RAID is not backup — but I survived

I use a Synology NAS for backup. Not fond of them, but that’s what I got six years ago. It’s not involved in playing Roon, only backup, and photography backup is much more important and challenging than the music.
So when the NAS failed to boot, I was displeased.
Synology says there is no repair service, during the two year warranty they send you a new one, after that you’re on your own, buy a replacement unit (a new model, the old one doesn’t exist anymore of course).
What about the data? Do a HDD Migration. So I read the instructions. Step 1. Log into the old machine. I CAN’T, IT’S DEAD!

So I called and they said that step is optional. Just kidding. Ha ha.
So I bought a new one, stuck the drives in it, in the same order, started it, the browser UI showed a button Migrate, I did and all was well. Synology did a superb job of the initialization and migration, totally automatic, I am humbly impressed and grateful, and apologize for all the bad things I have said.

But I tell you, if I didn’t have 8 TB cloud backup as well, I would have been very nervous. It is certainly possible for a motherboard failure to damage the drives as well.


Anders, you must be relieved.

I have a remote NAS my main one backs up to but I simply have too many ripped items (music and video) to be fully protected.

I back up the music and photos etc but accept I will lose my videos in the event of a fire.

I don’t know why but nearly everyone thinks that a NAS is a backup…its not unless it is the backup for data that is replicated elsewhere. Plain and simple - No copy of anything is a backup unless its duplicated at least once somewhere else.

Also note that backups also require one to test their effectiveness and understand the recovery procedure intimately. If you have never tested the process or the data that’s recovered then you are kidding yourself about your ability to recover effectively.

Definitely a hardware failure can destroy a backup either physically or logically (corruption etc) and proximity to another copy can also be an issue, theft, fire, electrical issues etc to name a few.


Raid is about continuity in a single or perhaps multiple disk failure not backup.

A fire would be terrible and I’d probably lose everything. I backup for hardware-failure reasons.

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Good news that you were able to salvage your RAID array @AndersVinberg. They may not be back ups in and of themselves bit their resilience does give some comfort.

Fire or theft are my two biggest concerns. I have multiple onsite duplicates of my data including a NAS that is a bit long in the tooth now but still functional🤞

An off-site backup would be ideal but is not really possible at the moment. We live in a rural area and the broadband speed is such that it would take at least a week to upload all my data to a cloud storage solution! We are long overdue a fibre to the property upgrade but as ever here everything else is higher priority. The cables are all installed but we are still waiting for connection, over two years now :confounded:

Back up to a large single drive or 2 and then take to a friends or family location. Encrypt it if you have sensitive data. This kind of thing doesn’t require constant updating unless you have very frequent changes to the bulk of your data…in which case you should be using rotating backups offsite too.

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Yes I have done that, have a couple of HDDs in a storage locker at work. I work from home almost all the time so it doesn’t get updated very often, and since lockdown not at all.

I would like my fibre connection to be working for lots of other reasons too!

That’s pretty quick IMHO. I am uploading a few TB and it’s taking more than a week :smiley:


glad to hear all is up and running again. I had to use that migration utility some time ago as well involuntarily - and it is just superb. I was up and running again in no time. Kudos to Synology.

And no - of course RAID is no backup. :sunglasses:

Whew! Good to know Synology can do that. I’ve got backups of my main Synology NAS, but to call it a backup system would be like calling how squirrels bury nuts a ‘storage system’. It’s all over the place in three different storage units. Probably should get a little disciplined about this one day.

Hmm, my experience since I’ve been using Roon, is one should back up the Roon library for software reasons. My library has been corrupted twice and neither time because of hardware.

BTW - Are you aware that Roon will back up a library that has ‘latent corruption’, doing so without any warning and until all good backups have been overlaid with backups of the corrupted library?

Nice feature. Thanks for the warning. How do you recognize ‘latent corruption’?

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You can recognize ‘latent corruption’ when Roon will no longer play and restoring even the oldest backup doesn’t change anything.

So you don’t.

I was forced to change cloud provider several years ago as the previous provider changed their price from $5 to $1500 per month, said there were some customers who had abused their “unlimited” pricing. It took three months to upload, I have plenty of bandwidth but the cloud service throttle their ingress. But once it was up there, the incremental daily backups take very little time. And the company has a disk-shipping service in case of disaster.

Yes. I have been at two companies that sell backup software, and I have always told the guys that their industry is misnamed: nobody wants backup, what they want is restore.


There is definitely a big initial upload hump to get over. After that it should be ok as you say. I’m also concerned about the affect any long running upload would have on our download performance since we are a heavy internet using household! Standard ADSL just isnt really meant for multiple concurrent uploads and downloads.

If and when I get my fibre connection I’m going with Azure storage I think, no throttling of ingress or egress and I get $150 per month of credit free due to being a Visual Studio (used to be called MSDN) subscriber.

I am a fan of Synology. My 3.9TB library is on a 4TB SSD in my Nucleus+, with daily one way sync to a Synology NAS. This in turn is backed up to Synology’s C2 cloud back up service. So I feel safe.

My library is growing and will soon need more space than my 4TB SSD. Anyone care to recommend their favourite solution?

I have looked into cloud backup solutions in the past and the cost is always the issue with a large library. I end up buying more hard discs to do offline storage, or another NAS.

The synology cloud service doesn’t look cheap either (ignoring any convenience factors):

If you have a 4TB library say, what is the cheapest cloud backup that anyone uses and can recommend?