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Author Topic: BRAID 5 - help needed  (Read 3841 times)
Sigi
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« on: August 20, 2008, 02:18:16 PM »
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Hello,

I work on an Intel Imac with 500 GB. I have an external firewirde HD with 160 GB which I use for backup. I am a hobby photographer. Right now I can not backup my latest pictures because the external drive is completely full.

My Apple store recommended a RAID 5 system for backup - LaCie 2big Triple 1 TB/USB 2.0/Firewire (Raid System with 2 harddrives)

What I would need is a simple backup solution that should work automated. I will use the old 160 GB harddrive as a bootable backup.

I am not a computer expert. The explanation received in the Apple store made sense but I would like to doublecheck here in the forum.

1. What advantages/disadvantages has a RAID 5 system from your experience
2. How easy is it to upgrade if I need 2 TB in the future lets say.

Thanks

Sigi
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 02:24:39 PM by Sigi » Logged

Jack Flesher
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 04:18:29 PM »
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Hello,

I work on an Intel Imac with 500 GB. I have an external firewirde HD with 160 GB which I use for backup. I am a hobby photographer. Right now I can not backup my latest pictures because the external drive is completely full.

My Apple store recommended a RAID 5 system for backup - LaCie 2big Triple 1 TB/USB 2.0/Firewire (Raid System with 2 harddrives)

What I would need is a simple backup solution that should work automated. I will use the old 160 GB harddrive as a bootable backup.

I am not a computer expert. The explanation received in the Apple store made sense but I would like to doublecheck here in the forum.

1. What advantages/disadvantages has a RAID 5 system from your experience
2. How easy is it to upgrade if I need 2 TB in the future lets say.

Thanks

Sigi
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216281\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's probably advisable to do some reading.  Spend a few minutes and Google RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5 so you at least have a basic understanding of what they do.  

Given what you've said, and given that your current back-up drive is 160G, you might just want to consider a simple solution like buying a pair of 500G or 1TB MyBooks or similar, using one for image storage and the second as a redundant copy of that in case the first one fails.  Then when those get closer to being full, it will probably be  a better time to consider a more elaborate storage methodology...  

Cheers,
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 08:40:06 PM »
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Hi Sigi,
Please remember a RAID is _NOT_ a backup. It is a way to protect against drive failure and the resulting data loss. Although your odds (of not loosing all your data) might improve using a Mirror RAID instead of having any backup scenario, over time you will become (IMO) sorry you didn't have a backup in addition. It's easy for things to spin out of control, and when they do the opportunity to make errors also improves.

I am using the MacPro with a RAID 5 Scheme: 4 disks with one that is left intentionally unused and ready to go to work in the event of a drive failure. Within that framework the remaining 3 drives have both stripped and mirrored partitions. All this facilitates the speed in which I can handle many different operations including system upgrades, software testing, backup and getting the best performance from my computer.

From experience I can tell you that unless you have a fairly sophisticated (such as, dedicated buses or controllers for separate external disks) you can run into problems. For example, if you used 2 - 1 TB external FW drives as a Mirrored RAID, and the Mirror RAID becomes "degraded" (let's say your cat unplugged one of the drives), your computer will take about 23 hours to recreate the Mirror by completely rewriting the data from the "non-degraded" disk to what was  the degraded one after it has deteremined it's OK to do that (which in itself is nerve racking). If all your priceless photos are not backed up, you now have a single copy of them on one drive, and an operation of rebuilding that can go wrong. I had such a set up and over 3 days I was unable to rebuild, twice the rebuild process was interrupted by thunder storms (one night after another!) which took out the power. Unfortunately, there is no way to suspend the process, and my battery back up would not last anywhere near long enough! As you may know hard drives do not like to have their power go out in the middle of any process, so I consider myself fortunate that I didn't corrupt or loose and data.

I've probably gotten too technical. Just remember that TBs of data take a fairly long time to write and back up. And you have to get serious about protecting the setups and the data. If you, like many, upgrade using Apple's software update, you need to know that there have been upgrades  to the System Software that have wreaked havoc with many 3RD party drives which stop functioning and usually need firmware updates. You probably know it, but the first thing they say to do before a firmware update is "back Up Your Data!" But at that point you are not backed up and your drive isn't functioning either!

I recommend going over to the Apple Forums and searching "RAID" as a topic.

Good luck, and so long for now, TOM
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1. What advantages/disadvantages has a RAID 5 system from your experience
2. How easy is it to upgrade if I need 2 TB in the future lets say.
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Sigi
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 07:36:10 AM »
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Hello,

thanks for the info. I started to read as recommended and I think I will not go for RAID but get a Drobo. I still have to do more reading but it looks good. I found an article by Scott Kelby and he is very happy with it.

Sigi
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 09:06:15 AM »
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Hello,

thanks for the info. I started to read as recommended and I think I will not go for RAID but get a Drobo. I still have to do more reading but it looks good. I found an article by Scott Kelby and he is very happy with it.

Sigi
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My DROBO experience: [a href=\"http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2560]http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2560[/url]

Still maybe overkill for your needs, but a great, easy to manage option for data storage AND is easily upgradable.

Cheers,
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Sigi
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 04:05:42 PM »
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Hello Jack,

thanks for the link. Can I use the Drobo as a bootable backup?

Sigi
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 04:06:01 PM by Sigi » Logged

Jack Flesher
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 05:50:38 PM »
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Hello Jack,

thanks for the link. Can I use the Drobo as a bootable backup?

Sigi
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216553\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am not sure, but since DROBO moves data around at its whim, I would not want to rely on it being fully bootable after a few weeks or even days.    IMO it is a far better approach to keep a separate partition on another drive dedicated for OS/boot back up.

In fact, I have a slice of my Time Machine drive partitioned off and use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone cover a bootable copy of my entire OS drive to that partition and update it on a weekly basis.  Makes it real easy to re-build your drive in the event of a failure.  Or you could use the spare 160G drive you have left over...

Cheers,
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