dougcure

Storage/Backup Plan

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Hello,

I am building a new computer and I am trying to figure out how to best setup my system to store data and back it up.

I ordered a 74 gig Raptor (FLC0) and two 250 gig WD2500KS drives for my new system. Originally, my plan was to combine the new 74 gig Raptor (FLC0) with my old 74 gig Raptor (FLA1) into a raid 0 array to give me a tremendous speed boost, as I had heard was the case. However, after reading this forum and the article about raid 0 on Storagereview's site, I realized that this wasn't a good idea.

Also, I was planning on setting up both 250 gig WD2500KS drives into a raid 1 for reliability. However, after reading many things on this, it seems that it might be best to just leave them as separate drives and use one for backing up things to.

So, I am curious how you guys setup your systems and how you would recommend I setup mine in this scenario.

So, here's a basic summary of my thoughts:

Drive 1 - 74 Gig Raptor (FLC0) - Put my OS on this and perhaps apps like Adobe Creative Suite, Macromedia Studio MX and Office.

Drive 2 - 74 Gig Raptor (FLA1) - Put my games on here, or perhaps all the apps. Put some data on here?

Drive 3 - 250 Gig WD2500KS - Data ????

Drive 4 - 250 Gig WD2500KS - Used to backup things from the other drives.

I hesitate to leave Drive 1 as only the OS since it will waste several gigs of my 74 Gig Raptor. So, if I put my OS and all my apps on Drive 1, then what do I put on Drive 2? Would it be wise to put my data on drive 2 since it will be fast and then just back it all up to Drive 3 or 4? Or, should I keep Drives 3 and 4 in a Raid 1?

Sorry, this is kinda confusing. I am just looking for perhaps a best practice setup and recommendations on how you guys would set this up.

Thanks for all your help!

Doug

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Guest 888

I would do so:

*Put OS and all apps & active games on DISK1

*Put data in active usage (and changing data) on DISK2

*Put all archived (not changing) data and multimedia on DISK3 and DISK4 (not RAID1, just copy data to them parallel or sequential way, that's more safe)

However in this way it needs to decide where and how to backup the contents of DISK1 and DISK2. May-be just on separate partition on DISK3 & DISK4...

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Hi,

I am building a new computer and I am trying to figure out how to best setup my system to store data and back it up.

I ordered a 74 gig Raptor (FLC0) and two 250 gig WD2500KS drives for my new system. Originally, my plan was to combine the new 74 gig Raptor (FLC0) with my old 74 gig Raptor (FLA1) into a raid 0 array to give me a tremendous speed boost, as I had heard was the case. However, after reading this forum and the article about raid 0 on Storagereview's site, I realized that this wasn't a good idea.

I have not read the article on raid 0 - but raid0 will double the chance of drive failure (volume failure, more correctly) and data loss.

Because if 1 of the drives fails, the whole striped volume will be dead.

Raid0 would give you a speed boost - but i would say not 'tremendous', and imho not worth the much higher risk involved.

Personally, since the Raptor is one of the fastest drives around, and the speed boost therefore not a big advantage while the risk is big... i would make those Raptors a raid 1 set.

That would not protect you against viruses, corruption of other things that will mess up your OS - but in case of drive failure you will still have 1 good disk that the system can use.

No data loss.

Also, I was planning on setting up both 250 gig WD2500KS drives into a raid 1 for reliability. However, after reading many things on this, it seems that it might be best to just leave them as separate drives and use one for backing up things to.

So, I am curious how you guys setup your systems and how you would recommend I setup mine in this scenario.

250GB of data ? And no tape backup or other good way of securing that much data ?

Again, personally, i would use raid1.

Even when a disk dies you still have all of your data.

Just imagine losing 250GB....

The 'copy' you would do to secure your data would be a manual or scheduled action.

That means you always lose data incase the 'main' or 'master' disk fails - since the copy job will probably not have run for some time. Murphy visits me often..

Raid1 will give you a mirror that is always up-to-date. And no manual actions, but 'set it and forget it'.

Again, if any of the 2 drives fails, no data loss.

This advise reflects my personal preference - and that is all about uptime, reliability, and protection against data loss.

Not going for small gains in speed at the big risk of data loss.

So our objectives may differ big time - and you may want to do things differently.

Hope this helps - even if that means you can make your decision to not follow my advice on better grounds.

Best regards,

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Guest 888

I still personally always prefer "copy-backuping" not "raid1-backuping" although the later at first look may feel more comfortable and it's always up-to-date (in-sync).

But when you make some (even tiny) human errors.. or your raid controller goes mad.. then your both copies would be affected or lost totally at the same time.

For preventing power supply and environmental shocks it's even better to keep one of those two backup disc switched off when the backuping (in example once a day) is not going on.

Or even better - keep the second disc in other building, in live networked server or in cold mode there. Using then backuping over network or just manual transporting of the disk.

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But when you make some (even tiny) human errors.. or your raid controller goes mad.. then your both copies would be affected or lost totally at the same time.

You are correct - there's absolutely no cure against stupidity.

As for raid controllers... in recent years on the 70+ professional servers i administer i have seen a few broken SCSI controllers - and never any data loss. And every server has it's system disks mirrored.

The few raid controllers i have at home ( approx. 5 machines, all with mirrored system disks) have had their problems too - and never any data loss.

I have seen broken disks way more than i ever had problems with controllers.

The nice thing about raid in combination with hotswap enclosures is that, in case of a broken disk, it has *always* been enough to hotswap (with a running system that is) the broken disk and it will be rebuilt automatically.

Try that with a single disk that holds your OS - you'll spend a fair amount of time to get your system up and running again and probably lose data too.

For preventing power supply and environmental shocks it's even better to keep one of those two backup disc switched off when the backuping (in example once a day) is not going on.

I do not know what you mean ?

The only 'shock' i know of is the shock a system experiences if you turn off a system that has been running for a long time and turn it on after cooling down.

In rare cases that causes problems.

Turning on a system that has been moved from a cold to a warm environment is not wise, it's best to let a system acclimatise for an hour of 2.

But in my company servers not always get treated that well - and never have i seen failure i could attribute to that.

Or even better - keep the second disc in other building, in live networked server or in cold mode there. Using then backuping over network or just manual transporting of the disk.

You are correct again.

Storing disks, mirrored servers, backup tapes etc. in geographically different locations is what we do also.

But we're talking about the implementation of a 'disaster recovery' plan for companies.

Doug has a pc.

I do not know of many people that apply this to a home situation.

IMHO it is unlikely Doug is in a situation like this - if he were, he probably would not have asked his question like this.

I think my answer to Doug was giving him options to base his decision upon.

If someone in a home situation wishes speed at higher risk of data loss like some extreme gamers do, and they usually do not really care about data loss and spending a day or longer to setup their system anew - i would say : GO for it ! Use raid0 and get the max. speed out of your disks.

If that person would like to save time incase of disk failure, and a good mirror he never has to think about instead of having to remember to copy data or have degraded performance whenever the system is copying the new data to the backup disk - my advice would still be Raid1.

If someone thinks otherwise i would love to hear sound arguments.

Like some forum member's sig states : i am here to help, but also to learn. Or something like that.

best regards,

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Guest 888
For preventing power supply and environmental shocks it's even better to keep one of those two backup disc switched off when the backuping (in example once a day) is not going on.

I do not know what you mean ?

I wanted to say (sorry for my english, it's not my native language) that if in example the power supply unit fails, it sometimes may take all the drives with it to heaven. But when the second backup drive is switched off (or is just an external case hdd with its individual PSU) then it has better possibilities to survive these situations.

About environmental shocks I wanted to say in example when the computer accidentally drops from the table or drops during transporting.. or some water falls on it. Then both (all) drives in it may be affected. But when one backup is external hdd, it has better chances not to be threated the same way.

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I'd go with 888's original recommendation, but also put the pagefile on the second Raptor, and put the Photoshop scratch disk on one of the 250 GB drives.

Putting the second 250 GB drive in an external enclosure is a very good idea. Connect it maybe once a day to run a backup (use software that just backs up the additions/changes if you can), and the rest of the time keep it in another room, at least. A fireproof safe in another building would obviously be better, but your main risks to a disconnected external drive are shock, fire and theft. So keep it in something padded, away from your PC, somewhere it's less likely to be stolen.

Edited by Spod

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I'd go with a rotating pair of USB2 data (or mirror) hard disks, an annual tape or DVD full backup, and an occasional tape or DVD incremental backup.

You haven't really backed up your data until you've taken it offsite. Preferably on a media that is independent of the transport, head & controller. This is why tape has such survivability. Also the areal density and thickness of tape is about a thousand times "bigger" than disk: this translates into a far stronger, longer-lasting signal for backup.

DVD's and CD-ROMs can also be used for offsite, "cold" storage but are far more expensive and clumsy due to their tiny capacities. Backing up 400GB to DVD's will feel an awful lot like the "bad old days" of backing up to floppies! Blu-ray (and/or HD-DVD) offers the best near-term hope for addressing, well, the number-of-disks issue (cost will still be a factor).

Hard disks rely on rewrites to refresh the signal strength of their bits. Running a utility that will force rewrites once a year is advisable; doing so once every 3 years is imperative. If your data changes a lot, a defrag program will probably do it; for less-transient data, an occasional copy to another disk will allow you to reformat and copy back, thus forcing the rewrite.

Cheers,

Bob

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Believe me, if anyone tells you to have two drives and then recopy data between them, that is ludicrous! Just make a raid 1 (way easier, faster, and more reliable-- since the data is written at the same time). No need for weird file copy programs! And then burn a real backup with DVD's. Then you are way safer if the array shoudl die.

SCSA

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I would do so:

*Put OS and all apps & active games on DISK1

*Put data in active usage (and changing data) on DISK2

*Put all archived (not changing) data and multimedia on DISK3 and DISK4 (not RAID1, just copy data to them parallel or sequential way, that's more safe)

Is there a reason to put all your active games and apps on Disk1 instead of Disk2?

If you put your OS on Disk1, then if all your games and Apps were installed to Disk2, would your apps and games run a little faster due to having 2 heads accessing the data at the same time instead of one disk doing all the work?

I would do this.

DISK1 OS and Active data on separate partition

DISK2 Installed GAMES and APPS

DISKS3&4 Archive DATA and backups

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