Hello! World Backup Day is coming on March 31 and I am NOT an April Fool when it comes to backups. You should not be either. Here is what I do.
My main workstations are Macintoshes and OS X has a great system of snapshot backups known as Time Machine. Like most Mac users I have a Time Capsule and use it regularly, its great. But I work with a lot of uncompressed video files and camera raw files that would quickly overwhelm my old Time Capsule. That’s why I have a…
Synology DS1515+ Network Attached Storage System
Also known as a NAS. I love it.
“RAID is NOT a Backup Strategy”
You hear this all the time. Of course not. Stay with me!
A Network Attached Storage System with a Redundant Array of Independent Disks needs to be backed up also and as with all backup strategies you need redundancy, versioning, and off-site backups. A NAS with a RAID may of course be a PART of an overall backup strategy and in fact will help facilitate these things as I will explain.
The Synology DS1515+ has five drive bays that each contain a 10 terabyte Seagate Ironwolf SATA drive and is configured as a RAID 5. If you didn’t know, the various RAID Configurations exist to facilitate a variety of size, performance and reliability needs. I like RAID 5 because it’s reasonably fast and it allows for any one drive in the array to fail without data loss so long as the drive is quickly replaced and the array re-built before a second failure. See here for a comprehensive list of RAID types:
In short, RAID 0 is SUPER fast but a single failure of one drive causes the entire array to lose all your data. RAID 6 allows for any two drives to fail without losing data but be warned: a RAID 6 array take much longer to build and rebuild. Rebuilding an array right after a drive fails places extra stress on the remaining drives increasing the likelihood of a second failure. Replace that second drive and it starts all over again. Here is an interesting article on the topic: RAID 6: Do you really want it?
My main point is: your RAID / NAS may fail. It also needs to be backed up! But wait, there are easy solutions for this with Synology’s DiskStation Manager software or DSM, the operating system for their line of NAS Products.
Hyper Backup / Hyper Backup Vault
Here’s the deal. I am a huge fan of Synology Products. I always have my eye on a new model! I actually still have my older DS1513+, a five bay NAS and an optional five bay expansion unit for a total of ten drive bays.
Here you can see I have a volume setup to process Time Machine backups, so with this I have two Time Machine backup destinations on the LAN here. And also a volume for use by Hyper Backup Vault.
On this machine I run Synology’s Hyper Backup Vault Software. This allows me to create the backup destinations that my main DS1515+ will use for hourly, daily and/or weekly backups as necessary saving just about as many versions of your files as you can fit. Currently for me it’s 32! So I am covered in the “versioning” component of my backup. I have fast local access to many versions of a given file.
But all 32 versions are sitting right next to the machine they support. What about the aforementioned fire or flood? Synology has at the ready:
Cloud Sync is a standard utility package that bidirectionally syncs to cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. But to the issue of backups it also allows us to perform 1 way backups to services like Backblaze and others.
And sure, these cloud services can be configured to backup many versions of a file as well, but unless you have gigabit upload speeds (I do not), it might take days to finish uploading a bunch of video and camera raw files if you collect large amounts of those things in a single day’s work (I do). So in these cases I am glad for numerous quick local backups available to me through Hyper Backup and Hyper Backup Vault!