How To Configure Seagate Nas Storage Devices

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If you have several computers, at some point you will need to transfer a file from one system to another. You may have some files on your phone that you need on your laptop. Maybe you have some media on a desktop that you want to stream to a smart TV. Sometimes you need a safe place to store your important files. In either of these cases, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a good option.

How To Configure Seagate Nas Storage Devices

How To Configure Seagate Nas Storage Devices

Although Embedded Networking has been around as a concept for decades, it has become more accessible and popular among home users and small businesses in the last decade. Basically, a NAS is a bare computer with a large amount of storage and specialized software. You include some files and folders that you want to share across your network so that anyone can link to and access the files. Of course, you can set security restrictions so that only certain people can access certain files, but that’s the general idea. Any system with a network connection can theoretically be turned into a NAS if you want, but it has its limitations.

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Shared network drives are common in the corporate world to allow teams to collaborate on a set of files, but until recent years it hasn’t had much use in the home. The most basic form of NAS would be a shared folder on a computer. You can do this easily in Windows, for example, by right-clicking a folder and enabling network sharing. This allows other Windows computers on your local network to connect and access the folder. However, you won’t be able to access it remotely, there will be no active management or monitoring, and some devices may have problems viewing the folder.

For a more powerful option, you can install a file server on your computer. A common example of this is using Plex for media sharing. Plex lets you stream and view your content on multiple devices and even remotely. It works great for some situations, but it’s only meant for media.

Another area where NAS helps is for backups. Backing up your data to a local device can protect you from drive failure, but again, there are limitations. Your normal USB storage device usually uses the cheapest drive available to achieve a certain price point. If that drive fails, you’re out of luck, and your data is lost. Since they’re USB-connected, that means only one device can access them unless you run some advanced file transfer. Obviously we can do better here.

There are countless examples of ways to achieve some NAS functionality, but they all fall short in one way or another.

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This is where a professional tool comes in. There are plenty of devices to choose from, but today we’re looking at two from Synology that give a great overview of the category in general.

As mentioned earlier, a dedicated NAS like Synology’s is a simple computer with lots of storage. It has a processor and RAM like a normal computer, but they are not as powerful. The CPU is only available to manage the storage queue and run some basic applications or services. The NAS runs a basic operating system where you can install applications and view network status.

By adding some computing power to the storage system, this eliminates the need for an always-on computer. It’s all built. Depending on your budget and use case, you can get a basic system with a few drives or go with dozens of drives. The most common systems that customers buy have 2 to 5 storage drives.

How To Configure Seagate Nas Storage Devices

Let’s talk about those drivers now. Most NAS systems do not come with drivers; You have to buy them separately. While you can certainly use standard desktop hard drives, it’s not ideal. In a NAS enclosure, the drives all rotate around each other, causing vibration and heat. This reduces the lifespan of a traditional USB drive found on desktops or USB-based external storage devices. Drives designed for NAS use will be clearly marked. They have more durability, shock tolerance and durability. You definitely pay a premium for these drivers, and it’s worth it depending on whether a driver fails on you.

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Along with physical drives, standalone NAS allows you to organize them in a way that increases reliability. This is commonly known as RAID and consists of distributing data across multiple disks. That way, if a drive fails, you won’t lose your data. Of course, to achieve this, you’ll need multiple drives and you’ll sacrifice some storage capacity.

A single-bay NAS doesn’t provide any redundancy, so you rarely see them. A two-bay NAS tolerates a single drive failure without data loss, but you only get 50% of the storage. Up to three drivers go, you can give one failure and you get 2/3 of the shop. With enterprise systems that typically have hundreds of drivers working together, the sky’s the limit.

You may find that two-bay NAS are less efficient than ones with higher capacity. Half of your space is dedicated to redundancy, so you’re sacrificing a lot compared to systems with more drives. As you increase the number of drives, it is usually best to increase the amount of redundancy. A 5 to 1 ratio usually works well, with one out of every five drives reserved for overdrive. With ten drives in your system, you want to set aside two for redundancy.

Operating these reliable storage systems used to be complicated… Modern NAS devices give you it all.

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Implementing these reliable storage systems was complicated. There were RAID types (0, 1, 5, 6, 10, etc…) that offered different benefits. Modern NAS devices tell you everything. You simply say how much (or not) you want, and everything is calculated behind the scenes. Synology calls its system Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR). This system works under RAID 5 or RAID 6. If you want a more detailed explanation of the differences, NASCompares has a great section on that.

The advantages of SHR are that it is easy to install and expand, it is compatible with a variety of drive sizes, and it offers a useful amount of storage with mixed drives. However, it is slightly slower than RAID 5 and 6, less flexible, and incompatible with other arrays such as RAID. For the type of user who would buy this type of NAS, the SHR is definitely the way to go.

To compile this article, Synology sent the five-bay DiskStation DS1019+ and the two-bay DS220j for testing. Both are very popular and highly regarded NAS devices. I filled them with Seagate’s 14TB IronWolf Pro NAS drives. This isn’t meant to be a review of a NAS unit, but let’s take a minute to look at them briefly so you can get an idea of ​​what functionality and value they offer.

How To Configure Seagate Nas Storage Devices

Starting with the smaller DS220j, the drivers are mounted by removing the side panel. The drive shaft snaps into place against a rubber mount. The larger DS1019+ uses plastic trays with a tool-free locking mechanism. On the back, both units have gigabit network connections and USB 3.0.

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The DS1019+ has an eSATA connection if you want to add an expansion unit. There is also a second Ethernet port for additional connectivity or failover. On the bottom, the DS1019+ has two NVMe slots for SSD caches. This makes sense if you want to consistently read data at speeds well above the 100MBps that typical drives are capable of.

In terms of internal hardware specifications, the DS220j comes with 512 MB of non-ECC DDR4 memory and a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core CPU. DS1019+ is better with 8GB non-ECC DDR3 and quad-core Intel Celeron J3455. As is common with these types of NAS servers, both can be configured as multimedia streaming devices. The DS1019+ has a built-in video transcoder and is powerful enough to stream 4K content.

Now we have these boxes with small computers and loads of storage, but what can we do with them?

Let’s dive into the NAS user environment to see how it works. While I cover the details of the Synology user experience, the same concepts apply to other systems such as QNAP.

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All commercial NAS units have a management user interface and this software layer is the easiest part of a modern system. In the case of Sinology, they are

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