Geoff’s computer recently died (we think the power supply went kablooey and damaged the HD). This has me thinking – yet again – that I need to seriously reconsider my backup options. That is, I need to start backing stuff up!
Here’s our setup:
5 computers at home- my main computer (Ubuntu) my media computer (Win XP) Geoff’s Computer (Win XP) and two laptops- one with XP, the other dual boot XP and Ubuntu.Also have hacked Xbox I watch things on, though this can access just about anything. :)
Right now, I keep my photos on my Ubuntu machine and share them across the network to me XP media computer when needed. The media computer holds my music and videos. Our router is only 100 M, so it’s pretty slow to transfer a lot of files between computers.
Recently, I’ve started thinking that perhaps instead I should get a network attached storage device and use that to keep all files centrally located instead. For off site backup, I think I’ll get a smaller USB drive (like this) and backup only the most important files (photos, music, art- not video files) and bring to work.
So here are the different option I am considering. What do you think?
Needed in any case:
A gigabit router – because file transfers are painfully slow otherwise. I’m looking at the D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Wireless Router (~$100), but am open to suggestions.
Option 1: Keep linux box as main file computer.
Since I already use Linux as my main computer, I could just set it up as a file server too (well, I already do this, but I could do a better job, I think). I think I can fit one more drive in my computer, so I could spring for a 1 TB drive. I think I have MOST of the technical know how to do this, and my computer is plenty powerful enough to be both a file server and my main computer. I might have to update my Ethernet to a gigabit, not sure.
Pros: Already have most of the equipment, could start with drives I already have and expand later. Lots and lots of flexibility, no stupid limitations on what I can do, could also use as a MythBox later if I want.
Cons: Would have to leave computer on all the time, and it is a power sucker. Is on much of the time anyway, though.
Cost: I could do this with no money initially, but would want a 1 TB HD (about $170) eventually.
Option 2: Get a NAS for backup/file server
I’m looking at two models wight now: This D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure and the HP MV2120 500GB Media Vault. Both will work with whatever OS I throw at it. The HP one comes with 500GB drive and then I can add more (I already have a 400 GB drive I can add), the D-link I’d have to buy an extra drive for. The HP can take 2 USB external drives too, so there’s a good amount of extra space that can be added. I would either backup the entire NAS to a external USB hard drive, or (more likely) mirror some content on other computers for backup. I have a lot of video files aren’t a big deal if lost.
Pros: Easier. I won’t learn as much, though. :) Having an external solution probably means a little more security (?) I’m guessing both of these use less power than my main computer.
Cons: not as much flexibilty, yet more hardware to maintain, etc.
Cost (if HP): $288.99 for device. Would use 400 GB drive I have to = 900GB total. Maybe expand HD later.
Cost (if D-link): $188 for device, and probably ~$80 for a hard drive.
Option 3: Build my own server
A third option, of course, would be to build my own media server from scratch. I like this idea because it’d give me yet another thing to tinker with, and I could make it a MythBox. I could research components to make somethign that’s not too power hungry.
Pros: Entirely customisable, most of the advantages of both of the above options
Cons: I’m not sure I have the time to set something like this up right now- and I don’t want to put off backups more than I have.
Cost: ??? I’d estimate at least $300- we have a few parts, but would probably need to replace nearly everything.
I’m wavering between option 1 and option 2 right now. Geoff and I have enough computers that we can back up files between them pretty well, so I don’t know that an NAS is REALLY needed. I might try setting up my computer as a full fleged server over the weekend and see if it is workable.