NAS Drive advice

Going back to the original question; until last year I ran Asset on a DS212J without issues (9 year old). Changed to a DS218 which is much quicker to load images but otherwise the same from a user POV.

I run mirrored SSDs but reformatted my old HDDs and back up them both from the NAS in a cheap stand alone HDD enclosure - then kept in the garage for resilience!

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We have Google cloud backup which is built into Synology.

The mirror offers local redundancy on drive failure, the cloud backup offers off site resilience against NAS loss.

If we didn’t have cloud backup we’d definitely be running either another storage device as a copy or regular backup to USB SSD.

The other advantage of having all our music in cloud is we can access it from anywhere - gym, staycations, foreign beaches. Plenty media players which can browse and play from Google cloud. Many of these can cast/control naim devices so in fact if we lost the NAS it would only be a temporary inconvenience whilst replaced and content downloaded.

I had a Qnap for several years but it recently packed up. Looking to replace it i realised I could get a mini PC for less money (<£200). It is way more versatile and does the same job as well as having many other uses as i have it hooked up to my tv. It has lots of ports and external SSD drves are very cheap these days.
As a domestic user, 99% of the Qnap’s capabilitiers were irrelevant to me and I don’t miss it at all.

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@nickrich, I asked a similar question last year, few comments there that you may find useful - QNAP or Synology - experience of both - preference?
For the small extra cost, a two disc bay unit is preferable, in ten years I have had two disks fail (in a 4-bay QNAP).

Back up should be to a dedicated drive, plugged in periodically and then stored right away. An effective backup should not be connected to electric or network except when backup is in progress. A pc/mac is just as likely as a NAS to be spiked by a mains surge.

A NAS v a ripper, Naim, Melco et al, is an entirely personal choice, there a +ve and -ve to each.

The one thing I have always avoided is cloud storage, ymmv.
Several reasons, access if internet goes down - happened last year for a week +, security and significantly free cloud solutions would be monetised.
Google for years provided free web facilities, the C effect changed that last year and they introduced what were regarded as steep charges for what had been a free offering.
The days of wider free cloud storage are drawing in.

That is ideal. And I did say “Unless you already have another NAS as a backup server”.

I haven’t looked into Google cloud backup sufficiently deeply (and I don’t have time at the moment); but as a word of warning some cloud backups aren’t true backups, instead operating as delayed mirror systems (BackBlaze for one works this way).

If Google cloud backup is of this type, then considering that as the mirror and using the second disk as the incremental backup would be an excellent system.

If Google cloud backup is a true backup then a single disc is all that’s really required but a mirror will provide a little bit of extra resilience. When used in a NAS enclosure and powered 24/7 (i.e. using their own internal powerdown mechanism, with the NAS going to low power mode rather than powerdown) both Seagate NAS drives and WD Reds are very reliable.

Xanthe: I’m interested in your comment about Backblaze not being a true backup. What do you mean by a delayed mirror system? Agreed it takes a bit of time for all file changes to be uploaded, but then is it not a true backup?

Thanks again for all the contributions. An early reply suggested this was an easy matter - it seems anything but to me!

@nickrich , I used to use a synology ds213j and found the midrange on my wav ripped files sounded a bit muddled. By chance a while ago I got to hear a synology ds218play in my system and the midrange muddle was no more. Overall it sounded better, which really surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it to. Both were running the same version/build of minimserver. Ive since compared the ds218play, which I now own to naims core and found I prefer the synology for most tracks tested.
When I next need to replace the synology I may try an even higher model to see if there is any more sonic performance to be had.

I use a Synology 4 bay drive (DS 418, 24tb) running RAID 5 (I think) so net 12tb, storing circa 10,000 lossless discs, and it is connected via regular ethernet to my network for access by multiple systems. It has been largely reliable (one disk failure in 8 years) with no lost data. The choice for solid state may depend on how much volume you need, as the price fall of solid state has stalled in recent years. Be careful with any cloud set up as the price may vary and the terms of use (which I have read, Google, Apple, AWS, MS) leave you cold should something happen to that vendor.

The Synology unit is virtually silent (inside a cabinet) and was easy to set up. I have experimented with other storage devices, solid state direct to ND555 and various USB options but I cannot detect any big differences in SQ (but that could just be me!). My advice is find the storage unit that gives you the long term volume you need, use good (not necessarily expensive network components, and site the storage unit where it has good ventilation and as little dust as you you can manage. Hoover the dust that does accumulate out often.

Most of all enjoy the music!

Google cloud is a complete backup as far as we’re concerned.

The Synology agent is scheduled for 10pm. Anything we’ve added/changed on the NAS gets uploaded to Google every evening. If you happened to be checking you’d see it appear in browser.

It could be scheduled far more frequently but that adds little value for us. Worst case we lose files from last 12 hours. They would be on mini PC until we know they’re in cloud.

We choose to use a single upload each evening as performing large uploads whilst we are working can negatively impact downloads and latency.

We periodically verify contents match.

You can specify whether local deletes are mirrored and all sorts based on time of change etc. (we don’t mirror deletes, so a fat fingered remove of file or folder is no issue).

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If you delete a file on the master (i.e. working) disk, then after 30 days Backblaze will delete the backup copy without warning. A true backup would only delete the backup file if it’s explicitly deleted from the backup storage.

This deletion is the behaviour of a mirror device (but delayed by 30 days) rather than the behaviour of a backup.

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If you don’t mirror deletes, then it can’t match!

Also if you’re not keeping a backup of file history (i.e. not using an incremental backup) then from an informational perspective, your backup system is incomplete as it won’t protect against accidental changes.

If you’re not transcoding video then a high spec NAS or SSD are not a requirement.
I run a ten year old Qnap TS251+ with MinimServer and it’s not missed a beat. In addition as well as storing documents and media it runs my security camera system too. It’s backed up to the cloud every week.

One warning, keep it off the WAN if you don’t want to be vulnerable to ransomware. I only access mine remotely via Wireguard.

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Regarding possible hard drive noise, Seagate Ironwolf NAS drives are very noisy (to the point of interfering with listening experience in some scenarios). I have heard WD Reds are quieter but I don’t have first-hand experience.

I understand complex backup strategies having managed these for IT clients for many years. Probably responsible for my first GFS tape based service in the mid 90s.

The backup strategy we’re using on our NAS matches how we use it for music.

There are no deletes we want to mirror as we rarely, if ever, remove music from our collection.

Similarly there are no accidental updates as the only operation we do against NAS is copy new music on, post any conversion/cleansing required and after full metadata processing (usually MusicBrainz Picard).

If it reaches our NAS that’s what we want reflected in cloud that evening.

We have no need of incremental backup as part of our tailored strategy.

We periodically run hash based comparisons of updated local and cloud content so we can be 100% sure file content matches. This also flags up anything which only exists at one end.


I use a Terramaster 2 drive NAS set up in RAID configuration - about 4 years old now. It is connected to my wireless BT router and has been faultless. I have my Auralic Aries read my music directory as a network share as the Auralic DS Lightning server/app is way better with metadata than the media servers that reside on the NAS - though they do work. I do the same with my Bluesound Node as that only uses network share as a solution. Sound quality is great - to such an exrent that I did not bother with the internal storage option that the Aries offers.

Right - thanks for the explanation - I didn’t realised that, but I’m not too concerned about it.

Hi, in addition to a 2tb Unitiserve Naim and a 2tb myCloudWD, I have also been using a Synology DS71+ with two 4 tb WD red hds in raid for 2 years. All right, easy and silent…

Fair enough, tailoring a backup strategy to a specific use case will be optimal.

I do 3-2-1 strategy for my backups

  • Use a minimum of 3 copies
  • Use 2 different types of media
  • And have 1 copy off-site