Our Last Meeting: Wednesday 20th February 2019
NAS + RAID + Storage Solutions -All

We discussed he use of NAS and Raid systems for backing up and also network storage solutions and backup software.

Both Duncan and Michael had brought along their NAS systems to talk about.

Duncan began by showing his recently purchased an unpopulated Qnap 4 bay unit. He has it configured as 4x 2TB HDD drives, using Western Digital Red drives. The drives mechanically lock into the bays. They can be installed under Linux , MacOS or Windows with Red Hat Package Manager. The drives can be configured as RAID as mirrors, Striped or as RAID 5 or 6. This gives 6TB of storage space with one drive being used for parity.

[Background info Ed.

For those unfamiliar with RAID systems (like me)

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) can be set up in various ways to give improved resilience and protection usually expressed as RAID n, where n is an integer.

RAID 0 ... Disk striping splits data across any number of disks.
Fast but not fault tolerant.

RAID 1 ... Disk Mirroring. Min 2 disks - capacity only half of total capacity.
No hot swapping.

RAID 5 ... Striping with parity. Min 4 disks only 1 can fail simultaneously.

Hot swapping possible.

RAID 6 ... Striping with double parity. Min 4 disks 2 can fail simultaneously.

RAID 10 ... = RAID 0 + RAID 1 Stripping and Mirroring.

There are some good pictures and explanations of all this in


Even with RAID systems, backup is still required to protect against controller failures, power spikes, theft etc.

RAID 5 and 6 are the most commonly used configurations. The downside is the time taken to rebuild a system after drive replacement, during which the system is vulnerable. With RAID 5 and more so RAID 6 the write speed is slower because of the parity data calculation and writing.

End of Background info]

Duncan said it took quite a while to rebuild his system after a power cut. It took 6 minutes to boot up on the night. He uses it on RAID 5. It uses port 8080: and you can add a web server to port 80. It connects with the network as but there is no WiFi connection.

The controller can be set up to send email notifications if problems arise which is useful if the drives are in a remote location. There are a lot of logging of operations. You can add extra licences for example for security cameras (You have to pay more). There is still a lot for Duncan to try out and to understand. The system is very complex and it is necessary to read the manual. The cloud allows various Apps to be downloaded to the controller these are identified in one screen view and include Libre Office. You can connect a mouse and keyboard to the server direct and it includes a speaker for sound output. The NAS can be used as a Media Centre or with cameras as a security system.

There are two models of Qnap box the "BE" which Duncan has which is the cheaper one. The other model is the "B" which has the facility to connect a bank card reader if you need it. His system with drives cost about £700.

Michael had brought along his old NAS which has a Synology Controller of 2011 vintage with 2 bays of 2TB WD Red drives, Model DS211+ with various system updates. He was using an Open Source Anti-Virus. It was a bit slow to boot up which was put down to having not been updated for a while and being an older system anyway. His newer unit at home is a lot faster. The Info Centre (Control Panel) has all the details of the system which showed it has 12GB RAM and 1.6 GHz processor with software v 6.2.1 update 4.

Shared folders shows only 1 called "surveillance". Similarly to the Qnap the App Store allows various Apps to download. He uses it for his camera database for security. It runs as Synology Hybrid RAID (RAID 0?). In a similar way to Duncan's system it can send notifications of any problems by email.

Synology have an on-line demo of their virtual DAM (Disk Station Manager) at https://demo.synology.com

NAS systems still require backups preferably in another location so backing up to Dropbox or similar is a good solution.

He also did a health check on the NAS which came out with top marks.

Quite a complicated evening with a lot to take in. Thanks very much to Duncan and Michael for this very interesting evening. I'll have to splash out and get one myself.


Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 20th March 2019
New Devices and hardware - SSD -All

Gareth is bringing his resurrected desktop PC with added memory and added SSD with new monitor which has transformed his old desktop.

Peter will bring his SATA 2" caddy and 125GB SSD, which he had replaced with a 500GB SSD in his Windows 10 laptop.

Has anyone else got some new device they would like to demonstrate?

Come and See.


Future Programme

At the Committee meeting we decided on the following list of future events, but as always, if someone else would like us to introduce some other topics we would be delighted to accommodate them.

ICENI Future programme

ICENI Future programme 2018/2019
March 20th New Devices and hardware SSD All
April 17th Mac Evening All
May 15th AGM - Computer Surgery All

The Social evenings dates and venues are just suggestions at this stage.

Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.

Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website.


Membership fee currently £15, visitors free.

Special Notice - Insurance

"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."

However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)

Our Website and Email

Our website URL is


Email to: iceni@woolridge.org.uk

I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website. If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.