View Full Version : Don't go for RAID

Ralph Edington
2004-12-10, 01:31
I love this thread. I gotta jump in here.

<rant alert>

I've worked in IT for seventeen years, I've personally set up so many
servers it would make your head spin, and I can tell you there is no point
in talking about RAID unless you already have a backup system in place.
Period. Gotta walk before you can run. We're talking about DATA here
folks, it needs to be restorable when the crisis hits. And about the virus
thing: One of the fundamentals of backups is that you always keep multiple
copies. If you can't catch the fact that you got a bad virus before you
overwrite your four full weekly backups, you DO have a problem.

One more thing: I personally think the USB external drive idea for backups
is awesome. They're cheap as dirt (well, compared to "real" backup systems
like tape), they're huge (tape just can't seem to catch up, can it?), and
yes, they can be grabbed in a hurry when the fire starts, or kept offsite.
I have room on my 300GB external drive for multiple copies of my entire

No excuses. Do backups! No sympathy if you don't!

RAID is fine if you can afford it, and know what you're doing, and WHY
you're doing it. (High availability is only ONE of reasons people do RAID.)
My experience has been that, most of the time, when people jump through
hoops to achieve high availability -- unless they do it correctly and know
what they're doing -- they somehow wind up with MORE downtime than they ever
imagined. ('Fess up now -- how long has that server been down while you've
been messing with that RAID setup?)

There are also other other options for MINIMIZING downtime, as opposed to a
(near-futile) attempt to eliminate it, such as some type of Ghost "image"
backups. Not a replacement for weekly fulls and daily incrementals, but it
has its place...

</rant alert>

That's my two cents :o)


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Jonathan Miller
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 8:53 PM
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] Don't go for RAID

I prefer grapefruit to pears. And, why does the state of Washington have
such a big apple industry? What's Microsoft going to do about that?

On Thu, 9 Dec 2004 17:59:43 -0800, John L Fjellstad
<john-slimlist (AT) fjellstad (DOT) org> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 09, 2004 at 04:28:53PM -0800, John M. wrote:
> > What if a virus or malware sneaks by your defenses and corrupts your
> > system? Or a system upgrade causes corruption? Won't a mirror drive
> > simply mirror that state?
> >
> > With two external backup drives, one next to the computer and one
> > offsite or in a fireproof safe, where you control the backups via a
> > scheduler or do them manually, you are protected from this.
> What if a virus or malware sneaks by your defenses and corrupts your
> system? Or a system upgrade causes a corruption? Won't a backup simply
> copy that state?
> --
> John L. Fjellstad
> web: http://www.fjellstad.org/ Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

2004-12-10, 03:10
On Dec 10, 2004, at 0:31, Ralph Edington wrote:

> I love this thread. I gotta jump in here.

I have got to agree. I've actually really enjoyed this thread, and
will add another two cents.

I think the first key is to do backups at all. If you use tape, DVD,
external HDs, a server, whatever. Just backup. Then make it as easy
as possible, or you wont do it often enough. Finally worry about
making sure your backups are stored offsite. If you wait until you can
store backups offsite before doing backups...

I have done backups various ways. From making a print out, to storing
a file on multiple floppies, to backing up to zip disks, to putting it
on an external HD, to CD-R, to DVD-R, to rsync onto a linux server. So
far the last is by far better for me (especially with a laptop). If it
is on the net I don't have to have DVDs, I don't have to wait for a
full copy of 14G, I don't have to worry about running out of space
(yet). It's fast, all I need is one script to run in the terminal, and
I can backup from work or anywhere with highspeed internet access
(nearly everywhere I might create data on my laptop). Granted when I'm
home everything is in one place. I lose one drive, I lose all my
backups. Eventually I'll run out of space with all the incremental
backups. So it isn't perfect, but these problems are all more or less
fixable. The point is to start with backups. Then Make it easy.
Finally make it offsite.

Gotta start somewhere.