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Author Topic: ReadyNAS 600 Article  (Read 6101 times)
Jonathan Wienke
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« on: February 25, 2005, 10:44:42 AM »
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If an identical replacement is not available you can substitute one of equal or larger size, although if the replacement is larger than the original, the additional space is not used. Having an available spare is certainly a meritorious idea if the data being stored is valuable.
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2005, 11:49:22 AM »
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Maybe "only a tiny fraction of a percent actually fail", but fail they do. I lost a great deal of data just two years ago when a 40GB hard drive in  a Toshiba laptop that was less than 2 years old failed.

The estimate for recovering the data was over $2,000, and even then there was no guarentee.

Statistics are always trumped by personal experience. Since then I make have daily backups, or use RAID 5, and I hold my pants up with a piece of string along with my belt.

Michael
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IanS
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2005, 01:37:07 PM »
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I think Micheal's got the right idea with RAID-5. As he points out, his files can reach up to 400MB in size each!!! I've had my 20D now for only 6 months and with 8MB RAW files and space to process 25MB TIFF files I'm already rapidly running out of storage.

This level of files are just about manageable with external drives and multiple copies for me, but given that the largest available drive is 500GB, that could be as little as 1250 pictures using a 2 drive setup for MR. That's probably not very many. And on acrchive that's only 11 files per DVD maybe 21 if you use dual layer...

The megapixel race is all well and good, and in MR's case is worse than most with 1DS mkII and medium format digital backs... The sad fact is that storage devices for PC's aren't keeping pace with camera's ability to generate data. How long before 1TB is not so much??

The more drives you have, the more need you have for RAID type solutions as the chances of failure increase. Also with NAS type devices, the temptation is to leave it on permanently, this dramatically increases the usage of the drive (spin time) and means you're more likely to have a failure. Drives are rated by MTBF and on/off cycles. The latter is usually tens of thousands, and in your PC, unless you leave it on, the drive spends more time off than on. Bet that won't be the case with a NAS drive...

I work with 1000's of terabytes of disk and individual drive failures are a regular occurence. As we use more and more disk, the likelyhood you'll see one will increase too...

I would also not advocate use of RAID-5 without a hot spare. Peformance dives when a drive has failed until the missing drive has been rebuilt. If you've already taken a compromise by using NAS over ethernet then you may find performance unusable whilst rebuilding.

Ian.
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dandill
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2005, 02:47:00 PM »
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Does anyone have thoughts on how to combine such a disk based RAID5 system with off site redundancy, to guard against theft, fire, flooding or other dusaster? For example, is there a way to easily, routinley replicate the contents of the RAID5 system on a remote system?

Thanks
Dan
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Dan Dill
Roy
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 05:20:17 PM »
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The Buffalo LinkStation mentioned by drew can, like the Linksys nslu2, be set up to automatically back up its main disk onto the secondary disk every night. (Might save you some time drew.)

The Buffalo received better reviews than the Linksys in terms of throughput.

Neither of these systems is as good as a RAID, but for a home user on a budget, they provide a big increase in security.

Mac users have another option: simply attach two external drives of the same size (firewire is the recommended interface as it is higher performance than USB in real throughput) and tell OSX to configure them as a RAID 1. Presto, you have redundant storage.

Want easy off-premises backup in case of fire or disaster? Buy a third disk. Fail the RAID by removing one disk (which you will now store off-premises), plug in the third disk in place of the one you removed to take off-prmemises, tell the OS to rebuild the RAID, and you are back in busniess. Rotate the on-line and the off-premises disks to ensure your off-prem disaster backup is up to date.

Finally, if you want the data on the Mac RAID to be available to others, you can share it over your local network and/or you can enable the Mac as an FTP server (it's all built into OSX) to allow remote access from the internet. You'll need to do the same trick Michael mentions in the addendum to his article if your ISP dynamically assigns you an IP address.

BTW, the cheapest way to get an external hard disk is to by a bare ATA disk drive (don't waste your money on SATA as neither USB2 nor firewire run that fast) and pop it into an external USB/firewire enclosure. I noticed Macally enclosures for about $US 50 and the price of disks just keeps coming down.

Regards,

Roy
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budjames
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2005, 09:44:36 PM »
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I use the BuffaloTech 250 on my network for back up. However, I also have a Maxtor OneTouch II 300GB drive attached via Firewire to my Dell Workstation. The one button backup feature of this device makes it very easy to back up.

I was looking at the RAID5 after reading Michael's review. My question is does this set up eliminate the need to back up original RAW files to write-once DVD's for a permanent archive of the originals?

Bud
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Bud James
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 05:58:13 AM »
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On the Outback web site, I read about a utility pgm for Windows, MirrorFolder 3.0.

I installed the trial version and it works great! You can configure specific folders to back up to a second hard disk, including scheduling and deleting orphan files and folders on the destination drive.

I'm using it to back up the "My Documents" folder on my Dell Precision Workstation RAID 0 internal drives to a BuffaloTech DriveStation 250 on my home LAN. The BuffaloTech utility only provides for backups and not file and folder duplication on another drive.

Locally, I backup My Documents to a Maxtor OneTouch 300 II connected via Firewire. This set up is working for me know so I think that I'll hold off on buying a ReadyNAS 600.

Bud
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Bud James
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Peter_Gulbinat
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2005, 09:37:34 AM »
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Hi Michael
Just bare in mind that RAID5 only makes sense if you have a spare disk available in case one fails. The problem from my perspective is that RAID5 only works if all disks used in are identical. So if one of the disks fails in three years, what are the chances of finding an identical hard drive ...
Better buy on (or two) now :-)
Best regards
Peter
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drew
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2005, 11:33:15 AM »
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I read Michael's review of this device with great interest.
I do not want to give a shopping guide, but I have been using a network storage device which is much cheaper than the ReadyNAS. This is a Buffalo link station which has its own built in drive (up to 300GB) and has two USB2 ports to act either as a print server or to plug in one additional USB2 drive to increase the available network storage. Obviously, this is not RAID, but I back up my files to another USB/Firewire drive by hand via a local connection on another PC. The linkstation is accessible by any machine plugged into my LAN using a utility bundled with the device.
In relation to the issue of disk failure, I believe this is overstated. I have a friend who is an IT Officer for a local NHS (National Health Service, UK) Trust and he has dealt with literally thousands of hard drives over the years. Only a tiny fraction of a percent actually fail. In a way, RAID increases the risk of failure becoming a problem (even if your data is preserved) by a factor of the number of disks in the array. Needing to have at least one comparable drive to rebuild the array in case of failure simply increases the cost and I seriously question whether it really is the most efficient use of what will be for most people a limited budget for such things.
Finally, my network currently runs at 100MB/sec. As Michael says, this is fine for a lot of the time. However, it is more limiting than just not recommending it for video streaming. The greatest irritation is with using file browsers that build thumbnails. PS CS's own file browser is particularly annoying in this regard as it can take quite a few minutes for the browser to build the thumbs before you can actually use it (or Photoshop itself for that matter) when accessing folders over the network from the Linkstation. The strategy that I am developing to overcome this limitation is always to nest folders within folders (never together with files) and to not have too many files within each folder.
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Andrew Richards My Webpage
drew
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2005, 12:20:19 PM »
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Statistics are always trumped by personal experience
Yes, precisely the problem with providing healthcare and trying to keep a lid on the economics of it.
Laptop drives are maybe a little more prone to failure because of cooling issues. Cold comfort (pun intended), I appreciate. The only time I have had a hard drive failure, the data remained recoverable. This was on a 40GB IBM deskstar, a model that is a bit notorious for problems.
The bottom line is always back-up, RAID or otherwise.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2005, 03:09:20 PM »
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I have a friend who is an IT Officer for a local NHS (National Health Service, UK) Trust and he has dealt with literally thousands of hard drives over the years. Only a tiny fraction of a percent actually fail.
There is a big difference between business and consumer oriented storage systems. The business systems (as delivered by Hitachi  Data Systems and EMC) are constructed from lots of small capacity drives (up to 70 Mbytes) and are burnt in before they get to the customer. I would not be surpised if the manfacturers do not also do accelerated life tests on samples from each disc drive supplier, such that by the time the discs are installed on customers premises there is a low risk of failure from an individual disc.

Consumer equipment is not tested to such a high level, is generally of higher capacity and manufactured to lower tolerences. They are, therefore, much more likely to fail than those deployed in an enterprise system. My current experience with disc drives is a 50% failure rate within 6 months of purchase (this is perhaps an unfortunate and extreme case), however, had I not utilised mirrored storage and an automated backup system I would be turning the air blue with a string of expletives which could not be published in such a forum. As it is the damage is limited to another Euro100 per disc and 5 minutes of screw twidling to replace the faulty unit.

Not investing in some form of protection for your data is a dangerous game to play.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2005, 11:34:35 PM »
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Another option used by some is a dual RAID 1 mirror, where one drive is essentially a mirror of another. With a two drive enclosure and three drives, you can pull one, put in the old drive to be rebuilt, and take the third offsite (home, safety deposit box, etc.).

While possibly not as efficient financially as RAID 5, it does solve the backup/damage/theft issues quite nicely.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2005, 10:03:20 AM »
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This is a Buffalo link station which has its own built in drive (up to 300GB) and has two USB2 ports to act either as a print server or to plug in one additional USB2 drive to increase the available network storage. Obviously, this is not RAID, but I back up my files to another USB/Firewire drive by hand via a local connection on another PC. The linkstation is accessible by any machine plugged into my LAN using a utility bundled with the device.
I use a Linksys NSLU2 device in a similar manner.  The NSLU2 lives on the network (and actually runs Linux under the covers, but that is another story), and can have 2 USB 2.0 drives attached to it.  It has a mode where all the data from one drive is automatically copied to the 2nd drive, which is kind of like a poor man's RAID approach.

The NSLU2 is under $100 (last I looked) and you can get large USB drives pretty inexpensively these days (Costco usually has good deals on Maxtor USB drives).

Works for me, though I also back up all photos on DVD as well.
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.....Andrzej
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2005, 06:48:18 PM »
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I use direct drive mirroring, which is obviously only 50% efficient.  

In doing some research to upgrade to full RAID5 for the added efficiency, I forwarded the ReadyNAS specs to my computer networking guru.  His take was I could build a 1TB RAID on a Dell server, complete with Gigabit LAN for less money and end up with a bit more flexibility.  Obviously this requires that the end user knows how to configure the system, a non-trivial task IMO.  Given the ReadyNAS apears pretty much plug&play, it seems a good value.

Cheers,
Jack
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IanS
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2005, 02:37:24 AM »
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I was looking at the RAID5 after reading Michael's review. My question is does this set up eliminate the need to back up original RAW files to write-once DVD's for a permanent archive of the originals?
That depends entirely on the risk you are prepared to take. RAID-5 gives enchanced reliability without going as far as fully mirrored disks and usually provides some kind of automatic recovery to a spare disk in the case of single drive failure.

Although rare, you can get double failures which RAID won't cope with (and are usually caused by poor ventilation which is more common in home environments) and you could still get software corruption of data... Don't forget having optical copies stored elsewhere may be worthwhile if the pictures are valuable.

So my view would be whilst RAID-5 should reduce the need to restore from backup, it doesn't eliminate it.

Ian.
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dandill
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2005, 06:36:47 AM »
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The program I have been using for years, and which I highly recommend, is

SecondCopy

Is use it to keep machines in two different locations synchronized, using a portable 60 GB USB 2.0 disk as transport medium. In this way I always have three copies of everything, in tow locations.
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Dan Dill
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