RAID for backup

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by invisible69, May 25, 2010.

  1. invisible69

    invisible69 Master Guru

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    Ok so, my 750GB hdd is almost full because I've split it into two partitions, one serves as my OS "drive", whilst the other as my backup partition.


    Now I'm thinking about huying two large hard disks to put into RAID 1 so that I don't have to keep backing up things onto different PC's and such.


    My current hardware is this:

    CPU: Core i7 920 @ 3.6GHz

    RAM: 6GB OCZ Gold @ 1700MHz

    HDD: Seagate 750GB 7200.11 + External USB 80GB (for music and stuff)

    Motherboard: Asus P6T



    Now my Asus P6T has these special RAID ports which they call Asus Drive Xpert:

    http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=QtpKQuERkuYw6trc&content=specifications


    It has two settings, Super Speed (RAID 0) or EZ Backup (RAID 1). I'm thinking about buying two Samsung 1TB F3's, and putting them in RAID 1 mode on those two ports:

    http://www.scanmalta.com/eshop/1tb-samsung-sata2-hard-drive.html


    Do you think that I'll run into some problem? Anyone has experience with such setups? Do you think that I should buy another 750GB 7200.11 and raid it with my current drive, and then buy a faster HDD as my OS drive? Maybe some 10k drive? What would you suggest?
     
  2. Julepalme

    Julepalme Master Guru

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    You don't have to use those 2 specific ports to get a raid.. you have 6 Sata ports on the regular controller that all support raid aswell. and then those 2 ports on a seperate controller that supports raid called weird names.. "Super speed and Ez backup" .. i'd be scared to use that ****. i'd prefer if they just called it raid 0 or 1 etc.

    Anyway.. use the 6 regular ports, enable raid in bios and set it up using the on screen display/guide as you boot, its quite simple and easy to setup.

    As for what you should do.. well thats entirely up to you.. but i think i would do as you say and get the 2x1TB raid1 and keep the 750gb you have now.. seems fine and the easiest way to set it up.

    Raiding the 750 with a new 750... well firstly you'd have to have 2 fairly similar or exact matching drives to benefit the most from the raid1.. and you'd have to backup the current content to another drive which you wouldnt have.

    If you get 2 new 1TB drives.. well its more expensive.. but you dont have to worry about backingup the data from the 750 prior to install.


    An entirely 3rd options.. get 3 new 750gb drives.. should be roughly the same cost as 2 1TB drives (or slightly more)

    Then do a Raid10 with 4x750gb drives.. (this will sadly wipe your current data or require you do backup it first) .. but that would leave you with a single 1.5TB drives thats both awesomely quick and safe.
     
  3. invisible69

    invisible69 Master Guru

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    Thanks for your help :D

    Sadly its very difficult to find the same 750GB as I currently have from my country, and most prolly their cost will be quite close to the 1TB ones, so as u said, I might as well go for the 2*1TB option :)

    As regards which ports to you, I've never set up RAID before, if I use the Intel controller for RAID, will it effect my current drive? Which will become my OS drive then.
     
  4. Svein_Skogen

    Svein_Skogen Maha Guru

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    Hate to burst your bubble, but raid IS NOT a backup function. Never was, never will be. RAID is downtime-prevention (it protects you against a single faulty disk, or a pair of faulty disks for raid6).

    Proper backups are _NOT_ on line devices that can get wiped along with the data your backing up.

    The standard question is "how much does an entire day of downtime on your computer solution cost you" (this answers how much to invest in RAID).

    The other standard question is "how much would losing all data stored on your computer cost you?" (this is the budget for proper backup, including the routine of transporting that backup off site in case of fires)

    So, sorry, RAID is NOT backup. It won't bring back a single erased file. It won't protect you against a single malware infection messing up all your files. Or from a house on fire.

    //Svein
     

  5. Outrance

    Outrance Ancient Guru

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    If you're talking about backing up your OS drive then I wouldn't use raid to do it. You get a virus? So does your raid drive etc etc. I only back up the OS when I know everything is in perfect working order. I wouldn't rely on a 0.0001 second delayed backup of all your important data. If you make a mistake, your mistake is mirrored, pun and all.
     
  6. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I agree with with those above, RAID should not be regarded as a backup solution.
    Mirroring protects you from very little and is only meant for maintaining uptime when you have a single hard drive failure.
     
  7. Svein_Skogen

    Svein_Skogen Maha Guru

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    Let me put this in a different way: I've run some storage-solutions the size of a stadium. Using multidimensional redundant array (a 10 or 50 array is a two dimensional array. For some of these solutions we've been talking 550 or 555 arrays filled with seismic data for analysis). But using raid as a "backup solution" never was considered, instead we had tape autoloaders priced to make a hardened defence contractor weep. For my home/hobby setup, I'm running a 2D (50) sas raidcontroller with 8TB net storage, and an 8-slot autoloader for backup.

    Backup in that league isn't cheap.

    For smaller setups, I'd get three eSATA drives, use one for weekly+daily snapshots, and then rotate that to a firesafe (and then out of the house), then back into duty.

    Even with today's nice automagic solutions, proper storage still takes planning. Start your backup-plan with "what will I do to get my data back after a catastrophic event", then make a solution for that. Then spend some time analyzing "what can make this plan go wrong" and adjust the plan to (to the best of your abilities) make sure things DON'T go wrong. If your backup recovery depends on software or boot CDs, make sure that is stored with the backup. Quite possibly that means storing a bootable recovery-cd three places.

    You should also factor in "restore to dissimilar hardware" in the plan. That's where products like Acronis'es "Universal Restore" will save you from gray hairs.

    Whatever you need here, I'm sure this forum can help you plan for disaster recovery, but don't consider raid a backup solution. ;)

    //Svein
     
  8. invisible69

    invisible69 Master Guru

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    I think you misunderstood me. I keep my important uni stuff on my Pen drive apart from my Documents folder and my Backup drive :)

    I want to set up RAID so that one of my backups (form the 3 listed above) is kinda safe, by safe I mean, if the backup drive fails, at least I've got another copy on the mirror drive :)

    I don't want to mirror my OS drive or anything, nothing of the sort, I format my HDD quite frequently, I just want to put my mind to rest when I'm backing up my documents and music. I already have an external drive to backup to, I just want another internal drive, and hence I want to use RAID 1 so that if one of my internal drives fails, another one is there to keep me going :)

    Hope that its clear now, and thanks for the help! ^^
     

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