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Thread: Time to replace my storage

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    The Irish Drunk! neonplanet40's Avatar
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    Time to replace my storage

    Ok guys as some you might have heard, a while back one of my hdd's failed and another sounded as if it was going the same way (its still alive thus far and the other has been replaced)

    Im now looking a backup solution for all my data 1.5TB worth.

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...y-annoyed.html

    Thats the thread there if anyone is interested.

    So i now need a solution,. I dont want to have 5-6 HDD's in my computer to be honest so i need something outside the case. I will also need to raid it in case one should die again.

    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    How is something like the above? Or is there other options. I think it is going to cost quite a bit as i will have to buy new large hdd's etc.

    Also when setting up raid will i have to use 4 clean drives or can i use 2 drives which are full (500gb's each) and 2 new ones.

    Thanks for your help guys. Im open to suggestions as i have never done this before.

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Something like the NAS box you've linked to are good, and you can reuse the HDD that you've got but you still have to wipe them down and build a RAID array from scratch.

    I *think* if you start with the two new drives in there in RAID 1, you can then expand the array onto the two additional discs after you've copied the data across. This'll give you 1TB of storage space, with the ability to survive two discs failing at the same time.

    RAID 5 would be more ideal, but you'd have to start with 3 discs to begin with, and expand it to the 4th, this should give you about 1.5TB of storage and the capability for 1 disc to fail.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    This is a tricky one because of the large amount of data...

    Basically a RAID set up is not really a backup solution. It does give you immunity to a single drive failing, but doesn't give protection if you suffer some other form of hardware failure that corrupts the file system - it just means that both drives will be corrupt and potentially unreadable.

    However you could use some form of NAS device as a backup store, but again you are backing up to mechanical devices - which can (and will) fail, although by backing up a RAID 1 array to another RAID 1 array, you are reducing the risk of data loss considerably.

    Does all this data have to be available online or can you archive some of it? You can archive to hard drives, but again you have a single hard drive stuck on the shelf, with the risk that it may not operate when you need it.

    So we end upo at the traditional archive material - tape. Tapes are pretty cheap per/gigabyte, but the initial outlay is high. An Ultrium2 tape will store 400Gbytes worth of data (compressed) at a cost of about £15/per tape - but the drive itself (barebones) will cost around £600, and you will need an LVD SCSI card to drive it - look at about another £120-£150 and the initial outllay is getting pretty high.

    (I am ignoring options such as ISCSI as they are basically remote hard drive mirrors - good for business continuity, but not really a backup in the sense that I think you mean)

    There is one other solution - offline storage. There are a number of companies that will store data for you. BT also offer something (I think its called home vault) There is a monthly charge which I think is based on the volume you are storing with them.

    Basically it comes down to how valuable you data is, how easy it would be to replace if it was lost, and how much you are prepared to trade cost/convenience/reliability.
    Last edited by peterb; 08-01-2008 at 04:34 PM.
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Well guys from looking at this in total for the thecus 4100 and 4 500gb hard drives im looking at about say roughly £600. Is this the best thing i can do for the money?

    Also what if the power cuts out some night or somthing will this 4100 protect my data in anyway or will it all just currupt and ill never see my data again.

    I am happy enough with Raid 5 as i dont have the money for raid 1 (i have 1.5tb of data and the 4100 only allows you to hold 4 drives so i would need to buy 4 750gb drives or 4 1TB drives to hold it in raid 1 i think) but if it will protect me from a drive failure i will hopefully have enough time to go a buy another drive to replace it.

    Just want to make sure im buying the best thing for the money. And is the Thecus the best one to get as ive never bought anything like this before? Also do i have to use all the same type or hard drives. I dont mean size but manufacturer. As i have a new 500gb samsung but after the last debacle i had with samsung in the first place, i want to go back to western digital as i find them more reliable. Is this ok? (1 samsung 500 and 3 WD 500's?)

    Thanks guys

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    A NAS device will survive a power cut just like a PC will, after all, thats all they are really.

    Although you are probably less likey to have data integrity problems because of the more robust file system (more rebust than FAT/FAT32 certainally, not sure about NTFS) used in these linux based systems. Also, you have RAID-5 on it too

    You should be fine with different drives. That is one advantage of software based setups like the Thecus units. True hardware RAID controllers and units still like to have identical drives on all ports

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    I'd personally suggest getting a UPS for your NAS - as long as both parties share the ability to do remote shutdown. i.e. when the power fails, the UPS tells the NAS to shutdown properly, thus syncing all your data nicely and the UPS provides enough power to allow the shutdown to occur.

    That should protect your data from corruption in the case of a power cut.

    Otherwise, as was suggested eariler, some kind of off-site, offline storage. One I found which was particularly reasonable is Amazon S3 - after the initial upload of your important data, the cost per GB-month is not too bad. I've been considering this for the stuff I cannot get back, or cannot easily retrieve, such as my work, some of my music etc.
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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    A NAS device will survive a power cut just like a PC will, after all, thats all they are really.

    Although you are probably less likey to have data integrity problems because of the more robust file system (more rebust than FAT/FAT32 certainally, not sure about NTFS) used in these linux based systems. Also, you have RAID-5 on it too

    You should be fine with different drives. That is one advantage of software based setups like the Thecus units. True hardware RAID controllers and units still like to have identical drives on all ports
    Not true for modern hardware RAID controllers anymore.
    I've had mixed Seagate / Maxtor drive in the same array on my 3Ware 9500S-8 without any performance penalty / stability issue.

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    Not true for modern hardware RAID controllers anymore.
    I've had mixed Seagate / Maxtor drive in the same array on my 3Ware 9500S-8 without any performance penalty / stability issue.
    Thats good to know. Although i think it is still true of enterprise level NAS and SAN systems, although that could be just to get you to buy their own over priced "certified" drives

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    So what dirves are best for this? Ill have to buy 3 500gb drives. Is there some that are better for this kind of thing than others or will i just get the usual?

    Im not interested in storage online as 1.5TB is alot to upload on a 256kb upload speed lol

    Is this similar to the thecus? Amazon.co.uk: HP Media Smart Home Server: Electronics & Photo

    You get 2 x 500GB drives with it and its able to hold another 2. So is it the same or a completly different thing? Its just around the same price once you add in the cost of 2 drives.

    Will be ordering stuff tomorrow.

    Thanks Guys

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    The HP is more than just storage - it ccontains a cut down version of MS server 2003 - Home server. However it is dead headed so you need to use remote desktop to control it. I think it is possible to install applications such as music streaming etc if you wish.

    It is quite versatile, look at the HP site for more details though.
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    So do you think this would be better to go for than the thecus 4100+?

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    The HP is probably more versatile - the Thecus will do what it says on the tin

    You are going to have to look at the specs on the Thecus and HP sites and decide which meets your requirement and budget.
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    500GB drives cost around £60 each at the moment.
    It seems to me you should be grabbing an old PC from ebay, get a SATA controller for it (if it needs it) and stick 4 hard drives in it for 2TB storage. Whack linux on it and use it as a remote backup drive.

    keep it under the stairs or wherever suits you and just use it as a backup drive.

    Same job as the box from SCAN just much cheaper.

    Could even configure it as a server if you are feeling feisty

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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Ok i had just ordered the N4100+ from scan but have just cancelled my order. Have been reading reviews on the thecus and the read and write times are terrible. So the hp media server isnt out till the 22nd so i think i will get one of them.
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    EarlGrey would i be better just building my own computer? Get a cheap dell or something? I see the HP Media Server doesnt seem to have raid which isnt great.

    Anyone got any ideas on what i should do? I have about £500 and need to buy 3x 500GB drives with that as well. What kind of speaks should i be looking for?

    Would i put windows home server on it?
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    Re: Time to replace my storage

    Well I wasn't very impressed with the HP page, but digging around found this data sheet

    NewRender

    Which implies that it is a RAID system (although as it is aimed at the home non-tekkie market it doesn't use the word raid, but just says that teh data is 'shared across multiple drives' (which sounds like raid to me) However I think it is a bit more versatile as I think you can set up raid partitions, so you don't have to raid entire discs (unless you want to) You can add esata discs for backup too.

    Going price seems to be around £400. Friend of mine has one (haven't had a chance to ask about the specifics) but he seems pleased with it. (As for me, I'll stick with a linux system for my file server )
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