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Need help on HTPC/NAS/RAID server

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arnprasad

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Hi,

I am no techie but got a desktop assembled at SP Road couple of years back and have plugged it to my home theater set up. Extremely happy with it since a big chunk of my media is on my desktop apart from tata sky HD+.

I also have an external hard drive...and I use that drive to back up both my desktop and my office laptop. However I do not do this frequently with the risk of losing recent data.

I recently came across this WD EX hard drive which for around 430 dollars has 8 TB of data and it does two things I currently dont do. In Raid configuration, it gives two 4 TB auto backed up drives plus it also works as NAS which I understand practically means I can access files on that drive from internet.

Amazon.com: WD My Cloud EX2 8 TB: Pre-configured Network Attached Storage featuring WD Red Drives: Computers & Accessories

Amazon.com: WD My Book Duo 8TB dual-drive, high-speed premium RAID storage: Computers & Accessories

http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Mirror-2-bay-Personal-Storage/dp/B00ITI054G/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1431581006&sr=1-2&keywords=WD+8+TB



While I am happy to spend either 350 dollars on my cloud back up or 450 on EX - both 8 TB, I am wondering whether I can add another 2 TB internal hard drive to my desk top and install some software that will automatically back up my existing hard drive?....similar to what the above WD does? also will any other software enable my desktop to become NAS server - only intention being that i can access my data from internet?

Please advice...

also what other smart things can I do with my desktop..apart from just playing files onto my home theater? never got my head around streaming
 
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GeorgeO

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Prasad

Just to shed some light on my experience. At home I have a desktop, a laptop and two Synology NAS devices. The NAS devices are an audio server with 3TB and a video server with 16TB storage. They are both used for streaming content, whereas the computers are used for jobs that computers do. The NAS has a small footprint, doesn't cost much and is headless( no screen), you browse into it to perform various tasks.

I would guess that if you have a lot of data then having a NAS makes more sense than if you don't. I do know though that having invested in a NAS about 6-7 years ago, I am a firm believer in them!

Hope this helps.
 

arnprasad

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Thanks George,

While I am extremely enthusiastic about gadgets, in reality I hardly get time to use them. Hence while I have no issues spending on a NAS server, the primary use for me is for backup purposes rather than for streaming:)

Hence I was wondering whether I should just add another drive and use a software to automatically back data like the two drives in WD RAID 1 configuration.

Thanks again for replying to my earlier post. Thx
 

GeorgeO

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If it is primarily for back up purposes then IMHO the external disk will do the job, if you are not into double digit TBs of content. I have over 30 TB of capacity and most of my disks are full of content, so without a NAS I would be lost. Let's meet up/talk sometime ( replied to your PM) and share.
 

jsmithe

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Hence I was wondering whether I should just add another drive and use a software to automatically back data like the two drives in WD RAID 1 configuration.
The backup media should ideally be located on a different device than the device being backed up since if something happens to damage your primary device and your backup medium is also on the same device it is quite likely to go toast along with it. Also, keep in mind that RAID is not backup.

That said, if you want a simple mirror image of whatever is on your primary disk drive you can just add an additional hard disk and setup software RAID 1 (might need a re-install) or go with hardware RAID 1 which could need a RAID controller to be installed on the computer if the computer mainboard does not have onboard RAID (which usually is fake RAID).

The other alternative is to not do RAID, but add an additional HDD and use software to auto-backup from the primary HDD to the secondary HDD.

Exposing your computer for access from the Internet is possible via software, but you have to be aware that anyone out on the Internet breaking through that software will have complete access to the contents of your PC if that software turns out to have an unpatched bug or a feature that allows it to be broken.

A NAS unit will ensure your data backup is on a separate device and will also not require you to mess around with your primary computer to implement RAID, but it's yet another device.
 
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