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Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN

Your favorite NAS/Server (Small Business)

We are a 7 person company, with 3 major computers that need backed up daily (important data). We have a couple other computers we would probably back up as well.

Our set up prior to this was a HP Media Smart Server. It backed up (copied) our data from each computer at night. It offered us a way to recover data, drives, or full image of a computer in the event of failure. Worked great for several years but recently will not back up computers even after a total wipe of the machine and new hard drives, no idea what is wrong with it but must be hardware of some sort. So I am done fighting it and want a new solution.

Must Haves:
1. Copy computers/specific folders/drives. Restore function/Complete image?
2. We do not want to use it as "storage", we want it to be a copy. We work with LARGE files and we'd prefer to have the files on our boxes for quick access (read multi-gig per file, several open at once etc)
3. Raid of some sort, we want it somewhat fault tolerant.
4. Quiet and just works.
5. Not interested in any cloud or offsite options, too slow in the event of needing to pull the data. We have terabytes of Data.
6. We are all Windows, a mix of Win 8, Win 7 Pro, and Vista

Any Suggestions? I have a budget of maybe MAX 2k. Worth mentioning I have 2 i7 24gb Machines no longer in service I considered converting into a server of some sort. But id be lost on software or OS to use to accomplish what I need to?
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Graphic Disorder


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
I have that box too (HP Media Smart Server) and love it.

Why not Windows Server 2012? Basically the replacement of WHS v1/v2.
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♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to Chillin
I'm in a similar state as you with the size of the company and all but I have different backup requirements. I do virtual machines for all our servers but backing up all those is taking up about 3 TB approximately so without a massive internet connection, offsite/cloud is out of the question for me too.

Honestly any computer, regardless of whether it's considered a "server" or not will do what you need provided it has the requisite drive space (separate OS and data drives are preferred or possibly required depending on the backup software).

Do you have access to be a Microsoft Partner to gain access to the Action Pack subscription? That would give you access to a large amount of software for about $350 a year I think it is. Part of that software package is Data Protection Manager which is Microsoft's System Center backup solution and is what I use.

It supports disk-disk and disk-disk-tape (with options for Azure cloud instead on the newest version, though you don't need that option) for short and long term storage options. It also natively supports Exchange and SQL server backups (also Hyper-V) which some backup programs don't or make you buy add-on packs to support.

Server 2012's replacement of WHS should include a network backup functionality that may be worth considering as well though I've never used it and can't tell you much about it.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
reply to Chillin
Isn't Win Server 2012 pretty expensive? I am not a MS partner or anything like that.

I am open to that option though and using one of my extra i7 computers and slap some drives in it?

But turnkey box would be nice, but is 2k a workable budget? What abotu these Western Digital Sentinals?

Thanks for the replies so far.
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
said by Chillin:

But turnkey box would be nice, but is 2k a workable budget? What abotu these Western Digital Sentinals?

It's definitely doable depending on the amount of storage you need, the amount of redundancy you need (1 or 2 disk), and how much room for future expansion you want.. Including disks for $2k you're looking at a appliance with an Intel Atom processor. At that level for the appliance hardware I'd recommend going with Synology over WD. Synology has more beefier hardware (an Atom D2700 vs the D525), better interface, and the ability to choose your own disks.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

said by Chillin:

But turnkey box would be nice, but is 2k a workable budget? What abotu these Western Digital Sentinals?

It's definitely doable depending on the amount of storage you need, the amount of redundancy you need (1 or 2 disk), and how much room for future expansion you want.. Including disks for $2k you're looking at a appliance with an Intel Atom processor. At that level for the appliance hardware I'd recommend going with Synology over WD. Synology has more beefier hardware (an Atom D2700 vs the D525), better interface, and the ability to choose your own disks.

Seen those as well, what model though do you think? They seem to have a bunch of different ones and I glazed over last time I was looking. Maybe stuff it with those WD Red drives? I would probably want to be up around 10-16tb.
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
Assuming 3 or 4TB disks, if you need a 1 disk redundancy then the 5 bay DS1513+ (or DS1512+ if you can find one) and if you need 2 disk redundancy then I'd go with a 8 bay DS1813+ (or the DS1812+). If you want to minimize costs then go with a DS1812+ with 3TB disks.

Note the 12 or 13 at the end of the model number is the model year. For those two lines the difference between 2012 and 2013 model is about $150 in price, 1 extra GB of RAM and 2 additional (2 vs 4) GigE aggregatable LAN ports.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

Assuming 3 or 4TB disks, if you need a 1 disk redundancy then the 5 bay DS1513+ (or DS1512+ if you can find one) and if you need 2 disk redundancy then I'd go with a 8 bay DS1813+ (or the DS1812+). If you want to minimize costs then go with a DS1812+ with 3TB disks.

Note the 12 or 13 at the end of the model number is the model year. For those two lines the difference between 2012 and 2013 model is about $150 in price, 1 extra GB of RAM and 2 additional (2 vs 4) GigE aggregatable LAN ports.

Thanks, how about drives, WD Red ok? Reviews seem to be up and down?
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
They are normally good, but IIRC users have been seeing abnormally high DOA/failure rates lately.

Frankly, I've been having trouble finding good drives recently. Between Hitachi bought out and WD Red and Green issues, no larger WD Blues and issues with certain Seagate drives, there isn't much to choose from.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

They are normally good, but IIRC users have been seeing abnormally high DOA/failure rates lately.

Frankly, I've been having trouble finding good drives recently. Between Hitachi bought out and WD Red and Green issues, no larger WD Blues and issues with certain Seagate drives, there isn't much to choose from.

Ive always had great luck outta the WD Blacks, but I dont know that I can afford to slap 5 of them in this thing if I go this route.
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC

1 edit
WD Blacks are nice, but depending on the exact models they can run hotter than the average drives (even 7200rpm version and definitely hotter than the 5400rpm Red, Green, Seagate NV) so that could be an issue when drives are packed closer inside a NAS appliance. Plus like you say, it's a bit too much money considering that the additional performance you're paying for the Black is rather pointless in an array.

For higher usage consider either the Seagate VN or the WD Red.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

WD Blacks are nice, but depending on the exact models they can run hotter than the average drives (even 7200rpm version and definitely hotter than the 5400rpm Red, Green, Seagate NV) so that could be an issue when drives are packed closer inside a NAS appliance. Plus like you say, it's a bit too much money considering that the additional performance you're paying for the Black is rather pointless in an array.

For higher usage consider either the Seagate NV or the WD Red.

Probably go WD Red and gamble. I just have to decide if I wanna go with this Synology or something else.
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Graphic Disorder

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
FWIW, you're going to run into issues with all brands/models. I don't doubt others have had problems with their WD Reds, but I just bought six 3TB WD Reds and haven't had a single issue out of them (yet, it's only been a couple months but they are in 24x7 use as my VM storage).

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
reply to Chillin
The big names for "bring your own disk" NAS appliances are Synology and QNAP. Other notable brands include Asustor (Asus), and Thecus. They all vary in features but have similar tiers in terms of CPU (ARM, Atom, i3 being the main ones) so take a look and see what you prefer.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

The big names for "bring your own disk" NAS appliances are Synology and QNAP. Other notable brands include Asustor (Asus), and Thecus. They all vary in features but have similar tiers in terms of CPU (ARM, Atom, i3 being the main ones) so take a look and see what you prefer.

Synology seems to come up a lot, so I assume thats a good thing. Probably go that direction.

But still wondering if I could do better just using my i7 box thats just sitting here.
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
You could and install something like FreeNAS. It'll be more work to setup than an appliance but it'll work just fine. That said, with a i7 it would use significantly more power. If you go with the i7 route, I recommend getting a small drive to install the OS just so that if you need anything done on the OS side the data array isn't affected.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

You could and install something like FreeNAS. It'll be more work to setup than an appliance but it'll work just fine. That said, with a i7 it would use significantly more power. If you go with the i7 route, I recommend getting a small drive to install the OS just so that if you need anything done on the OS side the data array isn't affected.

It has a 120gb SSD in it already. I think it will take 5 more Sata Drives (assuming no CD drive).
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
That'll do. Though if you plan on running a RAID array you should considering adding a hardware RAID card regardless of whether your chipset has built in RAID support.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

That'll do. Though if you plan on running a RAID array you should considering adding a hardware RAID card regardless of whether your chipset has built in RAID support.

And run what Windows Server 2012?
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
Well, if all you need is to make a storage accessible on the network through SMB pretty much any recent version of Windows will do. No need to splurge on a Win Server licence. Frankly I'd go with whatever Windows licence you have or a free option like FreeNAS.


weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1
reply to Chillin
If you go the route of the i7 you can always under clock the CPU. I love Synology (I have a CS407e and a DS713+), but if you always have most of the hardware...


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
reply to Chillin
Decided to go Synology with 5 x 3tb WD Red's. Thanks for the help guys, it should all be here tomorrow.
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Graphic Disorder


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
reply to Chillin
It's up and running. Doesn't seem bad, speed of the backup seems a bit long. I had about 1.2tb on this computer, its been running since yesterday after work. Claims 14hrs left. We are on a gigabit network....
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
reply to Chillin
In my experience backup software almost never uses all the available bandwidth as the bottleneck is with the backup/cataloging/compression processes. To really test transfer rate you need to copy a large multi-gig file from a PC to the NAS.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

In my experience backup software almost never uses all the available bandwidth as the bottleneck is with the backup/cataloging/compression processes. To really test transfer rate you need to copy a large multi-gig file from a PC to the NAS.

Ya I assume your right, just seems to be slower than my HP server was at it.
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Graphic Disorder


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
reply to Chillin
and it's still going....

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
I run a daily full backup of ~160GB of data to a directly attached USB 3.0 HD and that takes 9-10 hrs to complete. It's definitely dependent on the backup software, but given that you doing 1.2TB I'm not surprised. On your old server were you running full backups or incrementals? That would make a massive different in backup times.

I doubt the bottleneck is the NAS. If you check your Ethernet activity it likely isn't saturating the link. You could probably do another transfer from a separate computer to the NAS at a reasonable transfer rate.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
Click for full size
said by decx:

I run a daily full backup of ~160GB of data to a directly attached USB 3.0 HD and that takes 9-10 hrs to complete. It's definitely dependent on the backup software, but given that you doing 1.2TB I'm not surprised. On your old server were you running full backups or incrementals? That would make a massive different in backup times.

I doubt the bottleneck is the NAS. If you check your Ethernet activity it likely isn't saturating the link. You could probably do another transfer from a separate computer to the NAS at a reasonable transfer rate.

The WHS did just changed Data I believe. Which is all I want this one to do. But not sure it is......its terribly slow at this point.

It's showing network use around 30-40%. gigabit network. Once it finished backing up the computer, its been "removing" files since 4am on the replicator program. See attached.
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Graphic Disorder

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC
reply to Chillin
Never used the data replicator so I can't really comment on that. But given that it's a new backup and there's nothing really to remove, maybe the backup software got stuck. Odd. When it's done just run a large transfer to test the raw transfer speed. But I still think the slowness is caused by the backup app itself.


Chillin
No i7, no care.
Premium
join:2002-04-22
Johnson City, TN
said by decx:

Never used the data replicator so I can't really comment on that. But given that it's a new backup and there's nothing really to remove, maybe the backup software got stuck. Odd. When it's done just run a large transfer to test the raw transfer speed. But I still think the slowness is caused by the backup app itself.

I think it removes the previous backup, which would be 1000's of files. It was scrolling quickly and they were all files I know were in the back up.
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Graphic Disorder