Data Storage

NAS (Network Attached Storage)

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) system is a data storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network.

Best Practices

  • Use RAID Level 6 or ZFS as the file system on NAS/SAN devices.
  • Do not use RAID 5, if RAID 6 or ZFS is available!
  • Try and get drives from different batches/lots, by not purchasing all the hard drives from the same vendor at the same time. Why? If a drive in the NAS fails, and is replaced, the NAS has to rebuild the RAID volume. The added stress of rebuilding my cause another drive to fail, thus, there may be insufficient data on the remaining drives to complete the rebuild of the replaced drive. Drives from the purchased at the same time, are probably from the same batch, and would’ve been in service for the same length of time. When a drive fails, what are the chances that another from the same batch may also fail?


NAS Hardware

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drives into one or more logical units for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, and expanded storage.


FreeNAS is an operating system, based on FreeBSD, that can be installed on virtually any hardware platform to share data over a network.

  • It is highly recommend you use ECC RAM with “mission-critical” ZFS with FreeNAS.
    • Systems with ECC RAM will correct single bit errors on the fly, and will halt the system before they can do any damage to the array if multiple bit errors are detected.
    • The ZFS filesystem (which FreeNAS uses) requires 1GB of ECC RAM for every Terabyte of storage.


Hard Drives

Long-term Archival Storage

Regular writable optical media, CDs & DVDs, etc., are not reliable for long term storage. The die used with optical media degrade with exposure to light, temperature extremes, etc. Because of this, the data on the media will start to degrade within 1 to 5 years.

M-DISC (Millennial Disc) is a write once optical disc technology available in DVD and Blu-ray forms.

Millenniata claims that properly stored M-DISC DVD recordings will last 1,000 years, and are readable in conventional optical drives

Drives with M-DISC support and M-DISC Media

Cloud Storage

  • ownCloud is a suite of client–server software for creating file hosting services and using them. ownCloud is functionally similar to the Dropbox, with the primary functional difference being that the Server Edition of ownCloud is free and open-source. It also supports extensions that allow it to work like Google Drive, with online document editing, calendar and contact synchronization, and more.

Synchronizing Data

  • Allway Sync uses algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives, remote FTP/SFTP and WebDAV servers, various online data storage and more.
  • OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Drop

Drive Encryption