A Cautionary Tale Of Network NAS Devices

I’ve had a NAS from QNAP, a TS-453b 4 Bay. It worked adequately for many years. By design, these have minimal spec CPU’s and other architecture compromises by design. I beefed it up with 8Gb of RAM and installed an NVMe accelerator card. Minimal spec, Specifically the cooling mechanism. On this drive I had a generation of music. 5TB of every song that I had ever owned, I had converted to disk for my audio. I decided to do a proper back up and to copy my music to an external drive. The process started fine, files were identified and the job was queued up. The estimated time was over one day. USB drive buses determining the speeds. All went well for a few hours and then everything hung. The NAS had frozen up and stopped responding. A reboot solved nothing as the process to reboot took more than an hour. In the interim, the red light of death appeared on the NAS, a drive had failed. This was a RAID 0 and I should have been able to drop in a new drive but the NAS wouldn’t respond to the new drive nor to the remaining drive. End result, both had failed. This is my last kick at the QNAP NAS bucket. I’m going to build a new raid with Synology in a Raid 0 with 4 drives. That should help me out. The blessing that i have is that most of the recent music, what I really listen too, is on multiple drives scattered around my digital domain. I’ve now moved all of my ripped SACD’s and my FLAC music to a new external, 4Tb SSD. It now hangs off of my Roon Server and I’ll be damned, it sounds really good almost as good my PerfectWave SACD Transport. I guess that the music being transmitted over the network was prone to noise and jitter and resulted in poorer quality music. If you have a NAS make sure that your drives are backed up incrementally on a regular basis so that the backup doesn’t tax the NAS . Especially if you have multiple Tb’s of data.

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RAID 0 provides no redundancy or fault tolerance whatsoever, it is meant to be used for performance not redundancy.

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I ended up using Synology 5 bay machines running RAID 10. With the 5 bay units one of the drives is designated “spare” and the array will automatically rebuild if any drive fails. Of course if the MOBO fails then it’s a little tricky to fix. I backup to a second 5 bay Synology in a different building also running RAID 10 and it backs up to an external USB drive daily. I have been lucky that over the years I haven’t had a catastrophic failure or lost any data.
I have however had a few PC’s crash and burn over the last 20 years or so.
Good luck rounding everything back together again.

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Sorry about this mishap Paul. I use Naim Core with internal SSD as server, and backup every week via home network to Western Digital My Cloud Mirror 3TB (3TB x 2). Backup is incremental so does not take long besides my library is like 1.5 TB only. Once backup is completed, I put the backup server in hibernate mode till next backup. Now you’re giving me the thought of have a secondary backup. I will add an SSD drive inside Nucleus. I hope your recovery goes smoothly.

At this point I don’t remember which raid, I’m pretty sure that It was set so that drives mirrored so It might have been a raid1. A this point it’s moot I’ve removed the NAS. If I had a gun I’d use it for target practice. A fitting end to it’s storied career.

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I’d definitely go secondary, redundant backup if you can. Rotating drives are cheap nowadays.

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Maybe you could run it over with the car a time or two. :grin:
I hate computer related crashes in the worst way.

It’s funny that you say that. I had a raid configured hard drive in a computer but it was configured for speed. Once one drive failed I was done. I had to rebuild everything. I was glad to donate the computer to a friends bone yard. Never again did I go that route in a business computer.

I made the same mistake. Once. After that all of my PS’s have 2 drives configured as RAID 10. They also backup to the NAS once a day and it backs up to the other NAS once a day. Nothing is more of a waste of time or as big of a heartache as a hard drive or MOBO failure.

As already noted, RAID 0 gets you almost nothing. RAID 10 is more fault tolerant. I’ve had a 4 bay Qnap set up as a RAID 10 for almost 10 years, running 24/7. Over that time I’ve had 2 drives fail. I did have a backup, but didn’t need to use it as each time the replacement drive was successfully added to the existing array.

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That’s the route I’m going to go. With a raid 10, I’ll have some redundancy built in. My wife bought me a new desktop and it’s configured for gaming which I don’t do. But it has limited options for disk slots. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it’s limited as she was proud of the research she and my son did on the computer. I’m going to rely on the NAS a place to park my personal and business files. Backed up of course!

I’d suggest that you change your setup to have at least three (yes 3!) backups of your music library in addition to your primary copy on your NAS.
I’ve just changed my setup to the following;
(1) Prime copy on a USB disc attached to my iMac - this is used for curating my music (adding new music, editing tag data etc)
(2) Copy of (1) on my NAS (Synology) for streaming over LAN, updated daily overnight
(3) Copy of (2) on a USB disc attached to the NAS, updated weekly
(4) Copy of (2) on a removable USB disc that is stored in a remote location (2 discs rotated between the remote location), typically updated every 3 months.

This may look like overkill but you need to cover all eventualities - failure of disks, failure of NAS controller, fire or lightning strike of home. Some folk just use cloud storage to achieve this redundancy but this is probably more expensive and has its own set of potential problems.

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I’m probably going to ere on the side of overkill next time. Thanks for the ideas.

I agree with @davidl. I ran a TS-451 with 4x4tb for about 6 years and from the start used the backup facility to do a nightly incremental backup to an external 8tb drive. RAID is not backup. I had one drive fail and a replacement restored effortlessly.

The old ones are slow, so I replaced with a TS-473 4x2tb SSD. It’s a fantastically fast server.

We use a RAID 6 NAS for the music library, backups, etc. I also have the music library and backups of the NAS and our laptops on a two way mirrored Microsoft storage space (using ReFS, for bit rot checking and recovery) which is on 5 external portable USB drives. That is backed up to the cloud using Duplicacy and BackBlaze.
ReFS/Storage spaces has worked fine even with a flaky USB hub that was unmounting drives at random about once a day - ReFS would just rebalance (with reduplication when needed) on the remaining drives.
We still copy the library to other USB drives which we keep in some safety deposit boxes now and then.

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What saved me here was all of the copies on a variety of drives that I have, 4 large USB keys, two external backup 8tb USB drives and my 3 computer drives. Between all of the sources, I’ve come close to what I had before. A secondary benefit is that I’ve unintentionally purged a lot of low resolution music that I never played. The low resolution music was originally for my car.

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I feel your pain. I use a solution with a couple of Synology arrays (one 8-bay with 5 drives using Synology Hybrid RAID with fault tolerance for one drive and one spare drive, and a second, older 4-bay to backup what is relevant from the first one. This setup has worked well for me so far though I have had to replace drives here and there that failed over the years.
Before that I was using Sans Digital RAID enclosures but had tons of problems with them (mostly their PSU failing) and ditch them.

The cautionary tale here is to understand that RAID 0 not only means “zero redundancy” it also multiplies your odds of suffering data loss. Two drives, twice the likelihood. Four drives, four times.

RAID 0 (striping) increases speed and capacity at the cost of reliability. It is the option you should never ever choose for data you care about.

If you have two drives, use RAID 1 (mirroring)
If you have three+ drives, you could use also RAID 5 (striping with parity)
If you have four+, you could also use RAID 10 (mirroring and striping) or RAID 6 (striping with multiple parity)

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Best to choose RAID 6 over RAID 10 nearly always. 6 can tolerate any two drives failing, and so can 10 but they must be in separate mirrors or the array dies.

RAID 5 used to be very popular with an online spare or two but I believe RAID 6 has become the choice for SATA drives anymore.

I’ve got 30 years building and maintaining storage arrays behind me and I’m still at it…now many are all flash and often guarantee <1ms latency regardless of work load. Of course, the spend is far too great for home use and absolute overkill performance-wise for music.

At home I have a simple ReFS mirror set that I copy to multiple portable drives on occasion and store offsite. One backup is none, two is one.

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I’m ready to order a Synology DS1520+ with 8GB RAM I’ll put in some NVMe ssd’s I have kicking around for cache acceleration and 5 WD RED drives in a Raid 6 if anyone has other ideas I’m open

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