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My Backup Solution — 60TB and Growing!

Photo Moment - December 16, 2020

I struggled for years to find the right backup solution — but now I've got it. It's big, it's beautiful, and it's affordable.

Products in my Backup Solution

Armando's Videos on NAS

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Here's all the links — — what do you think of this solution?
Clever! 😊
I use softraid, owc raid 5... interested in your comment on not using softraid
Specifically not using SoftRAID to RAID “USB drives” — that was the comment. SoftRAID itself is fantastic and what’s managing the two thunderbolt RAIDs I mentioned. If you raid USB drives, their ID can change and the RAID can break. Also recovery is very problematic when one dies.
@PhotoJoseph whew! Thanks!

My problem with hardware RAID , Correct me if I am wrong, is if the RAID controller fails, you have to replace it with an identical controller, otherwise you break the RAID, or at least make it inoperable. With softraid, any multi-drive box will work
@Mike E Gadget Tech That sounds reasonable. Of course SoftRAID still requires the drives to be in an enclosure, but yeah as far as I know, as long as all the disks in the RAID are accessible, SoftRAID will be able to see and work with them.
Hi, Joseph. Great video. I don't know how critical all the stuff you're backing up is, but imagine your office burns down and you now have to restore from the cloud. How long is that going to take and what condition will your life and business be in while it happens? Obviously, a low-probability, but high-cost, event, the sort of thing humans are bad at solving optimally. I'm hoping you have some words of wisdom, but I've long considered this scenario one of the major drawbacks of cloud storage of critical data.

For me, the ideal solution would be a weatherproof case (e.g. a Pelican or similar) containing a large enough NAS to store everything I care about. This would sit in my backyard (I was working from home even before it became mandatory), connected to the network via 10 Gb ethernet (ideally PoE, again with weatherproof connectors, but I have enough outdoor outlets I could probably use one of those). This would be the destination for my nightly (encrypted) backups. If catastrophe strikes, I could buy a laptop and be up and running again as fast as it takes to install my office suite and connect to the NAS.

I periodically think about this in a little more detail and the biggest problems I've encountered so far are heat dissipation, backup interruption (what happens if the power and/or network cable are cut mid-backup?) and weatherproof connectors that operate at 10 Gbps (or even 1 Gpbs). In the meantime, I just periodically swap a USB drive on my desk with an identical one stored in the shed, but it's a pain, so the one in the shed is usually at least a month out of date.
Everything is a measured risk. There is no such thing as zero risk. A pelican case in your yard is far more likely to be damaged from water, power failure, or even if your house burns down, your yard is probably going with it. Honestly, I think that's a pretty bad idea.

Offsite needs to be far enough away that a natural disaster won't take it with it. If your house burns down, so does your in-house backup. If your city gets wiped out from flooding, fire, hurricane, earthquake, etc., then the backup you stored at a friends house or in a storage unit goes, too. It needs to be far away.

If you want the ultimate in fast-recoverable backup, then use a system like I mentioned near the end of this video where you have an identical NAS elsewhere in the world, and you use Resilio Sync (used on rsync) to sync the data. Then your NAS is just an overnight fedex shipment away.

As far as downloading from the cloud, yes that could take time, but if you were in a critical situation, you could possibly find a faster connection to borrow for a period. Some cloud backup services will ship you a hard drive with your data. Or, it's unlikely you'd need ALL the data right away; start with what you need NOW.

It's all about measured risk.
I think it's a great solution for non techy types. Personally I prefer 𝚉̶𝙵̶𝚂̶ ZoL, cronjobs and shell scripts. The one thing I would recommend, is going through the effort/work of shucking Western Digital Easy Store external drives. They are usually white label WD Reds (rated for NAS storage).

r/Datahoarders get excited when there's a sale but even retail price is lower than Iron Wolf HDDs. Though it does take a little more effort you can end up with full 45 bay SuperMicro JBOD for less than $18/TB

A cheaper alternative to Dropbox is Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite) link your domain with Google Domains (you can stay with your domain provider, you just need to prove to Google its your domain) and for only ~$12/mo you'll have unlimited google drive space (for off-site backup) AND you can use rclone (though you'll have to get used to command line) to backup to Google Drive. The only limitation is that one can only upload a daily max of 750GB (you can stay under this by throttling rclone to 8Mb/s)
Thanks for the tip. I actually originally ordered a bunch of drives to “shuck” (great term for it!) but cancelled and ordered these NAS ones. I’ll keep an eye out for the ones you mention though. Thanks!
I have the same setup with NAS and CCC and I complete it also with a cloud copy and a third copy in regular HD’s. 3 copies in 3 different media.
Well done!
I get that it’s raid 6 but isn’t it using mirroring like raid 1 because it’s making a copy of the data and storing it in a cloud storage?
The copy in the cloud is not considered a RAID 1. It’s just a copy of the media in a remote location. RAID 1 would infer that it’s being written to both locations simultaneously.
X-Raid seems to act like synology shr and shr2
Awesome setup dude! Thanks for the mention 🤙🏽
My pleasure, man! Your video is awesome.
Thanks for the info, I did not know NetGear had a NAS product!!
Great job! Very pro & informative, but still easy to watch. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Bob!
Trying to imagine how 12 drives fit in that 1U chassis.
It's really deep. 33" I think.
You mean you don't a box of hard drives in the basement? 🤔
This video is perfect timing Joesph! I've been trying to figure out how to move all the drives to a central back up. Used to have one at the office but that was 10 years ago and it cost way too much so Ignored it for way to long.
Awesome, glad to hear that I could help!
Thank you for the educational and entertaining video, well done!
Thank you kindly!
Hi Joseph. Solid solution and workflow but I would caution you on one aspect. Folks often make the assumption that the hardware in the chassis never fails and as long as you keep adding larger drives to your raid everything is good. Imagine a few years down the road and you have populated with larger and larger drives and then the motherboard in the NAS fails due to a power surge. At that point it may not be possible to find another identical unit quickly or at all as technology moves along and products get discontinued. A colleague of mine just experienced this very thing. If you can afford a cloud component or an LTO drive you can avoid a major disaster. Thanks for the video.
That’s great advice. Honestly had not considered that. I’d hope by using a company as big as Netgear that there’d be some level of security in that, but you’re totally right. The cloud backup is my key… just gotta get it all up there!!
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