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Back up and UPS 
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Whilst money is going out for various reasons, I've been looking at planning to set something up in the next six months.

Essentially, all files are on my laptop. It's now getting to about 8 years old and still runs Windows 7. These days, I rarely use it except for either work-related stuff (reading medical papers and making notes), or for processing RAW files from my cameras. I've switched to using Google Docs and Sheets for a lot more things so it's easier for me to access from work or from iPhone.

I've posted about cloud storage advice and got some great advice >clicky< and plan to get this set up as one form of back up.

I have a synology DS-something hiding in its packaging somewhere in the garage. It's only 2-bay and a few years old but might well suffice for on-site back up as well as additional storage. My concern is then keeping the diskstation up and running so it can safely shut down in the event of a power cut (which sometimes happens, especially if I need to do electrical work and flip the fuse box off without thinking about what needs to be shut down). I'd probably set it up in the garage and run connections via powerline (I have some devolo plugs sitting around too) to the router.

I have bugger all idea about UPS and what to look for. Any advice would be welcome (including if my above plans could be improved).

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Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:35 am
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The Develo plugs need really good wiring to get any sort of performance.

I have a QNAP 453B NAS and Devolo plugs and an AVM wireless mesh. I originally bought the plugs to try and get better performance than the old Netgear ones - they were 100mbps, the Develo 1200mbps. The problem is, that is the theoretical capacity.

In practice, I get around 80-100mbps. Better than the old Netgears, but still useless for LAN. It did solve one problem though, the Netgears ran at around 50mbps, the speed of my Internet connection, but not much more. Downloading from the Internet was 100% the provided speed (i.e. 50mbps), but copying a file from my NAS to my PC would hover between 0.25 and 1.25mbps! It was actually quicker to copy everything to the cloud and back down again! I would usually just give up and take the PC down to the office and plug it into the switch, when I needed to transfer large amounts of data.

But, anyway, because of the slow speed, I decided to go with a mesh, using a mesh repeater from the maker of my router. The repeater is about 10M away from the router, but manages a maximum of 60mbps, from an advertised 1,200mbps!

It looks like I'm just going to have to run a network cable from the router to my office in the cellar... Which won't please my wife.

As to UPS, if it is going to work, it has to be compatible with your NAS - i.e. your NAS has to be able to accept shutdown notifications if the UPS detects a power out. A small UPS should do the job, the NAS uses naff all electricity, so it should run for ages on a small UPS. On the other hand, if the NAS isn't actually busy writing when the power drops, it should come back up, do an integrity check and carry on.

I have a PC and a laptop, plus my wife's laptop. We have Office 365 Home (license for me, my wife and our daughters), plus 1TB of storage for each. I keep a copy of all my documents, photos (RAW and "viewable" copies) on there, and synced to the NAS. In addition, I have a Carbonite account to back up the PC - although my daughter had problems with her Mac and Carbonite, so we switched her to Backblaze.

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Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:32 pm
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big_D wrote:
The Develo plugs need really good wiring to get any sort of performance.

I used them to make the bedroom TV a "smart" TV with the addition of box that used various apps including youtube and netflix, which did really well. I haven't used the plugs for data transfer but since they're sitting in the garage, it's worth giving it a go.

big_D wrote:
It looks like I'm just going to have to run a network cable from the router to my office in the cellar... Which won't please my wife.

I wouldn't mind doing this except it'd mean emptying the living room out, lift the carpets in living room and hallway, lift the boards up and run the cat cable underneath, then drill a hole in the wall between house and garage. If I ever do any construction work to the house, I will definitely do it then.

big_D wrote:
As to UPS, if it is going to work, it has to be compatible with your NAS - i.e. your NAS has to be able to accept shutdown notifications if the UPS detects a power out. A small UPS should do the job, the NAS uses naff all electricity, so it should run for ages on a small UPS.

Synology have list of compatible UPS: https://www.synology.com/en-global/comp ... =upses&p=1 My problem is knowing what to look for.

big_D wrote:
On the other hand, if the NAS isn't actually busy writing when the power drops, it should come back up, do an integrity check and carry on.

My concern is it could corrupt the HDD if the power drops when writing. Most of the time it'll be me shutting off the supply (in which case I should remember to switch off the synology box) but the other times may be due to local power cuts (we've had two in the last four years).

big_D wrote:
I have a PC and a laptop, plus my wife's laptop. We have Office 365 Home (license for me, my wife and our daughters), plus 1TB of storage for each. I keep a copy of all my documents, photos (RAW and "viewable" copies) on there, and synced to the NAS. In addition, I have a Carbonite account to back up the PC - although my daughter had problems with her Mac and Carbonite, so we switched her to Backblaze.

I've heard of Carbonite, not Backblaze. I think my concerns would be longevity of those companies. They're not unreasonable (about £60/yr for carbonite) for unlimited storage. I'll need to see how much storage space the photos take up. RAW images are very space-consuming, especially the more modern a camera becomes.

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Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:44 pm
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Thinking out aloud, I could potentially store something at work as part of back up eg flash drive, external HDD, blu ray (laptop has a blu ray burner). What would be most stable (it can get very hot in my room at various points of the year either through sunlight or heating)?

I'm also looking at whether it's worth backing up online stuff that I'm hosting in Google Docs or Google Sheets. Easy to access without my laptop but a pain if Google lost my data for whatever reason.

With respect to the laptop, I use it a handful of times a year and it can go months without being fired up. Mostly to transfer camera photos to hard drive (and then process in lightroom), to back up iPhone prior to an update, or to do some work which is generally done now on Google docs. Once I get my photos properly sorted, processed and pop out into JPG format, I'll upload these to Google Photos or similar as additional back up too.

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Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:57 am
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Carbonite and Backblaze have both been around for at at least a decade. I think I've been using Carbonite for 5 years now.

Longevity isn't the problem - you use them to keep a constant backup going; any changes made to your files on the PC will be automatically uploaded to the backup service in "real-time", if you are offline, they will be queued until you are back online, of course, which is the only dangerous time.

If the company goes bust, they will usually give you notice, which gives you time to switch to a different service. You only need the service if you need to restore files after they are lost locally.

Synology (and QNAP) allow you to do a remote sync. If you are cheeky, you could put a second NAS in your office and sync them, but that will probably cause problems with the surgery's certification and GDPR etc.

Otherwise, you can attach an external USB drive to the NAS and it will backup to it, so you could bring the drive home on Thursdays, make a backup over night and take it back to work on Friday (or use 2 drives, so at least one is always off-site).

As to the UPS, APC is generally a good name and I've heard of Eaton and PowerShield as well, but have no experience with them. An APC 400VA - 550VA should be more than adequate, although some of the better models start at 700VA, but are under 100€, so should be under 100UKP. The APC calculator says a 400VA should power a 40W load for around an hour (I think the Synology is under that under load, probably only 20W). You need to check which Synology you have, then look and see which APC models support your NAS.

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Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:33 pm
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Thanks for the advice big_D
big_D wrote:
Longevity isn't the problem - you use them to keep a constant backup going; any changes made to your files on the PC will be automatically uploaded to the backup service in "real-time", if you are offline, they will be queued until you are back online, of course, which is the only dangerous time.

I'll need to remember to factor this in as with laptops I sometimes just close the lid to force it into sleep or hibernate modes.

big_D wrote:
You only need the service if you need to restore files after they are lost locally.

True. I will have local back up.

big_D wrote:
Synology (and QNAP) allow you to do a remote sync. If you are cheeky, you could put a second NAS in your office and sync them, but that will probably cause problems with the surgery's certification and GDPR etc.

There's wi-fi available for staff use, and I use the same computer for browsing as I do for medical work but it all goes through a firewall. I've had websites blocked (that I feel are legitimate eg looking at VPN a while back) so I imagine they employ decent safeguards.

big_D wrote:
Otherwise, you can attach an external USB drive to the NAS and it will backup to it, so you could bring the drive home on Thursdays, make a backup over night and take it back to work on Friday (or use 2 drives, so at least one is always off-site).

Yup that's what I was considering.

big_D wrote:
As to the UPS, APC is generally a good name and I've heard of Eaton and PowerShield as well, but have no experience with them. An APC 400VA - 550VA should be more than adequate, although some of the better models start at 700VA

I have a feeling the APC 700VA is the one the practice uses for its servers for when we have power cuts (which typically happen 4-5x a year!).

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Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:00 am
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I didn't think you were in the Third World... 4 x 5 times a year?

I think, apart from planned power outages, when I need to swap out lights (and then I only isolate the circuit I need), we haven't had a power outage in 4 or 5 years...

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Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:21 am
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big_D wrote:
I didn't think you were in the Third World... 4 x 5 times a year?

I work in a semi-rural area. Power cuts do happen which is why we have UPS and back up generators. I think there's a distribution hub nearby which gets worked on. Having said that, we've probably had fewer power cuts this year.

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Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:27 am
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