what model do I need for this type of versioning (incremental forever)?

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swapjim
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what model do I need for this type of versioning (incremental forever)?

Post by swapjim » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:42 am

I'm looking for a suggestion on a QNAP model.

I need versioning on my files to protect against ransomware. If a ransomware encrypts a file I can go back to an older, unencrypted version. For this to work, I should only be able to add (meaning: sync) files, not delete older copies. A special password can be used to delete or merge older versions/snapshots (probably by logging in the web UI).

This type of versioning is usually called incremental forward forever backup but vendors sometimes create hybrid solutions and/or they give their own name to the solution.

It would also be great to remove a hard drive, mount it on a Windows/Linux/BSD system, and check out the latest or an older snapshot. The NAS might break in 5 years and the newer models may not support the older technology.

Right now I sync to USB drives with robocopy, multiple times a day, and I'm used at doing that. It would be ideal if I could sync to an SMB mount (or sync via FTP) in the NAS and then have it take snapshots every few hours. If would also be ideal if I could keep adding snapshots till I run out of space, and that at point the NAS should delete (merge) older snapshots.

I intent to put two 4TB drives (from different vendors to avoid faulty batches) for a total of 4TB space. More drive bays are of no use to me.

Other than versioning, I don't have any other use for the NAS. I won't be reading files or playback videos, run apps, and I certainly don't want remote access. I only have one desktop PC running Windows 7 (I'll probably upgrade to Windows 10 within the year).

So, which QNAP model can do what I want?

QNAPDanielFL
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:09 am

Re: what model do I need for this type of versioning (incremental forever)?

Post by QNAPDanielFL » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:12 am

This might not be a perfect answer to your question. But this should allow you to recover from a ransomware attack.

If you use HBS3 to backup your folders to a different NAS, you can enable versioning. If your first NAS gets all its files encrypted and then you run your backup Job, you have then backed up your infected files. But you still have the previous versions of your HBS3 backup so you should be able to recover quickly. If the new version of your backup is so larger that there is not enough space on the destination NAS, it does not delete the old version, instead, the new backup will fail. So if the first NAS got infected, and that means the new version was very large in size, your old version should be safe.

On your current NAS you can run snapshots to provide versioning to your files. The concern could be that if your NAS files get infected, the size of the latest snapshot could be so large that there is not enough space for your older snapshots. And the latest snapshot would be with your files encrypted, so that might not help you. But there should be a way to avoid this.

In Snapshot Global settings, "Smart Snapshot Space Management" can be turned off. If the most recent snapshot is so large there is not enough space for the previous snapshots, rather than delete the older snapshots to make room for the new, your NAS would go to read-only mode when it got too full. So you might want to keep an eye on how full your NAS is from time to time, but this setting should prevent your old Snapshots from getting deleted if your NAS were to get infected with ransomware.

swapjim
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:15 am

Re: what model do I need for this type of versioning (incremental forever)?

Post by swapjim » Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:09 am

Thank you :-)

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