server to travel to events - shared to 6 tablets, files downloaded and sorted using two laptops (ethernet through router)

B - better, 24 TB 4 bay server at home - file storage, Lightroom/Photoshop, 1-2 user Plex media (1080p and below, not going 4k for awhile)

 

My thought process is to keep the current year files on the traveling NAS, then sync those files with the master NAS archive when I return home each weekend. Or perhaps that is overkill (I don't really need files accessible beyond current year, I can resource externals for those)


Existing setup:

 

On Road - Onsite files are downloaded to a laptop. Files shared wirelessly to tablets via Nighthawk router. Files sorted locally. 

- Bottleneck/speed issues - two laptops needs quick file access/management (current setup is so slow, laptop 1 shares files, laptop 2 maps drive path across wired connection)

..... Typically 300-1500 MB of photos are downloaded at once (regularly throughout day), then sorted into competitor folders (50-200 MB at a time) including folder renaming, etc.

- Customer tablet viewing speed not a consideration. Current setup is fast enough for that.

 

At Home - Desktop with three local drives of 4-6 TB (for 2017, 2016 and Plex), with dual backups rotated offsite, plus other externals for ancient archives.

 

Spare drives:

When I break this up, I'll have a spare HGST 6 TB drive to work with already for the small NAS as I'll no longer store many files locally.

 

Storage by year:

3.0 TB - Personal File Server - music and 1080p movies via Plex (collection will grow but will take 3-4 years to increase even 1 TB)

3.5 TB - 2016 photos

6.0 TB - 2017 photos

8.0 TB - 2018 photos (proj)

 

Roll-off:

All current year files need to be accessible on server. Online orders come in many months late.

Previous year orders come in a half dozen times per year, could use an external for those.

Anything 2+ years old is only accessed a few times per year, will continue to use an external for those.

 

Cloud:

Not a feasible option. Upload speeds are too limited and I'd be uploading 0.5-1 TB during many months. Also not fond of the instability and changing terms of these hosts.

 

Streaming bandwidth:

4k - I will avoid upgrading to 4K for as long as possible TV wise, as it will make my 480p/720p video library look terrible. I'm willing to future proof this server if we're talking about $50-150 more, but that's not a priority of this purchase.

 

Questions:

 

1) What level of NAS do I need for server A or B? The crucial bandwidth is download speed and file management speed (creating new folders, moving files into them, Lightroom/Photoshop processing). As mentioned above, streaming needs are very basic for home server.

 

2) Any advice for transporting the items inside of the cab of a truck for 30 min - 5 hours? Ideally we'll have an external drive with periodic backups running onsite, so the transported files will have two locations (in a perfect world) in the same vehicle. Naturally an accident is an unavoidable complication (most shoot locations are without internet connectivity).

 

3) Is it overkill to maintain two servers? Would I be better off maintaining a low end Plex server back home and just backing up the files each weekend? I welcome rebuke or any other constructive feedback :)

Edited by skullsession

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ShadowPeo

I am not going to address all points in this quick post, but I would use two servers one in the truck and one at home, and I would automate the syncing if at all possible, if its automatic it is more likely to happen, people are inherently lazy. There are a multitude of ways to do this but it depends on the exact devices chosen.

 

I will point out the flaw in your math however, a 4 bay array will not give you 24TB due to the fact that computers are binary, and not decimal which is what is stated on the current HDDs (1024GB=1TB not 1000GB=1TB) which with compounding returns means that for each disk of a given capacity you get X * 0.93 worth of space.

 

Further to this unless you use RAID 0 which utilises the entire capacity of the disks but provides no data security/redundancy you are not going to get the capacity. Assuming you do things properly which as the main house 4 bay unit is 24TB in raw capacity would mean it comes down to 12TB either through RAID1 or RAID6 which both cause a two disk loss (RAID 5 is not safe over 12TB, see www.zdnet.com/article/why-raid-6-stops-working-in-2019/ for a basic overview).

 

To mitigate some of this you could use 10TB drives but that would only give you 20TB on the home NAS, and the extra expense of the 10TB Disks would mean it would most likely be more beneficial to go to an 8 bay unit and use 6x6TB which would give you 24TB utilising a RAID 6 structure, and give you two empty bays to bring it up to 36TB (RAID 6 is 2 Disk parity no matter how many disks installed) The same could be said for your travel NAS, however, in this case, I would just use a two bay and 10TB disks in a mirror, much more secure than anything else.

 

Also given your profession I would strongly choose a device that supports BTRFS as it has Bitrot detection and correction, but this is not without its tradeoff's either

 

Justin

 

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skullsession

Thanks! Lots of good stuff to chew on for a newbie. Agreed about laziness, and busyness is also an enemy of those backups. Thanks for the advice regarding Raid 5 over 12 TB. That's really helpful. I'll explore your suggestion for a 8 bay, 6x6 with room to grow as well as BTRFS.

 

 

For a two user interface (maybe a 3rd to download), is there any need for a second ethernet port?

 

There will be minimal throughput from the server to the laptops (a few individual files on occasion for editing/rpinting). File management speed (on the NAS) is the lone consideration.

 

Edited by skullsession

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schoondoggy

My first thought is to look at Synology or QNAP to study their software tools for backup and/or sync. This may simplify your setup. Some of the applications they offer may help with Question 1. For Question 2, will the NAS be running in the truck while the truck is moving or are you just transporting it while powered down? Question 3, from what you are describing I think you need two devices.

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skullsession
2 minutes ago, schoondoggy said:

My first thought is to look at Synology or QNAP to study their software tools for backup and/or sync. This may simplify your setup. Some of the applications they offer may help with Question 1. For Question 2, will the NAS be running in the truck while the truck is moving or are you just transporting it while powered down? Question 3, from what you are describing I think you need two devices.

 

1) Great, I'll check that out. 

 

2) Nope, all electronics are packed up and removed from the trailer during transport. My first thought was to transport it in the original packaging but couldn't find much info on transporting a server safely (particularly since most people aren't silly enough to transport theirs every 3-4 days :) )

 

3) Thanks. I wanted wiser vets to chime in as my knowledge is very low. I think I'll get a very good server with solid but not extensive storage and room to grow (6-8 bays) 

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schoondoggy

I would buy a hardened case like SKB to ship this equipment in. Once you know the physical dimensions of the equipment that will be on the road, you could have a custom case made or buy a used one and cut the foam to fit your gear. Get one big enough to hold all of your electronics, NAS, networking. It is harder to abuse a big box than a small one.

http://www.skbcasesusa.com/?keyword=skb_cases&gclid=Cj0KCQjwvabPBRD5ARIsAIwFXBlitL4AoPuyf71lj154gHFkdw6aNiGNXXULdbiJ-Uqdw5d8RedgC5gaAkVzEALw_wcB

http://www.anvilcase.com

 

There are lots of good used cases on ebay

 

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