NAS Replacement Advice

Current streaming set up is ripped music/downloads on a NAS + Backup NAS to ND555

Library (as of today): 167,107 tracks - 14,740 albums

Main NAS: QNAP TS251+ with 12TB ( 2 x 6TB Western Digital Red) installed 2016-2018

Backup NAS: Synology DS218J with 12TB (2 x 6TB Western Digital Red) installed 2018

Since the QNAP was set up in 2016 with additional capacity and back-up in 2018, (not a fan of RAID - prefer a back up), should I just run the set-up until the main or back up fails and replace?

Or buy a new up-front NAS and use the current set up as two levels of back-up.

Any recommendations on a 2 bay NAS - QNAP or Synology? Western Digital Reds are these still reliable?

I would just run with what you’ve got until one fails, as long as you have sufficient backup, preferably including at least one off site or cloud backup. With two NAS drives on your network, both can run a UPnP server, so there is no lack of access to your music if one needs to be replaced or repaired.


Your setup sounds reasonable. Why do you want to change it? What percentage of your 12TB capacity are you currently using? If you are under 6TB and you just want an extra backup, then you could simply use a 6TB USB drive in the Synology, then use “USB Copy” to sync your data. What I like about “USB Copy” is that it it doesn’t use a proprietary format for storage, and instead it’s just an exact file structure copy that would be easy to get stuff off just by plugging the usb drive in any computer

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Your setup sounds fine. Music streaming doesn’t tax the servers anywhere close to their capacity.


It’s not that I want to change it as such. It’s do I wait for it to fail or do I replace it now.

I’m using around 70% of the 12TB and buying more Hi Res these days.

Computer systems are not built like Naim HiFi and mechanical drives especially are prone to failure after extended use. Also, with your current setup both NAS devices are potentially vulnerable to events that could damage both if they’re both kept plugged in and online at the same time.

If I were in your position I’d do the following:

  • Plan for drive failure now and do a managed (as opposed to forced) replacement of a pair of drives in one NAS. 5 years is a good long life for a NAS hard drive, but 7 years is pushing your luck and for what purpose with 6TB drives being inexpensive?
  • Keep your backup NAS physically disconnected from mains and LAN when it’s not actively backing up
  • Keep a can of compressed air handy and blow dust out of each NAS every 6 months or so to prevent overheating

Of course, if you enjoy the element of surprise you can just wait and see … :smiley:


Thanks for advice - sitting on nearly 15,000 albums I really don’t want any surprises.

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I run two Synology 8 bay NAS each with 6 drives in RAID 6 - not primarily for music files - both are on 24x7 powered from a UPS. One is the primary and the other is the backup. Having two boxes the same allows for more automated backups using their own tools. One dates from 2017 and the other from 2013. If a drive fails in either a rebuild with a replacement drive is automated. I’m pretty comfortable with my setup, but will probably look for a new NAS next year due to O/S support expiring on the 2013 NAS.

There are lots of options and costs, but an automatic backup operation is recommended.

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I have a QNAP TS251A 2 X 4TB RAID and plan to run it until it fails. I have two external back ups I keep updated using the Hybrid Backup Sync app on the QNAP. I have the QNAP plugged into a Furman 1000 UPS for the event of power interruptions which has come in handy. I only use the NAS for music streaming. Not sure how long this QNAP will last but I’ve been pleased with the performance so far.

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I changed my old Synology NAS last year for a newer one - the old one was 10 years old and slowing but the WD green drives were still going strong.

Copied everything onto new WD SSD drives and then hot swapped into a new enclosure.

Everything is further backed up onto a separate WD ‘my passport’ via USB. Additionally bought a cheap HDD cradle and still back up in duplicate to original WD Green drives (which are stored at my parents house).

Ie other back up options are available!

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I have a similar setup, main NAS is a 2-bay Netgear ReadyNAS Pro 2 with 2x10TB WD Red running RAID1, backup NASes are 2-bay Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra with 2x8TB WD Red running RAID1, a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo with 2x2TB WD Red also in RAID1, and a Cisco NSLU2 with two 1TB WD Black running in separate USB enclosures.
I have offline backup on a RAID0 box with 2x 6TB WD Reds for a 12TB volume.
There are daily rsync based backup jobs running between Primary and Backup NAS units.
The Pro2 and Ultra have dual Gigait ports as a bonded pair with adaptive load balancing.

Library is presently 99k tracks and 7.5k albums, which is about 8.2TB, as 62% HiRes (24-bit PCM & DSD)
Currently 92% of Main NAS and 99% of Primary Backup NAS and 50% of Secondary Backup NAS.

Library is read by Roon Core and UPnP Server as backup.

So will either need to move to 12TB discs and move the 10TB down to the Primary Backup, which frees up 2x8TB drives.

Or what I am starting to look at is a 4-bay NVMe enclosure with 4TB SSD drives as a DAS drive to Roon Core, and turn the NAS volumes into RAID0 volumes as sync’ed backups, 20TB and 16TB each. The Roon Core would always be up-to-date and a UPnP scanned volume would lack behind based on the nightly rsync backup job.

So it depends on how long I have to fill up the current volumes vs the descending price of NVMe drives.

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I don’t see the point in this. Replacing a drive is the same process whether it’s working or not. Chucking one away while it still works is just a waste.

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I personally wouldn’t change the disk just through age, especially the red ones that are built to last. After all, you may change it with one and have an early life failure. Having a restore plan covers you

I cannot see the logic in changing anything and as I read it you are contradicting yourself. You express reliability concerns but given that HD failure is more likely to happen than anything else, it makes no sense not to use raid. If you backup the share to a usb drive or as I do, the cloud, you will be fine. If you enjoy being paranoid, look up the Qnap 100 ohm resistor fix…

It is worth having a look at the drives SMART numbers, this will tell how they are holding up. On my mac I use drive dx from Binaryfruit.

SMART is useful but drives do have a tendency to just go pop. The simple answer is anything you want kept have a back up.

I’ll be honest as I age my worries and concerns over my music collection have faded, frankly most of what I need is on tidal anyway.


RAID is not a substitute for backup. It could almost be considered a convenience - simple, speedy replacement of a single bad HDD. As long as you have independent backups, you should be fine.

I’m now using my Synology NASfor more “stuff” than holding and serving music (like @garyi, I mainly source from Tidal nowadays). I have enabled some of the personal cloud services , which work nicely, added the iPhone photo backup application to our phones and it automagically uploads and sorts everything when we have a wifi connection - just like having your own personal iCloud backup, as advertised.

I have a 4-bay 918+ model, and have just completed a major upgrade in storage, swapping two individual 6TB WD Reds for four hybrid Raid 1 (I think?) 12TB WD Reds - giving me about 36TB storage and resilience against any single drive failing. This seems to me like a key advantage over a 2-bay model, where the only options are two jbod individual drives like the OP or a single storage volume and 100% duplication against a failure. I was happy with that decision a few years back when one drive failed, but I’m happier with the 25% cost to protect against any one of four failing unexpectedly.

So, if upgrading or replacing your 2bay NAS, I’d suggest exploring a 4bay and using the “hybrid Raid” option to enable you to start with one or two HDs, then as you expand you can increase the volume size and add redundancy.

(Aware Raid isn’t backup, but OP backup strategy seems v solid…)

Best wishes shopping for a new toy.

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Drive failure is just one of several things that can destroy your stored data. So my approach would be of course to have additional drives, but not to put them in the same enclosure.
I run a single bay NAS which is sufficient for my storage needs, backed up to another single bay NAS. Both of them run UPnP music servers, so there is no delay in accessing my collection even if one NAS gets completely destroyed.

That is a good idea. I could load Asset onto my Synology ‘back-up’ drive - thanks for that.