need advice with backup and raid

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
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3,123
So I've never used raid....

Currently I have about 6 tb of data across two USB external drives and one internal, totaling to 10 tb of storage. I also have a 250 GB ssd for os, programs and whatever games I'm currently playing.

I have been backing up my data with blu rays......a lot of them. It takes time but in the past has been the most cost effective. That's no longer the case. A 8 or 10 tb drive has dropped in price enough that it's cheaper per GB.

So what I'm thinking is a mirrored raid setup. Drop some serious cash and get two 10 tb drives and then forget the blu rays. Cheaper and so much easier.

So here's where it gets unfamiliar to me. Keep in mind that speed isn't a concern, buy I do need network connectivity. I'm happy running it through my desktop for that as I have WOL setup. I feel that buying a NAS is just too expensive to justify right now.

So my options....mainboard is a gigabyte z170mx-gaming 5. It has raid, but from what I understand it's very limited. Not much documentation here. I don't know if I can set up raid while keeping other drives on their own.

Next win10 has a software raid option. Free and easy, but I have no experience with it. I've heard that it can be buggy and I do not know it's limitations.

Last option is a 4 bay USB raid box as they don't cost nearly so much as a NAS. Again, no experience. I have no idea if this is a good option or what's a good one.

My case does have lots of room for drives, just got a corsair 750D.

Thanks guys. Raid is a mystery to me.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
13
So I've never used raid....
...
Last option is a 4 bay USB raid box as they don't cost nearly so much as a NAS. Again, no experience. I have no idea if this is a good option or what's a good one.

My case does have lots of room for drives, just got a corsair 750D.

Thanks guys. Raid is a mystery to me.
Some thoughts on this:

I was backing up to DVD for a long time and I agree with your first comment - it doesn't make sense to do this. You end up with hundreds of disks and recovering the data when you want it is very painful. Apart from anything else, I tried to recover the data after <10 years and found considerable bit rot problems. So, actually, it didn't work when I needed it. I expect blu-ray will probably age badly as well.

I have the 750 case and it's just fine for a couple of drives - might get a bit toasty if you filled all the drive positions, and then you might need to run the fans a bit more to stop the hard drive heat driving up your CPU/GPU temps.

The main problem though is that neither the external RAID box nor the internal RAID options are giving you a backup. With an internal or external RAID solution, you'll need think about having a second copy... otherwise if your PC goes nuts (e.g. virused, or even an "oops" moment) and overwrites the RAID mirror, both (or all) drives are affected and you've lost the lot. If speed isn't an issue then RAID isn't going to do much for you and the choice of hardware or software RAID isn't going to make much difference either.

So - overall suggestion: buy the 2 x 10TB drives but put one of them in an external enclosure (or a dockable bay) and do a backup once a week or so to the external drive. Keep the external drive powered off or unplugged most of the time and you'll save on the heat and power (even better, keep it offsite). If you were thinking of backing up to the "cloud", it's fine when you need to get back one or two files but restoring 6TB from the "cloud" would be a nightmare.
 

Khahhblaab

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
481
...lookin foward to the ideas that come out of this thread. I have always been interested in how folks configure their raid solutions. Raid "0" vs "1" vs '5' vs "01" vs "10" vs "50" vs the other multi drive solutions. Capacity vs redundancy vs throughput. I am thinking about a striping raid that is backed up by a raid 5 so I dont lose a lot of throughput while providing redundancy. I want to make the best use of the capacity of each drive while providing the redundancy that raid provides. Intel's raid 5 solution reads like a stripe but writes like a raid 1. Anyone found a unique solution that they would like to share? Free NAS is also a consideration.
thx.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,123
Some thoughts on this:

I was backing up to DVD for a long time and I agree with your first comment - it doesn't make sense to do this. You end up with hundreds of disks and recovering the data when you want it is very painful. Apart from anything else, I tried to recover the data after <10 years and found considerable bit rot problems. So, actually, it didn't work when I needed it. I expect blu-ray will probably age badly as well.

I have the 750 case and it's just fine for a couple of drives - might get a bit toasty if you filled all the drive positions, and then you might need to run the fans a bit more to stop the hard drive heat driving up your CPU/GPU temps.

The main problem though is that neither the external RAID box nor the internal RAID options are giving you a backup. With an internal or external RAID solution, you'll need think about having a second copy... otherwise if your PC goes nuts (e.g. virused, or even an "oops" moment) and overwrites the RAID mirror, both (or all) drives are affected and you've lost the lot. If speed isn't an issue then RAID isn't going to do much for you and the choice of hardware or software RAID isn't going to make much difference either.

So - overall suggestion: buy the 2 x 10TB drives but put one of them in an external enclosure (or a dockable bay) and do a backup once a week or so to the external drive. Keep the external drive powered off or unplugged most of the time and you'll save on the heat and power (even better, keep it offsite). If you were thinking of backing up to the "cloud", it's fine when you need to get back one or two files but restoring 6TB from the "cloud" would be a nightmare.
I really like your idea of using external for the backup. Might just go this way. I thought about it today and was thinking raid mirror might be overkill for what I want. Main drives inside, backup outside.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,123
Should I be concerned about any drive capacity limitations of my mainboard or is this not a problem these days?

I did some searching and went through my mainboard manual, but can't find any reference to this. Just be good to know before I dump some cash!
 

Khahhblaab

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
481
Should I be concerned about any drive capacity limitations of my mainboard or is this not a problem these days?

I did some searching and went through my mainboard manual, but can't find any reference to this. Just be good to know before I dump some cash!
Its dependent on how you format your drives. Use GPT to address drives larger than 2 TB. NTFS cant go above 2 TB. Oh, and 64 bit Os.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,123
Its dependent on how you format your drives. Use GPT to address drives larger than 2 TB. NTFS cant go above 2 TB. Oh, and 64 bit Os.
Well I'm on win 10 64 bit so should have that covered.

Does anyone still use 32 bit these days?

Thanks for the help.
 

Hornet

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
6,612
I really like your idea of using external for the backup. Might just go this way. I thought about it today and was thinking raid mirror might be overkill for what I want. Main drives inside, backup outside.
You SOULD go this route.

I've experienced losing all drives in my PC due to PSU failure.
Having a backup copy in the same system is not a good idea.
 

JargonGR

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
493
I am using HD caddies that I turn of with a key on my system. Are they still in danger from PSU failure? I just wonder.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
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I am using HD caddies that I turn of with a key on my system. Are they still in danger from PSU failure? I just wonder.
Depends what the key is doing. If it's ejecting the drive from the power connector then you're OK, but that seems unlikely. If the key is a switch that switches off the 5 volt supply only then no, your drive is still connected to the 12V line and the 0V line - so if the 12V rail goes to 230V (for example) then that's a fried drive. Just checked with the HGST He10 data sheet and they use 5V and 12V, so to be safe the switch would have to isolate both and probably ground as well. If the switch isolates all the power pins then you might be OK but you then have to ask if that switch is rated for high voltages which might exist if a power supply goes haywire. That seems unlikely. TBH I don't think you can trust the key to protect the drive unless you know how it is wired.
 

compcons

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
110
RAID is for performance or fault tolerance. If not for apeed, it os just to keep the system working if a drive (or 2 depending on RAID) fails. Rebuild times for arrays with anything bigger than 1TB drives is very long which means your system is in a compromised state during a rebuild. Most likely, if you lose another drive, everything is toast.

RAID is not a solution for data prtotectiom. That's backup. Backup can be complex or as simple as keeping another copy. Find the most coat effective way to make multiple copies if you are worried about your data. Get some of those cheap 8TB Western Digital from Best Buy and go nuts. Make a copy and throw one in a safe or a safety deposit box. Rotate a fresh copy off-site one a week or once a month.

Recovering a lot of data from online backups sucks, but hardly ever does an individual need all of that data right away. I find that if I rebuild a machine, there is less than 100GB that I need immediately. The rest is usually stuff I need at some point. Most online backups allow selective recovery.

Good luck,
EH
 

Jailer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
236
It's been mentioned already but it's worth saying again. RAID is not a backup.

You would be best served by an automated backup solution that doesn't require human interaction. If it involves you doing something for the backup to take place it WILL fail. Automate it.
 
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