Backing-up the storage server.

To ensure our data is as safe as possible without breaking the bank, we currently have a 9 drive unRAID server that contains our data. It has served us well, but as things continue to grow, so do the chances of multiple drive deaths and data loss from it.

I could just setup another unRAID box identical to what we already have and setup an rsync service to mirror the systems. But i'm wondering if there are any other better systems out there.

The biggest pros for us, since it's just run in the basement of our home is how the drives spin-down after a set time, and spin-up when requested. That spin-down easily saves $100 a year, plus the potential life-time of the drives.

I know of other softwares out there, like FreeNAS and such, but i'm wondering what your takes are on other systems?
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  1. ramse said:

    The biggest pros for us, since it's just run in the basement of our home is how the drives spin-down after a set time, and spin-up when requested. That spin-down easily saves $100 a year, plus the potential life-time of the drives.


    While you will save on electricity bill, spinning down drives does not necessarily extend their their life expectancy. Spinning up a drive puts the greatest strain on the mechanical parts and can reduce the life expectancy if done very often. High temperature is a hard drive's kryptonite. As long as the drives a kept relatively cool, they should operate well within the MTF.

    Backing up large data arrays without breaking the bank can be a challenge. To reduce your backup requirement, if you can categorize your data into what's replaceable and what's not, that might save some space for your backup. I would recommend getting another storage device with plan for future expansion, ie, can accommodate more than 9 drives. Since you are already familiar with software base storage platforms, stick with the one with which you are most familiar. Unless you want feature available in a specific software package. Start off with sufficient storage in the new storage device for your backup (this could even be in compressed format). Once your storage needs exceeds your unRAID device, add sufficient disk to the backup device and switch it to the main storage device. The unRAID device will then be your backup.

    You should also look into better redundancy for you unRAID device. I am not sure if unRAID only supports RAID4. If other RAIDs are support, trying switching to a RAID6 equivalent. If not, split your array into multiple RAID4s, say one with 4 drives and one with 5 drives.
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