I have a question about the best network storage solution for a small research group.
We are looking for fast and secure storage (>40 TB, but that is the minimum requirement) for scientific data that has to be regularly accessed for data analysis.
We recently experienced a break down of our university file server, which we don’t want to have to rely on anymore to store our most crucial data.
Being completely naive about what the best alternative would be, we finally found Drobo boxes and were happy that they offer “plug and play” solutions that also seem quite secure. Security here really means data security (and secondly access security).
I was looking into Synology NAS next, but I am frankly overwhelmed by the amount of options on the market.
Could you provide some input? What would you recommend?
A few more details: We acquire large-scale imaging data, which gets saved on a local storage (RAID) system first. Then it needs to be on the network such that analysis machines in the university network can access it to perform analysis on it. The idea would be that this link is taken over by (one or many) NAS systems like a Synology DS1817. From there, regular backups of the most crucial data are made to a cloud service (at the moment Backblaze).
Drobo would be a very temporary solution. But as you mention Synology- this more like future proof solution.
First of all plus series offer high availability service. This means you have two NAS systems connected, if one fails for any reason, other NAS will take over in a millisecond. This means that users will not even notice that the main server has just blown up. Only Synology offers such secure system.
Synology also offers safe data storage and transmission. You can select which folders need to be encrypted. So even if someone steals the NAS – they cannot recover any data without your encryption keys. Also, the data transfer can be secured. Every user will have their own password and admin can select what they can access and what they can not. Even if someone would break into a connection between the server and user this transmission can be encrypted. (NFS permissions, Kerberos, Kerberos settings )
Synology will allow you to do regular background backups with a BlackBlaze and many other cloud service providers. The Backblaze is a popular choice because there is no size limit for a backup.
The cheapest option I would suggest is DS1618+ with a 10GbE card and a couple of SSD for caching. Better bandwidth will be very useful for super low latency and fast transfer speeds. If you have a server room with rack cabinets then RS3617xs+.For backing up your NAS do consider BlackBlaze. You can try it for 15 days free if you don't believe its good. But the main reason is unlimited backup size. Everyone else like Dropbox, Amazon, and others charge per gigabyte. But with this one there is no price difference either you backup 2 bay or 8 bay NAS. The other great feature is version control. So even if you get hit by ransomware type of virus or simply deleted or mistakenly changed few files. You can restore your data from historical backup versions and get all data back.
You can get it for free here and try:
Comparison with other service providers: https://www.backblaze.com/best-online-backup-service.html#af9rgr
Find regulary updated NAS offers here
Of course I would prefer you choose AMAZON UK AMAZON USA to buy your perfect solution, however, if you would rather buy locally, please use the links used above to take you to your local Amazon store and help support this free advice service with ad revenue. More ways of supporting the blog are described HERE