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Best small business Freenas with cloud and backup plugin deployment

Waffelen

Neophyte
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
8
Hi All,

I work in a small medical engineering business that needed a new file server and have setup my own freenas box at home about 2 years ago so suggested we use freenas and since I had some experience of it. I am the one setting it up, no issue there. Its 2x new 4tb ironwolf pro drives mirrored, doing snapshots every night running off a 120gb ssd (want to look into if I can use the leftover free space on this boot drive to do file cashing for speed up of access) this is then in an old hp z200 xeon x3450 with 8gb ecc ram, plenty for our usage. My question is, what is the best backup and cloud plugins to use for my situation? I will quickly out line our workflow and how we operate and what I hope to achieve using the freenas server.

There is an office of up to 6 people accessing files (largely ms office, mostly excel and cad drawings/assembly's). There is not a lot of data to be stored (currently 450gb) and it probably won't get to 1tb for the next 10 years.

Then there are 5 guys in the field who currently use an excel based quote system that is on knowhow cloud but they have local copy of said quote system as they regularly have to work offline which then gets updated automaticity to the cloud when online, we also keep a copy of their up to date cloud data here.

I want use freenas with a with one of the cloud plugins instead of the knowhow cloud system. It would need to also have a windows interface for their laptops and would be nice to have an android & ios interface for uploading pictures etc would be useful. Would need to have a version system so we could keep say 10 versions of critical files stretching back a month or 2 - similar to google drive versions for example. Would like multiple users 7+ ideal, premium is fine as long as it's not too expensive. Was looking at asigura. SIde note: installed it to try it out, installed fine but cant access management interface. Tried other plugins all the same, I need to investigate a bit more but any pointers welcome. The simpler the system the better as some of the office and field users have very little it skills. Needs to automatically sync when they come back online as cant trust they will upload themselves. The cloud element is good for the file syncing and if the server ever goes down here in the office we can then use the web portal to get up to date files back.

Next would also want a simple backup system on another plugin (want to use a different system so not relying on 1 place only) that would automatically backup the nas every evening when its not in use to have an archive copy was thinking backblaze for this.

I have no experience of any of the above plugins/programs or company's that offer these services so any user experience similar to what I am trying to achieve would be great or even if I am looking at it in the wrong way all advice welcome.

Thanks
 

blanchet

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
224
Snapshot are so cheap on ZFS, you can take more snapshots than once per day. For example, you can take snapshots:
  • every hour, and keep them 2 days
  • every day, and keep them 2 weeks
  • every weeky and keep them 2 months
  • every months and keep them 1 years

For such a small business without IT dedicated staff, with less than 1TB of storage, and, I wonder if a cloud solution like Google Gsuite (Business or Enterprise) would be preferable. You get email, office application and storage for a small fee, and it is very easy to use for anybody.
 
Last edited:

garm

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
1,462
I disagree with @blanchet , if all possible always keep data in house. Cloud is a scam (don’t take me wrong, I’m neck deep in it both professionally and personally ^^)
FreeNAS is your storage solution, not your application. What you want is a document management system, and I recommend Nextcloud as I use that personally. It’s a competent product, can be run directly on FreeNAS and has a low admin workload.
There are of course other alternatives, but few open source and that’s important to me.
Nextcloud will handle versioning, sync, etc and you use snapshots and other ZFS tools to ensure data integrity over time.
 

Waffelen

Neophyte
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
8
Thank for getting back to me and sorry for my late reply, been away for a few days.

blanchet -
So snapshots, I will move to an hourly schedule during the working day saying as they can be done very quickly and without tieing up system resources. Now that also opens up another question, should I also backup my snapshots?

Had a Quick look at G suite and seems interesting. The bit thats most appealing to me is the unlimited storage but can see some of the other features could be useful. I will have a bit more of a dig into it.

garm -
There are a few reasons for defiantly having our data on the cloud as well as on freenas. The straight forward ones being stuff like, if the building burns down or floods etc and our nas is destroyed all the business data is gone for ever but with a cloud copy, the bricks and mortar are gone but we can download all the data again and and carry on from where we left off, digitally anyway, in a new location.

I do like nextcloud and use it myself on home freenas. Is the versioning available in the home version (never noticed on my home one but I was not looking) or are you meaning upgrade to the enterprise version? Its a bit pricey starting at 1900euro a year for 50 users. On the plus side it does work across all platforms like I wanted. Had a look into it and see that nextcloud do external storage and can store with the usual big guys (amazon, google and dropbox) so kind get both worlds so we host but then it gets backed up to those one of those places which is pretty dam close to what I wanted in my opening blurb! :-D

Now I have a few more defined routes to look at so will start going down each doing more research, cheers guys, ur advice has been helpful and much appropriated. Anything more to add please do!
 

blanchet

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
224
Now that also opens up another question, should I also backup my snapshots?
If you have a 2nd FreeNAS you can backup snapshot for cheap with ZFS replications.
Snapshot are mainly used to protect against errors (or ransomware). For protection against disaster, you need an off-site copy.

If you are new in the backup world, I suggest to read this tiny e-book.

The ebook is free, you only have to register at Veeam.com to download it.
This ebook is generalist. It explain the best practices whatever the backup tool you use.
 
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