Raid or external storage

Hello,

I have a quick question that I can't answer myself and wanted some suggestions.

I have 2 Western Digital 1Tb drives, would it make sense to put them in a raid 1 or just have 1 drive in the computer and 1 drive for external backup(puting it in an external enclosure and automatically backing up through Vista or another program). If I use the drives in raid 1 then I would have to purchase at least another 1 tb external drive or external hdd and put in another enclosure for backups.

To me it probably would make sense to have 1 drive inside and 1 external that way if something happens to the computer(lightning strike or whatever) the external should still be good with my backup.

I probably answered my own questions but suggestions are more than welcome

Thanks.
4 answers Last reply
More about raid external storage
  1. The value of raid-1 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
    It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
    Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
    Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
    Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
    software errors, operator error, or fire...etc.
    For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
    If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.
  2. Heya,

    RAID1 will give you two copies, but this only protects against a drive fail. Problem is, it's not such a good `backup' because its in the same computer--so whatever happens to it, happens to both drives (power out while writing, reading, hit by lighting, whatever, etc). If you want a real backup, make sure it's separate from the system. In that case, I recommend an eSata external drive. They have good speed and you can plug in, backup, unplug and sit pretty knowing you have a physical backup elsewhere.

    So, yes, you answered your own question in the end. Consider this reinforcement.

    -- On a related note, if it's not too personal, what's the nature of the backup data? If it's not actually crucial, you could check out RAID5 or explore the option of a NAS (network accessible storage) option.

    Cheers,
  3. Thanks for the replies.

    The backup data is basically mp3 and movie backups, nothing mission critical. So a raid 1 would probably be a little extreme given the responses. I am actually interested in a NAS when I get the money up, but a single drive backup should do fine for a while for me.

    One more question that I probably can answer myself but just wanted a little reassurance.

    Would it be practical to put the OS and Storage on one big drive or have the OS and storage as sepearate drives.

    I would say seperate just in case Vista goes haywire.

    Thanks
  4. OS and storage on one drive is fine. Don't be too worried about a drive failure. The mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1.000,000 hours. That's 100 years.
    If you keep the drives well ventilated, you will eliminate the most common contributor to failure.
    Some people will use a small fast drive such as the WD velociraptor for the OS, and a slower drive for storage.


    A plus for external backup is that the copy can be compressed, so that it does not take as much space as the original.
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