DAS: Which RAID Configuration to Minimize Bit Rot Error Risk?

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I'm dangerously overdue for a revamped back up system; I just use old JBOD among two xeon PCs, though both have ECC RAM. I'm so badly overdue for new storage hardware it's terrifying!!!! But I've got to be sure to buy what I need most to protect my data.

Capacity wise, total data is ~ 350 gig, but I will eventually want to not only do hundreds more uncompressed CD track rips but also dozens rips of TV episodes and rare movies from DVDs (though rarely from not BDs). Those videos I'd be saving as MKV files, not much larger ISO files. The good news is that I mostly watch (re-watch) lots of vintage stuff, and when I do buy more movies I do so on BDs, which are less likely than DVDs to get hit with bit rot. Thus, I'd be less inclined to rip (with RedFox) and back them up. So for for these back ups, should each RAIDed HDD drive be 5 or 7TB?

My plan is to have a multi drive DAS in my living room and bedroom. My internet connection is via my iPhone's wifi so I have no router that could have been otherwise used with two NAS instead. So for every monthly backup session, I'd have to grab the bedroom DAS, bring it to the living room DAS and use my PC's Windows Explorer to share and/or update any document, videos, music files between them via USB.

But got to make sure I don't trip during trips! It would have helped if at least Qnap or Synology made at least one DAS with a safety handle! Why not a case like this? https://www.silverstonetek.com/en/product/info/server-nas/CS01-HS/

AND how best to protect data from however unlikely bit errors?? My data is my life. Qnap and Synology use btrfs, zfs or other non-Windows file management systems offering powerful bit error prevention and self-healing between RAIDed drives. But the learning curves of those file systems-let alone the initial building of them-are way more for the enthusiasts than newbie laypeople like me, and I don't want to get stuck with hardware/software that's a nuisance to learn, use and maintain.

Instead, will the right RAID configuration in both DAS boxes and the ECC RAM in both my PCs get me reasonably good error prevention? If yes, which RAID config to use with two to four 5TB or 7 TB HDDs in each DAS? https://www.seagate.com/products/hard-drives/barracuda-hard-drive/

And which Qnap or Synology model DAS?
 
I have no experience with commercial solutions like Qnap or Synology. But I have been using ZFS for a few years and believe that fs is your best choice.

Your capacity requirements are quite modest - I would use 2 mirrored 6-8TB HDDs, you can choose the "enterprise" models. It's important to use the standard CMR technology, and avoid the SMR models - e.g. https://history-computer.com/smr-vs-cmr-hard-drives/ . If you enable the LZ4 compression, you will gain more space from your drives. I run regular files and databases on my ZFS pools, and typically the compression ratio is between 1.2 - 1.6 - nice space addition, especially on NVMe PCIe drives. LZ4 has very little CPU hit and is reported to make slower drives (i.e. HDDs) faster as less data must be read/written. Likely no effect for compressed FLACs, but certainly advantageous for WAVs and CDDA ISO rips.

For OS - I am a linux guy and have my servers configured manually. But the TrueNAS Core has great reputation and offers everything you will need, with a nice GUI.

But if you care about your data, you need offline backups. Just a raid is no backup - if a lightning overvoltage fries your HW, all raided drives will be gone.

This is where ZFS shines too - the ZFS send/receive snapshots feature makes incremental backups of large volumes very efficient. IIUC the TrueNAS incremental replication feature (replication tasks) is exactly using that. Just put an inexpensive removable HDD bay into your NAS case, or add a USB3 HDD cradle, and backup regularly to another drive which you will safely store, preferably in a different location due to fire threat.

Ideally using two offline drives which rotate every backup session, to keep one copy of data off-site at any time. But I am not sure TrueNAS offers that. I use a command-line tool sanoid/syncoid https://github.com/jimsalterjrs/sanoid which supports the target rotation. It just adds a unique identifier for each target drive to syncoid snapshot names, allowing multiple independent incremental replications.
 
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I don't have experience with storage appliances, but I think that keeping redundant machines is the best approach because a home user likely already has multiple machines, and it guards against many things that can go wrong. The most likely problem is human error. ;)

Linux is very good for this purpose. I set up machines that are clones of one another, and keep their disks in sync through rsync. I have three computers that can be used interchangeably.
Ed
 
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I have no experience with commercial solutions like Qnap or Synology. But I have been using ZFS for a few years and believe that fs is your best choice.

Your capacity requirements are quite modest - I would use 2 mirrored 6-8TB HDDs, you can choose the "enterprise" models. It's important to use the standard CMR technology, and avoid the SMR models - e.g. https://history-computer.com/smr-vs-cmr-hard-drives/ . If you enable the LZ4 compression, you will gain more space from your drives. I run regular files and databases on my ZFS pools, and typically the compression ratio is between 1.2 - 1.6 - nice space addition, especially on NVMe PCIe drives. LZ4 has very little CPU hit and is reported to make slower drives (i.e. HDDs) faster as less data must be read/written. Likely no effect for compressed FLACs, but certainly advantageous for WAVs and CDDA ISO rips.

For OS - I am a linux guy and have my servers configured manually. But the TrueNAS Core has great reputation and offers everything you will need, with a nice GUI.

But if you care about your data, you need offline backups. Just a raid is no backup - if a lightning overvoltage fries your HW, all raided drives will be gone.

This is where ZFS shines too - the ZFS send/receive snapshots feature makes incremental backups of large volumes very efficient. IIUC the TrueNAS incremental replication feature (replication tasks) is exactly using that. Just put an inexpensive removable HDD bay into your NAS case, or add a USB3 HDD cradle, and backup regularly to another drive which you will safely store, preferably in a different location due to fire threat.

Ideally using two offline drives which rotate every backup session, to keep one copy of data off-site at any time. But I am not sure TrueNAS offers that. I use a command-line tool sanoid/syncoid https://github.com/jimsalterjrs/sanoid which supports the target rotation. It just adds a unique identifier for each target drive to syncoid snapshot names, allowing multiple independent incremental replications.
This one has ECC RAM and uses ZFS https://www.qnap.com/en-us/product/ts-h686

This one has ECC RAM and uses BTRFS and/or EXT4 https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS923+#specs

Again, I have absolutely NO knowledge of these OS! But how would you two guys compare those three OS? Which would be the easiest for a total newbie who otherwise is and will always remain a Windows user?

Miraculously, I found someone only a few miles away who said he could order that QNAP (and/or maybe that Synology) model and configure it for my needs. https://www.serversupply.com/ But if he couldn't first give me a hands-on tutorial for how to actually use it or another NAS with the same OS to do a typical back up session-and one that does NOT involve any command line entering or other such non-Windows antics-then EdGr's multiple (Windows) Xeon/ECC RAM pc back up plan looks like my only other option.

The specs and overall design philosophy of these NAS are wonderful. https://www.truenas.com/truenas-mini/ Price wise, they are very competitive with Synology and Qnap. And a QUIET multi-HDD device is obviously super important for anyone here. Any annoying NAS HDD and/or fan noise when not playing music which would otherwise maski it?

Presumably, you've also been impressed with TrueNAS build quality??

I spent a bundle having my HTPC built by these quiet pc guys. https://www.steigerdynamics.com/ So, can TrueNAS boot from my pc's GTX 1660 (non-super) graphics card? The system fan noise is managed by this software. https://www.argusmonitor.com/?language=en

But I don't like that their website chat only works for business owners, so I had to lie about that and give them my day job's email address in hopes to at least talk to someone there about how high that fking ZFS learning curve may be for my newbie brain! And from that video smack in the middle of their homepage, you'd think that with hardware of such worldwide popularity at least one of those consumer NAS models would be available at big box resellers like Best Buy and MicroCenter, where I might get a hands-on tutorial.

I also hate the look of GUIs with black backgrounds, like here. https://www.truenas.com/ Can I switch that to a Windows Explorer-looking GUI?

Sure, there are help forums galore, but not only is ZFS totally alien to me but like some DAWs it offers tons of configurations, features and settings where even doing simple backups and enabling first line data protections of the RAIDed array may take who knows how long for me to understand and remember.

I could ask this guy for a tutorial, assuming it's close to the same flavor ZFS used to run TrueNAS hardware, though he may only do that if he can order and sell me one, install the WD drives and ECC RAM. https://www.serversupply.com/

However, I am still basically a simple Windows GUI person-NOT A WINDOWS OR LINUX CODER!!

And as said here, you can't actually "run" TrueNAS as an app or utility in Windows. I'd first have to have someone install some kind of Virtual Machine (??) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_machine on my pc for TrueNAS to "run" on. Needless to say, I'd need professional help to install it and fix it if something goes wrong, which is why AwesomenessZ recommends staying away from TrueNAS. https://www.reddit.com/r/truenas/comments/z6oas8 I knew this all had to be too good to work for me! What a colossal waste of time.

TrueNAS marketers have clearly geared their products for computer enthusiasts at your knowledge level, but they've left those like me in the dust.

So, are ZFS, or even Synology's BTRFS or EXT4 (whatever they all mean) based storage devices dead issues for me or not?
 
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Those storage appliances are overkill for home use. They also don't solve the problem of the user's one computer becoming broken.

I think that you will be better off with USB hard drives. Just don't drop one. ;) If you are so inclined, you can re-purpose an old PC as a backup. That will provide redundancy in case one computer goes down.
Ed
 
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Those storage appliances are overkill for home use. They also don't solve the problem of the user's one computer becoming broken.

I think that you will be better off with USB hard drives. Just don't drop one. ;) If you are so inclined, you can re-purpose an old PC as a backup. That will provide redundancy in case one computer goes down.
Ed
That's sort of what I've been doing all along. My new htpc has a 1TB storage SSD and I back up to two 500GB Seagate enterprise JBOD drives in an external enclosure via USB. I split the usage of those drives for documents, photos, CD track rips and youtubes. But those drives are too small and old to stay with anymore!

Even worse, I have an old Dell tower running XP with just for redundant document file back up, but they are frightfully too old and small!

As for PCs, the one that Steiger built for me last year has this:

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...w1390-processor-16m-cache-up-to-5-20-ghz.html
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/W480M-VISION-W-rev-10/support#support-dl-driver
https://www.anandtech.com/show/14071/nvidia-gtx-1660-review-feat-evga-xc-gaming

32GB ECC RAM

And there's my HP ZBook Fury G8 Xeon/ECC RAM laptop.

But let's see what gea here says about this ZFS based Qnap NAS.
https://forums.anandtech.com/thread...ize-bit-rot-error-risk.2614178/#post-41051012

Maybe it plus a new DAS might be the best bet.