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Best Raid For Backup

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October 10, 2009 7:18:45 AM

I am a photographer, and i need the best way to back up my pictures from my work. I was googleing stuff, and was looking at RAID 1 or RAID 10. I would like to have some room for failure. Like not if one drive fails the whole system goes down the crapper. What do you guys recommend? And have any suggestions on RAID controllers? And hard drives? should i go for higher RPM drives?

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a c 415 G Storage
October 10, 2009 8:16:05 AM

RAID is not a backup. RAID can protect against a drive failure, but that is not the only way you can loose your data. If you value your pictures, you need to protect them from other risks such as viruses, data corruption (as a result of memory errors or power failure, for example), theft of your system, accidental deletion, disaster (such as a fire) etc. etc. RAID does nothing to protect against these possibilities.

A sound backup strategy requires you to make two copies of your data which are offline, at least one of which is stored offsite. If you are going to purchase extra disks for purposes of backup, buy external drives and use backup software, do not set them up as RAID.

I managed a data centre for many years and we used RAID arrays for our servers because ANY downtime would idle hundreds of workers and cost the company a LOT of money. We received several requests every month to restore data from our backups - but our servers were never down due to a disk failure. That's the real reason to use RAID - not for backup, but to increase uptime.
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a c 127 G Storage
October 10, 2009 2:29:04 PM

I'd say go with multiple 5400rpm disks; that would get your large 1TB+ drives with very low power consumption, low heat production, less vibrations and required air flow.

With some application you can setup synchronisation. For example, you have a backup disk which gets synchronized every night with your primary HDD for storing your photographs. So this can be automated.

sminlal is right and RAID1+ isn't a backup, in your case using RAID might not be the best choice. Sure its easy, but a normal backup is worth more and can protect against more dangers.
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a c 127 G Storage
October 12, 2009 11:11:40 PM

They work until they don't work. Simple as that.

The RAID engine itself is an additional and single point of failure. This cannot be solved with redundancy, only with a backup. And there are many more risks a backup can protect you for but RAID cannot.
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