Project: Data storage

Open HDD

Here’s the first of my projects, it’s been ongoing for quite a while now. Here’s how I store all of my data.

Let me know if you like this format.

The need

Easily accessible storage of data across LAN and management via WAN as well as something that supports RAID. The goal was to step up from a few drives stuffed into a normal computer chassis but not go mental with full on enterprise storage.

The solution

Synology incoming! I ended up going with their DS1813+ model. It’ll hold 8 drives with a host of RAID options. The drives are currently being filled with WD (Western Digital) 4TB Red drives – they’re built with vibration things and work well in a NAS.

The rest

The HTPC (project linkage coming soon) runs a simple 120GB SSD. It’s got a 1TB WD drive for pending downloads (it also doubles as a download machine).

My Xbox One runs a 2TB WD (yes, I’m a bit of a Western Digital fanboy) external drive, since it comes with a weak 500GB internal drive.

Then there’s a 1TB WD external drive that I throw data on for the road.

The Macbook Pro runs a 250GB Samsung SSD.

The details

Here’s how I use it, what’s on it, performance and a few snaps of the NAS.

After editing these pictures, I realise there’s a stack of dust everywhere. Weekend project!

Synology overview

Synology lights Synology side Synology status

Getting here has taken a while, I pop into more drives as time goes on. But I must admit, filling it up has made is a little OCD about adding more. I’m even considering buying an add-on unit when all 8 bays are full. Not that I need it, but anyway.

Since the HTPC handles downloads, the NAS just does the basics. I’ve set it up for:

  • Basic data storage
  • Security surveillance management and archives (more on this soon)
  • Time Machine backups
  • Photo backups for my girlfriend’s phone and my phone, via PhotoStation

The exact drives I use are the WD40EFRX’s, they’re on the official Synology supported list. They’re also cheap for what you get. Performance has been great for me, it’s handled the loads I’ve thrown at it extremely well. Just a heads up though, if you’re running networked storage (good example from @HJLinde) on VM’s or need some high performance SAN stuff – get enterprise grade drives. For home storage, you’re good.

The RAID is setup as SHR1. This is Synology’s Hybrid RAID setup that allows for a 1 disk fault-tolerance. I was storage hungry at the time of setting it up, but I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t setup SHR2. Anyway, too late now – and we all know that RAID is not a backup solution. My important backup stuff (docs, finance stuff is spread out and secured both on the NAS and elsewhere), but ideally the expansion unit will mirror whatever is on the main NAS.

Here's my current overall setup.

From there, I’ve basically just got a bunch of folders setup for backups, media, surveillance and photo backups.

That’s about it :)

I’ll update the post again when a new HDD enters the arena.


I live at | Android fiddler | Nerd | Xbox gamer | I'd prefer to live off Bitcoin | IoT makes me smile