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To RAID, or not to RAID... is nas backup the best answer?

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September 17, 2007 5:25:58 PM

I'm wanting to add a NAS to my network as I'm tired of having a huge server just to hold a couple hundred megs of media. I would like to have about 1tb of storage for files ranging from 1mb to 8gb.

I am tempted to just buy a 2 drive NAS with two 1tb drives and RAID-1 them. However I'm concerned about being screwed if the NAS itself dies, which makes me ponder getting two single drive NAS's and use NAS backup to secure my data, but it would likely be more expensive and would only contain the data from the most recent backup.

So which is the best route? Option B would provide a rock solid backup that may be a little out of date depending on the latest backup but would be more expensive. Option A would probably be the easiest, however i'm not quite sure of the performance on mirroring an 8 gig file.
September 17, 2007 11:06:55 PM

Why cant you go an option A with RAID-0 this will mirror the drives and you would always have a backup on a separate drive.

Depends on how much money you have to burn there are many options out there. For instance you have your NAS or you could do what i did and bought a separate machine with a RAID card and now i have 2tb of data in RAID-5 which i love...
September 21, 2007 7:40:57 PM

i made mention of the risk in RAID-0 is that if the raid controller fails you are screwed until you buy the same controller again. you're drives data will always be safe but what if you don't know how to interpret it?

raid-0: capable backup with the raid controller itself as the weak link, always synchronized though.

nas->nas backup: means that if the lead disk dies then i have a not as up-to-date drive but it will work like a normal drive in any machine.

the knock on each is the risk of raid0, and the expense of nas->nas backup coupled with not 100% backup.
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September 21, 2007 8:27:34 PM

Quote:
"Why cant you go an option A with RAID-0 this will mirror the drives and you would always have a backup on a separate drive. "


You meant RAID-1, right? (RAID-0 doesn't make sense for his situation at all, his data is screwed if one of his drives fail or if the controller card fails - either way!)

uschxc, I had the similar concern and I ended up with a Infrant NAS (NV+) - this offered X-RAID (or RAID 5 if you prefer), but has a sweet option of being able to back up to a USB drive (This USB drive can be connected to the NAS directly and you can setup an automated job to do the backups from the NAS to the USB drive every evening or whatever schedule you are comfortable with...
HTH
September 21, 2007 8:38:35 PM

jj14 said:
"Why cant you go an option A with RAID-0 this will mirror the drives and you would always have a backup on a separate drive. "

HUH? You meant RAID-1, right? (RAID-0 doesn't make sense for his situation at all, his data is screwed if one of his drives fail or if the controller card fails - either way!)

uschxc, I had the similar concern and I ended up with a Infrant NAS (NV+) - this offered X-RAID (or RAID 5 if you prefer), but has a sweet option of being able to back up to a USB drive (This USB drive can be connected to the NAS directly and you can setup an automated job to do the backups from the NAS to the USB drive every evening or whatever schedule you are comfortable with...
HTH


Raid 1 is Correct.

uschxc, if you are so worried about losing data period, I would suggest backing up to something like a tape drive or compressed DVD images onto disc. At least if you do lose the controller, you will have the data on another medium to retrieve from.

At any rate, if you buy a NAS, grandfather data to tape and both go, you'd have to consider contacting a data recovery service to retrieve the data. That means money, but at least you'd get it all back.

If you wished to, go even simpler and buy a large drive and have it in an external shell, connected to a USB port. Do a weekly back up to it and once its done, disconnect it from everything until you are ready for your next scheduled backup. If you lose the server, its all backed up and the data can be in an uncompressed format for direct access.
September 22, 2007 12:12:13 AM

And there you have your answer always use 2 or even three back-up schemes. You could do a nas as one backup scheme and then use something like Seagate Mirra to double back-up really important files. This is what I use, plus I use retrospect to back up my boot drive to another drive. So I am using 3 back-up schemes
September 22, 2007 10:29:21 PM

oops RAID-1 is what i meant the 0 and 1 arent even close on the keyboard either :S
September 22, 2007 11:29:28 PM

Personal servers are nice, but backup should be available to be updated when something changes or files are added.

Personally, I choose Acronis and use SCSI drives within my systems, to perform complete system backups. The ultra SCSI drives have very long MTBF and have saved my bacon a few times.
!