I am a photographer and have the need to backup my data in a reliable way. Right now, I have a main 2TB external drive which I synchronize manually with other 2. I have 3 copies of the same files, but that process is neither automatic nor as frequent as I wished.
I am considering buying a NAS solution like the Synology DS411. My questions are:
1. Do I really need NAS? What's the advantages over another RAID hardware implementation that connects to my iMac through USB or FIrewire? Speed?
2. What happens if the Synology dies? Can I access the data on the enclosed drives or will I use everything? I really can't backup a 3TB raid system into an external drive...
Thanks for your help,
1) If your backup data is on-line with your machine, then you may lose it to a power surge, to malware, or other disasters. If your data is really important to you, you should take one backup copy and store it in a friend's house: are the files so important that you would still want them if a tree crashed into your workroom and destroyed local copies?
So having a NAS gives you a little more insulation from disaster. It's not as secure as backing up regularly to drives that you remove. It will give you a copy faster, since you can backup in realtome.
2) depends on what died. If you use the drives as simple disks, or if you have a RAID1 on them, then if the box dies you can pull out the drives and read them. If you have simple disks and the disk dies, you lost your backup. But isn't your primary still good?
These decisions are always a balancing act between how much you are willing to spend, how many minutes or hours or days of work you can afford to lose, how much work you are willing to put into data protection, and how extreme a disaster you feel you need to protect from.