software RAID and backups

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by THRESHIN, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    i think i nearly have my data storage and backup problems figured out. i'd love some input, i'll try to keep it brief.

    the problem:
    desktop also doubling as a media file server over home LAN, have WoL set up which works great. i personally like sleep mode to save a little power.
    although older,
    i currently have:
    1x 250GB samsung evo 850 for OS and current software/games strictly
    1x WD 3TB for mostly stuff i don't care if it loads fast, my documents, digital pics, etc
    1x 3TB and 1x 4TB WD USB external drives for media files.

    my solution:
    keep in mind that speed and downtime in case of a failure is not of concern. i currently do backups with 25GB blu-rays....it's painful and costly. when i started it was actually the most cost effective without a large initial investment. that's no longer true.

    what i'd like to do is purchase a 8TB drive (probably HGST) and use a USB drive dock for backups. the new 8TB will be the backup drive for now. external drives are 7TB, gives me an extra 1TB to back up my pics and documents (currently 407GB, lots of room).

    so i'd like to pool the two USB external drives together in some sort of software RAID. i don't need redundancy, speed, just straight up pool them as one drive. only catch is i'd like the ability to add another drive to that in the future. i understand that the storage spaces built into windows 10 might be able to do this? are there other options that might be better?

    simple and cost effective as possible here is what i'm thinking. yes i've considered a NAS or USB RAID box but it just seems unnecessary. i went with a simple drive dock because i can disconnect it and store the backup drive when not in use. if something catastrophic happens to the desktop, i don't rightly care.

    any thoughts before i pull the trigger on the 8TB HGST drive? thanks guys.

    edit: and if you guys can think of any limitations to my solution that i should know about, please tell me.
     
  2. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Probably people with more experience on here than I with this sort of thing, but I do currently run two pools. For my main server I've using StableBit DrivePool which is probably more powerful than you need but has worked well for me - I'm using it with 5 external drives and I've successfully replaced one (removed it) with a larger drive to increase capacity and it handled the balancing for me without any problems. I've added drives as I've gone as well. I also use Storage Spaces on my main machine for tiered storage (2xexternal SSD + 2xinternal HDD) but I did need to use PowerShell to get it just the way I wanted (although that should not be necessary for your needs). Also works great. What you're talking about is JBOD technically but I digress. As for what drive to get - I am fond of HGST myself, but if you need to do it on the cheap the Easystore variant of the 8TB WD USB3.0 external drive from Best Buy is often on sale for ~$150 (I've seen it 140-160 lately) which you can shuck - in fact I have two of these - although some now require a bit of extra work for that due to a voltage limiter. The ones I got were WD Reds so, yay. They are not 7200 RPM though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  3. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    That's great info, thank you. Think I'll go ahead with this very soon.
     
  4. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    well i did it. bought a HGST 8TB drive and very glad i did. backups are stupid easy now, i'll never go back to optical. i managed to get my external drives tied together using storage spaces in a simple pool and it works great.

    there was one downside. my externals are a 3TB and a 4TB giving me 7TB...there are no 7TB drives....but i do have other stuff on an internal 3TB. i figured i'd partition out 1TB of that drive and stick it in the pool. turns out storage spaces can't do that, it wants a physical drive.

    i think i'm going to give stablebit you mentioned a try. thanks for mentioning that! from what i understand its no problem for that software and it will make my life a little easier.
     
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  5. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nice. Yeah, I used to rely on BD-R for some backups, but it's pretty pointless with the price of mechanical storage right now. I'm not so sad to see it go.

    Yes, pooling software (including FuzeDrive/StoreMI, if I'm not mistaken) generally won't work with partitioned drives. DrivePool is more flexible and recognizes partitions. Actually, they just added hierarchical pooling, which gives even more flexibility.

    Definitely $30 well spent, for me. It's never on sale because the price is low to begin with in case you're wondering. Free to try for 30 days, too. I also suggest investing in Hard Drive Sentinel (Standard) if you'll be adding more in the future - makes it real easy to monitor drive health. I know you said you don't care about the data or resiliency but HDS gives a heads-up. That also has a trial. I use the two in conjunction with good success on my server.
     
  6. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Oh yeah, and let me know how it turns out!