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I missed a chance recently to fill in my religion as “Backup” when completing a form.

My data had a brush with mortality not long afterwards.

After a recent power outage I restarted an APC 650 UPS and then my ReadyNAS NV network storage box; almost immediately there was a bang. The UPS was kaput, likewise the power supply of the ReadyNAS. I’m not sure which, if either, was to blame.

The ReadyNAShas been humming away, 24 x 7, running up the electricity bill for 5 years (55W in idle mode). It had a midlife upgrade a couple of years ago, but replacing it wasn’t high on the TO DO list.

I groaned and felt some shame at the fact that it was not properly, i.e., 100%, backed up. The holy trinity is:

If it’s not

  • automated
  • redundant
  • regularly rotated off-site
it’s not a real backup.

My computers are subscribed to the first two precepts but the ReadyNAS, though baptised into this creed, has lapsed from observance. Offsite backups fell off the wagon, mainly because backing up over a USB 2.0 port is tedious and needs too much manual intervention.

Thankfully, I had a spare power supply.

The original had a serial number in a range that was potentially defective, on foot of which I got a free replacement a few months after getting the device; and I kept the original, just in case.

Running with no spare power supply and no UPS felt a bit like driving on 4 bald tires, and as 5 years was a good innings, I looked into getting a replacement. Ideally, I could partially retire the ReadyNAS, keeping it as an additional backup system.


Synology DS314: up to 16Tb

It didn’t take me long to decide: I ordered a Synology DS413.

I considered building a box of my own and running FreeNAS and may still do so someday, but for now the DS413 looks, compared to the ReadyNAS, almost like going from DOS to Windows. Storage hasn’t just continued to get cheaper, it can sling data in lots of new and fun ways.

More about that shortly.


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