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I'm a photographer and graphic designer, so I have a lot of large files that I need to keep backed up in a RAID. I don't need video streaming or camera feed or features like that, but I do need ultra-reliability and security. Not my choice, but the cable modem (1200Mbps plan), router, and APC Back-UPS for them are located on a closet shelf with hardly any ventilation. Would it be advisable to place the NAS in there with them or do they create a lot of heat?

What NAS housing is recommended, and with what drives? I've looked at WD and Synology, and I am leaning towards this one: Synology 4 bay NAS DiskStation DS920+ (Diskless), 4-bay; 4GB DDR4 and adding m.2 drives for cache acceleration as well as probably 2TB SSDs for storage. Is this setup recommended for my needs? Otherwise, what else would you recommend?

What SSDs are recommended? I know the WD Reds are good, and the Seagate IronWolf NAS also seem good, though some reviews are not too great.

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  • I often see people asking about using RAID for "backing up", which is not what RAID does at all. Usually "backing up" means you want redundant copies of your data in different physical places so that a major failure doesn't delete all of your data. RAID will not save your data from a fire or flood. RAID will not save your data from malware or faulty software corrupting the filesystem. Have you already made a plan for proper backups? RAID has other good reasons to be used, but I haven't seen you mention any of them.
    – Romen
    Sep 26, 2022 at 15:53
  • Hard drives can fail, so having them backed up across multiple drives when you have tens of thousands of dollars worth of irreplaceable files on them is important. That's what the RAID is for. I know some can also back up to secondary units placed in a different physical location, which is also good.
    – CDV
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:06
  • When you mention "lots of files I need backed up" I am making sure you're aware that RAID isn't actually a solution to that problem. There are a number of ways you could lose your data other than drive failure. Fires, power surges, floods, theft, malware, your own mistakes, buggy hardware/software, or even multiple drives failing at the same time. (Drives can and do fail during the RAID rebuild too!) What RAID does provide is better uptime and performance for the storage volume.
    – Romen
    Sep 29, 2022 at 15:25
  • RAID is one solution, actually, and is used routinely for that purpose. While it shouldn't be the only solution, it is the most local and easiest one.
    – CDV
    Oct 2, 2022 at 2:35

2 Answers 2

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As a Synology user i made some good experiences with Synology-NAS. I am using a DS718+ and it's connected over Gigabit-LAN. My suggestion for you is maybe think twice about adding the m.2 acceleration drives. I have standard HDD's (WD RED) in mine and it's always the LAN-Connection which limits my transfer speeds. If you already have Fast SSD's in your NAS the price you pay for the M.2 doesn't really pay off the more performance.

  • I would only place the NAS in the closet shelf if it's not already super warm in there. NAS are usually not super hard heat generators (depends what you're doing with it) but just to make sure.

  • I don't have experience with WD RED SSD's but since WD RED ist rated for NAS-Drives i'm sure you can go with them.

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  • Thank you for your advice! I'm glad you've had a good experience with the Synology NAS. That's interesting about the M.2 drives not being necessary. Thanks for that, 'cause they are not cheap!
    – CDV
    Jul 5, 2021 at 23:01
  • another synology user here, work environment, thumbs up for what he said here
    – ron
    Sep 26, 2022 at 17:59
  • don't buy the cheapest disks from amazon or newegg, reference the synology hard drive approved list... basically any NAS rated style disk is what you want and you will have trouble free operation.
    – ron
    Sep 26, 2022 at 18:01
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https://www.amazon.com/ICY-DOCK-Mobile-Comparable-Tray-less/dp/B01M0BIPYC/ref=asc_df_B01M0BIPYC

icydock https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=332 enter image description here

So if you had an old computer you could put one or more of these inside, and load of many free NAS operating systems like FreeNAS.

You would just need a RAID controller card to connect the device.

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  • That's really cool. I do have an old computer, but its footprint is much larger than the Synology, and I don't think it would fit on the shelf depth (the long-rectangular APC Back-UPS falls over the edge of the shelf), and there's not enough room to put it sideways because of the Back-UPS, modem, and router (the router is the TP-Link AC5400, so a large square instead of an upright skinny like the modem, Netgear Nighthawk Multi-Gig).
    – CDV
    Aug 12, 2021 at 20:40

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