General Advice Please

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General Advice Please

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DS218j
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I retired a Windows Home Server for a DS218j (2 x WD Red 3TB in SHR) a little while back. Having started with a straight copy of data, I've been working through re-organisation, removal of duplicates & general housekeeping while still having the data on WHS. I ended up with 800GB. I then came to Hyper Backup, using the same 2TB USB disk I was using with the WHS. Despite being dog slow, it ran fine for around 10 days then started failing,with no meaningful info. Digging deeper I realised that this was a USB 2 drive so decided to replace it with USB 3. Picked up a used 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Fast, formatted to EXT4 & created a new backup task. This failed almost immediately with the disk being marked as a read only volume. Reformatted & tried again with the same issue. Can't find any resolution to this but I did discover that the Seagate is actually 2 x 2TB disks with an onboard raid 0 controller, so maybe this is confusing the NAS. Disk works fine & passes Seagates diags when formatted as NTFS in Windows. So a few questions before I flail around further:

Is backing up to USB generally reliable? Seems to be many users having issues including with low speed, even on USB 3.

Does compressing the data on the destination drive have a significant impact on transfer speeds?

Does the Windows version of Hyper Backup Explorer read EXT4? If not, how are you supposed to restore in the event of a NAS (not disk) hardware failure?

Why is an integrity check so slow? Backup to the USB 2 disk is running at around 28MB/s. Integrity check is on course for pretty much half that.

Is there any way to get meaningful info on a backup failure?
 
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Is backing up to USB generally reliable? Seems to be many users having issues including with low speed, even on USB 3.

Does compressing the data on the destination drive have a significant impact on transfer speeds?

Does the Windows version of Hyper Backup Explorer read EXT4? If not, how are you supposed to restore in the event of a NAS (not disk) hardware failure?

Why is an integrity check so slow? Backup to the USB 2 disk is running at around 28MB/s. Integrity check is on course for pretty much half that.

Is there any way to get meaningful info on a backup failure?

For me using different USB 3 drives HyperBackup worked flawlessly for the last 4 years I am with Synology.
I used it also to easily transfer data and application data and preferences from my previous DS 116 to a DS 218+.

Speed is good, from memory maybe 2-3 hours for 400 Gb for the initial (full) backup. After that it takes from seconds to minutes (I bring every other usb HDD to home on the weekend and run the backup).
I have split my backup to multiple backup tasks, so that data with different importance to can be copied on different HDDs and on a different schedule.

The EXT4 backup can be read with a Live Linux CD. There are some programs that run on win and read EXT filesystems but have not use them and don't know if they are relaible.

I make HyperBackups to both EXT4 and NTFS usb drives, without problems.

Integity check is somehow slow, but again my split backups help each integrity check to finish faster.

I haven't use compression, but I use encryption as I store my usb HDDs away from my home.
 
but I did discover that the Seagate is actually 2 x 2TB disks with an onboard raid 0 controller, so maybe this is confusing the NAS.
The NAS may be lacking the correct drivers for the RAID controller. Windows could have picked it upautomatically,, but maybe on the NAS it needs to be manually installed. Check the manufacturer website?


Is backing up to USB generally reliable? Seems to be many users having issues including with low speed, even on USB 3.
I've been doing this on 2 NAS's for years without issues.

Does compressing the data on the destination drive have a significant impact on transfer speeds?
Depends on the NAS model, size of data and speed of USB disk. Considering you have a J model, I expect there is significant impact. The impact increases if you are also encrypting your backup data. It all eats CPU power.

Does the Windows version of Hyper Backup Explorer read EXT4?
Should work fine.

Why is an integrity check so slow? Backup to the USB 2 disk is running at around 28MB/s. Integrity check is on course for pretty much half that.
Because I believe this is a far more intensive task. I think it's re-checking and re-validating every data that has been copied. I don't have integrity check enabled by default.

Is there any way to get meaningful info on a backup failure?
What isn't meaningful about the notifications you received?
 
Thanks for the replies, it encouraged me to try again.

When I first connected the 4TB drive to the 218j as NTFS, it wasn't recognised & the only option was to reformat to EXT4. This completed quickly but then failed to backup. Having read some more that Hyper Backup should support NTFS, I long-reformatted the drive in Windows which took several hours. While that was happening, the data integrity check that was on course to take 12 hours suddenly completed in 7. No idea how as when I last checked it was at 60% & still looking to go 12 hours. So I guess the only real way to really check the validity of the backup is to restore it.

So after several hours the 4TB formatted & I connected it to the NAS. Gripe time: why isn't at least one of the USB ports on the front for easy access & why isn't there a retaining hook for the AC adapter? Second time the DC jack has fallen out of the back causing an unsafe power-down while trying to manoeuvre the NAS & USB connectors. If they must be on the back at least give us a little space between them!

So, 4TB drive connected & recognised & I tested it by copying 50GB of data to it. No issues other than still being slow. Not as slow as the USB 2 drive but only managed around 40MB/s, way below what it was doing in Windows. No idea why & there seems to be many threads across many forums complaining of slow USB performance in Synology World.

Created new backup task & off it went, looking encouraging. But shortly after it again failed. When I say about meaningful errors I get this in the log:

1598077922714.png


This is of no use whatsoever & pretty much in the "computer says no" camp. Hyper Backup then reported the drive as offline. I again tried copying data to it in File Station with no issue, so whatever the issue is, it's one of Hyper Backup being unable to talk to the drive while File Station can. This very much points to something wrong with the backup app.

There are no drivers required or available for the 4TB drive, as evidenced by it working just fine in File Station. The Seagate raid controller just presents as a USB 3 interface to the OS.

When the Data Integrity check was running slower than the backup rate, the CPU & RAM where both well below 50%. So while the J is undoubtedly poverty spec, I don't think that's a t the heart of these issues. Although with hindsight I wish I'd gone further up the chain for a bit more processing headroom.

Just one other question, when using multiple USB disks for multiple backups, should they both be usbshare1? I wondered if this might be confusing HB so tried renaming but couldn't, just complained that any other name was reserved or in use.

So for the meantime I've gone back to the 2TB drive which has completed another backup overnight. Next step will be trying to mirror the data to the 4GB with USB Copy & see what happens. But bottom line the moment seems to be that HB just doesn't like talking to it & the error messages give me no clue as to why or how I resolve it. I suppose my only other option is to buy a later single drive USB & hope that works. Really not a fan of trial & error & the best of times, even less so when it's costing me cash!
 
I use single disk USB3 WD Elements drives for HB destinations. These are connected via unpowered USB3 hub to my DS215j's only USB3 port. I've these backup tasks:
  • Local (Synology: Local folder & USB) from DS215j doing a multi-version backup
  • Remote (Synology: Remote NAS device) from DS218+ doing a multi-version backup
  • Remote (File Server: rsync copy) from DS218+ doing a single-version backup
I don't have problems with these and the USB devices don't get disconnected.

The shared folder names have been changed from usbshare1/2/etc to something else per disk/partition and these get remembered by DSM and HB. They seem to be aliases as when SSH'ing they are still /volumeUSB1 etc (from memory).

I used to used a different enclosure when testing stuff and had it connected to the same 8-way power strip as a desk fan. Turn the fan on/off and the USB drive ejected. But all my NAS, drives, Mac, network stuff is now connected to UPS with surge protection and I've not had this since.

The Seagate 2x2TB RAID'ed drive will have to manage the RAID itself and present a standard single volume to the NAS. If it's the same type as I considered then, as a Mac user, I decided I couldn't trust it to be forcing how it wanted work whereas I wanted a big disk that be extracted from the case if I need to. The WD Element drives have been pretty perfect for what I need.

One question: why get a 2x2TB drive and run in RAID 0? A single 4TB drive is simpler: has the same level of risk (one drive dies and the data is gone ... actually may be easier to recover) plus is a standard file system that's not adding RAID.

Gripe time: why isn't at least one of the USB ports on the front for easy access & why isn't there a retaining hook for the AC adapter? Second time the DC jack has fallen out of the back causing an unsafe power-down while trying to manoeuvre the NAS & USB connectors. If they must be on the back at least give us a little space between them!
USB Copy feature places a USB port of the front of those NAS that support it. Personally I prefer to have connections only to the back of the NAS and rarely use the DS218+'s front USB port.

As for securing the power plug... I fully agree with you on this. Having some clasp to either turn the plug under or hold the cable would be a real plus. Electrical tape spanning the NAS edges over the plug being the next best thing. Though after after a few times of pulling the plug you'll get used to placing a finger over it, most times.
 
One question: why get a 2x2TB drive and run in RAID 0?
It wasn't a conscious choice, just that a 4TB came up for sale on another forum I frequent. I had no idea at the time of purchase that is was dual disk until I started researching why I might be having issues. It's designated as "fast" & presumably has the usual benefit of faster writing to a striped array. But I agree that it's potentially another set of hurdles to overcome should the controller fail. I'll sell it on & replace with something standard.

Mine is also protected by UPS, it's just such a PITA having the two USB sockets to tightly configured. What USB hub do you use?
 
I have two hubs that look the same except for colour and brand: silver Lenovo; gun metal RCA [who??]. But no longer on Amazon.

They look like this but with USB 3.0 type A male plug uni USB C Hub with 4-Port USB 3.0, Ultra Slim Data Hub: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

TBH I'm not sure the USB is overly quick with the NAS but it's fast enough for my backup tasks. I run my Video Station/Plex video library from an eSata drive (the DS218+'s expansion port) but it was also fast enough off the USB 3 directly connected ... didn't test with the hub.
 
Just to note: the WD Element disks are powered desktop drives so the unpowered hub doesn't have to power them. My hubs have a stated rating of 900mA for connected devices so reviews of it and similar are moaning that it can't power more than the 1A USB port it's connected to ... well yes, of course it can't.

But I guess that's not a problem here. Otherwise use a powered hub.
 
Update.

Bought another USB disk (WD Elements Portable but still struggling. Summary of findings to date with NTFS:

W10 consistently transfers 25GB of FLAC files to the WD at around 115MB/s.
Copying exactly the same data from NAS to USB through the web interface is less than half that, around 50MB/s.
Backing up exactly the same data with Hyper Backup drops to around 20MB/s.

This is exacerbated in a full backup where there are many small Office & PDF files. Transfer often falls below 100KB/s!

Formatting the WD to EXT4 with write caching improves basic transfer speed to around 60MB/s but this is negated by the poor performance of Hyper Backup. So it seems that on the DS218j at least, the basic USB interface is broken. Hyper Backup just degrades that poor performance further to the point of being all but unusable.

I've wasted far too much time on this already so will look to ditch the Synology for something else. It certainly won't be another Synology...
 

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