Your NAS isn't enough – you still need to back up your data!


A high-availability system is designed to serve its users even if issues such as hardware failure or power loss affect it. A side effect from a high-availability setup is that information that would have been lost from a failure in a non-redundant system may survive if it is managed by a storage cluster or even a high-end domestic NAS.

On the other hand, high-end storage systems can only protect your data so much. As shown in this article, solutions designed to keep a storage system running in the face of adversity might fail to guarantee the integrity of the data. After all, their primary concern is to maintain the continuity of the service, not to protect the information stored inside.

For this reason, it is advisable to maintain proper backup for your data, even if you keep it in a NAS server that looks impervious to the typical threats against data integrity. Quality storage decreases the probability of suffering data loss, but does not remove it.


  1. Schroeder, B., E. Pinheiro, and W. Weber. "DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study." In: Proceedings of SIGMETRICS '09, (SIGMETRICS, 2009),
  2. "A Complete Guide to FreeNAS Hardware Design, Part I: Purpose and Best Practices" by Joshua Paetzel, February 3, 2015,
  3. ZFS and ECC RAM:
  4. Common hardware malfunctions:
  5. Unrecoverable errors in RAID 5:
  6. Backblaze drive stats for Q1 2021:
  7. QTS and QuTS hero vulnerability:
  8. DeadBolt:
  9. ZFS and power failures:
  10. Cost of data center outages:
  11. Cepth:

The Author

Rubén Llorente is a mechanical engineer who ensures that the IT security measures for a small clinic are both legally compliant and safe. In addition, he is an OpenBSD enthusiast and a weapons collector.

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    Klaus Knopper is the creator of Knoppix and co-founder of the LinuxTag expo. He currently works as a teacher, programmer, and consultant. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to: klaus@linux-magazine. com

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