So, you have invested in a shiny brand new NAS device. It performs well. You automated your backups of a laptop, external disks all to the unit. Sweet. It even has two or more disks that are mirrored or have another RAID setup which gives you full redundancy. So even when one disk fails – no worries. All good. Done and dusted. No worries about losing data anymore.
I don’t need a second copy. Correct? Well, that’s a good question…!
The good answer is that you are correct, it would take a lot to lose data that is stored on a NAS device (or any other storage device with a RAID setup) that has data redundancy. But the not so good answer is, that there are still some scenarios where you actually can lose your data. These include
- What if you lose the complete NAS Device. For example – what if the unit gets stolen or lost in a fire. If you don’t have your NAS device anymore – you effectively lose all data on it.
- The NAS device drops on the ground. Since a NAS Device still contains moving parts (hard drives), a physical impact could lead to a disk failure. It doesn’t happen often that both disks will fail (disk drives are pretty resilient these days), but theoretically, it could happen. Again, if both disks fail at the same time, you will likely lose all data on the NAS device.
- Electrical mains spike, or a lighting strike. A lighting strike or mains voltage spike usually doesn’t reach your electronic devices, as you are using protecting power boards (you are, correct?). And even if it does, usually it will only destroy the power supply, not the hard drives in the NAS. But then – never say never, and it still could ruin your NAS device.
- You (accidentally) delete some or all data from the NAS that you shouldn’t have deleted. Even if you have redundancy built into your NAS, if you delete data off it, and really deleted it, it will be gone.
These are just 4 examples that would mean you loose your data on a NAS device. And you now probably would agree that it would be a good idea to have a second safe copy somewhere. Maybe not from all data, but at least your most important data should be backed up to another media and to be even more safe to another location.
So, what are your options?
Luckily there are several options if you use a Synology NAS device. Synology has put some thought into making extra backups of the data on the NAS easy and straight forward.
Synology Hyper Backup.
Synology Hyper Backup lets you backup data to a range of external locations including shared folders on your network, external USB drives, other Synology NAS Devices (local or remote) or even commercial cloud systems. These backups can be automated so you always have a second copy. Hyper Backup also handles versioning on block-level, and does incremental backups. This will speed up your backup and even makes sure that older versions of a specific file won’t be deleted from your second copy even if you deleted it from your NAS device.
We at West IT Services usually recommend people to use one of their older external “backup” drives to backup data and then store that drive at a secure location. (for example your work drawer). Hyper backup can encrypt this second backup, so even if this second backup copy gets’s in the wrong hands, the people won’t be able to access your data.
Cloud sync is the second fully automated solution from Synology that synchronizes data on your local NAS device with a commercial cloud provider. It can be setup to work two ways, NAS-to-Cloud and Cloud-to-NAS. The advantage from Cloud Sync is that your data is replicated to the cloud provider immediately after it changes.
USB Copy 2.0
USB Copy 2.0 copies data between DSM and external USB/SD devices. With minimal configuration, USB Copy auto-copies files and folders from your Synology NAS to attached USB/SD storage or reversely for efficient data exchange and backup. It’s so smart that it’s a hot plug system. Basically, you plug in the USB/SD device, the NAS device recognizes the USB/SD device and then auto-runs a matched copy task. When it’s done, the NAS Device will beep and give LED alerts.
It’s highly customisable by device with backup destination, copy mode, file-type filter, and conflict policies. All the settings will be remembered for instant application upon hot plug-in.
These are only 3 of the many applications available on the Synology NAS devices. They’re pretty much similar application on other commercial NAS devices that make making an extra backup of your data a lot easier.
Where from here
Implementing a second backup from your NAS device is quite straight forward. However, if you require help with deciding what solution to use, or setting it up, please do contact me and I will be happy to help you implement the best solution for you.