Here's my situation. I'm self employed and I renovate homes. I generate a ton of receipts and paperwork and I'm tired of seeing it piled everywhere. I looked into building a NAS RAID 5 (or Z1) and it was quite expensive. I suppose I don't really need a NAS right now, but the option to upgrade to that in the future would be great. Mainly what I want to do is a bunch of scanning and throwing stuff out. What's my best option? The fact that I want to throw the stuff out should suggest that data security and longevity is paramount.
maybe look into ZFS and freeNAS as a secure storage solution? You'd still want to have a backup solution too and ideally back up everything offsite. Depends on how much data it ends up being. Tarsnap is one option for secure backups, it uses client side encryption which u might want if the documents contain any sensitive data about your customers or your business. The encrypted backups are then stored on AWS S3.
If you want cheap you can get an HP g7/g8 microserver and get 16 gigs of ecc ram on either and slam it with FreeNAS or XPEnology depending on your time/tecnical knowledge.
If you have money to spend and don't want any hassle at all you can go with a synology box which are easy to use and to setup the downside is the excessive price.
As for the drives and data longevity you should go WD Red but if you really want data longevity you can always use Tape drives those things last forever.
cloud is shit and not trustworthy.
best solution is 2 NAS boxes in different location with automated syncing.
next best is local NAS with ZFS pushing encrypted incremental snapshots (e.g., PGP'd "zfs send" files) to remote storage you don't control.
Depends on how you build it. For a reference check out https://www.ixsystems.com
ix systems is a company where you can buy a pre-built preconfigured zfs freeNas solution. You can use their prices as a way to check if a diy solution you come up with is actually cheaper vs their options.
You can be ok with a NAS like Synology. You can get a basic 2-drive system, or go up to a 4-drive system. With how Synology's DSM works, you can host a website, email server, cloud syncing services, etc from the same machine. I've own one personally for 6 years, and about 2 years ago implemented 2 of them at my place of work for file storage that syncs across multiple locations.
The real first question you should be asking is how long you need to keep these receipts and etc for. The second is asking how much space you think they will take up per year given your past, present, and future business outlook.
Amazon cold storage or crashplan or another one of these cloud providers will maintain your data reliably without question. In any case, the onus is on you to ensure that it is properly protected (e.g. clientside encryption).
The buy vs. build a local storage problem is cost optimization based on storage requirements and the management of that storage. You'll probably find your time is better spent with a cheap local storage solution feeding to a storage provider instead of in building and managing a completely locally redundant instance of ZFS or something... unless you've already got the technical ability or knowledge and have enough data to tip the scale.
Data security is all about multiplicity.
Have your data in multiple places- at least two.
Then if one dies or fails you can replace it.
Two locations are better than one, but two devices are usually good enough.
Also scanning is really slow, you'd have to get a proper speed scanner.
Um, why not just use a old pc (make sure its clean), never hook it up to the internet, set up at Least 2 hdd in raid 1 with 300 ish gigs (like they are any bit expensive) and buy a document scanner. Prob about $100.
(Honestly sounds like a lot of work just to save documentation on what you've already spent)