Setup of new NAS server

Hi Jay,

I have purchased a 14TB Western Digital Hard Drive from Bestbuy for this black friday and my plan is to purchase a Raspberry PI 4 with 8GB of RAM and then setup my own NAS server with openmediavault. I did watch your video on setting this up and I am fairly comfortable. Once setup is done, I am planning to signup for a cloud storage provider who provides unlimited storage for a monthly fee like crashplan. I do have couple of questions. Could you please help?

  1. Once my NAS server is up and running, I would like to use Syncthing to sync data from all of my home devices into the WD hard drive. In order to achieve this, do I need all the devices in the same WiFi network? I have an Asus RT-AC5300 with 8 or more WiFi SSIDs and I have different devices connecting to different SSIDs. Is there any way to use Syncthing to backup the data from all of my home devices into the WD hard drive irrespective of the WiFi network they are connected to?
  2. I would like to be able to access my openmediavault server from anywhere and I am planning to setup PiVPN for that. Do I need to assign a static IP to the NAS server or use the services like DynDNS or No-IP? Are there any free options to set the hostname same even if the IP changes? I don’t think my ISP is offering static IP.
  3. Are there any better cloud storage providers other than crashplan? Crashplan is charging $10 per month per device and I believe they delete the data from their cloud storage if our drive is disconnected from their server for more than 30 days or so.
  4. Can the Raspberry 4 handle the NAS server, PiVPN server and Plex Server all at the same time? I won’t be using Plex heavily anyway.

Thanks in advance,
Balaji.

  1. Assuming each Wifi SSID is on the same VLAN, which SSID each device is assigned shouldn’t make a difference. Since you didn’t mention VLANs, I’m going to assume each SSID is on the same network. If each device gets an IP from the same pool and they have the same subnet mask, then the SSID doesn’t factor in at all whatsoever. So Syncthing would allow you to back up each device without you having to do anything special in your router (again, assuming you didn’t set up VLANs).

  2. I recommend all servers have a static IP. But I prefer static leases (aka “reservations”) so you set everything up in the router. If your IP addresses start at 192.168.1.100 for example, assign the NAS a reserved IP (in the router) for something underneath that (or whatever your pool is). If DHCP currently assigns the entire block, limit it to something like 192.168.1.100 - 192.168.1.250 (adjust for your IP scheme). Then you can assign static IP addresses outside of that range for any device you want to have a predictable IP. Here’s a guide (the verbiage on their site seems incorrect, but I think this is the option you’re looking for): https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1000906/
    But to answer simply, yes, you always want a predictable IP for something that’s important on your network ESPECIALLY your VPN device.

  3. I use Backblaze B2, and their prices are ridiculously cheap. It can take me 20-30 minutes to get access to large data downloads, but I don’t mind waiting a bit in exchange for cheaper prices. I back up my entire YouTube channel on B2. I have about 6TB saved on their right now, and my last bill was around $30 USD or so. I didn’t even know that Crashplan still existed to be honest.

  4. The Pi can hold all of those things, but if you have a large download going over VPN while watching Avengers at the same time, you may run into trouble. Especially if Plex has to do any re-encoding. With proper file types you can game that and get a lot more performance from it. But it can vary. I don’t see any harm in trying it, unless setting it up for your media library requires a lot of work. Another option is to dedicate a Pi to Plex, and use AutoFS to automatically mount the movie share on the NAS via NFS.

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Hi Jay,

Thanks for your fast turnaround.

  1. I did not setup any VLAN in my main router and all devices are in the 192.168.1.* network only. I have another router with tomato firmware which I configured to use Windscribe VPN and I guess I did setup VLAN in that. If I need to access my NAS from a device connected to the WiFi SSID of tomato router (IP range is 192.168.7.*), how do I do it?
  2. I did setup static IP in my router for my wireless printer and I can do the same here.
  3. It looks like the limitations I mentioned were for BackBlaze, not crashplan. Below is what I found in Backblaze website (Backblaze Policy). Here is what I am little concerned about.

==============================================================

    If a file is in the inherited backup, but not on the new computer, it will be purged from the backup, just as with files that have been deleted or removed from the computer for more than 30 days.

    The end result is that files already backed up will not be transmitted again, any new or changed files will be uploaded, and your backup will be accurate with as little time and bandwidth used as possible.

    *Note: Backups cannot be inherited cross platform. A Windows backup can only be inherited by a Windows computer, and a Mac backup only by a Mac.*

==============================================================

Though I am planning to use the Raspberry PI with the external hard drive as the source data for cloud backup purpsoses, I still feel there are some limitations of backblaze.

  1. I am not a gaming person and my gaming requirements are very simple. Also, I don’t know if I will be using Plex yet.

I have one more question. Is syncthing is only for synching data between devices or can it be used to backup the contents from multiple devices into a centralized storage? I would like to be able to backup the photos/videos from all phones/tablets into the NAS storage. Is it possible with syncthing? If syncthing can’t do that, is there an alternative for that?

Thanks,
Balaji.

  1. For a device to reach another when they’re both on separate networks, it will work automatically if they share the same default gateway and there’s no firewall restricting the traffic. If not, you’d have to add a route to the routing table to make sure the devices now how to route between networks. Without a firewall such as pfsense, the easiest way is to probably have them share the same default gateway for now, until you make the network more advanced later.

  2. Yup, you’re on the right path there.

  3. Are you sure that’s B2? B2 is the product I use from Backblaze. Basically, make Syncthing sync all of your computers to a NAS (not to each-other, each one syncs to the NAS) and then have the NAS use Backblaze B2 for offsite backup. Have Syncthing on the NAS keep historical versions for a time, and have the current and historical versions sync to Backblaze B2. Set a lifecycle policy in B2 so that it only keeps historical versions for a time (90 days, etc). That way you have historical versions in both Syncthing and B2. Also have an external hard drive for on-site backup too, in case your Internet cuts out and you can’t reach B2.

For your Syncthing question, it can sync between devices and can also be used for centralized storage. I use Syncthing on my TrueNAS, and each devices syncs to Syncthing on TrueNAS and NOT to each-other. So if I update a file on Computer A, it syncs to TrueNAS. Then, Computer B gets that file from the TrueNAS. Since everything syncs to TrueNAS, then TrueNAS can sync to B2 since it’s the central solution.

I would have a look at Backblaze B2 specifically, it definitely does what you want. No question.

Hi Jay,

Thanks for your response.

I looked at the Backblaze B2 and it seems very appealing. I just want to use that as a storage solution and I will reach out to their customer support and make sure they do not delete any data if my NAS/HDD is not connected all the time. Compared to the regular Backblaze, it looks like B2 will be cheaper if we talking about less data per month.

Forget the pi for OMV. You will want 2 or 3 drives for Raid and Docker some day. Build I cheep Celeron rig in a big case for lots of drives in the future.

Get at least 20M up from ISP.

You should be able to tell your router DHCP to send your NAS the same IP ever time. Then you don’t have to setup static IP on OMV.

Use DDNS-- DNSexit.com will provide you with a free 2nd level domain and DDNS. URL forward a domain to your free second level domain weird URL if you want. I don’t because I’m the only user.

Get some more drives and raid them, you’ll be GLAD you did. Raid0 takes 2 raid5 3.

Boot OMV to USB stick and use flash OMV plugin to not wear it out stick.

Install insync in OMV use Docker and use it to sync to Google Drive, however it’s $30 one time license, but very easy use. You can use 1 license to back up all servers. rclone is alternative, but I don’t really know currently how to use it. You can right an rsync script to backup what you want.

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