Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.



Windows 7: Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?

17 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?

Hello forum members,

I am just debating whether I should buy a NAS RAID Enclosure or just a regular RAID Hard Drive Enclosure.

For the NAS, I was looking at the Synology DS412+ ($600) or the DS1513+ ($800) or the Drobo 5N ($500).
For the regular RAID Enclosures, I was looking at the Drobo 5D ($600) or the Mediasonic ProRaid ($190)

Why should I buy a NAS? I need this for backing-up all of my files (movies, music, documents) and photo-editing (Photoshop and Lightroom). Plus I am using this to back up my tens of thousands of images.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Nov 2013   #2
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

What is wrong with backing those files to a regular external HDD. For 2TB, that would cost you less than $100.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

How were you planning on using the RAID enclosure or NAS? Would it be connected to the computer continuously or would it be connected only when making a backup? Would the data on it be a duplicate of what is on your computer or the only place it would exist?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Nov 2013   #4

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
You DON'T NEED RAID (domestic users) on Windows these days -- if you want to have very large data areas / directories simply SPAN VOLUMES - advantage as well is that all the volumes in the SPANNED GROUP can be DIFFERENT SIZES too so I can't see what on earth the advantage of using RAID on a domestic (home) computer is -- Spanned volumes make the spanned group appear as a SINGLE volume to Windows.

For Striping or mirroring -- why bother trying to optimise volumes in this way - you lose effectively HALF the data area (RAID 1) for some data redundancy but if you take regular backups this shouldn't be a problem and if you move the OS itself to an SSD this will pay HUGE dividends in performance.

The NAS idea is OK if you want to have network access to the drives without them being connected to any specific computer -- your needs will have to decide if that's what you want to do - but as for the RAID "thingey" -- it's NOT WORTH IT on a HOME computer. (On a commercial always on Server that's a different issue).

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
You DON'T NEED RAID (domestic users) on Windows these days -- if you want to have very large data areas / directories simply SPAN VOLUMES - advantage as well is that all the volumes in the SPANNED GROUP can be DIFFERENT SIZES too so I can't see what on earth the advantage of using RAID on a domestic (home) computer is -- Spanned volumes make the spanned group appear as a SINGLE volume to Windows.

For Striping or mirroring -- why bother trying to optimise volumes in this way - you lose effectively HALF the data area (RAID 1) for some data redundancy but if you take regular backups this shouldn't be a problem and if you move the OS itself to an SSD this will pay HUGE dividends in performance.

The NAS idea is OK if you want to have network access to the drives without them being connected to any specific computer -- your needs will have to decide if that's what you want to do - but as for the RAID "thingey" -- it's NOT WORTH IT on a HOME computer. (On a commercial always on Server that's a different issue).

Cheers
jimbo
I agree most people don't need RAID on home rigs but spanning volumes is not without its risks, one being one can't see which drive any piece of data is on. Also, not all MOBOs support it so a controller would be needed. If one needs to see a single directory of files over multiple drives, using Windows libraries is safer. Today's drives are so big there is really no need for most people to span drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I guess I just want to future proof myself. At the rate I am shooting, I will fill up external hard drives.

I don't want to keep buying more external hard drives each time one fills up..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #7

Win 7 PRO x64, WIN 8 PRO x64
 
 

if you got any old parts lying around and can build a system for cheap with a motherboard with like 8 sata ports you could then use freenas FreeNAS Project - Open Source Storage - FreeNAS Project
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

You'll wind up spending more for a NAS or Raid enclosure since you have to buy the box itself and HDDs to populate it. RAID uses more HDDs to get the same storage capacity so that adds more to the expense. You also would also have to find a place to put it. Keep in mind that HDDs up to 4TB are readily available and it would take one heck of a lot of photos, even if shot in RAW, to fill one.

I use internal type HDDs for my backups. They are usually better quality than the ones in USB external HDDs, cost less, and take up less room. I plug them into a swap bay on my desktop computer or, in the case of 2.5" drives I use to backup my notebook, a USB powered dock. I store them in a drawer in an anti-static foam "egg crate" but one could store them in less space as long as they are kept in an anti-static sleeve (I'm lazy so I prefer the "egg crate").

You still haven't told us if this is to be the only place you will keep your files or if you intended to keep duplicates of your files that are already on your computer also on the NAS, RAID enclosure, or external drives. I have a bad feeling this will be the only place you will be keeping your files or you plan on keeping it connected to your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #9

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
You DON'T NEED RAID (domestic users) on Windows these days -- if you want to have very large data areas / directories simply SPAN VOLUMES - advantage as well is that all the volumes in the SPANNED GROUP can be DIFFERENT SIZES too so I can't see what on earth the advantage of using RAID on a domestic (home) computer is -- Spanned volumes make the spanned group appear as a SINGLE volume to Windows.

For Striping or mirroring -- why bother trying to optimise volumes in this way - you lose effectively HALF the data area (RAID 1) for some data redundancy but if you take regular backups this shouldn't be a problem and if you move the OS itself to an SSD this will pay HUGE dividends in performance.

The NAS idea is OK if you want to have network access to the drives without them being connected to any specific computer -- your needs will have to decide if that's what you want to do - but as for the RAID "thingey" -- it's NOT WORTH IT on a HOME computer. (On a commercial always on Server that's a different issue).

Cheers
jimbo
I agree most people don't need RAID on home rigs but spanning volumes is not without its risks, one being one can't see which drive any piece of data is on. Also, not all MOBOs support it so a controller would be needed. If one needs to see a single directory of files over multiple drives, using Windows libraries is safer. Today's drives are so big there is really no need for most people to span drives.
Hi there
It's not a MOBO "thingey" -- this is a built in function of WINDOWS -- convert volume to GPT ==> Dynamic volumes and then simply span disks. Libraries also aren't supported any more in Windows 8 / 8.1 and future releases so if you rely on libraries you won't ever be able to upgrade your system either.

I have some Music / video files that I need in a SINGLE directory (with sub directories) which don't work if you need (normally) more than ONE physical volume --spanning allows me to create simple "Data spaces" which Windows treats as a SINGLE PHYSICAL volume which can be as large or small as you like.

(Backup components though or sub directories as a loss in a volume could cause loss of the entire "Data space").

I find this a great way for aggregating a collection of smaller volumes for example I've a few older 750 GB drives into a larger single "Spanned entity" especially useful for handling large Databases or multi-media libraries. There's no reason to junk these volumes -- modern mobos often have up to 12 SATA connections available !!!

You also don't have to worry about finding your data - Windows treats the spanned entity as a large SINGLE physical volume - in the example shown here Disk F -- just use Windows explorer or any other application as you did before -- to retrieve data from the spanned volume set just search or scan volume F is windows explorer (just as you would do with any other single disk volume / partition).


Cheers
jimbo


Attached Thumbnails
Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?-span1.png   Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?-span2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for setting me straight on some details. One, however, still concerns me about using spanned disks: a loss in a volume could cause loss of the entire "Data space". That's the same risk one incurs from Raid 0. True, as you stated just before that, a solid backup scheme will enable one to recover from such an event but I prefer to avoid the event in the first place.

Libraries also aren't supported any more in Windows 8 / 8.1 is just another reason in the large number of reasons I will keep using Win 7 to its last dying gasp in early 2020. I only can hope and pray M$ will come to its senses now that Ballsmore (sic) is finally gone (and they don't replace him with a heartless moron like Melissa Mayer).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?





Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Should I Buy A NAS or RAID Hard Drive Enclosure?
Thread Forum
RAID Hard Drive Enclosure Question General Discussion
IDE hard drive enclosure Hardware & Devices
Hard Drive Enclosure not being seen Hardware & Devices
Hard Drive Enclosure not being seen by 7 Hardware & Devices
I salvaged my old hard drive to an external enclosure.( Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:43 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33