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Thread: Which raid?

  1. #1

    Which raid?

    Anyone have any thoughts regarding number of drives and which raid to use?
    I am currently using 1 x 1Tb drive...thinking of switching to either 2x 1Tb drive and raid 1 ..or 4 x 750 Gb drives and raid 5..
    All drives are sata 2, computer is core 2 duo @ 3.1 Ghz/core, 4 gig ram.

  2. #2
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    2x 1T raid 1 is probably a better solution. Mirroring is much easier to deal with. But for a home server, it might be better to just use an external USB drive and do drive to drive backups.

  3. #3
    Senior Member agillis's Avatar
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    RAID is not a good backup solution. If you need more space you can span your music storage partition access several drives. Backups should always be done to another box or a USB disk that can be powered off and disconnected to prevent damage from power hits.

    95% of failures to PCs are caused by excess heat buildup or electrical surges. Both of these will take out more than one disk in your RAID array.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Which raid? NONE!

    agillis wrote:
    > RAID is not a good backup solution.


    Sorry, I have to change this:

    RAID is not backup. Period.
    When you have valuable media or data on your disks, you have to have
    backup. And RAID is not backup.

    I've never seen any value to RAID for a SqueezeCenter server. I find it
    easier to just buy a $100 disk at my local computer store, connect it,
    copy the music, and disconnect it. Do this every six months or so.

    RAID solves some problems, but none that a typical SqueezeCenter server has.



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  5. #5
    The problem is exacerbated by the size of the music collection...630 Gb at present. I used to have it spread over several 500 Gb drives - then 1Tb drives became cheap enough..so I have one internal and one in a usb external as backup..but its a pain to copy new music to external on a regular basis. Copying to dual layer DVD's is not reasonable...thats how I arrived at raid 1 or 5 as being solutions to both issues - adequate storage and backup..and I still have another 100 or so CD's to rip to flac and tag.

  6. #6
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    I'm in agreement that RAID 1 or 5 is not the right answer. These technologies are intended to provide high availability of data. Relying on them for protection against data loss and as a substitute for backups is a mistake.

    I maintain two backups. The first is the weekly backup to an external drive that I pull out of the safe, plug into the computer, and then place back in the safe.

    But because I'm doing daily changes to tags, artwork, ratings, playlists, etc... I also want to mitigate the chance I'll lose a week's worth of work. So I have another backup routine that automatically syncs everything to a second internal drive on a nightly basis.

    To me this is a far better use of two drives than making a RAID 1 array.

  7. #7
    I like the idea of how you do that - 2 backup drives - each for its own purpose..Ok..so this is going to require more thought

  8. #8
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    I don't think I read the type of OS you're using. But under linux or NTFS for windows you'd have no problem mounting drives to directories, achieving the effect of a huge file hierarchy without taking the risk of building a huge block device (as raid, LVM ... do.) Each drive can break individually.

    For backups a background task, possibly using rsync should do the job.

    I use a backup server, backuppc.sf.net; that would deliver more daily, monthly ... full or incremental backups you've ever dreamt of. Very good stuff, and cross platform.

  9. #9
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    I use RAID1

    Just to post a somewhat contrary opinion...

    Drives do just fail. I had a 750GB Seagate drive fail out of the blue two months ago, and had not been as good as I should have backing it up, so ended up spending many, many hours recovering some email from it, and ended up having to recreate a bunch of MP3s. Had it been a RAID1 setup, I would have been much better off. I in fact do have Linux RAID1 setup on my Squeeze server machine, which we use to store music, photos, backups, etc. Having RAID1 does protect you against random disk failures, and it is so simple to get set up, it is just basically the cost of an extra drive.

    That being said, you cannot just use RAID1 and do no backups. I have two external drives that are used to make backups of the RAID disks, and one is always kept at my office in case of fire, etc. If you have an extra $100+, then I would suggest both RAID1 and an external drive or two.

    Regarding backups to separate drives on same machine...while I do this frequently on various of my machines, I also once had a machine whose motherboard went bad and it corrupted all the mounted filesystems (including the one on the separate disk). So this approach certainly does not relieve you from doing backups to external drives (or different machines).

    You should also have good quality UPSs on your machines to protect against power issues (and have auto shutdown set up). I have never had a machine or drive on a UPS-protected machine fail due to power issues.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncarver View Post
    I also once had a machine whose motherboard went bad and it corrupted all the mounted filesystems (including the one on the separate disk).
    Interesting.
    The drives were mounted by the OS, or simply on-line in the electrical sense ?
    (Generally I won't keep a backup volume mounted once the copy is done; too many times I erased the backup and the original...)

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