As creatives, discovering a value and time-efficient technique to hold our information protected is presumably one in all our extra mundane however mandatory duties. For years, I’ve been buying onerous drives and running my backups manually for probably the most half with Backblaze getting used for off-site backups. As my archive grew, nonetheless, this turned cumbersome. After a lot looking out, I settled on the QNAP TR-004 as my new resolution and I’d wish to share my expertise with you as we speak.
This text started its life as a evaluate of the QNAP TR-004, however rapidly descended right into a specsheet. So, fairly than doing that I made a decision to stroll you thru the issue I had and the way I solved it with this unit. To this point it’s been a nice funding and a easy resolution to my archiving and backup wants. I hope that this shall be a rundown that may be helpful to others able of on the lookout for a extra sturdy resolution for his or her knowledge storage.
To offer you a fast rundown when you don’t fancy studying the complete linked article above, till now my course of has concerned native drives with a second copy being made utilizing FreeFileSync, a wonderful totally guide technique to synchronize knowledge in Home windows. From there, my first set of drives have been backed as much as Backblaze which means that I had a redundant native copy and an offsite backup of every little thing. This was all carried out utilizing a easy two-bay toaster. This course of was nice till the quantity of information grew a lot that sustaining it turned a job that took up at the very least sooner or later of my month (making certain every drive was synchronized domestically after which checking in with Backblaze to make sure the info was nonetheless backed up). It was a strong system at first, but it surely didn’t scale properly.
So, I began making a listing of what I needed to vary about this resolution. My necessities have been as follows:
- A single giant capability gadget that may run completely
- Streamline my archive and backup course of
- Needs to be quick and dependable
I needed one thing that will be on on a regular basis and accessible at a second’s discover with out having to look via a field of drives each time I wanted to search out one thing greater than a yr or two previous. With these items in thoughts, I knew I’d be seeking to a RAID resolution, but it surely had been so lengthy since I set something like this up, I used to be a bit of out of the loop.
The First Answer
I started my search taking a look at NAS options with goals of getting my very own server. Fantasies flicked via my thoughts of having the ability to present shoppers my again catalog from my cellphone and entry all my knowledge from anyplace on the earth. I rapidly realized, although, that these have been conditions I’d not often, if ever, discover myself in and weren’t actually options I wanted to pay for. I additionally didn’t want simultaneous entry to my knowledge from a number of computer systems.
The ultimate nail within the NAS coffin for me was that I’d want to modify my Backblaze account to their B2 resolution which might imply re-uploading all my knowledge and roughly a $1200 upfront payment for that switch. I made a decision an easier resolution can be so as. As a house enterprise, that’s a further value and course of that, if attainable, can be higher to keep away from for me. In the long run, a NAS was overkill for my present wants and finances.
The Second Answer
Since I wouldn’t want a media server or entry from a number of machines on the identical time, I started wanting into devoted RAID enclosures. With our choices being fairly restricted right here in Korea, I rapidly began wanting internationally for higher options. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than I got here throughout the four-bay QNAP TR-004 with its RAID controller. I spoke with their individuals at a tradeshow a number of years in the past and examined out their numerous NAS choices on website. I recalled appreciating their dedication to a strong, no-frills product. So, I did a bit of additional analysis and found that this enclosure checked off each requirement I had and can be expandable within the sense that it may straight connect with a QNAP NAS ought to I ever determine to go that route.
The couple of main advantages I noticed within the QNAP TR-004 over different RAID enclosures have been to be present in its RAID controller and the software program suite (which can be utilized to remotely swap RAID modes on the controller in addition to monitor vitals). Additionally, having a typical USB connector signifies that the gadget acts as a easy exterior drive except you join it to a QNAP NAS. This connection offers two advantages. The primary is that it may be backed up utilizing the Backblaze commonplace plan (cheaper backups and I may keep my current uploads – money and time saved) and that it may be used with every other pc if wanted just by connecting that cable.
I’ve populated the 4 bays with 8TB Western Digital Crimson drives (these enable me to run it on a regular basis quietly, effectively, and with out an excessive amount of noise or vibration). The subsequent step was to create a RAID so I may fulfill my purpose of getting a single giant drive for backup. I made a decision on RAID 5 as I’d have a degree of redundancy that was cost-effective and fairly protected. Ought to an unlikely catastrophic failure happen, the entire unit can be backed up on Backblaze servers anyway. So, this was a cheap resolution. QNAP’s software program screens the well being of the RAID in addition to the well being of particular person disks by pinging them for S.M.A.R.T. data at an interval you’ll be able to set and warning you of any modifications or errors in real-time.
An Extra Profit
One of many different causes I needed to get a tool like this was to offer myself an excuse to slowly return via my archive and take away unneeded information. You see, I’m considerably of a “what if” individual. What if a shopper asks for this file? What if I determine to show utilizing this picture or write a weblog in regards to the course of of creating it. The reality is, I don’t want all my take a look at pictures, duplicates, extra expressions, and so forth. to do this. So, I’ve taken on the momentous job of deleting photos that may by no means be used and transferring from Lightroom to Seize One utterly.
This complete course of has been extraordinarily easy and I commend QNAP for a wonderful gadget that retains the straightforward choices open to small companies that will not want the complete capabilities of a NAS. If you happen to’re taking a look at increasing your native storage however will not be able to go along with a full NAS resolution simply but, this might be the gateway drug you’ve been on the lookout for. Take a look at the QNAP TR-004 for your self to see if it might be a sound resolution to your wants.