How to implement my backup goals?

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How to implement my backup goals?

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Operating system
  1. macOS
  2. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. Android
  2. iOS
Hello!

I am new here, hope you don't mind my ignorance!!
I am looking for some detailed steps/instructions to implement and achieve my data backup goals for a personal/home based setting.
  1. I Have quite a few kinds of devices in my home. couple of windows laptops, couple of iPads, couple of iPhones, an android phone, may be a macbook pro in the future.
  2. I don't find it practical to connect separate USB external hard disks to each of these devices to back them up. So, what i am thinking to achieve instead is - if all of these devices can connect to a NAS, use one big drive say 6/8 TB and create individual folders to create separate backups of each of the devices, that is the ideal solution i am looking for.
  3. I am planning to use this NAS device just for backing up my multiple devices in one place. I am not looking for active file sharing among the different devices.
  4. Also create a backup of the 6/8 TB NAS drive to an external USB disk.
  5. Looking for using a free/open source backup software to achieve my goals above. I tend to lean on to veeam software.
  6. Want to know how i can isolate the NAS and prevent ransomware attacks
  7. Which NAS should I buy
These are my goals for now. Kindly provide me with any resources or instructions such that i achieve my goals above.
 
Not sure your ideas match with a NAS setup as these can do so much more than storing backup files.
The full strength of a NAS is while using it for centralized data storage (documents, music, photo, video etc).
For mobile devices this is less obvious and many people would just store the backup for iPhone/ ipad in icloud.
Using the nas to backup your ipad and iphone photo’s: photo backup is ok, but for the other backups from mobile devices, a nas may not that suitable. Amongst others, Icloud, hidrive and idrive have better cloud based storage tools for mobile (setup and forget).
If the laptops are traveling, the O365 may be more useful. If not, storing all data on mapped folders is the way to go. A RAID setup may help you with up time and the Syno backup software will help you here as well.
Active backup for business will pull the data from your devices, hyper backup pushes data to devices or cloud.
Advice on what to buy can be given once your requirements are clear ( number of disks, redundancy requirements, etc)
 
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Welcome @alphaXplorer to the forum and the world of NAS.

While all you want can be achieved, it might not be exactly configured as you imagine it. Still, some compromises might work for you so here are certain suggestions.

Starting with the device you would get. As already said, you haven't mentioned your potential budget, so let's assume the lowest possible option. Considering the backup is the only task that you want this device to do, all Syno models can do exactly that. However, depending on the way some of these tasks will be executed, certain DSM packages (apps if you will) might not be supported on certain models, so that needs to be said.

The recommended model with two 6 or 8-TB drives that I would recommend would be the DS224+. The "plus" model because of certain packages that are only supported on those models, and 224 because it is a dual bay model that was released this year (so fresh update on that class of devices).

  1. I Have quite a few kinds of devices in my home. couple of windows laptops, couple of iPads, couple of iPhones, an android phone, may be a macbook pro in the future.
  2. I don't find it practical to connect separate USB external hard disks to each of these devices to back them up. So, what i am thinking to achieve instead is - if all of these devices can connect to a NAS, use one big drive say 6/8 TB and create individual folders to create separate backups of each of the devices, that is the ideal solution i am looking for.
Right there you have a case of mixed environment with various models. Focusing on the mobile devices (iOS or Android) you have to be aware that there is no mobile app on the Synology side that can backup the entire device as is. If we are talking about photos and videos, then you want to look at the Synology Photos app. It allows for backup directly from the device onto the NAS but inside a personal user folder (DSM account). So each mobile device that is using the same DSM account will back up into the same destination. That destination is a predefined user folder on the NAS folder structure that can't be changed, and it is geared towards potential sharing if needed. Each account is sandboxed and the content can't be accessed unless an admin-class account is used. In other words, the user-class account can't see the other user-class account content.

If you want to backup those mobile devices as a whole you will have to use some other client-side platform like iMazing for example and have the backup stored on the NAS.

Moving into the Windows/macOS devices there are several options there. Again, depending on what and how you want your backups executed you can use a) Synology Drive or b) Active Backup for Business. Both packages allow for data backup but Drive will do it per folder/file level, while ABB will do a full computer backup (OS and data) with no exceptions. You can ofc use both in combination to achieve backup and recovery options for individual files using Drive and the whole machine using ABB (ABB will also allow for archive backup browsing, so you can extract individual files that way as well).

Synology Drive will also on top of its backup functionality allow for a sync job to be created on either your mobile or desktop device to give you that "Dropbox-like" experience.

Also create a backup of the 6/8 TB NAS drive to an external USB disk.
A very good practice indeed, as having a backup of your backup will allow you that extra layer of protection in case your NAS fails on multiple levels. With a two-bay model you can have two drives inside in a mirror configuration that will allow for one of those to fail and still all data will be preserved. Ofc that also means that you are working with half of the raw storage of those two drives. Still, redundancy of that kind is not a backup, so having a separate drive that will execute that backup is welcome. For this task, you can use the Hyper Backup package as it was also already mentioned. That package is designed to back up your NAS content to other sources like a USB drive, another NAS, or certain cloud destinations.

Looking for using a free/open source backup software to achieve my goals above. I tend to lean on to veeam software.
While all the packages on the NAS are free as part of the appliance that you have purchased, you are ofc welcome to use any 3rd party software that can use the NAS as its target.

Want to know how i can isolate the NAS and prevent ransomware attacks
The data that lives on your NAS can be protected in several ways to prevent ransomware attacks. One would be to use what you already plan, and that is an external drive for backup. Using Hyper Backup you can configure versions with backup tasks that will allow for extra protection. Keep in mind that HB backup archives can also be damaged so taking care of the backups on that external drive will be also something to think about. On top of that, you can ofc do a secondary backup on another external drive or cloud to distance the backup data from your NAS in case of a ransomware attack. Another way to help and protect your content in that scenario is to use the Snapshot Replication package that can do both local and remote snapshots. While snapshots are not backups, they will allow for your content to be protected in case of an actual attack because all existing snaps are read-only. So even if ransomware is to land and encrypt your data, the snaps will not be changed and you can restore the content from any point in time snap. Ofc if the data is encrypted and no snaps are accessible, and that data then is part of your HB backup, using versions, you will be able to restore the non-encrypted version that way.

So as already said, almost 99% of the devices utilize all packages mentioned here, but certain models (non-plus ones) can't. For a full list of supported models and packages, it would be best to consult the following page: Packages | Synology Inc.

Also, if you are considering getting a NAS, be sure to check the compatibility page when HDD/SSDs are in question. Synology has started to shift towards a pure appliance methodology so using 3rd party ones might not be an option if you don't want to lose the right to support and have warranty issues. Check Compatibility List | Synology Inc. for more details. Stick to the list and you will be fine.
 
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