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Data Backup Procedure on Debian Linux

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Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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October 26, 2012 5:37:48 PM

Hey Everyone,

I have plans to turn my previous computer into a Linux based server, but I am having trouble with other people's opinions on the best way to go about setting this up, lol.

Specs:

- AMD Athlon 64 6000+ 3.1 Dual Core CPU
- 8GB (4x2GB) OCZ 800mhz RAM
- Dell 350W PSU
- MSI K9N SLI ready MOBO
- Radeon ATI HD 4650 Video Card (mobo has no on board video)
- 60GB IDE HDD (either Hitachi or Western Digital) for Debian OS
- 2 x 2TB Western Digital Black series 7,200 rpm SATA HDDs (for data storage and RAID 1 setup)


Now, what I want to do.... It will be a relatively light weight server (hardest thing for it will be video streaming to 2-4 devices simultaneously). So I think, anyway lol.

60GB HDD (#1) - This will hold the OS and all of the packages I install. I do not care about keeping a backup / mirror of this drive. Basically, if it goes down I have no problem setting everything up again. It will keep me more involved in Linux (which I'm trying to learn) and if anything it gives me a fresh start to reconfigure the server.

2TB HDD (#2) - This will be for data storage and data storage ONLY. It will be my /home partition (so I'm thinking). It will store music, movies, documents, designs, websites, pictures, portfolios, etc.

2TB HDD (#3) - This drive will be for BACKUP of Drive #2 data. This needs to be secure enough to where if drive #2 fails, I can hook up this drive and continue on with life (and be salty that I need to buy a new drive lol).


Now, I've been told to do a RAID 1 setup with drives #2 and #3. But, now that I was actually ready to start building the RAID setup, I'm being told it is not a good solution for doing backups. I want to have automatic backups setup to where the data on HDD #2 is copied to #3 and is safe and sound if the whole system goes down or if just the #2 drive goes down. Also, if needed, I want to be able to pull the #3 drive out of the system to hook up to other computers with a USB to SATA adapter or dock station setup.

Backups will have to be done pretty often (a few times a day or more) to ensure that any newly created files or any edited files are being copied to the #3 drive. But, I also don't want to have to manually attach an external drive and manually go into the system to start the backup process every few hours or whatever.

Any ideas on the best way to accomplish this?

And, should I stick with the WD Black drives or go with something a little cheaper? I can get a 2TB Seagate Barracuda @ Micro Center for like $100. Buying two of these over the Blacks will save me like an extra $100 or a little more.

Thanks to anyone who replies!
a b 5 Linux
October 26, 2012 5:50:13 PM

RAID is the best solution to your needs. It is not a replacement for conventional backup, but that is not what you require. You need the disks to be synchronized; that's what mirroring is for.

Backup is more a question of keeping a copy separate from your main machine and/or maintaining historical copies of files that change. As I understand it, neither of these are your prime need. The one thing that mirroring will not protect you from is accidental deletion of files.
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October 26, 2012 6:09:52 PM

Ijack said:
RAID is the best solution to your needs. It is not a replacement for conventional backup, but that is not what you require. You need the disks to be synchronized; that's what mirroring is for.

Backup is more a question of keeping a copy separate from your main machine and/or maintaining historical copies of files that change. As I understand it, neither of these are your prime need. The one thing that mirroring will not protect you from is accidental deletion of files.



Yeah, (as of now...) I'm not worried about keeping backups of files' previous states. If I want to save / keep an older version of a file... I will just rename the new edited version something different to have both versions on hand.

With RAID, I'm worried (as it seems to be suggested) that if my array goes bad or corrupt (due to hardware or software issues) I'd lose the data on both of the hard drives rather than just losing it on #2 and it still being intact on #3.
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a b 5 Linux
October 26, 2012 6:22:50 PM

That shouldn't happen with mirrored drives as each has a complte copy of the data. But if your data is irreplacable then you need to keep a separate copy of it external to your computer. What if the computer caught fire?
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October 26, 2012 6:30:00 PM

Ijack said:
That shouldn't happen with mirrored drives as each has a complte copy of the data. But if your data is irreplacable then you need to keep a separate copy of it external to your computer. What if the computer caught fire?



Ok, good on the drives retaining the data if my array goes bad or fails.

At the moment, my data isn't necessarily irreplaceable, but I just have a lot of it. I guess websites will be pretty important though.

I had plans to buy a cheap 3TB green drive to create an external out of so I could use it for "off site" backups like once a month or so. But, I also want something that will make the copy of my files / data automatically when I add / edit something or at certain time points (say every night at 2am) to ensure constant access / safety if one of the drives dies...
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