First NAS - newbie - specific requirements - long post!

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First NAS - newbie - specific requirements - long post!

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This will be my first step into NAS land!

TLDR: replace 3 purpose-use external hard drives, dropbox, adobe access, and daily backups.

I have a few MUSTS and a few WANTS, cost conscious (but also saving by removing some existing services)

MUSTS
- must replace dropbox - I pay for it, want to have my own cloud storage that I can access ANYTIME and from mobile iOS
<not necessary to be shareable - I will migrate to a free dropbox account that I can move files to if I need to share>
<not necessary to have files that can be worked on simultaneously like Onedrive>
- must be accessible by windows10, mac OS, ios at any time
- must be able to store my Adobe Lightroom photos and be accessible real time to edit
- must replace my USB external HDD that I use to offload less used files, but may need to access (and search) sometimes
- must be a source for backups of my (2) macbooks [time machine] & (2) lenovo desktops [backblaze]
<2 computers are daily use, 2 computers are weekly use>
- must have a way to backup the entire NAS as well - open to cloud [backblaze] or hardline with offsite storage

WANTS
- would be nice to store video files that I MIGHT edit in the future with Adobe Premiere.
- would be nice to move my G-suite email to a mail server. I pay for 4 email accounts, $5 each/month
- would like to move files from external HDDs using a cable, rather than wireless (for speed - want to do it quickly)

DON'T NEED
- don't care for streaming video or audio. I pay for Netflix/HBO/Hulu/Disney/Spotify/Prime ... Yeah - that's $770 a year / If there is a legal way for me have the same content, ease of access, for less - I'm open to hear it (as a subtext, let's not get sidetracked from the primary goals above)
- don't need to share photos, or consolidate photos from devices... my workflow is: take pictures on DSLR + iphone, move to macbook, move to Lightroom --> currently this process is annoying and mostly iphone not DSLR, so an easier method would be welcome, not required.
- don't need virtual machines
- don't need security camera storage/access BUT I do have 2 nest cams, that I would be OK to migrate if possible (I pay $100 a year to store 5 days of data - If I can keep same cams, great, if I have to pay to replace - must cost $200 max including additions to NAS HDD cost for more space)

costs: I currently pay for 2 backblaze backups and 1 dropbox pro account - this costs me $240 a year -- I probably buy 3 new external harddrives to replace my drives every 3-5 years, this amortized costs me $80 / year... TOTAL cost: $320 a year
a NAS should cover my MUSTS and the cost to buy the NAS, pay for backups, and replace NAS drives every 3(?) years, for the same, or lower cost --- ie. NAS + NAS drives + cloud backup = ~$960 w/ 3 years backup w/ drive replacement costing ~$240 every 3 years.

I tried to be thorough!!!
Your thoughts are appreciated.

Melvyn
 

Rusty

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This will be my first step into NAS land!
Welcome to the world of NAS and welcome to the forum.

We are sure you will find a lot of useful info and help here, so do not hesitate to search the forum as well as the Resource section.

MUSTS
- must replace dropbox - I pay for it, want to have my own cloud storage that I can access ANYTIME and from mobile iOS
<not necessary to be shareable - I will migrate to a free dropbox account that I can move files to if I need to share>
<not necessary to have files that can be worked on simultaneously like Onedrive>
- must be accessible by windows10, mac OS, ios at any time
- must be able to store my Adobe Lightroom photos and be accessible real time to edit
- must replace my USB external HDD that I use to offload less used files, but may need to access (and search) sometimes
- must be a source for backups of my (2) macbooks [time machine] & (2) lenovo desktops [backblaze]
<2 computers are daily use, 2 computers are weekly use>
- must have a way to backup the entire NAS as well - open to cloud [backblaze] or hardline with offsite storage
In short, all of these requirements can be met with any '+' model NAS. The only thing you need to look out for is this:

must be able to store my Adobe Lightroom photos and be accessible real time to edit
Guess you mean real-time edit off the NAS? If so, then post back a bit on your file size and operations. There are some users here that might give some insight into that. In some cases, a gigabit LAN might be a choke point or the HDDs themselves. So you might be looking into some high-end DS models to make this happen (potential 10G LAN speeds etc), but as I said, post back a bit more on this specific requirement.

would be nice to store video files that I MIGHT edit in the future with Adobe Premiere.
Same as above

would be nice to move my G-suite email to a mail server. I pay for 4 email accounts, $5 each/month
There is a MailPlus package that offers 5 emails for free (anything more than that will require additional licenses). We have experienced users here with this solution.

would like to move files from external HDDs using a cable, rather than wireless (for speed - want to do it quickly)
There are USB3 and eSATA ports on the NAS devices that will allow for faster, wired transfers

- don't care for streaming video or audio. I pay for Netflix/HBO/Hulu/Disney/Spotify/Prime ... Yeah - that's $770 a year / If there is a legal way for me have the same content, ease of access, for less - I'm open to hear it (as a subtext, let's not get sidetracked from the primary goals above)
- don't need to share photos, or consolidate photos from devices... my workflow is: take pictures on DSLR + iphone, move to macbook, move to Lightroom --> currently this process is annoying and mostly iphone not DSLR, so an easier method would be welcome, not required.
- don't need virtual machines
Almost all '+' models from the high range can do all of this, even though you don't need these options, but its good to know that you have these options open.

don't need security camera storage/access BUT I do have 2 nest cams, that I would be OK to migrate if possible
These cameras are supported and, again, + models do support 2 cameras with Synology Surveillance Station software (more cameras will require more licenses, about 50$/lic)

So keep in mind the model you will need as well as drives regarding your MUST task.
 

fredbert

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@melvyn as others have said, you should be able to get a Synology NAS that will address your hardware needs. Moving from Mac/PC USB3 direct connection speed to a network speed will be one of the main considerations that will drive which NAS is right for you. But also consider the Mac/PC interface speed/type and the LAN switch.

The Synology packages that you can install should meet the software needs too. Look at Synology Drive and Cloud Sync packages for having an integrated cloud storage solution: you can use Cloud Sync to to maintain Dropbox, etc., content on the NAS, such as in your Drive folder.

NAS as a Time Machine destination for Mac; Synology's Active Backup for Business to backup Windows. There are third party solutions too, and someone can explain these better than me esp. Windows. But, for macOS, I would recommend that using something like CCC or SuperDuper! to maintain a bootable clone on USB3 drive (direct connected to Mac) as this has been an invaluable insurance policy for me.

Backing up the NAS itself can be achieved using Hyper Backup.

Have a look at these packages and see how they fit.
 
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Last edited:
Thank you Rusty, this is great information! looking forward to learning more in the community.
In short, all of these requirements can be met with any '+' model NAS. The only thing you need to look out for is this:
Great, now I know to focus on the + models

Answers:

I don't have a wired LAN at home, it's all wireless. The NAS will sit next to the router. It's a Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 I think

Guess you mean real-time edit off the NAS? If so, then post back a bit on your file size and operations. There are some users here that might give some insight into that. In some cases, a gigabit LAN might be a choke point or the HDDs themselves.
I shoot raw or jpeg on my canon at 20mpixel. Then I move them to my macbook en masse and import them into lightroom which moves them to the folder on my external HDD that holds all my pictures. LIghtroom makes a thumbnail of all these new images. Using lightroom I delete any "junk", then tag, organize, review photos I want to edit. When it's time to edit, I use lightroom to make adjustments to the image (when in raw, lightroom makes an extra file with the details of the edits). If I want to do anything else with it, I may move to working in photoshop and generate a new .PSD file that will reside outside of the lightroom file structure/universe. Files are usually between 5-20 MB in size.

Photo editing is NOT my day job, it's a hobby - so this isn't a mission critical speed issue BUT it does need to "work". If I have to wait a second while files are ready to edit, that's fine. I'm also rarely tackling more than 10 images in a session.

There is a MailPlus package that offers 5 emails for free (anything more than that will require additional licenses). We have experienced users here with this solution.
Great! this will definitely shave some monthly fees that can go toward the NAS drives

These cameras are supported and, again, + models do support 2 cameras with Synology Surveillance Station software (more cameras will require more licenses, about 50$/lic)
Perfect, two is all I need: one at home one at work. this will also shave some fees.
-- post merged: --

TLDW: DS920+
Thanks Telos.
I was looking at 420+ vs 720+ / now you've got me looking at 720+ vs 920+
is it the extra 2 bays in the 920+ that you think I need? and what's the drawback on the 420+?
-- post merged: --

Hi @fredbert, thank you for your notes,

Moving from Mac/PC USB3 direct connection speed to a network speed will be one of the main considerations that will drive which NAS is right for you. But also consider the Mac/PC interface speed/type and the LAN switch.
interface is wireless for now (the infrequent used Lenovo is wired, other Lenovo and macbooks are not) - Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

NAS as a Time Machine destination for Mac; Synology's Active Backup for Business to backup Windows. There are third party solutions too, and someone can explain these better than me esp. Windows. But, for macOS, I would recommend that using something like CCC or SuperDuper! to maintain a bootable clone on USB3 drive (direct connected to Mac) as this has been an invaluable insurance policy for me.
To clarify, the NAS CAN BE a time machine destination?
Will look at Active Backup for Business on Windows machine.
I do use CCC to clone all my external HDDs to a larger HDD that also holds my Time Machine - but haven't used it to clone my Macbook...
Once I move all the external HDD to NAS, maybe I can use one as a CCC cloner for the Macbook.
Backing up the NAS itself can be achieved using Hyper Backup.
I see Hyper Backup is a Synology product, is it free as part of the NAS licenses? if not whats the cost - I can't see that at Hyper Backup | Synology Inc.
Would you recommend this over Backblaze?

Thanks again
 

Telos

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I was looking at 420+ vs 720+ / now you've got me looking at 720+ vs 920+
is it the extra 2 bays in the 920+ that you think I need? and what's the drawback on the 420+?
I view this through my personal preferences, but seeing your list above, I would strongly suggest a 4-bay minimum.

That said... 420+ vs 920+, the 920+ offers increased RAM, a somewhat hardier processor, and an eSATA port, enabling you to add an expansion unit. For video streaming, the 920+ is superior for transcoding. Many misjudge their transcoding needs only to be dissatisfied when they realize its importance to their overall streaming experience. Cost wise, the 920+ is $40 USD greater... not a huge sum. I would go with the 920+.
 

fredbert

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To clarify, the NAS CAN BE a time machine destination?

My current setup to use Time Machine over AFP, though SMB is support too (or both).
1611772288067.png


I see Hyper Backup is a Synology product, is it free as part of the NAS licenses?
Yes, as in 🍺

Packages that cost or charge for extra licences (just Synology ones):
  • exFAT Access ($3.99) if you want to use this format on external drives.
  • MailPlus Server / MailPlus user licence: 5 free and then packs of 5 and 20 available for $$$$$
    • Use Mail Server / Mail Station for free if you don't mind the less flashy RoundCube webmail component.
  • Surveillance Station camera licence: 2 free and then extra available for $$$$$$
  • SRM routers have VPN Plus and they have additional licences for additional VPN types: 1 free extra cost $9.99 each but currently free during Covid lockdown. Also IPsec VPN server licence normally costs $9.99 but also free at the mo.
  • Synology C2 Backup for cloud storage of backed up NAS data and configurations. Starts from $9.99 per year for 100GB of non-deduplicated data but with 30 days of daily versions.

Would you recommend this over Backblaze?
Hyper Backup is the package and you can select from the below destinations.

1611773181591.png

1611773200642.png


As for using HB with Backblaze...
 

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