Need some Advice on a Proper Backup plan

Hey guys

I am trying to plan out a better backup strategy for my home business and could use your help. I just ordered a well-reviewed NAS (Synology DS412+) and am trying to get my head around the best way to setup my data to make avoid disasters down the road. As much as I think I am pretty responsible about doing the day to day tasks for data backups, I know for a fact that a set-n-forget is my best option; and don’t mind paying for a few third party services (like Crashplan) to help me get something reliable and simple. PS – I’m not that concerned about bare-metal restores; just the preservation of my data

Here is a breakdown of what I’ve got

• Primary Office Workstation
....Contains [Client Data] and [Family Photos]
........Around 620gigs
........Highest priority data
....Contains music and our [Movie Collection] for XBMC
........Around 2.2 TB
........Lowest priority data
• Synology DS412+ (brand new – arrives this week)
....7TB of usable disk space using SHR-raid
........2ea 3TB WD-Red drives
........2ea 2TB WD-Red drives

As I see it, there are a couple of ways I could store and safeguard my data. Because I’m coming into this a little green, maybe you guys can help me avoid making a novice mistake.

• Scenario 1 Overview:
....Workstation contains [Client Data] + [Family Photos]
........Backs up to Synology nightly using DS-replicator
........Backs up to Crashplan cloud automagically at default schedule
....HTPC contains [Movie Collection]
........Backs up to Synology weekly
....Scenario 1 Pros
........All data (high and low priority) gets an in-house backup
........High Priority Data is additionally backed up off site
........NO hacks or unsupported tweaks on the Synology, everything by the book
........Time-machine style versioning to my files, can dig in to grab stuff from earlier dates if needed
....Scenario 1 Cons
........Not really using the NAS as a central repository, this underutilizing it (which is to say, I lose function of some of the cool apps like streaming)

• Scenario 2 Overview:
....Workstation contains [Client Data] + [Family Photos]
........Synchronized to NAS using Synology Cloud Station
........Backs up to Crashplan cloud automagically at default schedule
....HTPC contains [Movie Collection]
........Synchronized to NAS using Synology Cloud Station
....Scenario 2 Pros
........All data (high and low priority) gets an in-house replication with faster (non-restoring) access;
........High Priority Data is additionally backed up off site
........NO hacks or unsupported tweaks on the Synology, everything by the book (though this might be taxing for the cloud app?)
........A copy of the media is now on the NAS, so streaming tools might be usable now; although because they are stored in the “cloud” folders they might not be accessible by the proper applications; unsure about this honestly
....Scenario 2 Cons
........Seems like this would really put some load on the network
........Again, not really using the NAS as a central repository as it was intended;
........May be asking too much of cloud station appliation
........Lose time-machine style versioning of data, except by tapping off-site storage

• Scenario 3 Overview:
....Synology contains [Client Data] + [Family Photos] + [Movie Collection]
........Backs up to Critical files to Crashplan cloud automagically at default schedule direct from NAS
....Workstation contains only active customers, not the whole bundle (ie client data is split)
........HTPC contains nothing, simply streams content from Synology
....Scenario 3 Pros
........High Priority Data is backed up off site
........Uses the NAS as it was intended, so all apps are fully utilized; well supported
....Scenario 3 Cons
........No in-house replication of data, seems less safeguarded
........Need to “hack” Synology to run Crashplan, may break with updates, unsupported officially

I’d really like to hear your thoughts; most of you guys have some experience in this areas and I really want to do this right the first time. Got additional ideas, Post em! Will follow this thread closely and answer questions damn-near immediately for the next week or so. Thanks in advance!!
3 answers Last reply
More about advice proper backup plan
  1. Whichever you choose, I would stress the need to store the NAS in a strong, fireproof safe after every use. It's no good to you sitting on a desk beside the server if the building goes up in flames - it will melt just as quickly as the PCs around it.
  2. Thanks Saga,
    I plan to place the synology on the network and let it do its thing 24/7. I can see your point in maybe placing a portable backup drive in a firesafe, but disconnecting the entire NAS and moving it to a safe daily doesn't seem entirely practical. Aside from that, the off-site backups(crashplan or otherwise) is what I intend to protect me from fire / theft, etc.
  3. Basically, You need to decide whether your NAS is your primary or backup storage. If you already have data on workstations, and it works – do you have compelling reason to change this? If not – keep status quo, use NAS as a Backup Storage (so Scenario 2 is close to what you have to do). Another angle I can see here is you are planning to use 2 distinct mechanism for NAS and Cloud backups – which is not efficient. You better off choosing one solution that can backup to NAS and to Cloud, and stage or sync automatically. There are few such products, quite affordable, on the market – so don’t limit yourself just to Carbonite. Once you set on your decision for NAS role, you could use “3-2-1 Rule” – 3 locations, 2 types of media, 1 off-site. You are covered for 2 and 1, but 3 is missing at least from Scenario 3. Once 3-2-1 is in place, you should be safe.
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