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fmny

How to backup large array?

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I have a 4TB raid 5 array and I'd like to know how one goes about backing up this much data regularly and in a practical and efficient way. Even though 1TB drives are now quite cheap I don't have room in my case to add another 4 drives. Having a whole bunch of offline drives swapped in and out does not seem practical. Any ideas? How do some of you with large arrays do it? RAID is good for hardware failure but I know it's not a backup so that's why I'm asking.

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Tape,

I'm so seirous it's not funny

you could alternatively have another array of a similar size at a remote location

and mirrot them

but that wont let you restore if you delete everything on one array

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I have a 4TB raid 5 array and I'd like to know how one goes about backing up this much data regularly and in a practical and efficient way. Even though 1TB drives are now quite cheap I don't have room in my case to add another 4 drives. Having a whole bunch of offline drives swapped in and out does not seem practical. Any ideas? How do some of you with large arrays do it? RAID is good for hardware failure but I know it's not a backup so that's why I'm asking.

1) It does not matter how many slots you have free in your tower. Many (if not most) things that would kill One raid 5 would also destroy the second in the same tower (think of fire, cathastrophic PSU failure, theft).

2) This means you need a seconds box anyway, so I would either suggest a NAS, or a second computer with you backup to regularily on the network. (NO mirroring. If its transparent, its also transparent to errors and no backup).

3) no tabe. Reasons:

a) practiability: A robot seems to be way outside your budget, if you worry about slots in your case. You wouldnt like switching takes any more than switching HDs.

B) price: if you dont want to work yourself silly, you would need 800Gbyte tapes. The cheapest LTO-4 drives i see around here are a bit above 1500€. Add to this 50€ per tape (thats about the same price as a 750Gbyte HD).

For the money of even the cheapest tape drive, at current prices you could build a computer with 2 4TB raid 5s (2* 4 Seagate 1.5Tbyte raid 5, 2* highpoint 2310) to alternate snapshots. Just to give some perspective.

For me, i also have a big raid, but i do not consider it 1 piece of storage. I have snapshotted online-backup for the most important 20-40Gbyte, keep a 2nd copy of the the "would be a hassle to rescan/digitize" stuff on external HDs (1 Tbyte or so), and the rest is just temporary stuff (uncompressed datasets, evaluation stuff) that can be recreated in about the same time as restoring an external backup would take, so no point in it.

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A used 6-8 slot auto-loader from ebay or the like can be pretty inexpensive. Many times under $2k, tapes will be about $60-$80 each, you'll need enough to backup your data set.

If you are really on a budget, look at a single LTO4 drive and swap tapes manually. Cost should be under $1000 USD for the drive.

Now if you are just using 5 1TB drives in a RAID config off your motherboard... Well the tape drive will cost more than your PC. But if you think about the time to re-create all your data, or loosing some hundreds of GB's of crucial data, the investment would have paid for itself in just one restore.

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