You can never have too many backups. A customer had been having some computer issues and as a consequence had lost some important data. We decided to set up a RAID system so that the risk of data loss through hardware failure was minimised. There are obviously a few different options when it comes to backing up, online or ‘cloud’ services such as Google drive, Microsoft skydrive and dropbox offer online backup and sharing facilities that can be very useful. They do, however, rely on your internet speed and you are entrusting a 3rd party with your data. If you are using large files, such as uncompressed video or audio files, then a RAID system can offer a level of safety whilst allowing you to backup and access your data reasonably fast. I have used a number of NAS RAID units and the Synology units have always been very impressive. They are reasonably priced whilst offering a good range of features and have proved extremely reliable.
The customer’s system was used mainly for admin and storing images and audio. We built a new computer to replace the failing desktop and set up a Synology DS212J with 2 x Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1 TB hard drives configured in a basic RAID 1 array. The customer could then access their data from a number of different computers in the building and also log in remotely via a secure HTTPS connection.
Installing the drives
NAS with drives
Intel Pentium G2120 Tower
Synology DS212J NAS
This build was for a musician that was recording material for their new album and also editing some visuals primarily using Sony’s Vegas software. The customer was having performance issues with their current computer system so we needed to make sure that the new machine could perform the required tasks whilst keeping an eye on the budget. The customer had recently purchased a new PSU and graphics card for their current workstation so we re-used them on this build.
An Intel Core i5-3570 CPU, 16GB RAM and the Crucial SSD provided more than enough performance. The Crucial SSD was set up as the main Windows drive and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive would be used mainly for storage. We also installed the Siig FireWire card for connecting a Focusrite audio interface. A few different video cameras were also going to be hooked up via firewire and the Siig card has proved to be much more reliable than some of the cheaper firewire cards.
The full spec…
- Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl Mid Tower Case USB 3.0
- ASUS P8Z77-V LX2 S1155 Z77
- Intel Core i5-3570 3.40 GHz Processor
- 16GB kit (8GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3-12800 / 1.5V
- SAMSUNG SH-224BB/BEBE DVD±RW SATA
- Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2 TB 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
- Crucial 128GB m4 2.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
- Siig FireWire 2-Port PCI Express Adapter Card (NN-E20012-S2 Texas Instruments)
An old desktop was brought in that was randomly powering off. A quick look inside revealed some clogged up vents, fans and heatsinks. Even if overheating was not the main problem it was worth a clean!
We cleaned up the insides with a small brush and compressed air duster. We could have ran some temperature diagnostic software but the unit was powering off so frequently that a quick test showed that the cleaning had been successful.
I have always found the Fosusrite interfaces to be reliable and robust, with good support and up to date software. They have put together a comparison tool on their website for all their audio interfaces.
Click here to try our new tool.