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 was a build for a University. It had to be relatively quiet and they wanted it in the rack. It was going to be used for both music production software, mainly Cubase but also some video editing, hence the 2 x 2TB Seagate drives. They were using a Focusrite firewire interface. I have found the Zalman PSUs to offer good noise levels for their cost. You can get quieter PSUs. The Scythe Shuriken also offers good noise levels for its cost. The intel Z68 chipset also offers the option of a raid setup using the the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology. There is a related post here.
The customer has commented on how quiet the machine runs. It was set up running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. The StarTech PCI1394MP firewire card has proven to be very reliable with both firewire soundcards and connecting to various cameras. I also removed one of the internal fans to help with the noise levels.
The build went well with no problems.
- Lian Li PC-C32B Aluminium Desktop CAse
- Zalman ZM600-ST 600W Quiet ATX PSU
- Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 Desktop Motherboard
- Intel Core i7 2700K 3.50 GHz Processor – Socket H2 LGA-1155
- Scythe Shuriken RevB Quiet Low Profile CPU Cooler
- 8GB Kit (4GBx2), Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3-12800
- 1 x Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1 TB / SATA600 / 7200 rpm / 64 MB
- 2 x Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB HDD / SATA600 / 7200rpm / 64MB
- Optiarc AD-7240S-0B SATA DVDRW
- Asus NVIDIA GeForce GT520 1GB Graphics Card 90-C1CQQ0-L0UANAYZ
- StarTech.com 4-Port IEEE-1394a PCI Firewire Card TI chipset (PCI1394MP )