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Two computers for storage

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February 5, 2013 7:12:55 AM

we have a small billing business,when first started ran it on one computer,that one started to have a problem,so then i built another and went Raid 1, i remember on that one one HD broke, i replaced the bad with a new and it worked, for some reason i built another thinking it would be faster and i went to RAID 10[had 5 drives] well one HD broke and couldn't retreive and data,SO now the whole business is Lost.My friend down loaded soft ware and got most of the data of the bad Main disk.
So now i didn't trust that MB. so i built another and he said oh,just use one HD and use an EXternal HD. did that. WELL just yesterday I got a black screen and couldn't get acronic to work, I thought i checked everything.Finilly i ran scan disck and it found a proublem and fixed the HD.So now its doing a Defrag,and its on its 2nd day.and we cant use that machine.
What i want to do next is to have two different computers [side by side]. and have them run at the same time , kind of like RAID 1. so if one breaks ,we can do work on the other, another words always have one good machine.
I know that you will say use a server. I don't have faith in that because that would be the same as the first two machines.
So what would be the best way to connect the two machines so if you worked on one ,it would copy to the other. would Acronics do it?
Thanks

More about : computers storage

a b G Storage
February 5, 2013 7:21:30 AM

It would be best to have identical systems that if 1 system failed, you can move everything over without any issues (as long as not not HDD failure which will require RAID rebuilding)
This way you can just stick with a single set of HDD's (maybe even in an external enclosure so they are easily moved) and move the HDD's over when one system dies
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February 5, 2013 8:08:51 AM

stickmansam said:
It would be best to have identical systems that if 1 system failed, you can move everything over without any issues (as long as not not HDD failure which will require RAID rebuilding)
This way you can just stick with a single set of HDD's (maybe even in an external enclosure so they are easily moved) and move the HDD's over when one system dies

.
That is want im talking about...identical systems... But I want to run them a I'll say Raid 1. Guess it would be Raid 1 but on 2 machines.Each machine with 1 hd.
How could I do that? use something like Acronic? to copy the files over to the other machine
tks
John
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2013 8:19:07 AM

not sure if that is possible, maybe someone else with experience with this?
You can have two computers run an cloud service with say dropbox and they will sync all the files you need to use and the data is in 3 places
(dropbox, comp1 and comp2)
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February 5, 2013 8:54:28 AM

What you want is a properly redundant system: doing this yourselves will be hard, but not impossible... and it sounds like you were trying to take a good approach, but had horrible issues!

The old Commercial approach was two servers, identically configured, with a heartbeat connection such that if one fails the other takes over... VERY expensive

Lately the solution is more likely based on virtualisation and storage consolidation. Separate the two requirements (computing and storage) and provide adequate redundancy for both.

This relies on using a suitable storage solution (NAS/SAN running iSCSI) to hold disk images for the OS/software as well as the data volume, and backing this up properly (probably to an identical device, ideally off-site).
This enables you to use any generic "server" machine running VMWare ESXi to pick up the OS/Software disk image, which in turn links to the data volume image, meaning any cheap box can be substituted in emergency - even one that is normally used for something else.

The SAN/NAS handles the storage management, and any machine can be made to run VMWare software to access it.

This will work: I have done both at home using ReadyNas and homebuild PCs, and at work using IBM/Dell/HP servers connecting to NetApp SANs, BUT: is not really homebrew ready - you'll need a lot of time and study to setup, and have to be ready to put in time to support in the (extrememly unlikely) event of issues.

There will likely be a local one-man-consultancy that could configure for you - and I'd advise you to use someone else to setup unless you already know VMWare and iSCSI.

As an aside, 5 disk raid 10 worries me - stripe and mirror needs an equal number of disks... so there was something bizarre.
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February 5, 2013 1:05:58 PM

UrbanMyth said:
What you want is a properly redundant system: doing this yourselves will be hard, but not impossible... and it sounds like you were trying to take a good approach, but had horrible issues!

The old Commercial approach was two servers, identically configured, with a heartbeat connection such that if one fails the other takes over... VERY expensive

Lately the solution is more likely based on virtualisation and storage consolidation. Separate the two requirements (computing and storage) and provide adequate redundancy for both.

This relies on using a suitable storage solution (NAS/SAN running iSCSI) to hold disk images for the OS/software as well as the data volume, and backing this up properly (probably to an identical device, ideally off-site).
This enables you to use any generic "server" machine running VMWare ESXi to pick up the OS/Software disk image, which in turn links to the data volume image, meaning any cheap box can be substituted in emergency - even one that is normally used for something else.

The SAN/NAS handles the storage management, and any machine can be made to run VMWare software to access it.

This will work: I have done both at home using ReadyNas and homebuild PCs, and at work using IBM/Dell/HP servers connecting to NetApp SANs, BUT: is not really homebrew ready - you'll need a lot of time and study to setup, and have to be ready to put in time to support in the (extrememly unlikely) event of issues.

There will likely be a local one-man-consultancy that could configure for you - and I'd advise you to use someone else to setup unless you already know VMWare and iSCSI.

As an aside, 5 disk raid 10 worries me - stripe and mirror needs an equal number of disks... so there was something bizarre.

.
UrbanMyth . Sorry I made a mistake, it was 4 1tg drives.
wouldn't "acronis true image" do this,? set it up on both machines. The machines would have diff. IP's,and names.A or B. point one to A and point the other to B.
It Dosen't have to copy the data instantly, just so "will say" the back up is ah say every hour. So even it one machine blowes up the other will have ATLEAST the data up to that hour.
tks
I just don't trust computers any more. and the servers in the sky are not secure I found out.I have heard that some have looked at others data. This is dealing with HIPA.
John
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2013 1:25:46 PM

Syncback pro will synchronize drives - you just have to have a mapped network connection. The software isn't expensive, it is easy to configure. I have used it both in commercial and home applications. It backs up or synchronizes drives (your choice), and the files are stored in a readable format for both system.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/
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February 5, 2013 1:41:36 PM

sorry if this was already explained/answered, but is this small business machine just acting as a file server and nothing else?
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February 5, 2013 2:19:06 PM

ronintexas said:
Syncback pro will synchronize drives - you just have to have a mapped network connection. The software isn't expensive, it is easy to configure. I have used it both in commercial and home applications. It backs up or synchronizes drives (your choice), and the files are stored in a readable format for both system.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/

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Ronin :I see it dose alot, so it will for example One folder in the business program is called TH. in their it has the other folders like DATA and others.So this program will be on both machines ,if i set it up to sink. for that Folder it would? so one day i could use one machine ,and say the next day I could use the other machine, and the data of the 2 days will end up on BOTH machines.
Also could you "sink" both HD's.?
tks
John
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a b G Storage
February 5, 2013 3:31:57 PM

You are correct. I use two computers at home, and have the synch setup. It takes about 2-3 seconds (for normal files) to synch the data. You save it on one machine, it is on the other in seconds. Large files may take a little longer.
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!