I am looking for opinions and advice on the matter of storing data at my small business. We have 6 computers with three being normal use workstations, we run Autocad, quickbooks, and all the other normal stuff. We store lots of pictures, and to top it off, we're considering going paperless with our specifications, and other documents.
Here's the question, what is my best option for saving all this data?
I currently have a dell xps with RAID 1 which we're using as a storage place...It hasn't been backed up to anything else in quite awhile, and it's software raid I'm sure. We have 140 GB of data on that drive, and if we go paperless, that's going to sky rocket.
How can I back up this dataserver?
I am thinking of building a RAID 5 server with FREENAS on it, and 4 750 GB WD green drives and an adaptec 3405?? card, real RAID. I have a P4 pc laying here with an open x16 slot and plenty of memory.
How often should this be backed up? Should I run RAID 6?
Nothing wrong with running pure software RAID, it's host-based RAID (e.g. Intel Matrix RAID) you need to worry about. Although with RAID1 it doesn't really matter (besides uptime).
If you're you're going to run FreeNAS then I would highly recommend RAID-Z with drives formatted in ZFS. RAID-Z is similar to RAID-5, but with many more advantages when it comes to data integrity. You can read the rest up on wiki. It's a very mature form of software RAID.
For backup, you could use the built-in Rsync to backup to a USB HDD.