NAS setup

So let's start this thread by stating "I'm an idiot!"

Given that, I need to setup NAS for a SOHO. I know this thread is for NAS tech, but the plan is to also upgrade the network to a Gigabit network.

So what I need are recommendations for a reliable easy setup NAS system. I think 3x500GB in RAID 5 is what I'm looking at (basically, I need one drive to be a back of another). I don't need mirror images of disks, only backups of important files & folders.

I also need recommendations for setting up a Gigabit network that won't slow down during backups. The D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N has caught my eye, but other recommendations and setup would be highly appreciated.

Other important pieces of info to be known:
- All wired hardware to have static IPs
- Wirless to be dynamic
- the ability to easily expand in the future.

12 answers Last reply
More about setup
  1. How many people will be using this...

    And whats it used for?

    Expandability you cant go past a dedicated rig for storage, not only that but you will generally get better transfer rates and be able to do other jobs with the OS.

    Depending on how many nodes you have on your network i would maybe look at getting separate gigabit switch and have the wireless device off it.

    Backups should be done in off peak times so as not to limit bandwidth.
  2. 4 people in total on a daily basis. It's basically for my parent's brokerage, which is located in their house.

    My parents and brother will use it for personal daily usage
    My parents and their 1 employee will use it for business usage during business hours.

    Every now and then there will be people over who need to connect wirelessly (spelling?!).

    The company is not going to expand much more, so some expansion will be needed, but nothing big.

    Any areas you point me to for good reading on setting up a dedicated rig for storage?

    Is wireless N worth the upgrade right now or should I stick with G?
  3. Quick little article on Dan's will help with hardware i would think

    Your hardware requirements arent that much, and you could probably get away with a single network device for the wired and wireless.

    Quick idea of what i have (which would be more than enough in this case is)

    Q6600 with 8x500gb in RAID 5 (3.18tb usable)

    Netcomm NB9w wireless Voip router

    Netgear 16port Gigabit smart switch

    Ive then got Window Server 2003 loaded with unregistered domain to control all machine with security settings.

    In your case i dont think N will be worth it, because it doesnt sound like you will be transferring large amounts of data over the network
  4. chookman's call on the Netgear 16 port smartswitch is a good one. This is what I have at home and I personally love the switch. As far as looking for a NAS, have you thought about what your price range/budget is?

    You may want to consider some of the Synology products...They make excellent and flexible "Diskstations" with many features apps and work with Active Directory or standalone. You are buying the NAS device only. The disks need to be purchased separately but the hard disks are cheap. I have 2. I have a DS107+ w/ a 750 GB WD RE3 which is a single drive system. I also have a DS508 w/ 5x1TB Seagate Barracuda ES.2 drives (in RAID 5). The DS508 are newer products and can support 4 different RAID modes (0,1,5,6)

    RAID 6 is like RAID DP (Dual parity). If you did a RAID 6 you would have 2 fault tolerant disks in the system (3 would be active). RAID 5 gives you 4 usable disks and 1 parity disk. The nice thing about the DS508 is you can operate in any mode you want and don't even have to fill the server with 5 disks. You could start with 2 and then add more later. Like I said, very flexible.

    Check out

    for a complete list of all their offerings. Their support and forums are amazing and their development is excellent. The DS508 is one of their most expensive products. Retails for about 1K. a 500 GB disk these days is about $150, 1TB- $250. Can even put in smaller disks if you want which will save even more.

    Let me know if I can be of more assistance.

  5. Heya,

    First of all, before you go any further, do not use RAID/NAS as a backup solution.. RAID is about uptime. RAID5 for example is not going to backup anything. It's just going to keep you `up and running' when a drive fails (potentially). But it will not backup a total loss in any way. If you use this daily for work, or someone will, the backups should be daily to something OFF the RAID/NAS. Otherwise, you'll be sitting on a time bomb.

    Also, depending on what you're actually going to put on that NAS, is 1tb of storage going to last you? 3x 500gigs in RAID5 = 1tb (not 1.5tb) due to RAID5 always taking one drive's capacity worth out of the total capacity for parity use. For scalability, you'd be better off getting a few 1tb drives (they're all in the $99 range now, so no reason not to, they're cheaper per gig than 500g drives now). 3x 1tb drives would give you 2 tb of storage capacity on RAID5. Backups would be best done on a TAPE recorder.

    As for creating it, you don't need fancy devices and no one is going to see the box unless you put it front and center.

    Just get a decent tower.
    Put a good motherboard in it with gigabit lan support that supports RAID perhaps unless you want to get a 3rd party controller.
    Get the appropriate CPU/RAM for the thing. Keep it low profile. Less noise. Less heat. You don't need crazy horse power for a simple little server like this.
    Throw in your drives. Create the RAID array if you choose. Or just use the disks separately (which is fine too).
    Lastly, install FreeNAS and you're set. Or use whatever software you please.

    I'll do a quick NewEgg example of what I'm talking about:

    Full Tower Case with 8 internal drive spaces @ $99 (Note, you could get cheaper of course)
    PSU @ $60 (Again, could go cheaper, but quality matters)
    RAID5 capable motherboard with built in Video & 6x SATA ports, GigabitLan @ $65
    2.6ghz DualCore with Heatsink/Fan @ $50
    2gigs DDR2 800 RAM @ $24
    CD/DVD Optical @ $18
    Floppy Drive @ $8

    That whole base system with everything you need to get started, and room to grow (big time) in terms of storage (and room to grow network with more NIC's) weighs in at $325 (and free shipping). Good luck finding a NAS device that has everything that has, with quality power and a huge amount of upgrading room for your drives in this price range. It is a full on basic computer in every way, but centered around storage and serving. You just add drives to your whim.

    And finally, here's the drives I'd use for RAID5: WD 640gig 7200rpm SATA @ $75. Free shipping. 3 of them in RAID5 gives you a nice 1.2tb starting point with parity. Though I'd get 5 of them in RAID5 so that you just have plenty of room to spare.

  6. Quote:
    First of all, before you go any further, do not use RAID/NAS as a backup solution.. RAID is about uptime. RAID5 for example is not going to backup anything. It's just going to keep you `up and running' when a drive fails (potentially). But it will not backup a total loss in any way. If you use this daily for work, or someone will, the backups should be daily to something OFF the RAID/NAS. Otherwise, you'll be sitting on a time bomb.'s a good thing I checked back with this thread. A lot of good ideas. Question about RAID though. On one hand you tell me not to use RAID for backing up, but then proceed to give a setup to make a RAID system. Should I proceed with a RAID system or something else for backup. 1TB would actually be way more than enough as the amount of data that needs to be backed up won't be more than a few GBs.
  7. Heya,

    Well, what do you need here? Backup? Or something to serve to several computers? You can't get both, in one basket, unfortunately without sacrificing safety of your backups. But if you want to serve to the folks listed, you don't even need RAID. You could just go with a single Black Caviar 1TiB WD drive (quite fast, 1tb, $130 right now with free shipping). Or you could go with RAID to keep things fast, and if you go RAID5, keep things `up' so that even if a drive turns belly up, the data is still there to be used at all times.

    If you truly need to back up stuff, you'd be better off putting the data onto DVD's or onto Tapes for a Tape drive. Things without moving parts. Things that can get wet and not be damaged. Etc. A hard drive is NOT a good backup source. It can fail. It can destroy itself with it's own head. It can't take water damage. Get what I'm saying?

    Separate backup from the idea of Serve/Nas.

    Example, have the Serve/Nas do it's thing as normal. Then do periodic backups of the NAS's data to Tape/DVD and file those some where else.

    Very best,
  8. Well I'm looking for something automatic. Being that it's for my parent's company which is located at home, backup to tape/dvd won't happen. I need 1 of 2 things. It can be either/or. Either a backup of pertinent data off 2 PCs or Mirror images of the 2 PCs. I'm leaning more towards a RAID configuration, where they either swap drives or do a copy of the mirror and they are back up and running.
  9. Aviavy-
    Did you look into the Synology NAS servers? If you don't need a high end device and only need a few hundred gigs, go for the DS207 or DS209. They will allow you to run a NAS solution, with RAID 1 (mirrored hard disks) for very little money. The DS207 goes for about $260. You can buy the two 640 GB drives the other guy was talking about for $75 each and have a mirrored 600 GB usable space solution. As for backing up goes-- The Synology NAS servers have eSATA and USB ports which allow you to connect an external USB or eSATA hard drive to for backup. The Synology Diskstation has the backup software built right into it. you manage everything from the Diskstation admin tool (web interface) and it allows you full back/incremental, etc...

    You can set whatever schedule you like. On my NAS devices, I do an incremental backup to the external hard drive every 4 hours.

    You should be able to do it all for about $450. While malveaux's solution might be a few bucks cheaper, the Synology software is unbeatable in terms competition and features. A "Do-it-yourself" solution might be asking for a lot of headache, especially for someone that doesn't have much experience working with all the different components. Also, always keep in mind the old saying, "You pay for what you get".
  10. Aviavy-
    Forgot to mention that the Synology Replicator 3 software is an agent that installs on all of your PC's/Laptops in your network and can automatically backup the contents of the hard drive to the Diskstation (NAS) (or even another PC). That can be downloaded free at anytime from Synology website (even if you don't own a Diskstation)

  11. Quote:
    Netcomm NB9w wireless Voip router [...] dband/nb9w

    Would you be able to recommend an alternative router? I'm in Canada and I have been unable to locate a dealer that carries that brand altogether.
Ask a new question

Read More

NAS / RAID Storage Product