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Turn box into a freenas box our use built in raid 1


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So after loosing files because I was not backing them up in any way, I am now looking to set up a good backup system.  I still need to get at least 8gigs of memory in this box but I was thinking of maybe turning it into a freenas box.  The other option is leave windows 2012 on the box as it is currently and get 2 3tb drives to be set in raid 1 in bays 3 and 4.  3tb will backup everything I need and still let me keep the server.  


Other option is get another n54 at a great price.  Use one as a server and one as a dedicated freenas box box and maybe set up a raid 5 on it. 


Wanted to see what you all though about this setup.



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RAID, any level of RAID, is not backup -- it's resiliency. IOW, it helps keep a computer from crashing due to drive failure. Any good backup system requires copies of the data be stored off site, so that a disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, theft, vandalism, etc.) has much less chance of causing permanent data loss.


There are others, but the most common strategy these days is the 3-2-1:

  • at least 3 copies of all data
  • stored on at least 2 different types of media (HDD, online, DVD, tape, etc.)
  • with at least 1 copy stored at an off site location

Please note: these are the bare minimums. I personally keep 4 copies of all my data, and 5 copies of almost all of it.


Here are some links to my backup system:






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For original/irreplaceable content, 3-2-1: Three copies of your data on at least two different devices and you should have one copy off-site.

Remember RAID of any type is not a back-up, it is for resilience and/or performance.

If you continue using Windows Server, I prefer using a RAID card, especially if you are talking about RAID5. RAID0 or RAID1 in the OS seems to work well. RAID in motherboard chipset is my last choice. 

FreeNAS-NASfree-OpenFiler-OpenMediavault are all interesting products. When I have worked with those I usually let them handle the RAID themselves.

Currently, I am using WHS 2011 on a N54L as my main backup. All irreplaceable content is also backed up to a IO-Safe NAS and another copy is stored off-site. I have been playing with OpenFiler on a N40L as a backup point for recorded TV shows.

At the price point of N54L today, it is a hard option to beat.

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So after loosing files because I was not backing them up in any way, I am now looking to set up a good backup system. 


Nothing like learning the hard way is there, still better late than never.


And I was just in the process of typing something up when ikon beat me to it and made the exact same points I was about to.


On-site backup is good for the 'damn I've just deleted a whole bunch of files - but I can get them back quickly from last night's backup on this USB drive here' and off-site backup for the 'house has completely burnt down but eventually I'll be able to get the kids growing up videos restored back from Crashplan (or whoever)'


Note that a RAID solution wouldn't help in either of these scenarios.



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Well I do have a crashplan account right now that I use to backup my more important files.  The local storage is for all my movies and tv shows.  Thats why I was looking for a raid set up as I had a hard drive go back and lost a lot of files.  


I may just have to see about what kind of set up I can do.  Not looking to spend a lot of money on this though.  

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Spend $40 and get a copy of WHS 2011.  All of your local problems will be solved, now to backup the WHS files to CrashPlan and you're pretty solid.

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Following on from jmwills post:


CrashPlan can satisfy 3 of the 3-2-1 requirements: 1 of the 3 copies of the data, 1 of the 2 copies on different media, and the 1 copy off site.


The copy of the data on your local client computers provides the 2nd of 3 copies of the data and the 2nd of 2 copies on different media.


The backup of the local client PCs on the WHS2011 server provides the 3rd of 3 copies of the data.

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is whs 2011 better then the windows 2012 im running now.  I may have to try it out now that its been at a real cheap price.  Can you run vm in it?  I have 2012 set up so I can run vms on it.  I only have a 2 extra at the moment though.  


I dont have any of my movies set up to be backed up to crashplan right now.  some of the files are 30gigs.  Will crashplan still be able to back those up? 


I may need to read up more on whs 2011.  If i want vms I can still just install vmware workstation.  

Edited by rfs830
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You could run WHS2011 in a VM on your WS2012. it will give you the really nice WHS Client Backup feature. For $50 or less it's an incredible backup solution for your clients.

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