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I've been searching for a while, to find an answer to this. I'm trying to find out what is a better approach for our household.

  1. Buy two NAS devices, and have the main one backup to the other one every night. Both will have a 3TB hard drive.
  2. Get one NAS device, with two bays and RAID-1. And use two 3TB hard drives in them.

Both approaches result in 3TB being available for storage. The first prevents most data from being lost (a maximum of 24 hours can be lost if the main one crashes). The latter (in most cases) should avoid any data being lost altogether.

As far as I'm concerned, RAID-1 is the way to go. Because of these reasons:

  • Faster (concurrent) access to data.
  • More secure on drive failure.
  • Easier to manage (only one device, not two)
  • Easier integration from any device (only 1 IP address, no need to switch in order to read from the other one)

However, someone I'm having a discussion with about this subject thinks the two NAS devices approach is better. A friend recommended it to him. His only argument is that when one of the NAS devices dies, the other one can take over all functionality.

Note that in the case of having two NAS devices, they'll not be more secure from for example the house burning down. So location isn't an argument here.

Does either solution bring complications when it comes to compatibility. Such as playing from a PC, a media players, internet TV, etc.?

What are the pros and cons of either scenario? And which is the recommended one?

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closed as not constructive by techie007, BBlake, ÃŁŁǫǛȉЖΦΤїҪ, Diogo, Synetech Dec 7 '12 at 18:37

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I'd go with the raid-1. there are some minor risks to either approach, but I'd rather trust drive mirroring than that the network backups complete successfully. the two nas approach would need extra infrastructure to fail over automatically either way. I'd guess it would probably be cheaper as well. also i love my synology NAS, so look into the DS212 or DS213 lines. –  Frank Thomas Dec 7 '12 at 15:22
    
Synology was already the brand we were going for, and thank you for confirming what I expected :). –  Aidiakapi Dec 7 '12 at 15:36
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RAID is not backup –  techie007 Dec 7 '12 at 15:37
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Nope, its redundancy. but then again, the only really pertinent attribute of a backup is its redundancy.... I get what you are saying, but it is a little pedantic. –  Frank Thomas Dec 7 '12 at 15:53
    
@techie007 As true as that is, it's not about RAID-1 being a backup or not. We don't need a backup, we need secured storage. A backup is one way to guarantee that most of the data is stored securely. –  Aidiakapi Dec 7 '12 at 18:12
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

My set up (which you may find useful or similar is this);
1 PC
1 media player to my TV
1 music media player to my hi-fi 1 NAS (Seagate) which streams music 1 NAS with RAID (QNAP) which streams film

So I have both, a NAS and a NAS (Raid).

RAID gives me more peace of mind to an extent because it holds my DVD's. This means I have a copy.

My NAS (not on RAID) holds a back up of my computer.

Since I have my computer files on my computer (including my music) and on a NAS (eg, in 2 places) I felt it was not necessary for it to be RAID.

Since my DVD's are not on my machine and only on my NAS the RAID was important.

So, to answer you, I think it is all about back ups - if the data will be in 2 places due to a NAS, then you don't need a RAID.

As for streaming, I stream music from my NAS and DVD from my NAS (Raid) with no problem on either.

Of course with RAID, one a drive dies, you just simply replace it and the mirror is automatic. If my non-NAS dies, I have to manually start a back up procedure (which isn't a problem in my opinion).

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Thank you, the data on the NAS will be unique and specific to the NAS so you only have it stored in one place. (The main purpose of the NAS for us is to avoid duplicate data, and have it accessible everywhere :D). –  Aidiakapi Dec 7 '12 at 15:35
    
In that case, RAID-1 with no doubt! More money, but better peace of mind (other than, as you say, fire / theft). Just remember though with RAID-0 if the data is faulty, you'll back up faulty data (although same is true of a normal back up) so be sure to test your data regularly! –  Dave Rook Dec 7 '12 at 15:37
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