Recommendations for Media Storage
I am running Windows 7 professional on an 80 GB SSD drive. I store most of my program files and data (mainly media) on a 1 TB internal eSATA drive that backs up to a 2 TB USB 3.0 external drive using Genie9 Timeline. I am running out of space on my 1 TB internal drive (movie rips) and I need to expand. I was thinking about getting another external USB 3.0 drive where I can store future media, but I'm also considering a solution that would leave more room for future growth, like adding more internal disks or an external mass storage device with multiple disks on a RAID configuration. The problem is, I know nothing about RAID, other than what each level is supposed to represent. RAID 10 sounds like the best configuration for my needs, but I don't know if that's true, how to set it up, or how to recover from a failure. I would really like to get a USB 3 mass storage device like Mediasonic's ProBox, but I'm afraid it would be too complicated to setup or I wouldn't know how to configure or manage it. Any recommendations on what I should do and if RAID is the way to go, what I need to learn to set it up and manage it effectively?
First off, read the RAID FAQ. Lots of useful information there. The key thing to note is that RAIDs (except RAID0) simply offer protection for 1 or more disk failure, ie, you can still access and use your data even if 1 disk fails. It does not offer backup and should not be considered a backup solution (unless the raid device in itself is a backup device). I would recommend simply getting another external drive for your media to simplify your setup. As your need grows, get larger external drive and copy your data.
If you really want to go RAID, then Mediasonic's ProBox sounds like a good option. I have no personal experience with USB RAID devices so I cannot recommend any. From what I've read, most of these USB RAID devices seem to be plug and play, with adequate software to walk you through the setup. They mostly seem to differ in the intuitiveness and features of the software or RAID device. Tom has so fairly decent RAID reviews. Those might help with your decision.