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NAS How To

Introduction

The NETGEAR ReadyNAS NV+ that I have been using as my main NAS has started acting flaky lately. It has more than once made my heart skip a beat when it emailed to report that its RAID 1 volume was "destroyed". Fortunately, it was somehow confused, because I found the volume intact when I logged in and checked.

But after a few of those alerts and finding errors when I performed a boot time volume scan (despite no indication of disk problems via SMART), I decided it was time to look into replacing the ol' girl. (In the meantime, I also took a guess and replaced Drive 2, so we'll see if I guessed correctly.)

Since Smart SOHOs Don't Do RAID, I have advocated a pair of single-drive NASes as a robust and cost-effective storage strategy. The single drives remove the potential complication of RAID and the separate hardware allows primary and backup storage to be both electronically and physically separate. As long as the two NASes you choose have compatible NAS-to-NAS backup features, you'll be able to set up completely automatic backup to keep your data nice and safe.

Right now, this approach is applicable if your storage needs can live within the formatted capacity of a single 2 TB drive, or perhaps 4 TB if you're willing to use a dual-drive NAS configured in JBOD or two 2 TB volumes. Since my storage needs don't even crack the 100 GB barrier and are unlikely to do so anytime soon, single drive solutions work just fine for me.

This series will bring you along on my journey to find a replacement storage system to replace the ReadyNAS NV+ / (original model) Buffalo LinkStation pairing that I currently use. As I noted in Backing Up Your NAS: Harder Than It Should Be, the process isn't quite as simple as it should be. But where that article just touched on some of the barriers to success, this series will provide more detail on the problems that I encountered and the solutions that I found. So, to kick things off, let's look at how I fared with my first candidate—Synology's DS109+.

Moving Data Off The NV+

The good news is that ReadyNASes are the most flexible NASes when it comes to networked backup, supporting bi-directional backup via SMB/CIFS (any networked share), HTTP, FTP, NFS and rsync!

Figure 1 shows a screenshot from the NV+ backup job wizard that details the options. The NV+ has also been great as a backup NAS because it is one of the few products that will back up more than once a day (4, 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours, to be precise).

NETGEAR ReadyNAS Backup options
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: NETGEAR ReadyNAS Backup options

My first step was to get the data moved from the NV+ to the new primary NAS. While I could have just mounted the shares on both NASes on a networked machine and done a drag-and-drop copy between the two, I figured I might as well see if I could get the NASes to handle the job between them.

Of the networked backup options that the NV+ supports, rsync seems to be the most widely-supported non-proprietary option. As luck would have it, I still had the Synology DS109 and 109+ from their recent review. Since Synology NASes support networked backups via "Synology server" and "rsync-compatible" server options, it looked like I had a shot. I chose the 109+ because it's a bit faster than the 109.

I asked Synology what the difference was between the "Synology server" and "rsync-compatible" server options. They replied that the "Synology server" option is just rsync with easier setup—choosing the server and entering the password.

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