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    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Getting Help   11/07/17

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photoguy

Basic backup system

Question

I am looking to purchase Drive Pool, etc.  I work on a Surface Pro 3 and an iMac.  Don't have a NAS and not sure I really want to get that complicated.  Thinking of buying a couple Seagate 8TB Expansion Drives and connecting them to a USB hub for my Surface Pro.  Then organizing all my older smaller HD's on the two new Seagate's, running a duplicate backup, one copy on each Seagate.  And doing a cloud backup as well.  I realize everyone here seems to have a NAS but wondered if this system is workable as a simple, more basic solution.  Thanks for the time.  I appreciate your opinions.

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Well, make sure you find a highly rated USB hubs, as some can be ... really shitty.  

 

Also, I'd make sure it's a USB3 compatible hub, so that you get the high speed (otherwise, you may be limited to 20MB/s total).

 

Aside from that, there is no reason that you couldn't do this. 

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Thanks for the response.  If I decide to go with a home NAS, I have a couple of questions.  First, I am thinking 4 bays and would I use Raid and if so at what level?  Any recommendations for a 4 bay unit that won't break the bank and is reliable?  And what hard drive brand is recommended?  Thanks.

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Question - unless the NAS is Windows based, which is rare, you do realise you cant use DP with a NAS?

 

If you want a pc and DP with lots of drives then - build your own is the best bet - and use the seagates in the pc (take out of enclosures)

 

If you want a NAS anyway then QNAP or Synology are your best options - but they cost more than a build your own pc - and you are very likely to have better performance - and use NAS grade disks if you go raid not desktop disks as they will bite.

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A NAS is usually a linux based low power machine (qnap and Synology) however if you build a basic pc with a case capable of holding the disks you need - then effectively you have a NAS that can be accessed across your network by any device you want to use to access the data.

 

So if you can build a pc with windows load DP/Scanner and fill it with enough HDD/SSD then you have your NAS

 

NAS = Network Attached Storage ~ Its a file server - so its a PC - so you can buy the bits and build it yourself ~ fancy mechano - and you can upgrade/change the spec at will as needed which you cant do with a purpose built NAS from QNAP of Synology

 

I had three QNAP NAS before i went to DP as its much easier to work with and if a disk dies it's not as significant as one failing in a RAID. I still use one QNAP 8 bay nas to hold my Movies/TV files as it can be on 24/7 with low power - but its no good for transcoding etc as it does not have the power to do this - but serving up files to my tv etc no problem as this is its primary design purpose.

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Thanks for the advice.  It sounds like building the pc is the way to go.  Does anyone have a link to guidance on doing this?  I would rather not try to reinvent the wheel and have never done any pc building.  Not afraid to try but would like to follow a proven path.  I will search the web for advice but since this forum is so full of people who have done it I thought some of you might be able to save me some time.  Thanks in advance and for the advice so far.

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There are lots of youtube videos on how to put things together - so wont go through that

 

but a few key points to consider

 

decide on a budget as its easy to get carried away with all the shiny new tech available

decide on what the key things are you want to do with the pc/NAS - just a file server -> media server and beyond - as this will significantly affect what level of kit you will need.

decide on intel or AMD for motherboard/cpu - look for motherboards with a couple of built in network ports as this will give you flexibility - a 4th to 6th generation i5/i7 intel cpu will give you plenty of power and future proof to a degree unless you want to pay a premium for 7th gen or possibly look at AMD ryren although its still a bit new and as you are not experienced some of the quirks are still to be worked out.

to keep costs down - look for end of line sale items - most resellers have clear outs periodically where you can pick up high quality kit for much reduced prices

get a good case with expansion potential worth paying a premium for a good roomy case with lots of options - your data volume always grows so having the option to add more HDD easily is always welcome.

get a good quality power supply - higher rated than you think you need - to keep it cool/efficient and the better ones come with more power leads

if its only going to be a file server you dont need a separate GPU card (Nvidia/AMD) as the more recent CPU's have a built in GPU which will be fine - obviously make sure the m/b has HDMI/Displayport ports - if you do want a separate GPU then thats fine as the internal one gets disabled in the bios.

 

Another option is to look for a PC thats already built that gives you the components and space you need might be a bit more expensive but easier to get you going

 

Have fun and take your time :)

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I second the last sentence: "Have fun and take your time"!

 

Indeed, budget and use case are decisive (and sometimes mutually exclusive).

 

Now, *if* budget is not that much of a deal, you might want to consider building a server with a server OS, such as Windows Server 2016 Essentials. It is windows, it will run DP (and Scanner and, if you are so inclined, CloudDrive). I run Windows Home Server 2011 on an overpowered i7-3770. Here's what it does:

- File sharing. So my kids each have their own storage on the server and their PC/Lappys can be thin (not that they are, ugh, another story). My wife has a small business and one employee, also their own storage on the server.

- DP & Scanner. I do use duplication so that in case a HDD fails, there is no need for a restore of (part of) the Server. It is a continuity/uptime consideration

- Client backups. This is absolutely great IMHO. Should a client fail, it can be rather easily restored. It stores multiple backups. Either a full or single file(s) recovery can be done. It supports iMax AFAIK, but not (yet) Sierra.

- A downloading client that we'll not discuss.

- Serviio DLNA media server. I can stream to my SACD/Blue-ray player, TV and mobile devices (using GinkgoDlna and VLC for instance)

- Server Backup. And this last thing is my main benefit. The Server itself backs itself up, including file-shares and client backups. I rotate backup disks offsite. So assume the house burns down and all PCs/Lappys and the Server itself is lost. In that case, I get the offsite server backup disk, build a new server and restore that backup. From that I can then restore the clients.

 

Now many here have huge Pools, tens of disks, but if you're looking for something smaller and are inclined to go this way then I could give you some pointers. Having said that WSE 2016 sets you back, I think, about USD400.... :( I think you can try WSE 2016 for 180 days at no cost (other than quite some time and a PC to install it on).

 

As for hardware, aside from disks and the case, this all could easily by run on a 2nd gen i5 or small Ryzen. Heck, my first ran on a Celeron G530 and that worked fine as well.

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Thank you Umfriend for the advice. Very interesting thoughts.  I like what you have done.  I have no idea what to buy.  When someone says buy a larger power supply than you think you need, I don't have a clue what I think I need.  I will need to find a prepared list of components to purchase.   How many disks and what size are you using since you seem to have a ton of storage?  I need to nail down how much storage I think I need.  Want to use DP and Scanner for sure.  I am assuming you are not using a Raid system, but just duplicating, which sounds like the best idea to me. I will look at ideas on You Tube, but if you have specific suggestions, I would appreciate them.  What size case do you use and how many bays?  Thanks for the help.

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I don't have a clue how to build my own NAS so that it is Windows based to use DP.  Is there somewhere that I can find directions and guidance?

 

 

Look up "micro server".  

 

That or look for the HP MicroServer Gen8.  It's a nice, little box. Lots of options, and a nice price range. 

 

There is also the SuperMicro SuperServers.  Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/b00t6j4cbo/?tag=extension-kb-20

or: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z7O7EAS/

 

Depending on your budget, there are a lot of Windows compatible options. 

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Thank you Umfriend for the advice. Very interesting thoughts.  I like what you have done.  I have no idea what to buy.  When someone says buy a larger power supply than you think you need, I don't have a clue what I think I need.  I will need to find a prepared list of components to purchase.   How many disks and what size are you using since you seem to have a ton of storage?  I need to nail down how much storage I think I need.  Want to use DP and Scanner for sure.  I am assuming you are not using a Raid system, but just duplicating, which sounds like the best idea to me. I will look at ideas on You Tube, but if you have specific suggestions, I would appreciate them.  What size case do you use and how many bays?  Thanks for the help.

 

 

Actually, I do not have that much storage, compared to most here I am a midget. My Server storage layout is as follows:

1. 250 GB SSD for OS

2. One Pool, duplicated, 2x2TB HDDs - These are for all the file sharing stuff.

3. One Pool, duplicated, 2x4TB HDDs, these are for the Client Backups.

4. One 750GB HDD for media that is unimportant.

5. One 2TB HDD as spare in case one of the others fail (which will not help if one of the 4TB fails).

5. Two 8TB HDDs for Server Backups, one is always offsite, typically rotated weekly.

 

I am never *that* concerned about power supplies actually. AFAICS, that is only important if you want to run *many* drives, especially as they may require quite a bit at the same time when starting up I think. I have a decent 350W.

 

As for the case, this is an issue for me. I want the HDDs to be easily accesible. So I bought a http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=155which allows for 5 3.5" hot-swap bays (but I would recomend the tray-less variant, fool that I was to buy this one) and something like this http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=141 for a 6th 3.5"slot (which is used for the Server Backup HDDs). For this, you would need a case with 4(!) external 5.25" slots. There are not many nowadays that offer that and I am actually using a very very old case (2003?). But I would like to go a little bit bigger and something like this http://www.silverstonetek.com/raven/products/index.php?model=rv03&area=en might work for 2x5 HDDs for storage (in my case I would have Pools of 5 HDDs with enough spare room to have Scanner/DP take one or two offline in case of issues) and 1 HDD for Server Backup and 1 2.5" for unimportant media (not duplicated, not backed up, I use old laptop HDDs for this).

 

However, it is a rather expensive, a case + three conversion kits. I'd rather find a case with hot swap bays in place. Unfortunately, I have not found them aside from rack-mounts but that is another ballpark entirely for me and not that cheap either... Should you go for 10-15 HDDs, then I think a 450-500W PS might be worth while.

 

Also, what I am still missing is a UPS which is actually a requirement IMHO.

 

But yes, it starts with: How much storage do you need and what is it you want the Server to do. Next, given how much storage you need, do you need this to be acccesible through a hot-swap bays or is it OK to open that case in case you need to replace/upgrade? In the latter case, it becomes easier and cheaper expect for the one backup HDD should you intend to make off-site backups (which I *highly* recommend). After we know that, it becomes easier to make suggestions, given a budget.

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For power supplies, you really don't need much.  My "massive" server doesn't draw more than 400W (yes, I know that's a lot, but nowhere near 1kW). 

 

That said, the amperate on the power supply is what really matters. You want a higher +5VDC and +12VDC rating on the power supply, as these are what power the drives (especially the +12VCD, IIRC).  And you generally don't want to use splitters (if you do, make sure they're not cheap POS ones .... that can catch fire .....) 

 

Also, if you want a recommendation as for what to look for, here you go: 

https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

This will ask you about the hardware in it, and ... actually recommend specs, and provide an Amazon link. 

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You don't need to build your own pc, there are many sellers on ebay selling refurb pc's/servers, it all depends on your needs, budget etc. e.g. you can get a Lenovo ThinkServer/HP workstation for cheaper than you can build your own and it will have better build quality as well. If you think you want a lot of drive bays for future use, there are many other server types.

 

e.g. http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-DL380E-G8-2x-E5-2420-12-CORE-16GB-NO-HDD-H220-LSI-9205-8i-/172542645101?hash=item282c57d36d

 

For $330 you are getting a modern cpu, 16GB RAM, 12 hotswap 3.5" drives, and industrial build quality, you can't really build anything close to this. The downsides are going to noise, but depending on the server there are ways to quiet these down. 

 

Just another option to consider.

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Defcon is definitely correct here, as well.

 

However, "semi-modern" is more accurate. You'll likely get hardware that is 2-3 generations behind.  And in this case, what he's linked is a Xeon E5-2420, which is a second gen Core i series processor (Sandy Bridge).  

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I had never considered defcon's suggestion but boy, does it make sense! It's ust that I am not interest in a rack itself. and these are horizontally orientated where I think I'd really like a vertical solution. But if you have some spare space in a dark corner somewhere (also helps with any noise issue) then this may be a vastly superior solution.

 

Sure, it is 2nd gen / Sandy Bridge, but so is the still popular i7-2600K. Here you get 2 x 6 Cores, that is like 24 threads at 2.2GHz!!! And at 80W TDP, cooling can be rather quiet. Kickass server platform.

 

I'll definately think about it.

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Hi

 

I have just updated my rackmount setup all custom built the myth with rackmount servers having to be noisy is just that a myth my new setup is very quite running in 2u cases with 60mm fans turned down to provide enough airflow without the need to burst the ear drums with water cooling. The sound of a radio on low easily drowns out what noise you can hear and they a lot easier to work with my new system is running perfect at the moment. I will be moving from 2012 to 2016 over the next few weeks I have had it setup and running on my test server without any issues I just have to find the time to move it over.

 

eBay is a great source of server parts that are really really cheap I just missed a rackmount tape drive lto6 which just went for £250 those units are upto £10000 which I wanted to use as another form of backup I am gutted to say the least but I'll just keep looking.

 

Lee

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Oh! That is absolutely great, thanks for the link.

 

"When temporarily not in use, multiple LackRacks can be stacked in a space-efficient way without disassembly, unlike competing 19" server racks."

"Due to their light weight design, Lackracks will grow to any required size without compromise"

"LackRack Enterprise Edition"

 

ROFLAO

 

Edit: Whoever wrote that must be a funny guy/gal (while at the same time being very informative): "If you mount the first item, it is recommended to install it against the table top for good fit. This happens automatically if you have the LackRack upside down, except in zero gravity environments."

 

I am tempted very much to do this due to that article alone.

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You don't need a rack. I live in an apartment, no space for a full rack, I put it on small bedside table. I might make one of these - https://wiki.eth0.nl/index.php/LackRack, I looked at smaller racks and they are not cheap at all, would rather spend that money on disks.

 

Lack Racks are fantastic.   For "full sized" servers (eg, long depths), the Lack Coffee table works fantastically.  In fact, I was using one for a while. 

 

That said, you can find 12U and 24U (quarter and half height) racks, as well.  Make sure they're not "network racks" though. 

 

Also, you can find racks for cheap on craigslists, if you live in near a business center.  I got a 42U rack for $50 that way. :)

 

 

Or: https://www.racksolutions.com/portable-server-rack.html

 

:)

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I live in a large Metro area but still don't see anything really cheap. My server is a SuperMicro, it needs ~34" depth so most of the cheap racks don't work. e.g. the rack linked above is 29" depth which I doubt will be enough when you add in clearance, cables etc. Then you need to add in rails ($50-75)

 

What I'd really like is someone to build me a noise isolated rack like the crazy expensive IsoRacks.

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Yeah, rack mount stuff gets pricy, fast.  And yeah, it's loud.

 

That said, you could always build a nice, enclosed rack yourself.  I've seen people that do that, and you can make it look really nice. :)

 

But as for noise isolated.... that's yeah... crazy expensive. Racks are pretty expensive normally, and most rack servers are pretty noisy themselves...  So, that's going to be super expensive (like i'd guess in the $2-3k range)

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If I want to have the potential for 8 3.5" drives, what motherboard would I use?  Most have 4 or 6 sata ports and I believe I need 8.  Any suggestions, or is there a way to expand an MB with 4 or 6 Sata ports?  I may not start out with 8 drives but don't want to get caught short in a year or two.  I would think a MB with 8 Sata ports would be expensive.

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