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NAS, Server, or both ?


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I currently have a simple setup of 2 single NAS devices, a Buffalo Linkstation and a Buffalo Linkstation Pro. They are both full and I need to move to something bigger.

I need backups. I don't really care about RAID. For me, I consider a backup having a copy of a file in 2 places. I use fbackup client on all my Windows PCs to copy the data I need onto shared folders on the NAS boxes. (1 file on PC = 1 file copy on the NAS)

I'd like to use more than 1 drive. I'd also like to get the ability to store on the cloud or external device for some files like family pictures/video in case my whole house catches fire.

I know I can do all this on a NAS... QNAP and Synology are on my short list.

What i'm unsure about is the suitability of a NAS to install things like software development tools. Should I use another PC server for that ? Managing a server compared to NAS can be a pain. I don't want to want to keep a keyboard, mouse and display in my storage/server room for every time I need to maintain a server. This is why a NAS attracts me. I've tried using long cables for KVM before, it utterly failed...

Is there a linux distribution either coming with nice NAS tools or letting me add NAS tools to ? This could be my base setup, and I could expand from that and install the extra development tools I need ?

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There are a ton of ways you can go here.


This is my personal preference. Most NAS have the ability to run third party applications, some of which can accomplish easy backups to cloud. My personal NAS is a QNAP TS-879 PRO, but that may be a bit overkill for most people. The QNAP TS-269 PRO is a 2 bay NAS that offers just about everything you can need. If you install the CrashPlan module you can easily accomplish backing up files to a bunch of locations without having a ton of networking knowledge (rsync, rtrr, ftp, nfc, etc). I use CrashPlan to backup my personal files to my NAS regularly and to family member's PCs. Their systems are also backing up to my NAS. We have a nice round robin this way and everyone is happy because all backups are distributed to a bunch of locatoins. Also, these are encrypted, so no peaking is allowed.

With this, I also have another NAS at my office that I backup my primary NAS to. Every single file and folder is replicated. IF mine should die, I just take the one from work home and I am off and running with eveyrthing in tact.

PC or Server

Managing a server isn't as complicated as one might think... you can easily go headless by getting everything up and running then installing logmein or UltraVNC. Personally, I use logmein, as I can access this from anywhere in the world at any time from any pc or smartphone/tablet.

OpenMediaVault is NAS software built on Debian. It is a bit finicky with hardware and I am sure you can install packages to get what you want done. However, I would leave the computing to the computers and the storage to the NAS / Server.

It is funny that you mention backups... I have an article in the hopper that talks about this and how easy it can be to accomplish.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Allright, i will leave computing to the computers and storage to the NAS.

If you don't mind, was there something special that attracted you to a model from QNAP instead of Synology ? I will buy from either of these 2 good companies, I'm actually undecided.

x86-based NAS seems to be the easiest way of adding new apps that aren't part of the OS already, like CrashPlan for example... thanks for the mention, i will definitely look it up.

I never noticed the TS-469L, it looks pretty good. Looks like a non-LED version of the Pro. More importantly, it has an Atom processor at this price.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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