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seeking advise on NAS for nearline archive solution

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Paul Dougherty
seeking advise on NAS for nearline archive solution
on Feb 6, 2018 at 1:57:07 am

Hi,

After a brief encounter with Drobo 5N unit I’m trying to learn more about NAS. I don’t have much expertise in this area but have a hunch the best scenario for the non-profit I’m helping will involve solutions other than Drobo. Simply put the situation I’d like to see would be a raid with a minimum of 32 TB of storage -and- in a perfect world the same type unit located on another floor connected over an office network which mirrors by automatic updates the primary unit.

This might be fanciful but the video department wants to manage their own archive and would like to do this under their own steam with minimal involvement of IT – but they (IT) would have to accept the data going over the office network between the primary and the mirror back up. (This would be the only network activity, all user access would be limited to a video archive Admin connecting to the main NAS locally.) This would represent nearline storage and need not be especially fast. One wildcard is the type of RAID for this unit, it would be nice if a raid could self compensate or self heal in some scenarios. But based on my experience with Drobo and some user reviews, I don’t want a lot of complicated overhead I would settle for JBODS that are simply mirrored on that second unit. (I guess not really JBODs, just a simple RAID to gang them into a single volume)

This is the backstory - I’ve been trying to help a nonprofit organize their digital video collection that is about five years old and adds up to about 20 TB. Before I was brought in one of the resident video-makers purchased a Drobo 5N with 32 TB capacity. It was purchased in August and just recently when we started to transfer more collections to it- it started to act up.

Without going into the gory details, I found its to behavior troubling and the support scenario less than stellar. That in turn led me to read the reviews for the 5N on Newegg which were generally pretty bad.
I imagine the ideal NAS would have 2 ethernet ports, one connected to a CPU where ‘work’ drives holding finished projects are getting transferred to the NAS archive, while the other port keeps the NAS on the network. In a past CC post Bob Zelin mentioned NAS products from these companies. Any thoughts or feedback welcome.

Thanks,

Paul


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Bob Zelin
Re: seeking advise on NAS for nearline archive solution
on Feb 10, 2018 at 1:38:19 am

I am so confused by your post. Creative Cow has both NAS and SAN forums, yet you are asking questions about
Network attached storage, on the Archiving and Backup forum.

You state that in the past, I mentioned NAS products from "these companies" - which companies ? QNAP, Synology, Netgear ? I certainly never recommended using the Drobo.

It is very simple to accomplish exactly what you want with modern inexpensive NAS products that are on the market. With products like QNAP, if you have a redundant unit, you use Backup Station (now called Hybrid Sync Backup) to do "RTRR" - real time remote replication, where whatever is on the main system, will be backed up to the redundant system, somewhere else on the network, or across the internet. These types of systems run all by themselves once they are setup, and require no IT administration. You state that you don't have much expertise in this area. I do. I do this every day.

You state that you want the RAID to "self heal". I am not sure what that means. Modern RAID arrays are protected in RAID 5 (one drive can fail) or RAID 6 (2 drives can fail) without losing your data. When a drive fails, you simply replace the defective drive, and the RAID automatically rebuilds without you doing anything. But broken SATA drives don't fix themselves. You have to replace defective drives. Luckily, SATA drives today are very reliable, and most carry 5 year warrantees.

A typical NAS system costs about $3000 for video editing, not including the price of the drives. This is cheaper than ever before.

Feel free to contact me, if you need further details, or just ask right here !

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Paul Dougherty
Re: seeking advise on NAS for nearline archive solution
on Feb 10, 2018 at 1:58:39 am

Hi Bob,

First off, sorry re. the companies (list), as I was finishing the post I forgot to paste in that very list from you… “QNAP, Synology, Netgear” certainly never intended to connect you with Drobo.

I’m green to the storage forums on Creative Cow and stand corrected. Thanks for all the good advise, I’ll redirect to NAS and SAN forums.

“self heal” was a sloppy non-technical way of saying “automatically rebuild”

Best,

Paul

p.s. I might have thought drives would be in the mix on this forum re. the post of yours I mangled the reference to... “LTO Archive vs. drive based "near line" storage”


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