Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Synology 212j

I ended up picking up a NAS. I found that I was doing a lot more transferring of files around my house and after a number of hard disk failures, I decided to add a little bit of redundancy into my life. After a lot of research and some feedback from my friends, I picked the Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS212j (White) along with two 2TB Seagate drives.

The drives and NAS showed up last Tuesday. I dropped the drives in and had the power on to the device in a couple of minutes. I was then left with a "now what?" moment. I tried connecting via IP address and got nothing. I finally gave up and installed the Drive Assistant that came on the disk. This basically told me the NAS didn't have any firmware on it. Whoops! So I dropped the v3.2 DSM on the device and went from there. Once that was installed I was connected to a very slick UI all delivered from a webpage. I noticed that it was already provisioning the drives, but I prefer to have a little bit of input on this, so I cancelled the formatting and set it to create a RAID 1 volume instead of the Synology Hybrid format. 4 hours later, it was done, but I was already in bed.

The next day, I installed DSM v4.0 the next day was very happy to see that I did not need to redo all the permissions I had setup. The upgrade went smoothly and I was able to setup all the shared folders and setup permissions. Next up I have applied encryption to the documents shared folder which went smoothly so far. I then started to backup my laptop and showed Michelle how easy it was.

At this point, I will need to decide what is going to get backed up to S3 and also to learn if it is encrypted when it is backed up. So really I am completely sold on this device. It is awesome for the things that I am using it for.

Given I have two Seagate drives that are greater than 1TB, I do have some concerns about drive health. The number of ECC errors that Synology is reporting is quite high. I do have them in Mirror so hopefully that is sufficient for my data redundancy needs.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NAS indecision...

So I have been researching NAS software and solutions. For years I have got along with burning to CD/DVD and removable, portable hard drives. Data though keeps getting larger and I find that I am doing more and more work from different machines which makes the movement of data suddenly something I care about within the house.

So far the biggest thing I have come across is FUD. Lots of complaints about little things in each of the various solutions that are out there. And when digging into freeNAS to run on an older desktop, they are suggesting things that this desktop can't even do. 8G of RAM? 1TB of HDD? Although I do frequently deal in very large files I just don't know what I will need.

So where does this leave me?

Well, I don't know. I would like to pick up a NAS as I don't think my old desktop is the right solution. Now I need to figure out which one is going to do what I want which is ridiculously simple:

  1. Save data over the network easily from Windows and Linux
  2. Be secure
  3. Be quiet
  4. RAID 1... I need mirroring.

Maybe this: Buffalo Technology LinkStation Duo 4 TB (2 x 2 TB) Network Attached Storage LS-WX4.0TL/R1

Or maybe this: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS212j

I just don't know...