Borderfox Moderator

Thinking more and more about archiving and storage, currently I use multiple extrenal hard drives (Iomega/Lacie) and also back up to DVD and offsite with an external hard drive (2tb Hitachi) and to the internet.

I had two hard drives fail on me not too long ago and although I didnt lose any information it makes me think about the longevity of the backup.

I had thought about using raid devices to continue back up
I have seen this working and it looks excellent but have heard some problems recently

Also had a look at this in Peats, Iomega StorCenter ix2

This is still backed up by optical/offsite and web based storage.

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

5uspect Moderator

iirc Drobo isn't a standard RAID configuration so that might become an issue. I quite like QNAP systems, we use a few of them in work.

Borderfox Moderator

I might have to sell all my gear to buy one of those

DaireQuinlan Registered User

Bear in mind that a single RAID 1+ array isn't really backup as such. It provides a level of operational redundancy and failover, and provides you with the ability to hotswap volumes in and out of the array.
It doesn't protect against any file level changes, deleting an entire directory by accident for example, as all the changes are mirrored across the volumes.
I've seen some weird RAID related stuff in my time as well, I saw an entire raid 3 array fail catostrophically for example, something went seriouslyy awry with the raid controller or something and trashed the data on all three disks.
So, long story short, sure they're a good idea, but keep independent backups as well :-D

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Borderfox Moderator

They would never be a replacement for and other form of back-up, just something quicker than backing up to an external and then the same again. I have another computer doing the back-ups but can be a pita making sure its all done.

Thanks for the thoughts and the QNAP link too, I must have been looking at the enterprise versions.

5uspect Moderator

Yeah, the bigger boxes are a lot more pricey. We're running a bunch of RAID 6 units with over 11TB of numerical simulation data for post processing. I think they worked out at about £3000 each, including eight 2TB drives.

Paddy@CIRL Registered User

I added a Drobo S into my workflow at the start of the year and it's one of the best decisions I've made. Five bay unit with five 2TB drives gives me a capacity of 7.2TB or something along those lines. My entire digital photography collection from 2003 to today weighs in at 1.87TB so it's left me quite enough room for the next couple of years.

I don't use it as a primary backup, rather as a location where everything is stored and accessed regularly. Everything on it is backed up on separate external drives and archived away. This is all paired with an hourly time machine backup so I'd think I'm pretty much covered from any potential failure. The only thing I've left to do is separate (again) off-site backups.

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Paulw Moderator

To me, Drobo are just too expensive.

I bought 2 NetGear ReadyNAS NV+, and filled them with 4x2TB disks (giving just over 6TB of actual space to use).

My advice, buy a decent NAS, but also buy reliable disks.

I still use individual external disks, which I backup to, so I have duplicates of everything.

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af_thefragile Registered User

I would love to have the Drobo S but at 700eur its almost the price of my whole computer!!

The normal Drobo doesn't look much use as USB 2 is fairly slow and I don't have Firewire port on my computer...

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Cameraman Registered User

Drobo is pretty much a waste - especially if you just want it for backup. RAID is really meant for fault-tolerance (and sometimes for performance) not really for backup - so would be overkill here IMO.

I use a Sans Digital eSATA box with 2*2TB drives and room for 2 more (not RAID). Works fine for me, and a lot cheaper and simpler than a Drobo. Box + fast eSATA card cost about €200 (you may not need the card). Disks at normal prices - so €80-100 each.

I bought it from OWC in the US - but there are many similar boxes available from elara, Komplett, Amazon etc.

But - as the saying goes - all hard drives will fail - it's just a matter of when.

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