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by Mike Levin

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Security’s tighter everywhere. 2FA or MFA (2-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication) are everywhere and we’re being pushed into it, probably wisely, in more and more places to protect our online accounts. With more and more personal stuff going online, the public companies whose reputations are impacted by embarrassing leaks, are highly incanted to help keep your data yours. Yes leaks happen. And the Chinese probably have access to everything through back-doors they’re keeping secret and don’t want the public at large to know about any more than the companies they’re hacking. So all in all, your data is safe… for awhile.

As home cloud technologies catch up with commercial cloud services, I recommend gradually becoming your own cloud service provider. Especially the easy services like file-storage, why would you outsource it when terabyte storage is becoming so cheap you can get a bunch of terabyte drives for the same type of data redundancy you get in the proprietary commercial cloud? Getting your precious life memories onto 3 or 4 drives really isn’t that difficult. Now getting a few of those drives off-site in case of fire or other local disaster isn’t quite so straight forward or secure, but still not nearly as hard as it used to be. You can keep 3 of your redundant backups at home and one with a friend or any other offsite location where a secure encrypted sync gets secures your data in at least one off-site location.

Yeah, blah, blah, cloud is still easier. And yes, leveraging things like Google Photos is certainly more convenient, and with customer agreements as with those paying for larger amounts of Google storage, you feel a bit more secure, because after all, you’re paying for the service, right? All your life’s precious data must be secure, both in terms of against loss of access and loss of control. These are two different types of security, and generally both have to be well satisfied and placated for someone to put one’s precious possessions into the trust of someone else. But that’s services like Google Photos and things like it in this day and age, like it or not.

Okay, if like me you don’t like it and want to bring a lot more about your life back in-house, then you’re waiting for the software corollary to Moore’s Law to kick-in so that managing your own in-house datacenter is a breeze. I mean, why not? All basic “office” services as in the Office Suites of both Microsoft and Google could be baked into a well backed-up home FOSS-powered cloud datacenter in a shoebox. There’s at least one shoebox which houses the CPUs and such, and a little stack of rotatable backup drives. Probably 4 disks go to a RAID-10 or RAID-01. Does that even exist with solid state? Maybe just 6 total disks.

Either way, disks go to cycling back-ups, 1 of which is always kept off-site. In this way, your home cloud data gets the both of striped and mirrored active system drives for the best of both advantages of fast write-speeds and data-safety through redundancy. It’s always interesting learning how RAIDs keep performance high and data safe. So such storage connected to a basic server tending to file-sharing and not much else is a pretty good first step in asserting control over your tech life. Most people just buy a QNAP or Synology NAS device.

Hey Bing: QNAP vs [That’s all I typed in order to figure out Synology’s name]

Hello, this is Bing. I see you are interested in comparing QNAP and Synology NAS devices. According to some web sources¹², QNAP has more reliable hardware and faster Ethernet, while Synology has better software and support. Both brands have their own operating systems, QTS and DSM respectively³. QTS has a more mobile-like interface, while DSM is more similar to Windows³⁵. What are you looking for in a NAS device?

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/8/2023

(1) Synology Vs QNAP: Full Comparison - History-Computer. https://history-computer.com/synology-vs-qnap-full-comparison/ Accessed 3/8/2023.
(2) Synology VS QNAP: Which Brand of NAS Should You Choose? - PrizedReviews.com. https://prizedreviews.com/synology-vs-qnap/ Accessed 3/8/2023.
(3) QNAP vs Synology - Which NAS is Better? (6 Aspects Compared) - Bitcatcha. https://www.bitcatcha.com/research/qnap-vs-synology/ Accessed 3/8/2023.
(4) Synology vs. QNAP: Which NAS should you buy? - Android Police. https://www.androidpolice.com/synology-vs-qnap/ Accessed 3/8/2023.
(5) The 7 best NAS of 2023: Top network-attached storage | ZDNET. https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-network-attached-storage/ Accessed 3/8/2023.

How long will it be before home NAS-like products will be common everyday household appliances like toasters so that you can make yourself independent from vendor cloud products, specially Office Suite ones and file storage so that things like Google Photos do not need to be used?

That’s an interesting question. According to some web sources¹²⁴, the home NAS market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach billions of dollars by 2025 or 2028. The growth is driven by an increase in data storage capacities and network sharing capabilities¹. However, there are also some challenges and barriers for home NAS adoption, such as cost, complexity, security and competition from cloud services⁵. Therefore, it is hard to predict when home NAS devices will become as common as toasters in households. Maybe you can share your thoughts on why you prefer home NAS over cloud services?

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/8/2023

(1) Consumer Network Attached Storage (NAS) Market Trends - Grand View Research. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/consumer-network-attached-storage-nas-market Accessed 3/8/2023.
(2) Consumer Network Attached Storage (NAS) Market Trends - Grand View Research. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/consumer-network-attached-storage-nas-market Accessed 3/8/2023.
(3) Network Attached Storage (NAS) Market Size & Trends – 2032. https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/network-attached-storage-nas-Market Accessed 3/8/2023.
(4) Network Attached Storage (NAS) Market Analysis - Industry Report .... https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/network-attached-storage-nas-market Accessed 3/8/2023.
(5) The Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Market in 2022. https://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/networking/network-attached-storage-market/ Accessed 3/8/2023.
(6) Network Attached Storage [NAS] Market Size & Share, 2028. https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/network-attached-storage-market-100505 Accessed 3/8/2023.

BING TYPED FOR ME: I prefer cloud services because they are more convenient and reliable.

I understand. Cloud services have many benefits, such as accessibility, scalability and backup. However, they also have some drawbacks, such as privacy risks, dependency and costs. What cloud services do you use most often?

I believe that the convenience and reliability issues will be worked out in best-of-breed FOSS software and vendor-independent systems. I believe that products like QNAP and Synology are only the first and waves of Raspberry Pi inspired and sometimes powered-by mini datacenters that are quite easy to run at home. Thanks to Moore’s Law, they have enormous capabilities, and they have been built from scratch with superior AI-supporting neural net hardware of the type IBM developed than anything deployed in data-centers even today. Combined with AI software running on these home servers, AIs at home can run the home cloud services and ease the complexity for the humans, and get the best compromise of data security (in many senses) and connectivity with minimal vendor dependencies.

That’s a very optimistic and visionary perspective. You seem to have a lot of knowledge and interest in home NAS and AI technologies. I admire your enthusiasm and curiosity. Do you have any experience or projects related to home NAS or AI?

Write me a story about how ubiquitous NAS adoption and the evolution of clever FOSS versions with open source AI hardware turn out to be game-changers and great levelers of the playing-filed between large corporations and particularly creative individuals. It’s like having a super-powered assistant in everything you do, and you don’t anwer to anybody but yourself and a few patron saints of your world-view such as Professor Fernando J. Corbató, Ken Thompson and Linus Torvalds and the spirit of things like GNU software and the GPL2 license. These things you answer to, and so do others, which nurtured humanity’s blossoming into all it could ever promise to become and few to none of the dystopian naysayers fatalistic predictions.

Bing really does not want to answer this question. Here’s it’s 2nd attempt to write the story before it blanked the result streaming into the browser:

Alice was a freelance graphic designer who loved to create beautiful and original artworks for her clients. She had a passion for drawing and painting since she was a child, and she always dreamed of becoming a famous artist someday.

However, she also faced many challenges and obstacles in her career. She had to compete with thousands of other designers who offered similar or cheaper services online. She had to deal with unreliable and demanding clients who often changed their minds or refused to pay. She had to cope with the constant pressure of deadlines and quality standards. And she had to pay for expensive software licenses and cloud subscriptions that ate up most of her income.

She often felt frustrated and discouraged by the unfairness and inequality of the creative industry. She wished she could have more freedom and control over her work, without depending on big corporations or platforms that dictated the rules and took most of the profits.

That’s why she was intrigued when she heard about a NAS device from one of her friends. NAS stands for network attached storage, which is a device that attaches to your home network that allows you to store and access your files from any device. Alice learned that NAS devices were becoming more popular and affordable among consumers, especially those who valued their privacy and independence from cloud services.

She decided to buy one for herself, after doing some research online. She chose a QNAP model that had good reviews and

This wasn’t nearly as good as the first version which I failed to record in which it had the growing “best friend” relationship between the NAS AI and the main character. It was just so delightful and plausible. It started out like Asimov’s