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#1 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:32 AM

Hey Guys,

Last weekend I probably had to be the most unluckiest person as far as losing everything on my hard drives. I have two computers, one with a two disk RAID & the main computer with SSD for programmes and SSD Hybrid for storage. I had to format the storage drive so I backed up everything to my RAID storage only to have one of those fail during backup. Sadly it is mechanical so not much hope of recovering anything and the singular drive had been partially written to and didn't recover much.


Moving forward I want to review how I store my data. Not just being media but everything. I have seen it suggested in threads here to invest in NAS by Synology. That's a great idea but it is the viewing experience too. I used to have Emby server on both computers (watching with Emby classic) so that I could have the one for the viewing and the other for stuff that was still downloading. IE, I collect TV stuff until the season ends. For me it keeps it tidy and (I don't have to show all of those folders on the viewing pc)but the meta data is still being updated.

I would like to move away from having two computers if possible without losing the experience. I also want to be able to use a remote control for whatever I decide to go with.

I have a Samsung Smart TV but see that the software for that is still being developed.

Could anyone advise what could be options for me? I am open to any new ideas.

The key firstly is to have a solid storage system which I guess would be a NAS network but I don't want to spend thousands on this.

Any ideas for the viewing experience will be much appreciated.


Edited by Steverido, 27 April 2015 - 09:31 AM.


#2 Cerothen OFFLINE  

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 11:46 AM

Hey Guys,

Last weekend I probably had to be the most unluckiest person as far as losing everything on my hard drives. I have two computers, one with a two disk RAID & the main computer with SSD for programmes and SSD Hybrid for storage. I had to format the storage drive so I backed up everything to my RAID storage only to have one of those fail during backup. Sadly it is mechanical so not much hope of recovering anything and the singular drive had been partially written to and didn't recover much.


Moving forward I want to review how I store my data. Not just being media but everything. I have seen it suggested in threads here to invest in NAS by Synology. That's a great idea but it is the viewing experience too. I used to have Emby server on both computers (watching with Emby classic) so that I could have the one for the viewing and the other for stuff that was still downloading. IE, I collect TV stuff until the season ends. For me it keeps it tidy and (I don't have to show all of those folders on the viewing pc)but the meta data is still being updated.

I would like to move away from having two computers if possible without losing the experience. I also want to be able to use a remote control for whatever I decide to go with.

I have a Samsung Smart TV but see that the software for that is still being developed.

Could anyone advise what could be options for me? I am open to any new ideas.

The key firstly is to have a solid storage system which I guess would be a NAS network but I don't want to spend thousands on this.

Any ideas for the viewing experience will be much appreciated.

 

 

I had the same issue (drive failure) about a year and a half ago. I was using MS dynamic disks and one of them died causing me to lose a ton of data (fortunately I had one set of disks for TV series and one for movies so it wasn't a total loss.) At that point I transitioned to Windows Storage Spaces.

 

Storage spaces certainly has its ups and its downs however it has been working well for me since I started using it in Dec 2013. Using the Party layout in 4 columns I have 8 disks of data giving me 6 disks worth of storage and single drive failure coverage. I had a drive fail in the summer 2014, where I got a notification that a drive failed so I picked on up on my way home and popped the new one in and viola it started rebuilding the drive. This seemed like an ideal solution since it has minor start-up costs in that you just need a computer with a lot of sata ports (or PCI/PCI-E ports to add host bus adapters) to be able to keep expanding as things fill, and it offsets the issue of expensive raid hardware and if your raid card dies later you would be equally screwed if you cant get the same one (or one that is directly compatible). Its also nice since you can just take the drives and pop them in any windows computer that has storage spaces support (windows 8, server 2012 and up).

 

Currently I am in the process of changing the entire layout of my storage to be more space efficient and provide better redundancy. For me this means adding 4 drives (bringing the total to 12) then rewriting all the data to a dual parity virtual disk with 12 columns. As everything is thin provisioned this means that I can literally just move things from one virtual disk to the other and it will shrink the old one and expand the new one as it moves stuff. At the end I will have 12 disks of storage with 10 being usable the remaining two providing me with two full disk failure redundancy.

 

It is very important to note the following though, the parity storage spaces has TERRIBLE write speed. I typically get an average of 15-30 Mbyte/s so when moving 10 TB its quite painful however its read speeds have always been great (I often get 400+ MByte/s) for the first 15 gb then it drops off to around 50 Mbyte/s) while all these speeds seem alarming it hasn't really been an issue for me even when I have had as many as 5 or 6 streams going at once. And I don't typically add a TB at a time or anything (usually max of around 50GB a day with the average being much lower than that) and everything seems to be pretty quick.

 

I do also have an additional 1.5TB green drive that I store high-value information from the array in a 1:1 (mirror) arrangement VIA a nightly backup that is scheduled. Things that get backed up are personal pictures accounting data, anything that is ultimately irreplaceable. While it would be a shame to lose my video collection it is all replaceable.

 

While NAS devices might seem like nice little packages I find that they are extremely limited for expansion and processing power, (not to meantion they cost an arm and a leg) and therefore I avoid them. Raid cards could work out well however you should always buy two in case one fails and you run into a similar issue of having more drives than your controller can support. I also looked at ZFS but it seemed that the RAM requirement was pretty substantial (this can be cut down with deduplication off) and I am not super familiar with the systems that use it.

 

Ultimately I think you would be happy building a computer that has lots of drive bays with Windows and Storage Spaces at it's foundation.


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#3 thefirstofthe300 OFFLINE  

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 12:45 PM

If you are looking at going with a NAS, I would recommend doing your own build and using FreeNAS. FreeNAS has built in support for configuring ZFS which I have to admit is the best filesystem with RAID support around (despite the fact that I use btrfs). A DIY FreeNAS build also gives you the option of upgrading in the future with minimal hassle.

 

FreeNAS has a good management UI that makes Samba and NFS a cinch to administer as well as your RAID storage. Also, the FreeNAS plugin system makes it easy to install applications like Emby, Transmission (not that you would use it :) ), Sab, SB, CP, etc.

 

The only downside I see to a FreeNAS build is the fact that the initial outlay for a capable system will be fairly expensive (but remember, you can upgrade this system without much hassle, even a CPU upgrade should be relatively painless as long as you aren't changing architectures).


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#4 yaksplat OFFLINE  

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:52 AM

I have a 24 drive server set up.  I've found that WD green drives tend to fail at about 25-28 months, just past their warranty period.  I only buy the WD red or black drives now due to the 5 year warranty.  After having a double failure in a raid setup, resulting in a loss of a large amount of data, I now only mirror my drives.  Each drive now has a dedicated duplicate.  I have enough bays to handle the load of drives, storage is cheap and I no longer worry about data loss. When a drive goes down, I pop a new drive in and rebuild from the mirror.  The rest of the server is still operational.


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#5 Spaceboy OFFLINE  

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 06:39 PM

The red > green argument doesn't stack up imo, you've actually argued it yourself. Drives are mirrored, storage is cheap. Stick a cloud backup on top of that, free unlimited onedrive storage with office 365 sub

#6 AdrianW OFFLINE  

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:27 PM

Mirroring still sounds risky to me - if the main drive and it's mirror both fail then you've lost a big chuck of data. I'm using RAID 6 on both of my 8 bay NAS units. So, if any two drives in an array fail I'm still OK until it's rebuilt.

 

I just use NAS for storage - I have the server and classic both installed on a NUC connected directly to my TV for playback.


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#7 AgileHumor OFFLINE  

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:42 PM

I have a PCI Express Raid Card and 8 x 6TB WD Red Drives in an external 2u rack mount cabinet.  7 in RAID 5, and the 8th a hot spare.

 

This will produce get about 120MB write speed as I'm using a $450 LSI raid card with it's own processer.  Using Windows storage spaces or cheap NAS is great on price, but that means EVERY disk write has to be driven by your main CPU (to calculate parity) and tends to top out at about ~20MBs (normally 15-18).  



#8 WarrenH OFFLINE  

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 06:45 AM

And another perspective...

 

I've 12TB on a QNap NAS with WD Red's. They've been running 24/7 for 3 years now and still show as 100% reliability. I get around 60mbps read which gives no issues. Also, after many years of using QNap and WD, I'd recommend no other.

 

I only use Raid 0 as one big drive, this saves halving my drive capacity and doubling my HDD cost, and avoids corrupted files being mirrored to the Raid. In order to avoid loss of data by damage (accidental, water, fire, surge) or theft, I backup ALL of the 12TB NAS data onto 4x external 3TB drives on a weekly basis. These drives are stored separately from the NAS.

 

Whilst not as sophisticated as dedicated server models for storage, this setup just works without any interference or maintenance required by me.

 

I work in insurance claims and have seen too many issues with other Raid configurations in a home/ small office environment where users believe that Raid offers a form of backup.



#9 Deathsquirrel OFFLINE  

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 11:18 AM

Like WarrenH I use only offline backup.  Powered on storage has lots of ways to die.  Drives in a box have very few opportunities to fail.  It's manual labor but considering the work involved in ripping my discs I find the few minutes a week well spent.


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#10 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 02:28 AM

I had the same issue (drive failure) about a year and a half ago. I was using MS dynamic disks and one of them died causing me to lose a ton of data (fortunately I had one set of disks for TV series and one for movies so it wasn't a total loss.) At that point I transitioned to Windows Storage Spaces.

 

Storage spaces certainly has its ups and its downs however it has been working well for me since I started using it in Dec 2013. Using the Party layout in 4 columns I have 8 disks of data giving me 6 disks worth of storage and single drive failure coverage. I had a drive fail in the summer 2014, where I got a notification that a drive failed so I picked on up on my way home and popped the new one in and viola it started rebuilding the drive. This seemed like an ideal solution since it has minor start-up costs in that you just need a computer with a lot of sata ports (or PCI/PCI-E ports to add host bus adapters) to be able to keep expanding as things fill, and it offsets the issue of expensive raid hardware and if your raid card dies later you would be equally screwed if you cant get the same one (or one that is directly compatible). Its also nice since you can just take the drives and pop them in any windows computer that has storage spaces support (windows 8, server 2012 and up).

 

Currently I am in the process of changing the entire layout of my storage to be more space efficient and provide better redundancy. For me this means adding 4 drives (bringing the total to 12) then rewriting all the data to a dual parity virtual disk with 12 columns. As everything is thin provisioned this means that I can literally just move things from one virtual disk to the other and it will shrink the old one and expand the new one as it moves stuff. At the end I will have 12 disks of storage with 10 being usable the remaining two providing me with two full disk failure redundancy.

 

It is very important to note the following though, the parity storage spaces has TERRIBLE write speed. I typically get an average of 15-30 Mbyte/s so when moving 10 TB its quite painful however its read speeds have always been great (I often get 400+ MByte/s) for the first 15 gb then it drops off to around 50 Mbyte/s) while all these speeds seem alarming it hasn't really been an issue for me even when I have had as many as 5 or 6 streams going at once. And I don't typically add a TB at a time or anything (usually max of around 50GB a day with the average being much lower than that) and everything seems to be pretty quick.

 

I do also have an additional 1.5TB green drive that I store high-value information from the array in a 1:1 (mirror) arrangement VIA a nightly backup that is scheduled. Things that get backed up are personal pictures accounting data, anything that is ultimately irreplaceable. While it would be a shame to lose my video collection it is all replaceable.

 

While NAS devices might seem like nice little packages I find that they are extremely limited for expansion and processing power, (not to meantion they cost an arm and a leg) and therefore I avoid them. Raid cards could work out well however you should always buy two in case one fails and you run into a similar issue of having more drives than your controller can support. I also looked at ZFS but it seemed that the RAM requirement was pretty substantial (this can be cut down with deduplication off) and I am not super familiar with the systems that use it.

 

Ultimately I think you would be happy building a computer that has lots of drive bays with Windows and Storage Spaces at it's foundation.

Thanks for your post Cerothen. I will know by the end of today if the software that i have used will recover the data. I will use a RAID Reconstructor bit of software to put the two drives together and then another bit of software to access the RAID. If I can do this I can save it. Failing that the drive will have to go to Seagate for rebuild to the tune of £1K. Nice easy money for them. :)

 

I might go with a NAS and build my own. Your Windows software sounds like it could be agro if it goes wrong. I want redundancy next time and if I have a self built NAS with RAID 5 it is mirrored then. I am also going to back it up to the cloud. A company in the States Backblaze are really good value and unlimited data and file size for $95 for a two year contract. It will take 18 days to upload my data. Lol. You have more than me though so it would take longer.



#11 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 03:17 AM

If you are looking at going with a NAS, I would recommend doing your own build and using FreeNAS. FreeNAS has built in support for configuring ZFS which I have to admit is the best filesystem with RAID support around (despite the fact that I use btrfs). A DIY FreeNAS build also gives you the option of upgrading in the future with minimal hassle.

 

FreeNAS has a good management UI that makes Samba and NFS a cinch to administer as well as your RAID storage. Also, the FreeNAS plugin system makes it easy to install applications like Emby, Transmission (not that you would use it :) ), Sab, SB, CP, etc.

 

The only downside I see to a FreeNAS build is the fact that the initial outlay for a capable system will be fairly expensive (but remember, you can upgrade this system without much hassle, even a CPU upgrade should be relatively painless as long as you aren't changing architectures).

I was thinking of going this route as mentioned in the post above. thanks for your comments though I will certainly review the points. I had already looked at the FreeNAS and it is good to get confirmation that it is good software too. I looked at the Synology products and as nice as they are, they don't give the freedom that you get from building your own.

 

I am sure that this will be a bit of a steep learning curve but I am up for a challenge.  :)

 

The outlay is expensive but you can't do it the cheap route can you otherwise you are forever replacing bits. The hard drives are the expensive bit. You can get great bundle deals for motherboard, CPU & memory now. I find https://www.overclockers.co.uk/ are a great source.



#12 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 03:19 AM

I have a 24 drive server set up.  I've found that WD green drives tend to fail at about 25-28 months, just past their warranty period.  I only buy the WD red or black drives now due to the 5 year warranty.  After having a double failure in a raid setup, resulting in a loss of a large amount of data, I now only mirror my drives.  Each drive now has a dedicated duplicate.  I have enough bays to handle the load of drives, storage is cheap and I no longer worry about data loss. When a drive goes down, I pop a new drive in and rebuild from the mirror.  The rest of the server is still operational.

I have just bought a WD red 6TB drive. Backblaze did a great article base on their servers and the drives that they use. Funny enough they had huge issues with the same drive that failed on me 1 month outside of warranty.  :(



#13 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 03:57 AM

And another perspective...

 

I've 12TB on a QNap NAS with WD Red's. They've been running 24/7 for 3 years now and still show as 100% reliability. I get around 60mbps read which gives no issues. Also, after many years of using QNap and WD, I'd recommend no other.

 

I only use Raid 0 as one big drive, this saves halving my drive capacity and doubling my HDD cost, and avoids corrupted files being mirrored to the Raid. In order to avoid loss of data by damage (accidental, water, fire, surge) or theft, I backup ALL of the 12TB NAS data onto 4x external 3TB drives on a weekly basis. These drives are stored separately from the NAS.

 

Whilst not as sophisticated as dedicated server models for storage, this setup just works without any interference or maintenance required by me.

 

I work in insurance claims and have seen too many issues with other Raid configurations in a home/ small office environment where users believe that Raid offers a form of backup.

Your comments are interesting WarrenH. I have thought about a similar option where I could start up backup drives once a week and then shutdown again but it requires more manpower. I suppose if I were to build a PC just for backup then that would work but I really wanted to cut down on PC and especially the power. I use a great bit of software called Goodsync http://www.goodsync.com/ Once you have set up the folders (which is easy) you literally click analyse and sync and it does th job for you. You can either backup or sync and in either direction. It is amazing and worth the money. Updates are frequent too. Ideally I would like a physical backup at home and then one on the cloud. Once I have everything on the cloud keeping it backed up will be easy.

 

Although Backblaze is cheap it is in California and ideally I would like to find a company in the UK who do a similar deal but allow you to send the hard drive to them to backup rather than it taking 18 days over the web.

 

You say that you get 60 MB/S; is this a restriction of NAS? On my Windows Network I have up to 132 MB/s write speeds depending on the file size. If my memory serves me correctly then smaller files don't transfer at higher speeds do they? I now it is dependent on the size of the drive and at what speed it spins if your using mechanical.

 

Backing up to external drives is really slow though is it not?



#14 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 04:00 AM

Like WarrenH I use only offline backup.  Powered on storage has lots of ways to die.  Drives in a box have very few opportunities to fail.  It's manual labor but considering the work involved in ripping my discs I find the few minutes a week well spent.

As I stated with WarrenH, I want to cut down my labor time because I don't have the time to give it that level of attention.



#15 dark_slayer OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 04:15 AM

I run a windows 8.1 server with 

 

Emby

WMC

ServerWMC

Emby ServerWMC plugin

uTorrent

SickRage

Flexraid tRAID

 

I also have a lot of steam/origin games installed on it, and I play them through Moonlight game streaming. I would like for all my clients to be android/fanless, but until the nvidia shield console (and maybe not even then) is released android doesn't support all my audio/video formats. I don't want to transcode at all on my lan, because it's a waste and I have three family members pretty frequently transcoding from my server at remote locations. I currently run kodi on an intel g1610 (openelec) htpc and a nexus player. The g1610 is play everything, but the nexus player (and the mk808 b+ that I'm trying out) don't do passthrough audio or all video formats.

 

I have been happy with Flexraid tRAID. The main site is down right now, but the setup guide is here http://wiki.flexraid...ck-setup-guide/ and there is also an older discussion thread on the difference between tRAID (newer) and RAID-F (old). http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/2167-flexraid-transparent-raid-traid-vs-raid-over-file-system-raid-f/

 

tRAID is realtime parity protection, which isn't backup but gives you the ability to protect against as many drive failures as you have parity disks. The parity disk has to be the largest disk in your array, but they can all be the same size. I have a mismatch of drives

  • 6TB parity (HGST)
  • 6x 4TB (Seagate, HGST)
  • 2x 3TB (Seagate, HGST)

I also have my C: drive (SSD) partitioned to use half for C: (125 GB) and the other half for a tRAID landing disk. With the landing disk, I can write to the pool faster than my scratch (download) disk can send the data. It goes up to about 150 MB/s writes, but I've written a file from the desktop (SSD) just to see it go to 300 ;)

 

Whichever protection method you go with you'll eventually need to add more sata ports if you don't have enough available onboard. The ibm m1015 is a good choice along with the dell perc h210 or h300. They can all be flashed to LSI firmware which will be a very passive way of connecting additional drives to your windows install. Each connected drive will just be in a jbod config and allowed to set however you like in windows disk management, which is what you want for software RAID. Here's a guide for flashing the Dell cards https://techmattr.wo...ing-to-it-mode/ and the 1015 http://www.0x00.to/post/2013/04/07/Flash-IBM-ServeRAID-M1015-to-LSI9211-8i-with-UEFI-mainboard


Edited by dark_slayer, 30 April 2015 - 04:18 AM.


#16 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 04:44 AM

The red > green argument doesn't stack up imo, you've actually argued it yourself. Drives are mirrored, storage is cheap. Stick a cloud backup on top of that, free unlimited onedrive storage with office 365 sub

Spaceboy, thanks for the heads up with the Office 365 solution. I will check this out to see if they have file size restrictions though.  :)



#17 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 05:43 AM

Mirroring still sounds risky to me - if the main drive and it's mirror both fail then you've lost a big chuck of data. I'm using RAID 6 on both of my 8 bay NAS units. So, if any two drives in an array fail I'm still OK until it's rebuilt.

 

I just use NAS for storage - I have the server and classic both installed on a NUC connected directly to my TV for playback.

Adrian W, what do you use for viewing from TV? I would like to take my media PC out of the equation but do not want to lose my MediaBrowser Classic experience.



#18 AdrianW OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 06:18 AM

Adrian W, what do you use for viewing from TV? I would like to take my media PC out of the equation but do not want to lose my MediaBrowser Classic experience.

 

I use MBC (Emby Classic) on my NUC (I have Win 8.1 with Media Center installed). And I'm using MPC-HC as an external player (mainly for refresh rate switching).  NUCs have a built in IR port, and I'm using a Harmony remote with the Media Center SE profile to control it.

 

Emby Server is installed on the same NUC. 



#19 Steverido OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:16 AM

I use MBC (Emby Classic) on my NUC (I have Win 8.1 with Media Center installed). And I'm using MPC-HC as an external player (mainly for refresh rate switching).  NUCs have a built in IR port, and I'm using a Harmony remote with the Media Center SE profile to control it.

 

Emby Server is installed on the same NUC. 

Thanks for this Adrian, I was looking for something more compact and this looks just the job. I will review this and see what the specs are. :)  How does the remote fare with fast forward and rewind in both classic and PPC-HC? I found with MPC-HC jumps back to the start when I try to fast forward or jump. I saw a post on how to configure it but it didn't seem to change anything. If you have any information on this I would be grateful.

 

Of course you can have the server on your NUC or pC but the files located on your server elsewhere. Good plan.

 

I use MBC (Emby Classic) on my NUC (I have Win 8.1 with Media Center installed). And I'm using MPC-HC as an external player (mainly for refresh rate switching).  NUCs have a built in IR port, and I'm using a Harmony remote with the Media Center SE profile to control it.

 

Emby Server is installed on the same NUC. 


Edited by Steverido, 30 April 2015 - 09:39 AM.


#20 xnappo OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:36 AM

After messing with mirroring and RAID for a year, I decided it was way too risky.  Storage is cheap enough now just to do full-on nightly backups.  Backups are also nice because you can easily retrieve accidentally deleted files.  I have mine set never to delete anything on backup, then when I feel like it, I manually do a backup with remove enabled.







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