Best backup solution?

I have an existing setup running 2 WD740GD Raptor's in Raid 0 ~ Intel motherboard D925XCV supporting RAID 0 and 1 (Matrix array). My question is I want to have a backup system that, if the Raid 0 goes down, I can rebuild very quickly and be back up and running (any important data files are burned to disk for external backup on a regular basis - so this is for backing up OS, applications, etc.).

I am debating between adding 2 additional Raptors and mirror the RAID 0, or adding an external firewire backup solution like a Maxtor One Touch II. As both solutions are cost wise close enough, I am most concerned in being able to get back up and running the quickest. I suppose I could also just add a larger third drive and periodically ghost an image of the array to that, but I have read people having problems doing this, plus I figure with a RAID 1 of the RAID 0 I could just boot up in RAID 1 and be up and running (able to rebuild RAID 0 off of the RAID 1 ~ CORRECT?).

However, I also do not want to do anything that could slow my system down, as speed is cruicial in my use.

Any suggestions/assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Running RAID 10 will give the no real downtime, and you shouldn't experience a hit in speed if it's hardware RAID. This will only help if 1 drive, or at worst, the 2 striped drives in a single mirror goes dead. If you lose a drive in each mirror at the same time, or the controller goes dead, then the whole array can be considered toast.

    I can't comment on the external storage as I don't have experience with them, but I imagine you could restore from them similar to the way you would restore from a tape backup. But you still need to boot to something, and this is where it may not work for the system drive. You'll have to check the Maxtor site for more info on that type of restore.

    You can use ghost, but it can be quirky with some hardware setups. They don't support mirrored sets at all, only RAID 0 and 5. Having the Ghost image (assuming it works) will get you up and running if you have to do major hardware replacement, and also gives you the option of creating bootable CDs to restore the partition instead of boot floppy and drive combo.

  2. Jarrett:

    Thanks for the info. I am running a new Intel motherboard that has the 925 chipset and the ICH6R controller on it. It will run the new Matrix Raid and supports raid 0 and 1.

    In your RAID 10 suggestion, how would that be implemented? I currently have and RAID 0 across the entire 2 74g Raptors. If I ad 2 additional Raptors, can I just create a RAID 1 array across that new set that will mirror the original pair in RAID 0? Or, is that considered to be a RAID 0+1 as the original set with the OS is the RAID 0?

    If I want a RAID 10 setup, I am assuming I will have to reestablish the array and setup the RAID 1 first and then create RAID 0 (ie. reinstall the OS and all of my software, etc.)?

    God this is getting confusing! Basically I can only have a total of 4 drives on my system, as the intel motherboard only supports 4 SATA connections/RAID.

    I am leaning toward doing some type of 4 drive setup with 2 additional Raptors, as I think if I can get them setup correctly I have more of a set it and forget it type of data protection ~ which is what I would like (as long as I do not take the performance hit.

    Thanks again,

  3. RAID10 does the same thing as 0+1 but in a different order. For your purposes you can assume he said 0+1 instead. You want to do a 0+1, that's fine. A 0+1 is two stripped arrays (0) that are mirrored to each other (1). As opposed to 10, which is two mirrored arrays that are stripped.

    Performance difference between 0 and 0+1 should be very small. And it gives you the redundance you seek.

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  4. Thanks Crashman,

    So I have this straight in my head. When I add the two additional drives to my system I create a RAID 0 on the two new ones, and then I will be given an option during the setup to mirror (RAID 1) the two separate (but identical in size, drives, etc.)RAID 0 arrays, and then format the two new drives only? And ~ I will not have to reformat, etc. the existing RAID 0?


  5. Correct, you can start out with 2 RAID0's mirrored to each other, or start out with 1 RAID0, add a second RAID0, and set the second one to mirror the first. Doing it after the fact will probably require you "rebuild the array" which simply means you allocate the new disk to the array you've chosen (the controller will copy the first RAID0 to the second RAID0 during the build when using 0+1).

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  6. Crashman:

    Thanks very much for all the help.

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