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Replacing server with NAS

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by jamoor, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    We currently have a Windows 2012 server for our 5 user office.

    After an incident last year where a power cut corrupted the windows installation, I'm looking to eliminate the server as it's wholly un-necessary. We only use it for file storage as everything else is in the cloud.

    At the moment for backup we use crashplan, this backs up data to the cloud and versioning is included in case the server gets a cryptolocker virus or similar.

    I was thinking to replace the server with a NAS, maybe by QNAP or Synology with 2 or 4 drives in Raid 1 configuration in case of hdd failure. The only thng I am struggling to find is a cloud based backup solution for these drives.
    Synology offer hyper backup and cloud sync, will these have versioning in case the files become corrupted and then backed up? Does anyone have experience of these solutions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,115

    Synology has good integration with BackBlaze B2 cloud storage. Good call on replacing the Windows machine -- supporting Windows pays all my bills, but for file servers, Windows is not the best thing out there, ironically enough.
     
  3. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    After many years of building and configuring Windows Servers, I reached the end of my tether and started a project to eliminate all of our on-site Windows Servers.

    I had already been using Synology NAS solutions for backups and decided to see how far I could take NAS to replace all of our Servers.

    So far I use Synology NAS for the following:-

    File Sharing
    CCTV Live & Recording
    On-site and off-site hyper backups
    WordPress Websites ftp backups
    iSCSI for Windows Virtual Hyper-V Servers (Virtual HDD Storage)

    Currently working on moving the following from our Windows Servers to Synology NAS:-

    Active Directory Server - which has just been released and I'm currently testing
    DHCP Server
    DNS Server
    VPN Server

    Eventually I hope to be left with a single Remote Desktop Windows Server that will be used for running Sage Accounts and I hope to move this to Azure in the next couple of years when our Server hardware needs to be replaced or if Sage create a package to run their software on a Synology NAS, I will move that over as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  4. Steveocee

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 5, 2011

    Posts: 4,425

    Location: Derbyshire

    Is moving the storage into the cloud not an option if everything else is?
     
  5. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    No, I want to retain our files onsite in case of internet failure or transferring large files around the network.
     
  6. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    Do
    Do you have any information about backup versioning? I don't want to sync, rather a daily backup with versioning facilities.
     
  7. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    Just use Synology Hyper Backup Vault to a local or remote NAS - this allows up to 65535 versions of each data file.

    Its very easy to setup and there is lots of info on Synology's website.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  8. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    The thing I wonder then is what if that synology machine gets stolen or stops working after the data has been damaged say after a cyrptolocker or similar.

    Can I restore the data to a previous version without a synology or do I need a machine running synology os?

    With my current crash plan running on windows I can just install it on any Windows machine and get right back to business.

    Can
    I
     
  9. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    You can do it either with a Synology NAS or without, I also take secondary backup images using Macrium Reflect backup software on a rotational basis which protects against fire and theft or attack by a CryptoLocker worm.
     
  10. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    How do you restore without a synology? I've run a backup to a dropbox account to test using Hyper backup, the files are just a bunch of synology data files, how can I turn these into usable data?
     
  11. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,115

  12. neil_g

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 9, 2007

    Posts: 9,860

    Location: South Hampshire

    If the server broke after a power cut then a ups would be a solution.

    Chances are a power cut with a nas will be just as bad.
     
  13. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    All my Synology NAS devices are powered via a UPS - the Master NAS tells all the other NAS devices to shutdown when the UPS power gets to a alarm point, then it powers itself down.

    NAS devices seem to be more resilient to a power cut than a Server, I have done this several times as a test with a NAS and had no problems starting it back or had any data loss.
     
  14. neil_g

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 9, 2007

    Posts: 9,860

    Location: South Hampshire

    You'd be playing with fire dropping the power from any spinning disk. One device is certainly no more resilient than another its just lucky if you got away with it.

    My point was that the op is wrong to blame windows for the lack of ups.
     
  15. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    That is true, but one of the benefits of a Synology NAS is that the DSM O/S is stored in flash memory and not on the disks, they can still boot even if the disks are removed.
     
  16. Quartz

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 7,266

    Location: Aberdeen

    Rather than dropping Windows Server entirely, how about changing the version to Windows Server Essentials? This will have the advantage that client desktops get backed up automatically (and can be restored from a bootable ISO). You can also install Windows Server Update Services which will cut your bandwidth requirements.
     
  17. neil_g

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 9, 2007

    Posts: 9,860

    Location: South Hampshire

    Fairly irrelevant if the nas os is there but the data on the disks are trashed which again is my point.

    UPS for any 24/7 storage machine/appliance. And if necessary snapshot/image the OS.
     
  18. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 651

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

    Again I agree with you, always use a UPS and have image backups of OS - all I'm trying to say is that having seen Windows Servers fail over the last twenty years, I have never had this issue with a Synology NAS in the last seven years that I have used them, have had a couple of RAID disks fail but a quick hot swap sorted that, but have never suffered any data loss, which is also backed up by several different methods on-site and off-site - our leased line does help with this as some of our data files are very large.
     
  19. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,115

    The only thing in flash on a Synology is the boot loader. The OS is stored on the disks, so if you remove all the disks, you lose the OS and you lose all the configuration. No different from Windows in that respect.
     
  20. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,097

    ^ it also means you can upgrade the NAS just by moving the disks across to a new box