What is the Best NAS for Office Backups and Plex Media Server?
Hello, I have a small home office. I currently have a couple desktops and laptops on my network along with a Windows Home server that is now obsolete. It works, but I know it is no longer supported and am concerned about when it crashes. It is also a little buggy – and doesn’t do everything I want it to do. I use this to access my computer remotely – ie when I am travelling or on a jobsite etc. That is very important to me. It also create backups of my local machines – so I can quickly rebuild them if they ever crash.
I use my desktop for CAD, MS office, web browsing, Adobe products etc. Sometimes I have employees – so I have a couple other desktops/laptops for them to use. I store most company files on the server. (~6 TB) I also use my desktop as a PLEX server. I have 3 external hard drives for my plex media (movies, tv shows, home movies etc) currently ~17 TB I have one external drive for my photographs. ~2 TBI would like to have the following in no particular order- 1 – a PLEX server 2 – ability to access my desktops remotely (for me or any employees, I have a book keeper and it would be nice for her to be able to access my files remotley) 3 – ability to turn my computer on remotely(as sometimes during a windows update it will shut off, and I can’t access it remotely unless I get a neighbor or friend to come in and turn it back on) 4 – a way to keep everything backed up 5 – a way to rebuild my machines if they crash (this has happened to me probably twice, luckily I had the Windows Home server, and could quickly rebuild the machine, without having to go through the process of re-installing all my software etc)I probably have other things I need and possibly other things available to me, but I am not sure where to go. The DS1019+ seems like a decent option as far as PLEX server, but I’m not sure I understand the remote compute capability with it, or how it could work as a backup system. I am running WIN 10 if that matters. I believe this is supposed to have a remote access built into it, but I have yet to get it to work.
Recommended NAS drive for Business Backups and Personal Plex Media Server Media
The majority of the requirements for your perfect NAS for Backups and Media are available from most mid-range NAS, however, the extent to which they will work and the speed and proficiency of how they do it is a very important factor. The key buying factors when choosing your NAS should be the following:
The CPU – I Recommend an Intel Based, Quad Core
As mentioned, most NAS server devices can do the tasks you need, but a weaker CPU will not only use up ALOT more power doing each task, but will have a poor floating point to handle multi-tasking, as well as leading to a much more unstable storage space over time. This is further combined with the fact that a NAS based Plex Media Server will use a noticeable chunk of the CPU when in use and this could impact on backups and remote access happening at the same time. In order to combat this, as well as ensure you have enough flexibility in future, you should have at minimum a 4-Core CPU in the NAS or a more powerful and efficient Intel CPU available.
The Memory – I Recommend at least 4GB with the option of expanding to 8GB
Memory in your NAS is largely used as a means to support the individual file handling and application running and in the case of the NAS, you could get away with as little as 2GB for the tasks you mention – individually! It is, once again, when these tasks are stacked up across programs or users, that 2GB will fail you. Remember, that the running of the NAS itself will use a portion of memory and Plex will need 2GB to run tip-top. For that reason, I recommend at least 4GB of memory in this NAS, as well as the option of expanding to 8GB or above to ensure you are future-proof.
The Storage Space – I Recommend at least a 4-Bay NAS
Storage space should be judged for your ideal PLEX/Office Backup setup in two different ways. The first is RAID. You will almost certainly need to use a RAID configuration in order to ensure your data is safe if a hard drive fails (see video below to understand the different types of RAID and their benefits – it is only 4 minutes). The best RAID for Capacity vs Price is a RAID 5 or RAID 6 that give you the safety net to withstand losing 1 or 2 drives respectively. The best storage factor is overall capacity. With Hard Drives now being available to buy in capacities up to 16TB, you can start with a 4-Bay NAS and then buy bigger drives when you need them, or expand with a NAS expansion, such as the DX517.
Another storage consideration for you would be that a Synology NAS will give you a flexible RAID such as SHR, as well as a much more efficient and equipped file system like BTRFS – I highly recommend this for your user case scenario.
Key Software Points – I recommend Synology Active Backup Sync and Snapshot Backups
For many, the software is much, more important than the hardware. I am inclined to disagree, but I also know that bad software = a useless NAS! Based on both your Plex needs, as well as your backup requirements, I would highly recommend a Synology NAS. This is because it is much, MUCH more user-friendly and those that are new to NAS will see the benefits of this. Alongside this, the Synology NAS platform supports Wake on LAN (WOL) for your remote power needs, internet access with Synology Cloud Station, Active Backup Suite (an enterprise featured, yet free, backup tool for coordinating multi PC/Server backups from a single access point) and snapshot backups for creating whole system backups, one after another. This combined with functionality such as deduplication (which stops you creating multiple copies of the same file) and dif-backups (a backup system that will only add file additions and changes after the initial backup) mean that the Synology NAS platform is far, far better suited to your needs than any other brand in 2019.
What is the Best NAS for PLEX and Windows Business
Using the NAS Buying factors mentioned above, I would recommend one of the following NAS devices. This is based on everything mentioned above, as well as supporting key business applications, such as:
Synology Office (Docs, xls, PDF, etc – ALternative to Google Docs)
Synology Chat (Alternative to Skype for internal User Conversation/Collaboration + mobile app)
Synology Drive (Alternative to DropBox/Google Drive with 1-point access to all file types for Mobile and Desktop)
Synology Moments (Photo Sorting and Tagging system with Deep Learning)
Synology Calendar (Smart Calendar App, can be used in conjunction with other apps)
Synology Active Backup (Manage Multiple Server/PC backups via a single control point)
Synology Surveillance Station for CCTV and network Cameras to create your own NVR setup
Synology Virtual Machine Manager (setup and manage multiple VMs on your NAS)
Synology High Availability (for Syncing Synology NAS and having instant failover support to ensure constant connectivity)
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