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Author Topic: Drobo Buyers/Owners Your Data Isn't Protected!  (Read 17711 times)
digitaldog
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2009, 08:52:48 AM »
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I have a friend that setup a far better system IMHO for far less money. He purchased four 750 gig super fast drives. Then he built them, using the Apple supplied Raid software (disk utility) as mirrored and striped array! So four drives, two mirroring for protection while striping for speed. Cost about $500 (popped them in his existing four drive bays in his MacPro).
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Andrew Rodney
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jani
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 09:35:54 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I have a friend that setup a far better system IMHO for far less money. He purchased four 750 gig super fast drives. Then he built them, using the Apple supplied Raid software (disk utility) as mirrored and striped array! So four drives, two mirroring for protection while striping for speed. Cost about $500 (popped them in his existing four drive bays in his MacPro).
It seems unlikely that he purchased "super fast" drives, as the only 750 GB drives available only spin at 7200 RPM (or, in the case of Western Digital's Caviar Green line, varying between around 5400 and 7200 RPM).

But Seagate has just announced that they will be selling 800 GB Cheetah drives (spinning at 15000 RPM), which I suppose is necessary to keep ahead of the SDD competition for a few months.

Your friend's setup, if he did it right, is called "RAID 10", and is one of the best combinations of performance and reliability you can get in four drives.

Up to two drives can fail without loss of data, but if the second one's the wrong disk, you're of course not on the sunny side of luck anymore.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 11:31:04 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I have a friend that setup a far better system IMHO for far less money. He purchased four 750 gig super fast drives. Then he built them, using the Apple supplied Raid software (disk utility) as mirrored and striped array! So four drives, two mirroring for protection while striping for speed. Cost about $500 (popped them in his existing four drive bays in his MacPro).

While we're on the subject, this is the set-up I use for performance when reading, batch processing and writing large blocks of files.  I am using 4x WD 640G Caviar non-enterprise drives*. The first two are striped for the OS and and the second pair are striped with a thin outer 128 G partition for scratch and the rest for my working image files.  With this set up, I can read from the working file array and write to the OS desktop and get sustained transfer speeds of 150MB/s, which is pretty decent -- C1 literally screams as I batch convert a block of my P45+ raws.   And yes, having my CS scratch on a stripe really improves performance when manipulating large files that need scratch.  Also, a FWIW benchmark:  CS4 opens in less than 3 seconds from the striped OS array.  

* At present, the WD 640's are among the fastest currently available 7200RPM SATA2 non-enterprise drives THAT RAID WELL. Hitachi 1TB non-enterprise spinpoints benchmark very fast for 7200 RPM drives too, but myself and others have reported problems with them in RAID configurations. And the WD 640's are dirt cheap now.  

But that isn't reliability, it is performance... And I recommend you have a solid back-up strategy if your main files are on raid arrays or single drives. My current strategy is I back up my working image files to the Drobo (which also stores my historic image files) and then back that up to individual drives stored offsite.  A bootable copy of my OS is backed up to a partition on a 5th drive stuffed into the lower optical bay of the MacPro box and connected to one of the extra SATA ports on the MB -- that operation is scheduled weekly using Carbon Copy Cloner, and yes I've needed it.  This drive also carries a Time Machine partition which I've rescheduled to run twice daily (instead of hourly) simply to serve as tertiary back up of the OS, documents, mail and downloads.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 12:03:15 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

jeffreybehr
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 11:34:53 AM »
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"Your friend's setup, if he did it right, is called "RAID 10"..."

Well, maybe that's becoming a common shorthand, but more correctly it's RAID 0 + 1.  I too built one years ago with a damned expensive SCSI system.  Turned out to be even more expensive keeping it running, and it's long gone.

Currently I'm using the very fast WD Raptor drive... http://www.storagereview.com/WD3000BLFS.sr ...the 150, for data.  I'm aggressive at culling trash*, so it's plenty big enough.



* A very active fellow fotog, up to a year or so ago, had sort of never tossed any pic taken--he has over a dozen external drives connected to his machine, and NONE are backed up!
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jeffreybehr
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2009, 11:42:32 AM »
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One more thing, boys and girls. Do understand that there are only 2 kinds of harddrives--those that have failed and those that will.

Backing up your digital pics is just like flossing your teeth--you need to backup or floss only those you wish to keep.
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jani
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2009, 12:39:26 PM »
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Quote from: jeffreybehr
"Your friend's setup, if he did it right, is called "RAID 10"..."

Well, maybe that's becoming a common shorthand, but more correctly it's RAID 0 + 1.
No, "RAID 10" is shorthand for "RAID 1+0". RAID 0+1 has the shorthand "RAID 01".

These are fundamentally different, and I strongly advise people not to use RAID 0+1 because of the reduced reliability compared to RAID 1+0 and RAID 6.

RAID 0+1: mirror of stripes (you can safely lose up to N drives, but only if they're in the same striped set)

RAID 1+0: stripe of mirrors (you can safely lose any drive in any of the N mirrors, that is, up to N drives)

Typically, N = 2 (four disks).
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jani
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2009, 12:44:26 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Hitachi 1TB non-enterprise spinpoints benchmark very fast for 7200 RPM drives too, but myself and others have reported problems with them in RAID configurations.
I can attest to that, at least anecdotally. (I don't work for e.g. NetApp or EMC, so large quantity statistics are not available to me.)

At work, we used to use 500 GB and 1 TB Hitachi drives because these were the first to offer those capacities (where we are).

These caused us nothing but grief, in RAID 1+0 or RAID 5.

Changing to Seagate and Western Digital drives lessened our pain significantly.

Changing to SAS drives has so far removed the pain, and our customers are far less dissatisfied.

(Happy customers rarely speak up, it's the dissatisfied customers who get in touch.)
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Jan
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2009, 10:29:42 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
While we're on the subject, this is the set-up I use for performance when reading, batch processing and writing large blocks of files.  I am using 4x WD 640G Caviar non-enterprise drives*. The first two are striped for the OS and and the second pair are striped with a thin outer 128 G partition for scratch and the rest for my working image files.  With this set up, I can read from the working file array and write to the OS desktop and get sustained transfer speeds of 150MB/s, which is pretty decent -- C1 literally screams as I batch convert a block of my P45+ raws.   And yes, having my CS scratch on a stripe really improves performance when manipulating large files that need scratch.  Also, a FWIW benchmark:  CS4 opens in less than 3 seconds from the striped OS array.  

* At present, the WD 640's are among the fastest currently available 7200RPM SATA2 non-enterprise drives THAT RAID WELL. Hitachi 1TB non-enterprise spinpoints benchmark very fast for 7200 RPM drives too, but myself and others have reported problems with them in RAID configurations. And the WD 640's are dirt cheap now.  

But that isn't reliability, it is performance... And I recommend you have a solid back-up strategy if your main files are on raid arrays or single drives. My current strategy is I back up my working image files to the Drobo (which also stores my historic image files) and then back that up to individual drives stored offsite.  A bootable copy of my OS is backed up to a partition on a 5th drive stuffed into the lower optical bay of the MacPro box and connected to one of the extra SATA ports on the MB -- that operation is scheduled weekly using Carbon Copy Cloner, and yes I've needed it.  This drive also carries a Time Machine partition which I've rescheduled to run twice daily (instead of hourly) simply to serve as tertiary back up of the OS, documents, mail and downloads.

I love your setup and am looking to upgrade to a MacPro and take advantage of having four drive bays over my current laptop which has to be backed up to my server.  I think the biggest advantage is just being able to swap out drives as they fill up.  The Drobo is a great unit, but I worry about the combination of the proprietary technology and the single point of failure in the HW RAID card/software.  Being able to easily access my data 20 years from now is a priority and with a simple HD all that's needed is a SATA interface.  I have no idea how one would access data off a Drobo pulled out of storage that had a HW failure and the company is no longer around or no longer supports the particular model.  I'm probably paranoid, but figure my clients appreciate that.
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2009, 09:33:36 AM »
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I use a RAID as my primary storage.  It's really more of a SAN, but it's 2003 server with an Areca 1230(12 port) card in it.

Critical data is run on Raid 6 Partitions (3 drives must fail to lose data) while non-critical data is stored on Raid 5 (2 drives must fail to lose data.)

I have an open slot on the system where I slide in backup drives and copy data over at regular intervals using robocopy.  I'm sure it would be better if I used backup software with compression, but I want to be able to have quick access to specific files if the system fails and I can plug those backup drives into any computer to recover the data.

Eventually when Bluray comes down in price per disc, I might consider old methods of backup and copy to 50gb bluray, but not at current prices.
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dseelig
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2009, 12:41:48 PM »
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A few years ago I had a surge that wiped out the memory and hard drives on my G5 desktop . But only the harddrives in the machine my externals were fine. I will never make copies off the hard drives in my computer. They are all to be copied externally.
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