Revisiting Home NAS

By | February 19, 2016

A while ago I blogged about turning an old PC into a NAS server, while it was fine and dandy it worked pretty well, until it refused to boot up again.

So being data safety paranoid person, I went to purchase a NAS off the shelve, lucky PBTech had an incorrect price labelled, and I was able to pick up the Synology S215j for $299 incl GST.

Installation was pretty easy, just insert 2 identical HDDs to form a RAID 1 configuration, then screws in. Setting up the system was a mix bag.

Slow, very slow file transfer

I was trying the “DS Cloud Station” which allows you to have feature like Dropbox, and it will sync the folders to the NAS automatically. Nice idea, but doesn’t work very well with OSX. What I have found is that the file transfer speed was painfully slow. And it appears to me is that, Synology doesn’t know how to handle OSX packaged files properly, let’s say Photos library, in OSX it’s treated as a file when you copy inside the system, but when you sync to the NAS, it copies the inner files individually, therefore it creates a lot of network overhead.

Also in DS Cloud Station, there is a settings to keep versions of the files, and according to the forums it seems it stores 2 versions of the file which in result using more disc space than you thought.

If you run OSX at home, I think backing up via TimeMachine feature from the NAS is your best option.

How about disaster recovery?

I was running headless CrashPlan client in my old NAS, but that Java program uses a lot of RAM. My new NAS only has 512MB so I am not going to run that service on it.

So… what now, what if my house if burgled/fire damanged and all my data is gone? Right now, I am using a 2.5inch HDD to perform regular backup of my TimeMachine on NAS. And leave it in the car. The chance of losing all of the HDDs at once is pretty low.

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