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SATA NAS:how to protect data against motherborad failure?

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June 7, 2010 2:26:18 PM

I would like to build inexpensive NAS SATA storage about 8-12 TB RAID 10 for storing company backups based on http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/2U/825/SC825... . I need to protect data in case of motherboard or RAID card failure. Could you please advise appropriate solution?
a c 127 G Storage
June 7, 2010 3:25:22 PM

You know RAID10 or any other RAID is not a backup, right?

Do you have/want two of those machines? That would be a backup.

10TB is done with 5 x 2TB disks; or 6x 2TB in RAID5 for example.

But if you want something based on Windows, you would have no advanced RAID options available; only hardware RAID or low-quality software RAID. Both could see a lot of trouble or even dataloss.

If you want something really protected, for any business task, then protect yourself with a good BACKUP instead of not using a backup and relying only on redundancy; which is absolutely not the same as backup.
June 7, 2010 10:07:27 PM

alodin said:
I would like to build inexpensive NAS SATA storage about 8-12 TB RAID 10 for storing company backups based on http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/2U/825/SC825... . I need to protect data in case of motherboard or RAID card failure. Could you please advise appropriate solution?


It sounds to me like he is already backing up, and he is trying to save those backups. In this situation, he is not substituting RAID for backup at all. I suggest you re-read the op.

While this doesn't directly answer your question, I would recommend against an all-in-one nas of the kind you've picked out. You can find multi-drive arrays that attach to a file server via fiber optic that would provide much more stability because a server crash wouldn't effect the data directly. Simply bringing up the array using another server and everything would be fine. Likewise, you're not depending on the array for the server OS, so you can use the server to diagnose array problems independent of the array status.

--Nick
June 8, 2010 8:50:54 AM

That's a SAN, which I have to agree with Nick, far more reliable at doing what you want to do.
a b G Storage
June 8, 2010 12:28:28 PM

"I need to protect data in case of motherboard or RAID card failure."

Normally the idea of RAID is to protect against HD failure - if 1 drive goes down, the array continues to operate, and you swap out that drive, rebuild, and go on.

If a motherboard or raid card fails, your data should still be protected, but would not be available until the failed component is replaced. What is your downtime tolerance?
June 8, 2010 7:06:09 PM

gtvr said:
"I need to protect data in case of motherboard or RAID card failure."

Normally the idea of RAID is to protect against HD failure - if 1 drive goes down, the array continues to operate, and you swap out that drive, rebuild, and go on.

If a motherboard or raid card fails, your data should still be protected, but would not be available until the failed component is replaced. What is your downtime tolerance?


Hi guys,
Thank you for responses. SAN is too expensive. We use it as our primary data storage. Currently we are doing backup on tapes but you can imagine how long it takes to backup few hundred GBs a day. Also restore is paint full and time consuming. Therefore I decided to go for a cheap SATA NAS as our secondary data store. However I need to be sure that I can have access to our backups no matter what part of HW fails. Disks failure is clear. RAID is protecting against it. What about motherboard or RAID card failure? Do I have to buy spare motherboard and RAID card to be sure that if one of them fails I can access data on disks? If I have identical motherboard and RAID card is it guaranteed that after replacment my RAID configuration will not be lost and I can access data?? Secondary storage can be down for few hours.
Regards,
Alodin
a c 127 G Storage
June 8, 2010 8:44:47 PM

My apologies; appear to either misread or confuse the TS with another; i keep many tabs open.

If you want to be hardware independent, software RAID under non-Windows OS would be preferred. For example ZFS on OpenSolaris/FreeBSD or md-raid5/6 on Linux. That would also be friendly to your budget, as you would not need a hardware RAID card, Battery Backup Unit and no RAID-edition harddrives; you can use normal desktop class harddrives. And the license, of course.

If you prefer to stay on Windows, i would recommend a reasonably good hardware RAID card. A cheaper alternative would be Highpoint RocketRAID 23xx "hardware assisted" that offload XOR to your CPU; but otherwise is true hardware RAID. You also would need to invest in a battery backup unit and RAID edition harddrives with TLER/CCTL to limit their recovery times; as to not timeout the controller which can not handle that intelligently.
June 8, 2010 10:56:32 PM

Thank you for information. I have to stay on Windows because of the company policy. What happens if the recommended RAID card fails? Is battery used to preserve RAID configuration information or only for preserving cashed data that was not written to disks during power outages or motherboard failures? I have only 2600EUR budget for this (Windows license will be bought separately). Is it realistic to get 8-12 TB SATA storage for this money given requirements that it should be faster than tape :-), it can be down for a day and data have to be 100% available not matter what happens?
Alodin
June 8, 2010 10:58:14 PM

Regarding battery: is it about on card battery?…Otherwise we use UPS to power our servers.
June 8, 2010 11:42:36 PM

It is nice. But I think that it protects data only in case of hard disk failure. What if something else will fail on this device? I need an alternative to tape device. Even if tape device fails I can still access data on tapes after repairing tape device or using another one.
Alodin
June 8, 2010 11:49:34 PM

sub mesa said:
My apologies; appear to either misread or confuse the TS with another; i keep many tabs open.

If you want to be hardware independent, software RAID under non-Windows OS would be preferred. For example ZFS on OpenSolaris/FreeBSD or md-raid5/6 on Linux. That would also be friendly to your budget, as you would not need a hardware RAID card, Battery Backup Unit and no RAID-edition harddrives; you can use normal desktop class harddrives. And the license, of course.

If you prefer to stay on Windows, i would recommend a reasonably good hardware RAID card. A cheaper alternative would be Highpoint RocketRAID 23xx "hardware assisted" that offload XOR to your CPU; but otherwise is true hardware RAID. You also would need to invest in a battery backup unit and RAID edition harddrives with TLER/CCTL to limit their recovery times; as to not timeout the controller which can not handle that intelligently.


I read about BBU on Highpoint web site. It is nice card. I will think about it...
!