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Storage Homebuilt NAS?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by GeorgeStorm, 24 Apr 2012.

  1. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    As above basically.
    Now that my media collection has grown, and I'm starting to take photos etc, I'm starting to worry about losing it all.

    At the moment, I have 4 2tb drives with various media on (TV, Films, photos, music, everything basically)
    And then a 128gb SSD for OS/programs

    So I thought I'd look into improving my storage situation, and am considering RAID, and whether that would be best for me.

    Ideally I'd like to keep it all in the one PC (having recently downsized to the single PC, works better for taking stuff to/from uni etc)

    I'm looking for something so I won't lose stuff if a drive dies or whatever, whether that be a straight backup, or some fancy RAID technology I've no idea.

    What would people suggest my next move be?
     
  2. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    How much storage do you need to end up with?
     
  3. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I wouldn't want to lose any storage that's for certain.
    Staying at the same amount of storage at the moment would be ok. But would have to be able to expand in the future (either by replacing drives with higher capacity models, or getting more drives)
     
  4. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

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    To back thing up you won't be able to keep the same amount of storage; where would the backed up dated go? :D

    I am however considering selling my lsi 9260-8i.... Raid heaven!

    Just watch a couple of YouTube videos on raid and it'll all be explain. That annoying linus kid explains it pretty stripped down
     
  5. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Ah, maybe I should have mentioned, I have no issue buying more HDDs (obviously would need more :p)

    And ooh, you have perked my interest, will talk to you later about it ;)
     
  6. lp rob1

    lp rob1 New Member

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    RAID doesn't keep data safe - it gives data redundancy. This means that the RAID array can survive a lost drive, but any more lost drives before rebuild, or catastrophic failure (fire, PSU blowout) will wipe out the lot. RAID merely allows you to keep using the data in case of a hard disk failure. As said many times:
    RAID is not backup!

    For keeping data safe, you want backup. Your requirement that it all stays in one case does not help for that. The best means of backup is usually off-site, be that online upload, or a 'backup buddy'.
    If you want to protect your media collection against a drive failure, then RAID may help.
    • RAID 1 gives the best protection (all drives can fail bar one) but you loose all but one drives' storage.
    • RAID 5 gives protection for one drive, but you loose one drive's storage. Personally, I would recommend this, as rarely does more than one drive fail at one time, and with backups (see above) the data should be safe.
    • RAID 6 gives protection for 2 drives, and you loose (you guessed it) 2 drives' storage.
    • RAID Z comes with the ZFS file system, used in FreeNAS. Similar to RAID 5, but with some performance improvements to some of the core problems with RAID 5.

    And there you have it. The main data-protection RAIDs. I recommend RAID 5 as my school, and many other institutions, use RAID 5 in the servers.
     
  7. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    It may not be a direct backup that I need, since all I want is if a drive were to die, I wouldn't lose data.
    By the sounds of it RAID5 would do this?

    I don't really want to have to build another PC/pay for online storage for an off site backup.
    (don't think I'd have the monies really)

    Edit:
    RAID5 is what I've been leaning to, since it seems the most cost effective option, and still a massive improvement over what I have now (no backup whatsoever, no redundancy, a drive dies, I lose what's on there, simple as)

    Issue with a direct backup is the cost, would need another 4 2tb drives, and then a PC to put them in (may have enough older stuff at home to be able to cope with that), and then whenever I wanted to get more storage, I'd have to buy 2 drives :/
     
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Rob beat me to it.

    RAID IS NOT BACK UP. RAID allows you to carry on working should a disk fail. If downtime is not a problem for you, then I'd suggest a robust, 2 tier back up system. So you would back up the drives with Acronis for instance, and then mirror these back ups using All Way Sync to a second back up system that's NOT in your main machine... preferably not even in the same room, so a NAS box in the attic, spare room, or if you have a garage.. stick it out there so even a house fire will not necessarily mean data loss.

    As you are backing up a 128GB OS drive, and 8TB worth of HDDs, then unfortunately, in order to do this, you will need twice that amount to adequately have a SAFE back up system. So that's over 16TB of space needed for a 2 tier back up strategy.

    This is the problem when you let your media collection build to such a size and THEN realise you need back up. If you back up system had grown along with your storage space the cost would have been absorbed over time.

    There's no way around this. Even if you only have a single back up, that's still over 8TB needed.

    One way or the other, you wallet is in for a hard time.

    That is redundancy. Not back up. If your computer gets stolen.. you're screwed. If you have a catastrophic system failure, you will lose what's on the system drive. If you have a RAID controller failure, it can hose your RAID. There's also the old classic: Accidental deletion. RAID will not protect you from any of that.

    Seriously... if I had to chose between RAID and back up I'd go for back up every single time. I'm lucky, I have RAID and back up, and two tiers of both... but given no choice... back up over RAID every time! Trust me.. RAID is NOT safe as a means of back up... not even close to being safe. Only last week I had a DOUBLE disc failure in my RAID5 NAS and lost everything off that server. If I didn't have back up, I'd have lost everything.

    You need back up, not RAID. RAID comes later... it's a luxury to prevent downtime.. back up is essential.
     
  9. Plodder

    Plodder New Member

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    @Georgestorm

    Sorry to be a killjoy, but as you are asking about backup strategies i have to pose the question... What if something happens to your pc?

    If you have tb's of data you want to protect any backup strategy at all will require this to be backed up, whether its onto cd's, digital tapes other hard drives (with morriors, backup software or whatever), and for any decent lvl of data protection at least one copy shouldnt be in your main pc.

    At the end of the day you have to juggle lvl of data protection over cost.

    A low end backup strategy with decent lvl of data protection would probably be to backup your important data to another pc, which will envolve the cost of a cheap low spec pc and some new drives.

    The cost of this wouldnt be much different to backing up onto your curent pc anyway, would save the problem of fitting more hard drives to it (no idea if this would create any problems in your situation) and would be a much safer solution for your data, especially if you ever take your pc anywhere (lan parties or whatever).
     
  10. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I have no desire to backup the OS drive, merely mentioned it since it's another drive in my PC.

    I've considered it in the past, but always been put off by the cost, it's only since I've started taking pictures that I've realised it's stuff I can't get back (whereas I can always rerip a DVD etc)

    I'm not bothered about being able to continue working etc if a drive fails, from what I understand, with RAID5, say a drive dies, I remove it from the system, then when I get a replacement drive, it will rebuild it or whatever so I won't have lost stuff? And it requires just 1 extra drive which I won't be able to use as storage?

    The consumer products such as synology, drobo etc seem to be incredible pricey, are there cheaper alternatives if all I want is to be able to backup?

    If the cost is too high, I'll just end up buying an external drive and just manually backup photos etc

    Edit:
    In my mind, if something happens to my PC, I lose stuff, that's just the way of life, never considered it, not something I've ever worried about.
    My PC does a fair amount of travelling, either to/from uni or LAN parties.
     
  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Then RAID will not really give you any advantage if a bit of downtime doesn't bother you.


    Correct.


    I don't get this. You're not bothered about downtime, but are worried about losing data, yet you still want RAID? ....then say you're not bothered about data loss. I'm confused.

    RAID is not back up. You need back up first before you start arsing about with RAID. Seriously... you wanna trust me on this. I learned the hard way.
     
  12. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    i think you should just back your stuff up before you RAID it. to be honest, i think that RAID in most home environments isnt necessary, backing up your stuff however though, is.

    Your argument is that with RAID you can loose a disk and be alright, whereas now, if you loose a disk you will be screwed... so why not just back your drives up?!

    RAID is a headache and a pain in the arse when its not working. And what if, you have RAID and your array breaks (which happens) - then, you will be really screwed as you will probably not be able to recover it, and you still haven't got a backup solution in place.
     
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Amen.

    Back up first... then RAID if you fancy a fast storage solution with no downtime.
     
  14. Plodder

    Plodder New Member

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    You can backup to to a cheap low spec pc with windows backup (if you have win7 professional or ultimate), the cost really would be negligable other than the drives, how much does a pc thats able to network and run a couple of hard drives cost to throw together?
     
  15. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Cost Margo.

    I don't like the idea of (/can't afford to) shelling out nearly £400 on drives with no benefit now, only the potential of benefit if stuff were to break.

    And I was meaning if a fire were to happen or whatever, then I'd lose stuff, in my mind I wouldn't be worrying about some files on my PC.

    I'm not bothered about any performance increase, so yeah possibly RAID wouldn't be a sensible option, however I don't think I can afford a backup, and as a result RAID seemed like a good idea (better than none kinda thing).
     
  16. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

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    Just get 8 SSDs in raid 0 for cool speeds and running chrome really fast and delete all your media :D
     
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  17. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Totally wrong attitude.

    This is why most people don't have back up at all. It means buying HDDs and seeing no immediate benefit until they NEED to restore from a back up. They fail to see the point... until they lose stuff.. then they come on here QQing.


    Seriously.. I STRONGLY recommend back up over RAID. You came in here for advice... you're getting it... and ignoring it... :(

    It's your data though. Ignore the advice if you wish. Not being funny here... but why did you bother asking?

    RAID alone will NOT protect you from that... just bear that in mind... you are NOT backed up just because you have RAID.... ESPECIALLY if you use an onboard chipset RAID controller.

    Your data though.....

    :wallbash:
     
  18. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    RAID's break though :( i get where you are coming from that you get the redundancy of one drive - but still they break, and they are a pig to rebuild, and then if you can't rebuild you've lost your stuff anyway.

    Also - how are you going to get your stuff onto the array without a whole heap of space to play with? If you want a RAID 5 with the same amount of storage, you would need to get another 2TB, and, you would need to get a controller (mobo raid is pap), you would then need to move all the data off your drives to put them all into the array, so you are going to need another 8TB just to make this happen. RAID is starting to sound like a pain in the arse.

    buy 2 3TB external drives, and backup. Your not telling me your 8TB or storage is full?
     
  19. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I was about to type a wordy reply, but this pretty much sums it up.

    So backup isn't worth it until you lose all of your stuff. But once you've lost all of your stuff, you won't have anything to back up... Have I followed that correctly?


    RAID IS NOT BA... Oh, never mind
     
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  20. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    I hate raid. It has always caused more problems than it solved for me. I prefer to have differential back up. For this I don't need tons of space, as I only back up stuff that is 'unique', so I don't waste tons of space on game iso and crap like that. If I can rerip or redownload, it doesn't need to be on more than 1 hdd really in my opinion. So for instance, I have 6TB of crap, but only have 2x1TB back up drives for important stuff I don't have on some other media.
     

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