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Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - Printable Version

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Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - stoppingdown - 01-20-2021

Hi gents.

It's high time I get myself again equipped with a NAS backup. My fifteen-years old Lacie Big 5 still works, but de facto has not been operative for years due to obsolescence (in particular for what concerns speed, which makes impossible even incremental backups).

Short story... yes, I've just suffered catastrophic failure of my MacBook Pro. No, I didn't lose data, not even a bit. But my current backup solution (based on 2x SSDs and 2x HDDs directly attached to the laptop) proved to lack something in case I need to quickly restore data to my recovery laptop, which is based on Linux (once upon a time I used to have a macOS recovery laptop, but it has become too an expensive approach). The problem is the interoperability of file systems, which would be fixed with a remote storage. I knew that and I was studying about that, but the problem came before I got a solution. End of the short story.

When the old Lacie was my only backup, RAID was important. Now it might be not, as I have another kind of redundance. So I'd like to start with a solution that would allow to start easy and then eventually scale. I figured out that a RAID capable enclosure attached to a Raspberry PI would do.

So now the problem is to find a good and **reliable** RAID enclosure, as I don't know this world. I found this that would perfectly fit my needs:

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B003Q72F52/?coliid=IP3GPBULD3SYS&colid=9UFC5MTNO627&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Buy I don't know the manufacturer. Do you know whether it makes reliable products? Other suggestions?

Thanks.


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - wim - 01-20-2021

A NAS is not necessarily a good option for doing restores fast, actually, unless you have a cacheing setup as well. The latter tends to be expensive, as these often work with an internal card and several NVMe devices. It all depends a bit on your needs, I guess.

As to the one you referred to, for what it is it appears to be very cheap, and therefore potentially an option you could try out regardless.
Fantec generally gets 4 out of 5 stars from a review PoV, basically because it works. Support is not optimal, and neither are the manuals, apparently.
The power supply unit appears to be one of the critical parts of these NASes. No idea how often failure happens, but normally within the warranty period as far as I can see.

Generally speaking, you do get what you pay for, however, you need to keep that into account.
If I would get a NAS-type device myself, I would very likely go for QNAP - they are outperforming Synology these days, and are generally speaking very good and relatively affordable, although more expensive than the Fantec devices, of course. 4-bay QNAP devices start at around 260 to 270 euros, over here, in the Netherlands.

As to RAID: IMO it is always important: I had it happen to me that I could only retrieve parts of a back-up from the third back-up I had available. In principle, with RAID, you make this just a bit more reliable and easier.
Do note that my own set-up currently is a double, decoupled back-up of my SSD bootdisk (image), RAID for all of my other drives, another RAID backup for all of my drives, an additonal backup, non-RAID, all of these linked to my workstation, and a few additional, decoupled individual backups for different types of work I do. That is currently a total of 37 TB in my workstation, another 12 TB SSDs externally, and 20 or so TB in spinning media, just in case Smile.

I really only work with SSDs nowadays, because they are way more reliable than spinning media, as I have experienced regularly, BTW. They also consume much less energy, so are friendlier to the environment as well Wink.

HTH, kind regards, Wim


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - toni-a - 01-20-2021

I still prefer two backups in separate locations
I don't use RAID
my solution backup everything on a LAN HDD I opted for WD my cloud home
https://shop.westerndigital.com/products/cloud-storage/wd-my-cloud-home#WDBVXC0020HWT-NESN
another copy on a separate HDD, here anything would work
if you insist on RAID I woud suggest LACIE portable rugged raid pro
https://www.lacie.com/gb/en/products/rugged/ it has so many advantages and I wouldn't worry about future proofing, who cares for 500GB hard drives now or for USB1 now ?


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - stoppingdown - 01-20-2021

Thanks for the hints. Looking at QNAP, this product looks interesting:

https://www.qnap.com/en/product/tr-004

It's more expensive than Fantect, but still a low figure.


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - wim - 01-21-2021

(01-20-2021, 06:01 PM)stoppingdown Wrote: Thanks for the hints. Looking at QNAP, this product looks interesting:

https://www.qnap.com/en/product/tr-004

It's more expensive than Fantect, but still a low figure.
This is more a direct storage type of attachment rather than a NAS. However, I'd certainly recommend QNAP over Fantec, no doubt at all.

If you want NAS-type of faciltities above storage attachment alone, you may want to consider the TS-431K: https://www.qnap.com/en/product/ts-431k/specs/hardware

That is the one I really was referring to above, and it goes for € 269 here currently. The TR-004 goes for € 251 over here. BTW, store prices, with stores that have shipping facilities. Amazone may be cheaper, no idea.
There also is a black version with more functionality (includes a 10 GBe port, f.e., and can be extended with more DRAM if necessary) , the TS-431KX, but that is going for € 351 currently.
There are actually quite a few models in the 431 series, all offering slightly different functionality. All in the same format, except for the rack-version, which also happens to be the most expensive version by far.

I guess it is a matter of budget vs required functionality in the end.

HTH, warm regards, Wim


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - stoppingdown - 01-21-2021

Actually I need a DAS and I will make a NAS by attaching it to the Raspberry.


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - Brightcolours - 01-21-2021

Why RAID? Do you plan to buy enough spare compatible disks to replace those that fail in the RAID to keep it healthy? Or are there RAID solutions now that do not really care what kind of disk you use (size and type wise) to replace a failed drive?
Or what if in a few years the controller fails.. Who will rescue the raid disks?


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - wim - 01-21-2021

Ah, ok. Sounds good!

Kind regards, Wim

(01-21-2021, 03:41 PM)stoppingdown Wrote: Actually I need a DAS and I will make a NAS by attaching it to the Raspberry.

(01-21-2021, 06:03 PM)Brightcolours Wrote: Why RAID? Do you plan to buy enough spare compatible disks to replace those that fail in the RAID to keep it healthy? Or are there RAID solutions now that do not really care what kind of disk you use (size and type wise) to  replace a failed drive?
Or what if in a few years the controller fails.. Who will rescue the raid disks?

RAID is absolutely worth it. There is a reason why it is used so often in datacenters.

Whether you can mix and match drives, actually depends on the raid controller, and with pro motherboards that has become a standard anyway over the past 5 years or so. With RAID you do not have to use the same drives, but if you do, you are limited to the specifications of the smallest drive, generally speaking.
If you do use a variety of drives, you do need to mix and match with the same type of drive, however, as spinning drives and SSDs combined in a single RAID will obviously slow down the RAID to the slowest drive in the setup.

Personally, I use sets of 4 of the same drives for each individual RAID setup.
Additonal spare drives are used for backup, in a traditional round robin setup, so in case of emergency any of those can normally be used. Spare drives you buy ideally at the same time as for your drive array.
And good data management is of the utmost of course. If drives are no longer availabel for replacement, it means you need to create a back-up on another RAID asap, or make sure your backup is fiully working, and create a RAID from your backup.

BTW, even for my website I have two separate RAIDs, and two different, complete backup mechanisms. Overkill is always better when it comes to important data.

Kind regards, Wim


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - MatjazO - 01-23-2021

May I ask to elaborate on what is “wrong” with Sinology? Reading through reviews, it seem to be on top of most lists.

Limited experience I have is with WD’s MyCloud which was extremely unreliable while running on it’s own software. Better is with third party on mac lately. I still need to move it away from my house to become a real second backup. And I do consider to step in some time up with more reliably NAS. Top of my list would be reliability with backup.


RE: Suggestion for a reliable RAID 4x enclosure (Fantec?) - mst - 01-23-2021

I was wondering, too. I have a Synology NAS to store all the review data. It's been absolutely reliable so far.

However, it's a NAS, not DAS. But if you plan to attach a DAS to a Pi, why not go directly the NAS route?

Personally, I also would always prefer any kind of RAID setup over a single drive. It's RAID 1 here in the NAS, plus an additional copy at a different (physical) location.

For Time Machine Backups, however, a NAS is not a good choice, IMO. Even a fast NAS on a fast network will always be a lot slower than DAS.