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How pointless is Mirror RAID? Not much of a backup utility!

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November 5, 2007 5:23:25 PM

Offcourse I have been dealing with computers since the beginning of the Quake years and performance was always first before pleasure...Screw up? Obviously yes.
But let me ask you how pointless mirror RAID is. You take the time and money to buy another hard drive expecting something big and more room, which means...yes more movies games and no more concern for not having enough space on the hard drive.

Raid 0 enables more performance for people like me it's worth the risk of data loss. but what about Raid 1?Performance increase....no, Space increase....no, Anticipation for something new...no and worth the money...again no.

If your planning on usuing Raid 1 as a backup option please strike that off immediately. Think about it, it's called MIRROR...so for example if you fell down the stairs broke your arm and legs and looked in the mirror you would have a back up of yourself in perfect condition ( lol perfect condition yea right) THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!!

You'll see yourself damage and your gonna cry. Same thing goes with RAID 0 if you get a virus on 1 hard drive, you get 1 on the other. If you get a corrupt Windows file you get it on the other hard drive.

Nice backup? I thought so.

The only thing it would EVER and I mea EVER be good for is incase 1 hard drive fails. Thats it. But are you paying an extra sum of money just to wait for a day where your hard drive just fails? Or are you gonna live it up and either get more space or some more performance:) 


Sorry just had to vent real quick:) 
Hopefully ppl agree with me !
November 5, 2007 5:47:47 PM

L1qu1d said:
The only thing it would EVER and I mea EVER be good for is incase 1 hard drive fails.


Yes, that is what RAID 1 is for. If you want to backup files for storage you should:

Get an external drive and store it away
Get an internal drive and store it away
Burn your data to DVD/HDDVD/BR and store it away
Tape drives
There are also online backup solutions these days
floppy disks!

I dont think anyone ever claimed that RAID1 was good for permant backups.
November 5, 2007 5:52:48 PM

Trust me I've seen it alot...ppl suggest Raid 1 for Backup purposes. I just wanted to clear the air. lol
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November 6, 2007 1:27:11 AM

I beg to differ here.. I dont think RAID 1 should be considered as a replacement for taking backups.. RAID 1 is used for high availability.. even with RAID 1 you still have to take regular backups to counter condition of virus attacks, data corruption etc.

RAID 1 handles only one thing and that is High Availability in case of HDD failure.. So if you have a failure in one harddisk the second one (mirror) takes over and work continues till you can plan a down time to replace the faulty disk.

So lets not confuse the the purpose of RAID 1. I agree with L1qu1d in that RAID 1 being used as a backup solution is a waste of money.
November 6, 2007 2:11:44 PM

Quote:
You take the time and money to buy another hard drive expecting something big and more room,


The problem is not with RAID 1 - it is with the expectations of the person :) 

RAID 1 has it's place and purpose - as everyone stated, it is NOT for performance or for space. It is for high availability (as atreyu stated).

I use RAID 1 - to minimize the possibility of my machine being down when I need it.
* If my HDD crashes and I have to restore my data from backups and install all the necessary apps that I need and the updates that I need, it will take me at least a few hours and that is not something that I can usually afford when I am in the middle of my work.
* Even if I restore from a Ghost backup, it could take me an hour or two - again, not something that I can usually afford when I am in the middle of my work.
* Besides, in either of these solutions, all work that I've done since my last backup is gone!

This is why I use RAID 1. That is what I expect from it and RAID 1 serves the purpose!
Is it possbile that both my drives get fried at the same time? Sure it is possible! But as I stated, my expectations are to minimize (not eliminate) the possibility of my machine being down :) 

Just thought I'd share my thoughts about this
November 6, 2007 3:57:10 PM

I agree with jj14 & atreyu.
It's not pointless in the datacenter enviroment. We use cold/standby mirror for our system disk drives for OS & application patching. That saves us hours, days of work for patch roll back.
November 6, 2007 4:42:23 PM

I remember when we were putting a SAN in at work a number of years ago, one of the managers kept going on about how it was going to save backup costs because the SAN was redundant 8 ways to Sunday.

He just could not get the concept, despite how many people told him, that backups were not just for hardware failure.
November 6, 2007 6:56:02 PM

I would pay that much money to have a backup harddrive incase of harddrive failiure lol:p 
November 7, 2007 11:31:16 AM

Hmm... I don't see how you save $$$.
In a corporate world, if a system goes down, it will costs a company thousands of dollars per hour. How much does it costs for an additional 36GB SCSI hard drive? How much does it costs for users couldn't access to the system application? How often an application won't starts up after application upgrade or a security patch, etc... It's price less compares to a the costs for an additional SCSI disk drive. Let not talk about the yelling/screaming from the management. RAID 1 has the capability that RAID 0&5 could not provide. Raid1 provides an instant patch roll back, it's close to transparent to the end users, more productive. It's not LOL when a system goes down and the employer still paying hundreds of employees sitting in their office being unproductive.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2007 12:13:50 PM

RAID 1 is for Redundancy, not Backup.

As stated for instance, if you get a virus on a RAID 1 array, bingo! you have the virus on both drives.

Many times people see the term "redundancy" and relate it as a form of backup, which it is not!

It simply means that if a drive physically dies, the system stays up until you can replace the bad drive.
November 7, 2007 12:32:23 PM

jitpublisher said:
RAID 1 is for Redundancy, not Backup.
As stated for instance, if you get a virus on a RAID 1 array, bingo! you have the virus on both drives.


One of the ways to get around this is to actually take the RAID 1 array and partition it into two (primary and backup). Install everything you need onto the primary and then, install Ghost on the primary and specify the backup destination to be the backup partition.
The advantage is that now, you are better protected against hardware problem (single drive failure) and software issues (virus, malware, corrupted install, accidental deletion of files). If one of your drives fail, just replace it (your system works in the meanwhile). If your system gets infected with a virus and you are not able to get it out, just restore the most recent Ghost backup from your 'backup' partition onto your 'primary' partition and you are good to go! If you accidentally deleted some file which you need, just go into the Ghost explorer and restore the file you need!

Do note that this is NOT a substitute for regular (daily) backups onto external storage (in case both drives fail or your RAID controller goes south)
HTH
November 7, 2007 12:42:28 PM

twu said:
Hmm... I don't see how you save $$$.
In a corporate world, if a system goes down, it will costs a company thousands of dollars per hour. How much does it costs for an additional 36GB SCSI hard drive? How much does it costs for users couldn't access to the system application? How often an application won't starts up after application upgrade or a security patch, etc... It's price less compares to a the costs for an additional SCSI disk drive. Let not talk about the yelling/screaming from the management. RAID 1 has the capability that RAID 0&5 could not provide. Raid1 provides an instant patch roll back, it's close to transparent to the end users, more productive. It's not LOL when a system goes down and the employer still paying hundreds of employees sitting in their office being unproductive.


I was talking about this at a personal level....wow such hard emotion dude....I'm just saying for the most part I would rather have space and performance then to wait and get my money's worth when my Hard drive fails....let me rephrase that IF my hard drive fails.

November 7, 2007 12:56:49 PM

I'd say it would be more designed for a business machine, rather then a home user, but still could be used. If it needs to be up 24/7, that would be the best way to go, business wise. Other then that, for a regular home user... naaaah. :lol: 
November 7, 2007 1:19:07 PM

Apparently you don't understand what RAID is used for then. If you do, then you should state it in your 1st post. Good to let n00bs know what to expect though! They can always use the help
November 7, 2007 2:06:08 PM

1756141,10,65686 said:
RAID 1 is for Redundancy, not Backup.

As stated for instance, if you get a virus on a RAID 1 array, bingo! you have the virus on both drives.
quotemsg]

A good hardware RAID1 provides an active or passive sync. More often the passive mirror sync will prevent and decrease the virus infection attack again.
November 7, 2007 2:26:38 PM

"Performance increase....no"

ON the contrary! Depending on the controller, you can have a nice read performance increase. Both disks have the same information on it, so a good controller would use both disks to read. Write speeds would still be single-disk speed.
November 7, 2007 2:33:32 PM

gwolfman said:
Apparently you don't understand what RAID is used for then. If you do, then you should state it in your 1st post. Good to let n00bs know what to expect though! They can always use the help


Who are you talking to right now??? If its me yes I dont know RAID all the well but I know thats pointless for me to spend money on a product that may or may not get used. I'd raid Raid 0 for performance or use the drives seperatly rather than RAID 1

The only thing I might consider using Mirror RAID would be RAID 0+1 and Have 4 Hard drives:)  but even for that I'm iffy.

November 7, 2007 2:35:33 PM

If one is really clever ...

Set up a Raid 1 placing the drives in hot swap bays.

Now you can do a backup simply by swapping out the "mirror" from the hot swap bays and letting the RAID rebuild.

Recovering the system is as simple as removing both drives and swapping in one of the good backups, swapping in a "mirror" to be rebuilt.

A bit more expensive than the solutions I use, but perhaps suitable for some.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2007 2:36:37 PM

I've been talking about the real uses for RAID for quite awhile now. RAID1 is not a backup solution. This is the easier one for people to understand. I also "preach" about why most people don't need AID0. People still think AID0 pays off for gaming, which is mostly CPU and GPU bound. I've seen people buy two harddrives and a soundcard while at the same time buying a midrange CPU and videocard. I'd tell them to drop the SC and second harddrive to they could move from the 7600GT to the 7950/x1950xt, but they keep telling me its about load time and sound quality. Me, I'd rather have the increased frame rate and resolution.

Welcome to the club. Keep talking about the real uses for RAID1, perhaps someday we won't be viewed as the weirdos.
November 7, 2007 3:56:13 PM

L1qu1d said:
I was talking about this at a personal level....wow such hard emotion dude....I'm just saying for the most part I would rather have space and performance then to wait and get my money's worth when my Hard drive fails....let me rephrase that IF my hard drive fails.


Personally I think it is also a good idea to have redundancy for a system with RAID 1, because you can still have your computer working even for 1 HDD failure. You just don't have to IMMEDIATELY go for a DHL of a HDD and manually do a system restore after a HDD disaster. With RAID 1, what you do is just wait for the DHL of the new HDD, plug the new drive in, and the RAID controller does the new redundancy to the new drive for you, with the system still on during the period from you order the new drive to the ending of new redundancy. No fear of any data lost, no need to do a long period of system restore immediately after a drive failure, no worry to the unavailability of the system after a HDD failure, all these just for a cost of an extra HDD and a RAID controller. It worths a lot for somebody, just not you maybe...

RAID 1 is not intended to replace a system and data backup, and should not be use for it. It is totally another thing.
November 7, 2007 4:48:27 PM

Honestly, your thread title is indicative of ignorance of the subject matter. RAID was never meant for back up, it has always been about redundancy / performance (with an asterisk on perfomance). And it has long been really intended for the server market as a solution to avoid downtime in case of drive failure and never for back up of data, so stop with this senseless nonsense (redundant, I know)
November 7, 2007 5:57:26 PM

I've always wondered about RAID 1 and never used it. We use RAID 0 in most of our systems. We're system builders (not many RAID systems sold to customers) and have only had 10 hard drives fail in the past 7 yrs and 1000s of systems.

Then last week.. I installed folding at home on our 8 systems, including the server. 3 Western Digital Caviars bit the dust in a matter of 7 days, including the one on the server.

Now we use Acronis, so luckily we were just out the 30 mins to recover each image and the 10 mins per machine to replace the hard drives. As far as I'm concerned, Acronis's True Image and Disc Director Suite paid for themselves twice over this week.

My question is, if we'd had these systems on RAID 1 how long would it have taken to rebuild the RAID arrays and be back in business?

I can't help but think Acronis or Ghost would be a better way to go since the 2nd hard drive isn't running until you actually need it. I'd have still been using a 3 yr old hard drive with RAID 1. Whereas with the image I was installing a brand new NCQ drive. Unless rebuilding the array can cut some serious time off the 30 mins to recover the image, I don't see the point in RAID 1 in this day/age. :s
a b B Homebuilt system
November 7, 2007 6:31:35 PM

Quote:
I don't see the point in RAID 1 in this day/age.


Mostly true. With removable storage as easy as it is, there isn't much point to RAID1. Plug it in, back up the data/reimage the drive, then power it down.

The only people who really need RAID1 that I can think of are those that offer "real time" hosting of files. If Amazon's webserver lost a harddrive for whatever reason, how many millions of dollars would they lose even if the were copying the image over? How many millions of dollars would Ebay, Amazon, etc lose in just 10min? How many customers would be upset if their webserver (which they paid extra money for five 9's service.) went down for 10min? Not only did they lose money during that 10min, but can you say contract violation?

Does your home user REALLY need RAID1? Not really, but there are people out there that do.

As a side note, to those serveral posts up, ease up on this. I can see from your low post count that you might not read these forums that much. If you don't believe us, take a look and see how many people come in here asking about RAID1 as a "safety measure" or backup solution. It does happen. We might know that its a bunch of hooey, but not everyone does.
November 7, 2007 6:57:09 PM

But um.. even the real time hosting sites need to rebuild the array before it goes back online?

If that's the case, then it really doesn't matter if they're restoring an image via Acronis/Ghost or rebuilding the array via RAID 1. Unless of course RAID 1 is much faster, which is still my question. How long does it take to rebuild a RAID 1 array? Or even a RAID 5/6/10 array?

BTW, post count doesn't mean anything. I've been reading this forum and getting the newsletter pretty much since it started ('96?). My post count would be a bit higher if I hadn't changed email addys a couple times forcing a new SN, but the number of times I post has nothing to do with how much I read. In fact, I probably learn more reading than someone who spends half their day posting. :) 
November 7, 2007 6:58:04 PM

Ya know, if you don't need/want it, don't use it? The OP is like someone complaining that they're not getting any increase in performance with SLI when they're still playing games at 1024x768.

There is a purpose for RAID-1 just like there is a purpose for RAID-0, RAID-5, and RAID-10. It just so happens that RAID-1 fits the needs of some people. Just because YOU don't see a need for it in YOUR life doesn't mean it's not extremely helpful to someone else.
November 7, 2007 7:06:25 PM

hey look every1 is entitled 2 their own opinion...so you can vent all u want... I didn't mean to hurt pplz feelings on this:) 

ANyways does any1 know whats beter RAID 0 with 2 drives and the Windows installed on a third or Raid 0 with 2 drives with windows installed on the RAID 0?:) 

Thanks:) 
November 7, 2007 7:09:45 PM

russki said:
Honestly, your thread title is indicative of ignorance of the subject matter. RAID was never meant for back up, it has always been about redundancy / performance (with an asterisk on perfomance). And it has long been really intended for the server market as a solution to avoid downtime in case of drive failure and never for back up of data, so stop with this senseless nonsense (redundant, I know)


Hear, Hear!

Just because the tool isn't useful for the OP doesn't mean it's pointless. Lot's of uses even for a home computer. Depends on what you have that's valuable and how often you generate this valuable stuff. As was said here several times, hosting a website, serving media, saving ongoing projects...it's safe and doesn't interfere with most other tasks. Yet it's there for the disaster. And you still have all your other archiving solutions available.

To the OP, what's your point?
November 7, 2007 7:25:58 PM

L1qu1d said:
Raid 0 enables more performance for people like me it's worth the risk of data loss. but what about Raid 1?Performance increase....no, Space increase....no, Anticipation for something new...no and worth the money...again no.


Just a note, RAID 1 often does improve read performance due to being able to read off both drives simultaneously.

Not sure what you mean by "Anticipation for something new". I don't think this really has much to do with either RAID 0 or RAID 1 either.

Worth the money has to do with what availability is worth. Worth varies from person to person. Anyone selling RAID 1 as a "backup" doesn't understand what it does. RAID 1 is great if you need higher availability.

Just my two cents,

John
November 7, 2007 7:31:12 PM

L1qu1d said:
ANyways does any1 know whats beter RAID 0 with 2 drives and the Windows installed on a third or Raid 0 with 2 drives with windows installed on the RAID 0?:) 

Thanks:) 


It all boils down to what you use it for. Like I mentioned, if you wanted it to run 24/7, chances are, it will run 24/7 in Raid1 rather then raid0. It actaully works great on hot swappable drives if something does go wrong with 1 drive physically.

But obviously, if you want performance, your not going to really get it from Raid1, but at least it's still going to werk if 1 fails.
November 7, 2007 9:25:34 PM

The fastest situation for any circumstance is to have both your data and OS on a RAID 0 array. We partition ours to 50-70g for the OS (depending upon how much you install as you don't want to go above 80% capacity for performance) and run the rest as a data partition (moving My Documents to the data partition as well).

That's the fastest.

The best is subjective. There's no question that a non-RAID drive is more dependable than a RAID 0 drive. A RAID 0 array may last a lifetime and it may fail at any given time, thus the need for a quick backup/image system. It's really up to the individual which is best, speed or dependablility.

So I take it no one actually knows how long it takes to rebuild a RAID 1 array. And without that information, there's no good argument for RAID 1 over a backup image system. At least no one has yet pointed out an advantage to RAID 1. :) 
November 7, 2007 11:06:48 PM

I don't think RAID is pointless. I plan on setting up RAID 1 in an up coming HTPC build. The RAID will only have media files on it; DivX, H.264, FLAC and maybe some OGG files. That way I can have immediate access to movies, TV programs or music readily available for enjoyment.

The only problem is that I plan on RAIDing two 1TB drives which means eventually I would need to buy a 3rd 1TB drive to act as a backup to the RAID. Or I could use 212 single sided DVDs to backup all that data. There's been talk about a company developing a 1TB optical drive and 1TB blank media. Each TerraDisc is estimated to cost $30 - $60, but I'm more interested in finding out how much the drive itself will cost.
November 7, 2007 11:32:49 PM

Are you using Windows XP? Cuz I heard 2 terabyte RAID isn't compatible on XP...I ight be wrong:) 

THanks again for the answers to the RAID 0 Question...I'm just going to leave the Main OS on the RAID 0 and installed windows Server 2008 on the Single drive:) 
November 8, 2007 2:03:21 AM

L1qu1d said:
Are you using Windows XP? Cuz I heard 2 terabyte RAID isn't compatible on XP...I ight be wrong:) 



Not sure if Win XP will be compatible with two 1TB drives in a RAID 1 configuration. But I will not be building it until Q1/Q2 2008. I might postpone it until Nehalem comes out instead of upgrading my current Conroe system to Penryn.

That gives me time to research the issue, and also consider if Vista will be worth upgrading to at that time even if Win XP has not compatibility issue with my proposed RAID setup.


November 8, 2007 11:12:02 AM

Vista will definately be worth the upgrade but not until Jan when Service pack 1 comes out:)  I have it on this computer I made a pact that I wouldn't use it until Jan lol....unless I wanna see the DX 10 graphics:p 
November 11, 2007 4:04:43 PM

dark41 said:
But um.. even the real time hosting sites need to rebuild the array before it goes back online?

If that's the case, then it really doesn't matter if they're restoring an image via Acronis/Ghost or rebuilding the array via RAID 1.


I hope I didn't misunderstand your post, but with RAID 1, the 'real time hosting site' doesn't really need to rebuild the array before going back online - that's the whole point of RAID 1. The system can be available while the rebuild is in progress (sure, there will be a performance impact, but the system will be available.
November 11, 2007 4:10:54 PM

jj14 said:
The system can be available while the rebuild is in progress (sure, there will be a performance impact, but the system will be available.


Ding Ding Ding Ding!
November 13, 2007 5:22:27 AM

Like I said, I've never used RAID 1 and I'm trying to understand the benefit over an image backup system. I've used RAID 0 for many years.

So unless they're using hot swappable drives or they've kept a backup drive (3 drives total) connected for use in the array when needed, the system would have to be shut down to replace the failed drive. Correct? And even if there was a hot swappable drive or another HD already connected to the system, it would have to be a 3rd party RAID controller instead of the onboard motherboard controller (because every motherboard controller I've seen requires the computer to be restarted to enter the RAID configuration window)?

And then as soon as it's restarted (if it wasn't a 3rd party RAID controller and there was no 3rd drive already attached), the array would be rebuilding with access to the drives at the same time? That would save the 15 minutes for recovering the image to the new drive.
November 13, 2007 12:48:22 PM

dark41, the ONLY valid reason (that I can think of) to use RAID1 is in a situation where one cannot afford system downtime. RAID1 will minimize (not eliminate) the probability of your system going down if one of your drives gets messed up.
The benefit of RAID1 over an image backup system would be that in case one of my drives fails, I choose when I am ready to replace that drive. With an image backup system, when the drive fails, my system is down (whether I can afford to have it down or not) - also, any changes made to the system since the last backup are gone. All the unsaved changes in your documents etc are gone. I have to rush out and buy a new drive (probably at full price) if I don't have one sitting at home.

With RAID1 though, I can continue to work on what I am doing, take a final backup, wait (not too long though) till a reasonable price comes up for the replacement drive, bring the system down (on my schedule <-- most important factor for me), swap out the drive and start up my computer again, and start working right away if needed - because the rebuild will happen in the background - Intel's storage matrix console runs in Windows (not in BIOS)

Though I haven't tried this yet, I believe that the storage matrix console will even support a hot spare, so you don't even have the bring your system down to swap out the drive!
November 13, 2007 12:54:13 PM

dark41 said:

the array would be rebuilding with access to the drives at the same time? That would save the 15 minutes for recovering the image to the new drive.


But what about the data changes since the last time you took the image backup?
December 9, 2007 8:32:55 PM

wow, just read some of this thread, sheeshe. Suuure, one virus on the one drive ,..suure its going to be on the mirror. Get out yer darn Virus checker and beat dat virus outa there.
RAID is about protection. I have had hard drives fail on me, one drive I just got data off it before if finally went kelunk on me.
If a drive is starting to go bad, there will often be signs before failure. Thats time to identify the problem and square it up.
A full backup external to the system is also a good idea but doing that takes time during system down time or if there is a backup utlity that does backup on the fly. Raid is backup on the fly at the PC speed, a separate styled backup would need to identify changes and back those up.
Raid is much more desired as it saves time from failure than to go try to recover data from a bad drive, you just can that drive, rebuild and off you go, virus and all....8-D
December 9, 2007 9:23:26 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with much of what has been said in this thread...

But to add my 2 cents:
NO RAID IS A SUBSTITUTION FOR EXTERNAL BACKUPS...

Mirror is strictly a time sensitive recovery for Hardware failure...
Stripe isn't a backup EVER...
and
Stripe with Parity is only hardware failure resistant...

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-Dejunai
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