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Need recommendations for building the ultimate home backup NAS

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have a lot of devices in my home. Three Windows 10 based gaming desktop PCs, a Mac mini, a Linux workstation, a Mac Pro, a Power Mac G5, a Power Mac G4, two MacBook Pros, a MacBook Air, an old white MacBook, a Dell XPS 15, and an Alienware laptop. My goal is to be able to back up each of these to a single NAS, and to be able to do so at around 1GBps. Believe it or not, most of my devices can actually hit those kinds of read and write speeds! The old PowerMacs cant, but I'm not that worried about them. Right now my back ups for these are scattered between several external drives, with the important stuff backed up on multiple encrypted USB flash drives. It is a mess! So my questions are: what kind of switch should I buy that can handle 10Gbps? What software can I use that will work on all of these various devices? Once I have backup software set up, how will I handle restoring from those backups when I have a drive failure or an accidental deletion? For the NAS box itself, I was thinking I'd use Ubuntu and zfs, but I'm not sure what hardware platform I should use. I want to be able to use ECC memory, and I'm having a hard time figuring out if any Ryzen motherboards actually, properly support it. I'm also not sure what storage type or brands I should use for maximum reliability, like 2.5 inch SSDs, vs NVMe vs old fashioned spinning hard drives vs Samsung vs Seagate vs WD.

So I guess what I'm looking for here are both hardware and software recommendations for someone trying to build a bad ass, high speed, high reliability backup solution for a growing household of devices. I'm not even sure what my budget should be for something like this, but lets just take $10k USD as the hypothetical starting limit.

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45 minutes ago, chris-chan said:

hypothetical starting limit.

Buy a dedicated NAS device, this will eliminate cross-platform issues.

Connect to your new switch, set up read/write permissions, and call it done.

I have a similar thing in my house (mix of hardware and platforms) and this is what I did. Solved a lot of headaches.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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Almost any NAS solution will work totally fine with this setup.


You could:

1. Buy an off the shelf 2 or 4-bay NAS appliance from the likes of QNAP/Synology.

2. Repurpose an old Desktop and install FreeNAS/Window Server/Ubuntu Server/unRAID, etc.

3. Buy a used Server (R710's are a popular choice, but there are many many to choose from)

4. Build a custom server using new or used parts


Basically, you need to start by looking at total data usage across all devices - how much storage do you need to back up them all? Then, you want to account for storage growth over at least a year (ideally look 3-5 years ahead). That tells you how much HDD space you require.


Then, you can create a Server - almost any server OS will do - load it up with enough HDD's - create the appropriate RAID (or software RAID-like) array, given the number of drives on hand - then create a shared folder (or two/three - it might be better to create separate shares for each client OS: macOS, Windows, and Linux - that's largely for organization, but also allows you to choose the "ideal" network protocol for each OS).


Use the client backup software for each OS - Windows and Mac both have great backup software.


In terms of what's easiest, buying an off-the-shelf 2-bay or 4-bay QNAP or Synology would be a great starting place. Grab 2 or 4 HDD's of the same size (enough to handle your data needs), and you're good to go.

For Sale (lots of stuff):


[FS] [CAD] Various things



* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

* Gigabyte HD 7950 WF3 * SATA Blu-Ray Writer * Logitech g710+ * Windows 10 Pro x64 *


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