Copying Data From NAS To NAS

Copying Data From NAS To NAS

I recently acquired a new NAS. My first task was moving data from my old NAS to the new one. But it wasn’t as easy as I expected

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My old NAS, a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo currently holds a bunch of work files, a backup of my iTunes library, my software library and a bunch of other data.

I figured that the fastest and easiest way to transfer all the data would be to enable an FTP server on one device and install an FTP client on the other. That way, I could transfer the data between devices without needing to use my computer as an intermediary. That was a critical need as my main system is a notebook and I spend a lot of time outside my home office.

The new NAS is a Thecus N2560. Like the Netgear unit, there are a wide number of apps that can be downloaded and installed to the unit. But neither NAS has an FTP client application. I tried several options but none actually worked.

So, Lifehackers – what are my choices? Do I suck it up and just use my computer as the intermediary? Is there another option you can suggest?


  • I’d just bite the bullet tbh. Run the copy process over night.
    Alternatively, instead of a NAS, look into a Microserver from HP, really great stuff. Costs as much as a NAS but holds much more possibilities. If you are into VMWare, run a virtual PC on the microserver and you have all the options of a NAS with a very low power consumption.

  • Without knowing the two devices specifically, you could try to get a direct NAS-to-NAS file transfer working if you can run BTSync on both of them. Otherwise RSync will do the trick assuming one of them can work as an RSync Client.
    Failing that, you may just need to bite the bullet and dedicate a machine to the task.
    Also, on tikanderoga’s suggestion of a HP Microserver, I couldn’t agree more for anyone looking for a new NAS setup.
    My own personal setup is:
    – HP Microserver
    – Upgrade to 8GB RAM
    – 4x 2TB HDDs
    – freenas
    I’m running two of these units and they’re insanely fast and stable. Been running non-stop for about 6 months now. Last time they were powered down was so I could move the shelf they’re sitting on.

  • Looking up their respective operating systems, there are solutions – but setting them up is likely to take a longer than just putting them both on a gigabit network and using the computer as a middleground.

    That said; rsync may work. ThecusOS seems to support NAS-to-NAS rsync ( and the readynas probably does too ( but may require installing addons).

  • Rsync is good as it will keep file details. Also resumes pretty well and syncs changed data as well.
    Or you could mount an NFS or SMB share from the old to the new nas and use the good old cp command.

  • If you can get to a shell something like:

    mkdir /mnt/nas
    mount -t cifs //ip.address/sharename -o username=anthony,password=iluvtwisties,domain=workgroupORdomainname
    cp -R /mnt/nas/* /new/location

  • Yep, rsync is the way I do it from one ReadyNAS to another. (ReadyNAS supports rsync out of the box)

  • I used to have an old home server and my current NAS working together, with one acting as a backup of the other (the home server died a while back) and my NAS (An atom-based QNAP model) has an rsync server & client built in. You can set it up to automatically rsync with another machine, or another machine can rsync with it, and copy some or all of the file system at a pre-defined interval (in my case I had it going weekly). Rsync only copies changed files so once you’ve done the initial synchronization the amount of upkeep is fairly minimal.

    I actually really need to set something like that up again. My NAS currently isn’t backed up and that makes me extremely nervous.

  • I generally just use robocopy around the house, so I can use the same syntax whether it’s a local, USB or NAS drive

  • The Netgear should be able to set a backup job to copy all it’s files via Rsync, FTP or SMB.

  • If you can get an ssh session on each box (and this is why I love unix)
    Run this command from the NAS that you want to copy to:

    ssh [email protected] ‘cd ; tar -cvf – .’ | tar -xvf –

    Where [email protected] is machine and user name on the nas you want to copy from.
    The stuff between the ‘ ‘ is goto the directory you want to copy from, the “;” says end of one command and start another command, “tar -cvf – .” tar is a command that bundles every file and file attributes up into a file (cvf is create, verbose, file), “-” sends the output to standard out (which goes to the pipe “|”) the “.” says start from current directory. “| tar -xvf -” takes the output from the first bit, sends it to “tar -xvf” which eXtracts in Verbose mode from file and the “-” says the ‘file’ is standard in (the pipe “|”).

    Yeh, sounds complicated, but it is actually quite logical and lots of building blocks together make powerful commands (which is the unix philosophy. That one line copies everything exactly as it was over the network

  • As @geofflamb said, SSH is the way! The Readynas runs a stripped down version of Linux so an alternative way that I used was dividing my data into manageable chunks by directory structure, using ssh to get access to it and then using the “scp” command to copy the direcories one at a time. If you haven’t then it is well worth the investment: Get NAS optimized disks or firmware for the disks you have before you start.

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