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Armand

SSD as Backups

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Is it good to make SSD as backup drives? I'm currently using a partition in my HDD as my backup and sometimes DVD's. How will SSD fair in using them as backups?

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Sure it's a fine use, just as using a USB thumb drive would be a fine backup medium.

Brian's right that cost is an issue but I'm not worried about excessive writes if you are backing up weekly or even less frequently.

Pros for flash vs hard drives as backup media

*shock tolerant

*heat tolerant

*physically smaller

all are pluses if you want to do off site storage (lock box at the bank or similar)

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True, but I still think there are better ways to back up and better uses for an SSD, especially if you have a "bunch" of data.

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Good SSDs are faster than HDDs and cost much more per GB. Apart from off site storage - why'd you want to use them for backups?

If it's a reasonably fast SSD (Indilix Barefoot or better) and both drives are within the same PC you'd be far better off using the SSD for your system and commonly used stuff and to place backups of this and the bulk of your data (music, videos etc.) onto the HDD. Trying to backup all your media on an SSD is not going to make you happy as soon as you see the price tag.

MrS

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MrSpadge' date='09 September 2010 - 04:53 PM' timestamp='1284069215' post='263888']

Good SSDs are faster than HDDs and cost much more per GB. Apart from off site storage - why'd you want to use them for backups?

If it's a reasonably fast SSD (Indilix Barefoot or better) and both drives are within the same PC you'd be far better off using the SSD for your system and commonly used stuff and to place backups of this and the bulk of your data (music, videos etc.) onto the HDD. Trying to backup all your media on an SSD is not going to make you happy as soon as you see the price tag.

MrS

I was just thinking like what you said that SSD's are fast so they could be good for backups. So what I can do is to setup the SSD as my main drive for the OS and then use the HDD as the backup storage. Is this alright?

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That's a more logical solution. The other way is like parking a Ferrari in the garage and driving a Vespa.

at least until they become cheap enough that you have dozens of Ferraris laying around.

I currently have a stack of perfectly good IDE and SATA hard drives and have usb flash drives laying all over the place. I expect there will come a day that I have spare SSDs just laying around.

Edited by dhanson865

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I think using the HDD as the backup and using the SSD for daily things is the best way to go about it. Backing up to the SSD won't bode well for its lifespan.

backing up to SSD is never going to wear out the drive unless you want to do backups thousands of times a day instead of just once a week or something more reasonable. You should go read some of the early threads about the X-25M where people tried to wear them out in server database use or with scripts and did the math on how long it would take.

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backing up to SSD is never going to wear out the drive unless you want to do backups thousands of times a day instead of just once a week or something more reasonable. You should go read some of the early threads about the X-25M where people tried to wear them out in server database use or with scripts and did the math on how long it would take.

I would like to add to this by saying that an SSD can take up to 45TB of writing before it starts wearing down if you do not format 10% of the drive, this means that if you were to backup 1TB per week, it would still last you a year. That is incredibly extreme and no-one I know backs up that much so you can expect an SSD to last you at least 3 years :)

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I backup 350GB-600GB a day... And that's just off my desktop

Yes but to how many drives/tapes? If you are backing up to a single drive/tape daily overwriting your prior backup you don't have any recourse if a file is corrupted on both the current disk and the only backup.

Anybody who is doing daily backup is likely rotating media and storing media off-site.

If you rotate across 3 drives/tapes then 600GB per day ends up being like 200GB per drive/tape per day (on average).

I was doing backups for a company with over 50 employees and the full backup for all the servers was about what you backup from your single desktop PC. I used to use LTO-3 then we got a new drive/tapes and used LTO-4. Let me tell you it'd be plenty convenient to stop using LTO and move to SSDs when the day comes that I can get a SSD that holds as much as LTO does (it's a moving target, LTO-5 will be common by then)

Oh and for the record LTO-4 is good for 4 years of writing once per week or less than a year if you write a full tape every day without rotating media.

Edited by dhanson865

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Backing up to the SSD won't bode well for its lifespan.

Actually the SSD would last longer if all you'd backup was coming from one PC. The reason is simple: you'd want to do incremental backups anyway, so the data is read upon each sync (calculating a checksum etc.) but only written upon changes in the source. In this case the source file will have been modified at least once between now and the last backup, so the source drive got at minimum (assuming instantanous backups of the entire drive, i.e. mirroring) the same amount of writes as the backup drive. Sounds a bit counterintuitive at first :D

MrS

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Good point actually, my backups go through ZFS deduplication rather than running e.g. rsync at the source, but the end result is the same, in that most of the data transferred doesn't actually result in writes to the disk - only the changed data gets written.

Still, SSD is far too expensive at the level of capacity I need, and hard drives "last" long enough.

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Good point actually, my backups go through ZFS deduplication rather than running e.g. rsync at the source, but the end result is the same, in that most of the data transferred doesn't actually result in writes to the disk - only the changed data gets written.

Still, SSD is far too expensive at the level of capacity I need, and hard drives "last" long enough.

I would say a hard drive with adequate SMART data should be able to tell you when it is wearing down, and if you have the backup on some kind of timer you could use an old computer and wake-on-lan so it only needs the hard drive whilst it is backing up, this sort of set up should outlive at least 3 computers.

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I would say a hard drive with adequate SMART data should be able to tell you when it is wearing down,
Yes, but keep in mind that SMART data only catches about 50% of drive failures (the limited-but-still-useful Google study confirms this, as do others)......

Since most backups are just sequential writes and reads of data, SSD loses its main benefit of very fast random performance. However if you need the shock tolerance or whatnot and can afford it, go for it.

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This thread is exactly what I needed!

Here is my scoop, tell me if I am doing anything wrong. Do not factor in the cost while reading this.

I have a Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 Fully Rugged mounted in a Gamber/Johnson Docking Station. The main OS/Computer drive is a Corsair F-Series 120Gb SSD. I have a Sandisc 8Gb Extreme lll SDHC that goes in behind a fully enclosed waterproof door on my laptop. I then have a Intel 32GB SSD-E GN1 in an enclosed rugged caddy via USB 2.0.

I have a software program on my computer that I have to use pretty much all day, or shall I say it's my main reason for this laptop. I create around 10 to 20 PDF's throughout my day that are extremley important. I move them over to my SD card during the day. Whenever I have to close the program I also do a .MDB backup onto the SD card throughout the day as well. At the end of the week I move all my weeks data over to the Intel SSD as a backup.

Am I doing anything wrong here, or is there something I can do different which would be better as in how I have it setup?

The main reason I am using this Intel SSD is because it is really too small for my main drive. I bought it awhile ago and used it with no problems and since getting 2 other SSD's this Intel has just been laying around growing dust.

Please throw me all your opinions! I value them all.

Thanks

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This thread is exactly what I needed!

Here is my scoop, tell me if I am doing anything wrong. Do not factor in the cost while reading this.

I have a Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 Fully Rugged mounted in a Gamber/Johnson Docking Station. The main OS/Computer drive is a Corsair F-Series 120Gb SSD. I have a Sandisc 8Gb Extreme lll SDHC that goes in behind a fully enclosed waterproof door on my laptop. I then have a Intel 32GB SSD-E GN1 in an enclosed rugged caddy via USB 2.0.

I have a software program on my computer that I have to use pretty much all day, or shall I say it's my main reason for this laptop. I create around 10 to 20 PDF's throughout my day that are extremely important. I move them over to my SD card during the day. Whenever I have to close the program I also do a .MDB backup onto the SD card throughout the day as well. At the end of the week I move all my weeks data over to the Intel SSD as a backup.

Am I doing anything wrong here, or is there something I can do different which would be better as in how I have it setup?

The main reason I am using this Intel SSD is because it is really too small for my main drive. I bought it awhile ago and used it with no problems and since getting 2 other SSD's this Intel has just been laying around growing dust.

Please throw me all your opinions! I value them all.

Thanks

Sounds like a good start. You do need to add testing a restore to the mix occasionally. Or since it is random access try opening a data file directly from the backup drive on that PC or another PC from time to time.

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Anybody who is doing daily backup is likely rotating media and storing media off-site.

and much blathering about LTO

OK, so IDF fall 2010 came and went and one of the things mentioned in the SSD track was how long data would last if a drive sat unplugged for an extended period of time.

It will last longer than this but the JEDEC spec is focusing on these two time frames

SLC/MLC Enterprise grade drives 3 months

MLC Consumer grade drives 1 year

LTO targets 15 years

Now it is likely that a MLC drive will hold the data several years and it is possible that manufacturers will someday sell SSDs designed for longer archival* but until they do SSDs would only be proper for daily, weekly, monthly backups and you would need to do a separate backup to LTO for long term storage.

* It was discussed that you can redesign the flash memory to increase the archival life of flash. I don't remember if he mentioned what the trade off was but we can assume its something like write speed or cost.

Edited by dhanson865

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OK, so IDF fall 2010 came and went and one of the things mentioned in the SSD track was how long data would last if a drive sat unplugged for an extended period of time.

It will last longer than this but the JEDEC spec is focusing on these two time frames

SLC/MLC Enterprise grade drives 3 months

MLC Consumer grade drives 1 year

LTO targets 15 years

Now it is likely that a MLC drive will hold the data several years and it is possible that manufacturers will someday sell SSDs designed for longer archival* but until they do SSDs would only be proper for daily, weekly, monthly backups and you would need to do a separate backup to LTO for long term storage.

* It was discussed that you can redesign the flash memory to increase the archival life of flash. I don't remember if he mentioned what the trade off was but we can assume its something like write speed or cost.

Hmmm, maybe IDF Intel was wrong about unpowered state, this author thinks SLC's are the way to go:

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssd-petabyte.html

endurance - data writes to the library chips are nearly always in large sequential blocks (because it's a bulk storage appliance) therefore write amplification effects are a lesser concern than with conventional SSDs. Also the main memory is SLC - not MLC due to the need for data integrity. That's partly because the thousands of power cycles which occur during the life of the product - which can be triggered by reads (not just by writes) would lead to too many disturb errors - and also because the logic error bands in MLC thresholds are too small to cope with the electrical noise in these systems.

refresh cycle - you know about refresh cycles in DRAMs - why need one for flash? The answer is that seldom accessed data inside the SiliconLibrary could spend years in the unpowered (or powered but static data) state. That would be a bad thing - because the data retention of the memory block can decline in certain conditions increasing the risk of data loss. So to guarantee integrity in the SSD is a house-keeping task which ensures that ALL memory blocks in the SSD are powered up and refreshed at regular intervals - maybe once every 3 months - for example. If you're familiar with tape library management - think of it as "spooling the tape."

Honestly LTO is not a great solution when you get to pentabytes, the I/O speeds are so slow comparatively. What if you need to pull data out of the mass storage, how long will it take with such slow I/O. 2 steps, 1st a slow search, then depending on how much data needs to be grabbed, slow retrieval/transfer rates. Need faster I/O when you get into pentabyte territory.

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Hmmm, maybe IDF Intel was wrong about unpowered state, this author thinks SLC's are the way to go:

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssd-petabyte.html

No, that article is talking about a device where dozens or more SSDs are raided internally to a 2.5" enclosure and each section is powered up/down independently. This causes vastly increased power cycles even in normal use so they went SLC because of the extra power cycling.

A normal SSD without the internal RAID and extra power cycles could be used for backup media and would be better off being MLC for cost reasons since the power cycling wouldn't happen often enough to be an issue.

Really what he is talking about is Near Line Storage not Off Site Storage.

Edited by dhanson865

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