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Need backup systems advice

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Trent Gillespie, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Trent Gillespie

    Trent Gillespie Active Member

    I amass a decent amount of RAW data every year, around 500GB, and am looking to modify my storage practices. Currently, I have a file server that houses my data drive as well as a backup disk. I then have my production box that reads/writes data to the file server over the network. The potential problems are fire, flood, theft, drive failure, etc.

    My ideas are
    1. Raid 10 > Production box with hot swap bay > Rotate one of the mirror drives on a weekly basis and move it offsite.
      Pros: Performance, data redundancy, seamless drive sync
      Cons: Cost
    2. Raid 1 > Production Box > External hard drive to backup the array on a weekly basis and move it offsite.
      Pros: Cost
      Cons: Performance, needs software backup, not as automated/seamless
    3. Raid 1 > NAS/file server > External hard drive to backup the array on a weekly basis and move it offsite.
      Pros: separate operating environment, automated backup process
      Cons: power consumption of another server
    I'm basically looking for advice on whether you think Raid 10 is worth the cost and if you think having a NAS is helpful in anyway? I'm the only one using the system.
  2. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    If you can afford the power consumption, I'd recommend building your own FreeNAS system.

    I had to build one last year to replace a NAS system my stepdad had that was constantly having issues, and its been holding strong without any issues. You're also able to expand it as much as you require, and have greater control over the system than the commercial setups that you would find.

    Here is a guide to building a FreeNAS system (http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cheap_and_nasty_how_build_open_source_server?page=0,0) and here is a recommendation for the case I used (http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?Idx=367).

    I highly recommend that case as the dust filters help quite a bit with keeping the inside clean, it is fairly quiet with a lot of drives and the airflow is quite nice. It is also relatively cheap for what it offers ($130-$180) and the build is one of the easiest I have dealt with for a NAS system.
  3. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    I would even go one step further and start looking into remote backup procedures
  4. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Are there levels of importance in this 500 Gigs ?
    What about using Dropbox so files are stored remotely.

    I was going to build an UNRAID server ... but hard drive prices are super expensive right now.
    Should go down in the early summer / spring.
  5. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    For large amounts of data, remote backups aren't cost efficient for most people.
  6. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    It is not about the quantity of data but rather the availability of the data. Some people literally have business continuity plans that calls for critical data to be restored in the first four hours. Only Trent (and maybe his CxOs) can really determine what data needs to be available by a certain deadline.

    To quote Trent, his challenges include:

    Assuming the problems are limited to just the ones listed, Trent's availability to his data would be limited if his data was stored simply in one location, if not unavailable for an extended period of time should there be a fire (due to investigations or fire destroying the electrical infrastructure where his server is housed), or flood (waiting for flood waters to recede, as well as possibly tainted drives). It is why he is exporting his data and moving it offsite.

    Offsite backups and the ability to remotely backup data is crucial in this day in age. Especially in the event you are unable to directly access your data physically to implement last second backup procedures such as roads are inaccessible or access to the building are restricted by law enforcement.

    But more importantly:

    Trent, do you have any testing procedures presently to verify the integrity and implementation of the data backed up? If not, it should definitely be added in.

    Other considerations: Does the data need to be kept confidential?

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