So I’ve been using my FreeNAS server with my data on it for about four months now. The whole project has been a tremendous success. I accomplished all my initial goals. The result is my data is super safe and accessible.
My HP Microserver and FreeNAS has been working great. The hardware is adequately powerful (not that I need much power), and up to the task of being a server. FreeNAS has been stable and has worked continuously. No issues at all.
Syncthing is amazing. Still working smoothly on my systems. On occasion, there will be some conflicts, but they are easily resolved, and that honestly doesn’t happen often (twice so far). But I’m so happy at how easily it is to copy file between my desktop and laptop. It’s such a joy to make a file on my desktop, go turn on my laptop, and see Syncthing has already detected and retrieved the file. It’s just so seamless.
Backing up to my offline drives has worked out satisfactorily so far, but needs improvement. No issues, just room for improvement. Right now I just make a snapshot of the whole array and copy it over to my backup drive. I still want to automate the snapshot-taking and copying process. Plugging in and mounting the drive isn’t bad, but after that, I want to just run a script, come back later and see that the data is on the backup drive, then unmount and remove it. The hard part is making a script that can automatically go through and choose the snapshots to copy over. I don’t know much about shell scripts nor regular expressions.
Also, I have not fully decided how I am going to store my offline backups. I have thought about using a couple of waterproof cases with foam inside. And I think I will keep one case in my dwelling, but away from the FreeNAS machine. I will likely keep the remote drive at either in a safe deposit box or a relative’s house, a couple of hours away.
All in all, everything is great! Very pleased.