JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

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whistlerdan
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JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by whistlerdan » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 am

I have a TVS-472XT. I have been reading about the TL-D400S and TL-D800S and wondering if they can (or should) be used as a backup for my NAS.

I understand that the only way to create a RAID on these JBOD units is to utilize the hardware RAID in my NAS. If that is the case, what happens in the case of total failure of the NAS? Can the backup on the expansion unit be accessed at all? Can it be used to restore from, if you were to reinitialize the host NAS?

To me it doesn’t seem like this would all be a good idea... but I saw a video from Rob on Spandotcom YouTube channel about setting up the TL-D800S as a synchronized backup of a TVS-872XT.

To me it would seem like in a 3-2-1 system, a JBOD expansion unit backup is not going to work as your “2”, right? Because it is reliant on your primary “1” hardware?

I guess it could in mode 2, external storage mode, but then you have no RAID or JBOD spanning so you are limited in backup space by the size of the largest available HDDs on the market. And that’s likely not going to be of much use to someone who wants to back up a RAID5 NAS.
Last edited by whistlerdan on Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

dolbyman
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Re: JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by dolbyman » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:38 am

no not a good idea for backups, as you said in case of NAS hardware failure, those backups will be inaccessible.

A better alternative would be the TR units, as they can be (in external storage mode) attached to any computer to read out the content

whistlerdan
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Re: JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by whistlerdan » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:46 am

Right. Thanks. Good to know I’m understanding this. As my post number 1 status indicates, I’m new to NAS and QNAP :)

So what would be the benefit of using a TR expansion unit, vs simply just buying a second TVS-472XT? Simply a cost saving?

I’m a bit hesitant to buy the TR units that are currently listed, because I assume the new Thunderbolt 3 Expansion units that were announced at CES must be somewhere around the corner... these would be a good pairing for my NAS as that also has Thunderbolt 3.

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Re: JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by dolbyman » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:25 am

whistlerdan wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:46 am
So what would be the benefit of using a TR expansion unit, vs simply just buying a second TVS-472XT? Simply a cost saving?
Costs savings mainly, a secondary NAS is a viable backup location .. no doubt
whistlerdan wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:46 am
I’m a bit hesitant to buy the TR units that are currently listed, because I assume the new Thunderbolt 3 Expansion units that were announced at CES must be somewhere around the corner... these would be a good pairing for my NAS as that also has Thunderbolt 3.
Haven't seen much about them yet, until they hit the market and people actually test them .. hard to say

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Moogle Stiltzkin
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Re: JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by Moogle Stiltzkin » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:05 am

whistlerdan wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:46 am
....
i posted a review here
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=155142

there are 3 modes of usage, the one i'm mostly talking about is mode 1, which is using it integrated using QTS. Which requires a QNAP NAS to connect it to, to access your backup and manage the device.


you can essentially created raid5 by connecting to a QNAP NAS, then using the storage manager to set it up.

and after creating shares, you can then use HBS to make a backup of your data to it. it's very fast.

once you are done, you can then eject the device, and when it says it's fully ejected, you can then power off the device using the physical power off switch behind the tl device.

later when you need to access your backup, just flip on the power switch, the qnap nas will detect the device, choose to mount the device.

Your tl device shares will be re-created (however for encrypted shares, you may need to re-create those shares using the same names previously, and entering your share encrypted password to restore it).


The downside to using this as a backup in mode1, is if your QNAP NAS cannot be used. Like it cannot be powered on at all scenario. Or for some reason you cannot use a QNAP NAS at all (maybe you don't plan on replacing your busted qnap with another qnap nas as replacement). In order to recover your data, the TL-D400S needs to be connected to a QNAP NAS that supports it, because it integrates into QTS. Otherwise you cannot recover your data.


In mode2 which is external storage mode, you can recover your data even from a non qnap nas e.g. a desktop pc. However, you will need to remove the QXP addon card from the NAS, and install it onto a desktop pc. This isn't as convenient as pluging in a usb cable simply. If you don't have to do this often, it may be okay. Even if qxp is on QNAP, your desktop pc can still access the data over the network, as long as the QNAP is okay to be used. But if it isn't, only then are you forced to install QXP onto desktop pc to access the tl-d400s for your data. In mode2, you can only setup as single disks volumes.... you can't do raid afaik, which is the caveat of this mode.


For mode3, you can setup the tl-d400s using a hardware raid controller OR ubuntu raid, OR windows storage spaces (i don't recommend this one) in a desktop pc. You can access your data from a desktop pc, and having a QNAP NAS is not a requirement in order to access your data.


In summary, it can be used as a backup for all 3 modes, as long as you understand some of the caveats depending on the mode you use. Mode 1 is riskier in the sense that in the scenario if your NAS cannot be booted up at all, and you don't have a replacement QNAP NAS that supports the Tl-D400S device (which requires installing the QXP addon card), then yeah, you will not be able to recover data in that scenario.

But i imagine that if you simply had to reinitialize your QNAP, data may be able to be recovered. I haven't yet tested this scenario, but i suspect it should work seeing as i could successfully dismount the TL device and mount it back to recover via QTS.



The TR devices on the otherhand have hardware raid controller inbuilt. Allowing it to setup raid in external mode natively. So it can be setup as a stand alone backup device, rather be tied down to a QNAP NAS like a TL device in mode1. TR devices also use a USB cable plug and play, so you aren't having to reinstall a QXP addon card to connect it directly to another device.

whistlerdan wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 am

To me it would seem like in a 3-2-1 system, a JBOD expansion unit backup is not going to work as your “2”, right? Because it is reliant on your primary “1” hardware?
If all you need it to do, is restore your data after a reinitialization (format wipe your NAS) and setup from scratch, it should be capable to restore your data after that (i haven't tested this yet, but i reckon it can work that way). But like i said, what it won't help is in the situation where the QNAP NAS cannot be booted up at all. You are dependent
to a QNAP NAS model that supports the TL device (specifically can install a QXP addon card) in mode1 in order to recover your data. So you would need to either fix the QNAP NAS so it can be booted up, or you get a replacement QNAP NAS. You can't just simply connect to a desktop pc and expect to recover, i don't think it works that way to my understanding :' because the raid5 i setup via QTS, needs a QNAP NAS that supports the qxp in order to mount the raid5 to begin with, which requires qts.

whistlerdan wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 am
I guess it could in mode 2, external storage mode, but then you have no RAID or JBOD spanning so you are limited in backup space by the size of the largest available HDDs on the market. And that’s likely not going to be of much use to someone who wants to back up a RAID5 NAS.
yes correct. and jbod span i don't recommend.

However you can create raid alternatively using mode3 (which is to set it up on a desktop pc).



For myself i am only using it in mode1 for the scenario where i need to reinitialize my QNAP NAS OR malware/ransomware scenario, OR if for some reason my data went missing; and recover afterwards. For the downside i mentioned, you can plan for that with the cloud backup. So 3-2-1 can still work when using the TL device. Because in the event QNAP NAS cannot boot up, then you would fall back on your cloud back up which is accessible regardless if you have a QNAP nas or not :'

Also even if your NAS couldn't boot up at all, as long as you get a replacement that is also a QNAP NAS that supports the tl device, then you should be okay to recover. The problem only arises is if you don't plan on getting a QNAP NAS as a replacement (or that it doesn't support the TL device), or even if you do get the required replacement, you still need to wait for it to arrive before you can begin to recover your data.


in summary the tl device could be used as a backup, as long as you understand the caveats as i highlighted (in the scenario where recovery may be problematic where it may have issues with recovery in mode1). For me it is rare where my QNAP NAS was in the situation where it could not be booted up at all. But that does not mean there is zero chance of that happening. But like i said, if you pair it also with a cloud backup, that should cover that weakness if you use a 3-2-1 backup strategy.
Last edited by Moogle Stiltzkin on Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:33 am, edited 9 times in total.
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whistlerdan
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Re: JBOD Expansion Units as Backup?

Post by whistlerdan » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:09 am

Great info folks! Thanks for all the help.

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