Best way to store my data?

Hi all.

I am after some advice regarding the best way to store my data.
Some info…

I have a HTPC with the following HDDs
HDD 1 - 150GB Sata 2 - Windows 7 (80GB) & Windows XP (60GB)
HDD 2 - 80GB IDE - Ubuntu 11.10
HDD 3 - 2TB Sata 3 - Films, TV Shows…
HDD 4 - 2TB Sata 2 - Documents, Music, Pictures, Backup Programs…

Also a Netbook with 160GB - Ubuntu 11.10

I would like to backup my data and would like to know your views on how’s best to do this.
I have considered building a homemade NAS, moving my 2x2TB HDDs and with additional HDDs implementing a RAID 5 setup for my media (Films, Music & Pictures). My Documents would be sync’d with the Cloud and both my HTPC (Win7) and Netbook (Ubuntu 11.10).

Can anyone advise on a better solution than this?

What is your current setup / goal regarding your storage setup?
7 answers Last reply
More about best store data
  1. Reading up on RAID 5, the more disks I have the slower the write performance.... Hmmm may have to be RAID 6 or is there a better type?
  2. If you want to move your current data then you wil have to purchase new HDDs first.

    RAIDing is for speed, and enterprise reliability. What is your reason for RAIDing your HDDs? As they are for storage and multimedia, RAIDing will not improve their performance. And RAID 1 or 10 will not protect against anything but hardware failure (i.e. viruses).

    I curently have a home server with Windows Home Server 2011 with 2 X 1.5 TB Seagate HDDs and 2 X 2 TB Samsung HDDs. The OS for the server is on one Seagate HDD, and I use one of the Samsungs for system backup.
  3. I will probably get a RAID setup installed, move my files over to it, and then introduce my two existing HDDs to the RAID. Although I'm not 100% sure about moving the drives. I will have to give it a thought.

    I have had a HDD fail in my HTPC before (A 150GB WD Raptor X) and several in other PCs I've fixed for people. I wasn't too concerned with loosing the data on my HDD that went as it was my OS drive, but loosing my documents would be devastating, so I was thinking about the cloud and two machines for backup. If I lost my media it would just be time consuming putting all the DVD's back onto my HDDs, and retrieving pictures from other sources...

    I’m quite careful when it comes to the net and rarely use other people’s media on my PCs. I have a decent Antivirus and Firewall installed and as such I have never had a virus in the last 10yrs+, so touch wood, I'm not too concerned about that either. It was mainly to protect against hardware failure.

    What is the best type of RAID in your opinion for my situation? I would like to protect my files from hardware failure, but not affect performance if possible. If I can gain speed then it's a bonus! At the moment I just use the media on one device at a time (HTPC or Netbook), but as time goes on this may change.
  4. If your goal is to protect against hardware failure, then you should do a RAID 1 or RAID 10. A RAID 1 configuration uses 2 HDDs and automatically backs up one to the second. It is a good failsafe against hardware failure. Raid 10 is somewhat similar, using 4 HDDs it Combines RAID 1 and RAID 0. Two HDDs are interleaved for speed and two HDDs are backup redundency.

    There is also a RAID 5 which uses 3 HDDs, but doesn't provide for complete data redundancy.

    Personally I won't use and don't trust the cloud. The reason is that your data is in the hands of a 3rd party over whom you have no control. Further, despite all security measures, the cloud can be hacked.

    For my own storage and household needs I bought a bunch of HDDs last Summer before the floods in Thailand. I have 2 X 1.5 TB Seagates & 2 X 2 TB Samsungs on my home server to act as a media server and backup. This is, I think, a better solution than relying on the cloud. And, I don't RAID because I provide over- provisioning for backups by the server. The overhead for RAIDing is that your HDDs are constantly reading & writing, whereas by setting auto backups on the server the server takes care of the backups on a daily or semi-daily schedule.
  5. What backup program do you use? I have looked into this briefly, but was unable to find a decent cross platform backup solution.

    I liked the idea of RAID 6 as I thought there may have been a speed benifit or was I incorrect?
  6. Personally I use Acronis Home Image and Backup - but there are MANY solutions that should work between Linux and Windows... as regards Apple I'm not familiar with MacOS, as I know they have their own backup solutions, but you're not using it so...

    In terms of 'speed' viz. RAID, I'm not bringing benchmarks (usually someone who posts after me does that to make a point) but RAID 10 provides (imo) the best performance, esp. when on a hardware RAID controller (which I would say is required if you're serious about RAID for uptime/hardware failures protection (vs just RAID0 for games or something).

    RAID 6 is just RAID 5 with another layer of parity copies, and I don't believe it has a speed benefit - if anything it should be slower due to the additional latency introduced by the extra parity block - certainly though, RAID 6 allows for a double disk failure.
  7. I must admit separate HDD and software sounds a lot easier to maintain, but I would like to keep all my media together....I can see my videos for example outgrowing a disc and having to split them between 2 or 3 discs in future.

    I'll have to get as many pro's and con's as possible and make a decision as to which is best.

    I intend to start out with 4 HDD's, and will upgrade if needed in future.

    How easy is it to expand the RAID array for RAID 5, 6 or 10?
    Will they all take the same amount of time to expand?
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