My yearly Backup to My Cloud from QNAP

So it has been a year now since I migrated to QNAP to find that, yes it is a wonderful great boxy NAS but nevertheless it is still a single device that can fail in many murphyish ways despite that it is formatted as a raid 6 (meaning it will take two drive failures before you lose your date) and a 3 year over the counter exchange if the device ever goes dead (paid an extra $60 for that privilege) and not that my data is that important but I’ll still be crying if I lose any of it, I still need to back up all my data.

For those who are using an EX2 ultra, a reminder that you still have to back up even if you have mirror drives because it only takes one virus or someone that hack into your system to alter/delete your files and because it is mirrored, both copies will be altered or deleted. Yes it was after that I bought an EX2 thinking that “Yay Mirrored” before I realize that I should still backup. I even thought that with the QNAP raid 6 double drive failure, that I will never need to backup again but I realize that I was wrong after spending all that money because if you ever drop your NAS you realize that all your data/memories are in that one single box.

Luckily I still have my two My Personal My Clouds that I had to dig through my storage boxes to set up and after booting up with RED LEDs (grrrrr WD way of telling me that I’m using 95% storage) and not that it is dead in the waters; seriously WD you should change this and leave the LEDs alone and only have RED LEDs if the device is never returning from a chkdsk or some other system error. Blinking LED for no ethernet connection and really slow blinking LED for 100Mbit connection. Nope WD uses Red for everything other than blue which says it is ok.

Anyways the backup process will take a week to compare and backup changes to 12TB of data split into two My Cloud 8TB drives; Media and Photography.

Just a couple of notes that if you were cleaning up your My Clouds by deleting huge folders full of data, SSH into the device and use "rm -r " instead of deleting it from your MAC or PC. I have found that it takes up to several hours to delete a folder from the Mac that has 125,000 directory entries. From the terminal SSH, rm -r takes about 10 seconds for any size directory. My suspicions is that for every file that needs to be deleted is a delete file command issued by the Mac one file at a time thus consuming your life at an exasperating slow rate. This was always the part that I hated the most when cleaning up a hard drive but luckily I decided to use rm instead to save my sanity.

I am doing my backups manually because after all these years I still don’t trust rsync; e.g. If you rsync the wrong direction you might end up restoring your old copy of your data instead of backing up your new data. Yes that is where you test and re-test before using a script that you run once a year :stuck_out_tongue: but I said this last year and because of my age I tend to procrastinate a lot. Also remember that rsync will delete files that have been deleted from your main copy or files that have been altered will also be copied. So if you have this set as a cron run by the time you noticed that a virus has already altered or deleted all your main files, a cron run rsync will have rsynced your backup. Thus I do my backup once a year manually :stuck_out_tongue:

I use a software tool called “Beyond Compare” that compares two directories or drives for changes. Just by comparing name and timestamps, the tool is very quick. Your backup drive is simply an exact copy of your main drive so that if your main drive fails, you have a drive that can be put to use immediately. You can also binary compare the files so that if you suspect that there has been file copy errors, a binary compare will ensure that you have an exact copy.

Oh yeah, an interesting error popped up when mounting from the Mac. If I mounted each shared folder individually from the same My Cloud, the second and third folders mounted do not have the proper permissions marked with a red “-” disallowing access. To get access to multiple shared folders I had to use browse and “connect as” to sign in with the proper credentials and then I can select all the shared folders that I want to access. I think that this is either an error from WD or perhaps some process that I killed in my zest to kill the scan process.

With the recent purchase of the Oculus Quest I have found that I still have the need for a NAS for 3d files of a bachelor nature and these files are between 10 to 20GB in size. With the Clouds back in operation and after back-up, I might just use the clouds instead of the QNAP because the My Clouds are much more quieter than the QNAP. However the My Clouds are easier to store off-site than the QNAP so perhaps not.

Anyways since I am using my Personal My Clouds again for backing up my QNAP, I thought I should drop by and post up.

My backup took only a couple of days but after having a backup I felt more at ease to play around with my QNAP.

The main reason that I needed a backup was that I was planning to replace my two 8tb drives with two 10tb drives upgrading my NAS from 32tb to 40tb. With the red 10tb drives on sale at Memory Express for $329 each it was a slightly difficult decision as I kept hearing my ex-wife voice of unneeded expenditures, but in the end the need of having 4 equal disk size had been on my mind for over a year and now it was time to assuage my OCD.

It took about 3 days to replace the two 8tb drives one by one, with each replacement taking 30 hours to rebuild. The last 8 hours expanded the storage pool from 32tb to 40tb giving us 20tb usable (18.17tb actually). The job completed at 11:17 this morning as the LED turned green; It is done.

This should give me another year of happiness until the 10tb SSDs appears on the market at a reasonable price. :stuck_out_tongue:

The two 8tb drives will go into one of my spare ex2 and they will either be used for backups or perhaps sold but I am such a pack rat that perhaps I will use it in my My Book Duo as a stripe 16tb drive giving me 200MB/s read/writes; yes I have already tested the speed of striped drive through USB 3.0 on my MacBook.

Too many toys so little time.

Yes. . .the NAS is fundamentally a single point of failure.
I have had a house flooded out.
Oh. . .and let’s not forget random software updates (I already had Win10 updates wipe one computer. . thanks!)

My method: So - - -I have “critical files” and “media files”.
There are NO FILES on my PCs. (I already had Win10 updates wipe one computer. . thanks! No better feeling than seeing a computer O/S nuked and realizing. . .NBD because there’s not data on the machine!)

For “critical files”,
* I have a 4TB “working drive” that is always in my computer bag.
* I have an EX2 for home backup, refreshed pretty much weekly.
* I have an offsite backup; refreshed every several months. (4TB drive in my office desk)
* I have an “annual backup”; which is basically a 4TB drive I throw in the drawer and forget about. This is my ransomware and “did I really delete that?” protection. Essentially, my “working drive” gets retired and all the critical files are copied to a fresh drive that I take around the world.

For “media” that can be replaced . . .
* I have two offline harddrives where I store media (such as large MKV files that don’t want to be streamed).
* I have an “active copy” of streamable media on my EX2, and a MyPassport Wireless for daily use. (Either PLEX or VLC on a tablet)

I have a 4TB Mycloud (single drive) that predated my EX2. . .but it has basically been made redundant by my EX2. I bought it at a really good price, and it was my test bed for all my NAS and streaming stuff.

I also don’t trust backup software. I don’t need continuous backup. But when I make a backup, I want instant confirmation that it worked. . . .most backup software is “set and forget”. And with ever changing firmware on the NAS, the router, the PC. . . lord knows if what works today will work tomorrow or next week.

I use a program called “Folder match”. for this work.

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Oh- - - and having seen the WD software in action. . . .yeah, the WD stuff is definitely not bleeding edge.
Now that I know more. . . I see the merits of the QNAP and Synology stuff.

But fundamentally. . . for simple streaming using DLNA and Plex. . .plus simple file access using File Explorer. . .the WD stuff (The EX2, the MyCloud, The passport wireless) works as advertised and does the job.

If I wanted to “play”; I might get a new EX2 and try a roll your own O/S (whatever has replaced FreeNas in that niche; or something like that); but I have no need to upgrade what works.

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I too love the MyCloud and the EX2 for the streamline looks and simplicity. I use the USB Passport drives for backups because once the back up is done you can stuff it back in its pouch and throw it in a drawer.

The QNAP is old school that has too many bells and whistles that none of that is needed in the new age. The only reason that I decided to go QNAP was that it was one of those things that was always on my wish/bucket list and the fact that you can create this humongous raid.

When the lowest cost model went on sale for only a few hundred dollars, I bought it for fun really. Actually I bought the 2 disk QNAP and I had so much fun playing with it that I figure that a 4 disk QNAp must be 4 times the fun.

Yup my habits comes from Windows too after multiple reinstallation of windows and this habit has carried over to the MacBook.

Recently I bought an SSD seeing that it was on sale at $350 for 2TB and I keep transitory data on it. My MacBook only has apps only like photoshop,Logic Pro X etc. My documents (Pages), spreadsheet tables/bills (Numbers) are stored up in Apples 50GB Cloud for $1.29/month and I can even pull up my spreadsheet on my iPhone while standing in costco to see if I already have a certain lego set.

No data on the Mac.

but I do use Time Machine to backup my MacBook just for the way that I have everything set up. When I buy a new Mac I can use the Time Machine Backup to clone over to the new Mac.

No Plex here either as I tried it once on my EX2 and I really suspect Plex to be sharing your movies to other Plex users because my EX2 was gurgling all through the night until I turned off Plex and disabled the ports; I had a handful of movies on the test Plex EX2 and there was no way that it was scanning that handful of files for hours.

Instead I am using infuse (Apple TV, iPhone, iPad) that scans my NAS directories when you navigate into the movie directories, in real time and presents itself much like Plex a consolidation of episodes and movies much like Apple TV with images, summaries and even trailers.

For me, the main use of PLEX is as a media server for Roku sticks. DLNA seems too flakey from my experience to get material to the TV. The EX2 Ultra seems to have enough horsepower for PLEX to stream 1080P movies. . . so it seems like a good combination. I have not seen the grinding issues you had.

When I am at my PC, using it as a server using files from the NAS . . . . . file explorer opening VLC works well enough. VLC on my android tablet also is a champ. It was indeed a happy day when I discovered that the VLC app could browse my network drives.


Truth be told. . .I am becoming a fan of these baby portable SSD drives. I do use a 1TB as a thumbdrive. . . and it’s big enough to serve as a vacation backup drive. Nice!

My TinFoil side says to blazes with OneDrive and all the cloud servers. . . I am not going to pay someone to hold my data :wink:

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