Laying out a distributed network of backups amongst friends

Hey all, with the holidays coming up I’ll have time to see friends & family, plus distribute backups across multiple geographical locations. I’m considering migrating myself over to ZFS or btrfs. I’d like to create a solid backup system that allows for failover across multiple locations. No worries if setting this up is a longer term project. This is inspired by about 10 non-technical people wishing to join my Nextcloud instance for getting access to their photos and such.

What I’m currently using…

Older Pi running Nextcloud on Debian.  2 users.
Rsync daily backups to 14tb external disk ext4.

New gear I have available for up to 4 locations with decent internet speeds…

Fractal cube case with i5 and 8gb ram.  No disk, but have some 1tb - 2tb disks available.
i7 tower machine with 8gb ram.  No disk, but have some 1tb - 2tb disks available.

4 disks x 14tb.  Shucking is fine.
2 disks x 8tb.  Shucking is fine.

2 Pi4 w/ 8gb ram
2 disks x 1tb SSD external USB 3.0

VPS with 2 cores and 2gb ram and 20gb disk.
VPS with 4 cores and 8gb ram and 100gb disk.

Software I’m interested in…
Syncthing (I’m using this a lot and mapping it locally into Nextcloud).
TrueNAS / OpenMediaVault or a similar tool.
Virtual machines, but I’ve only used containers.
Wireguard for protecting remote connections.

I’d like to sort out my gameplan and setup a distributed system for backups and sharing that benefits people across multiple households. Thanks for reading!

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I can’t add anything, but this is a very interesting idea, and I want to see what other people come up with.

Interesting read and that is quite an elaborate setup you have there.

Regarding as to whether to go for ZFS or BTRFS, it seems to depend on how much Oracle’s licensing of ZFS would frustrate you.

There is also OpenZFS, with similar feature parity and a good development roadmap (as far as I can tell) to BTRFS.

Links added to help with further reading for anyone who would like to learn more about these filesystems.

Coming back to this… my intention is to keep the setup quite simple actually. :joy:

Here is what I now have:

2 - Pi4 in Quad Sata Nas case w/ SSD Boot Disk. No microsd cards.
1 - Spare i7 tower machine and a lot of spare hard disks.
Various spare Odroids, Pi 3b+ and micro sd cards.
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What I’m wondering now is what I should try running on one of the Pi NAS systems… suggestions? Currently running Ubuntu 22.04 off of SSD and have a couple spare disks in each NAS.

For the tower I’ll install TrueNAS or TrueNAS Scale for backups. I don’t know, because I realize these Pi devices are still not that powerful for supporting ZFS and such. Perhaps integrating them is silly… I can just leave them to Syncthing or basic serving duties.