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Thread: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

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    NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    As above basically.
    I'm considering starting to backup my stuff, since I've now got around 6tb of media and having just started taking photos, which I couldn't get back if something went wrong, think now is as good a time as any to possibly invest money into a decent backup system.

    I've currently got 4 x 2tb drives in my main PC.
    So what would people recommend? Don't need it to be able to do anything really, just act as a backup.

    One thought I've had, is whether I could solve two problems with one pc, since I'm intending on making a media pc for the family once I go back home during the summer, and so I was thinking I could use it as a backup of my media collection etc, which would work for them, since they'd then have my collection of films, tv shows etc. And would help offset the cost of a backup solution, since they're putting money towards that system, so while yeah I'd still have to buy the drives, I wouldn't have to pay for the board, case, cpu etc.

    Ideas?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: How should I setup my backup, can I combine it with the family media pc?

    I would not use a family PC as a back up - back ups should be more resilient, not less.

    NAS is what you want, which again you could use as a media server at a reduction in security for the back up. However I'd separate out what you really need to back up and what you just want to serve to the rest of the family for convenience. Presumably you have the original media for these films/TV shows so that media is the real back up and you don't need to worry about the computerised version.

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    Re: How should I setup my backup, can I combine it with the family media pc?

    Well, the family PC would purely be used for recording/watching my media.

    I currently share all of my current media with the house, and will do next year. Almost all of the stuff I have I can get back (excluding photos), only issue being the huge amount of time it would take to rerip everything etc.
    Also the fact that I'm up in Loughborough at uni, and all the DVDs, blu rays, cds etc are at home in Essex.

    Say I were to just go for a backup, and particular things I should look out for?
    I don't really want to spend 200+ on a NAS unit, since it's already going to cost getting on for £400 just for the drives :/

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    Re: How should I setup my backup, can I combine it with the family media pc?

    I've no experience of NASes, but I wouldn't think they'd be too expensive. You could always build one yourself from second hand components, or even an old whole computer - they don't need much umph. Stick linux on it and you're away.

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    Re: How should I setup my backup, can I combine it with the family media pc?

    I'd be looking at £200 as a minimum (roughly) for a 4 bay NAS.
    I should be able to put together one for less.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    I'm not sure if people still do this but have you considered a RAID setup?
    I'm not sure how many drives you can have in a RAID 1 setup but it instantly creates a full backup of anything you save to your computer. While it doesn't give you the ability to rewind to a previous version like a true backup server would it should provide a simple low cost solution to protecting your media from a single HDD failure.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Keep an eye out for a HP Micro Server, I'm gutted I missed out on one of those when they were going cheap as I could really do with one my self, I've been relying on external HDD's for all my media and of course one has failed I 've lost over a terrabytes worth of stuff. None of which I can replace, easily.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    You can get the HP MicroServer for around £150 after cashback:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/281915-hp-prol...edium=products

    Cashback has been extended until the 30th of April.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Yeah I'm looking to get a microserver now, now just wanting to try and find some cheap drives

    Will the cashback actually end then? It seems like it's being on for aaaaaages, so are they likely to extend it?

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Finding cheap drives is still tricky right now. Prices are falling rapidly compared to a few months back. For your 6 Tb maybe 3 x 3Tb drives in RAID5 would give you 6+Tb usable with redundancy, if you can find a system with a suitable raid controller.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Are prices really falling? I got 2 2tb drives a couple of months ago for £145, haven't seen drives cheaper than that really since :/

    Tempted to get the microserver and 2 3tb drives

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Quote Originally Posted by robertirwin View Post
    Finding cheap drives is still tricky right now. Prices are falling rapidly compared to a few months back.
    Where? Pray tell.

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    Re: NAS, or homebuilt NAS/media PC?

    Are you looking for something like these:

    Array R2 Mini ITX NAS case
    http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=...gory=2&prod=42

    EX-40N & EX-20N
    http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product...8&ss_index=129

    Dlink ranges:
    http://www.dlink.co.uk/cs/Satellite?...GB%2FDLWrapper

    I personally have a DNS-325 (2-bay Network Storage Enclosure) and I stream all my content across the house, whenever I want to change viewing locations. This acts like a media centre, though I've only tried it with Windows 7; so I'm not sure about compatibility, but that should be client end anyway.. I can also open it up to the Internet. But most importantly it can separate each drive or even folder to have it private, shared, public, user protected, etc. So an account for guests that you can share, and another than you can use yourself to access all areas.

    I think what you want to do is slightly at a larger scale. With 6 drives. Have whatever drives you want as media storage for the family, all they would need is to be able to access the folders and stream or copy files themselves and some other drivers as a backup solution. and maybe even a streaming server across the internet, for yourself when you're at Uni...

    I'm not sure if you can have multiple different raid setups, but maybe in the 6 driver bays they probably offer it. So if it is possible, you could set up a few hard-drives to mirror your important backups/harddrives and for the rest, just have raid0 or keep them normal if you wanted to separate them.

    I thought about building one myself, but I settled on buying a 2-bay one and learning from it, as this is my first NAS set up. I don't see it being a major task building one yourself, IF you are serious about it.. It will just have to be a case, with 6 or whatever amount of drives you require, have suitable cooling, then the rest is about specifications. Personally, I'm still unsure how to properly set up the internal parts so if anyone has any good tutorials on that that would be great. Like what kind of hardware is best and network controller, etc.

    Anyway, hope this helps.
    Last edited by Savas; 22-05-2012 at 12:39 AM.

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