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Thread: Raid

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    Raid

    Now I'm a fan of backups, but I've always made backups of all my data just by copying and pasting to a different hard drive. However I thought that maybe using RAID 1 would be a better idea. I have a 250GB drive at the moment, and I was thinking of getting a second and running the two in RAID 1, so the disks are mirrored.

    I don't have a RAID controller on my motherboard, so I'd have to get a PCI RAID controller also.

    1. Is RAID 1 a good backup strategy, or a waste of money, should I stick to the old copy and paste method?

    2. Is it possible to run a seperate 120GB drive for my OS (Windows XP) and software, and have the RAID running as well for my data?

    3. Are PCI RAID controllers any good? I'm not about to go and buy a new motherboard just for this.

    I'm really intrigued because not many people seem to run RAID in their PC's, it's mainly for datacentres, there must be a reason for this, and I don't want to just waste my money for the novelty of running RAID.

    Note that as this is only for data, performance is not an issue.

    Thanks in advance.

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    HI there - I'll try and answer things one by one

    1. Is RAID 1 a good backup strategy, or a waste of money, should I stick to the old copy and paste method?
    nope RAID isn't a backup strategy at all - its just a way of providing some fault tolerance. Here an example , you buy 2 Hard drives and mirror them , so that if one fails then you have time to replace the drive. However , what if they both fail at once ( which if they were bought at the same time is pretty likely )

    The level to which you take your backupos to depemds on the value of your data to you

    If its really critical stuff , then you might want to consider tape backup for the really important stuff , or burning a regular DVD ( use good quality DVD's ) or perhaps a removable drive you can keep somewhewre else ( then you are covered in the event of burglary )

    2. Is it possible to run a seperate 120GB drive for my OS (Windows XP) and software, and have the RAID running as well for my data?
    yes it is , In fact its probably easier to install windows like that.

    3. Are PCI RAID controllers any good? I'm not about to go and buy a new motherboard just for this.
    They'll do you just fine ( ideally a battery backed one but you can't always get them ) - besides if an onboard raid controller dies then you have to swap out the who motherboard , which makes keeping/ obtaining spares easier ( not that if your radi controller dies , then your RIAD one array might not work on a different model controller so it might be worth keeping a spare

    I hope this answers your questions as for running Servers in an Enterprise environement where uptime is important , then a server not running RAID is a liability. A combination of hotswap drives and a good raid controller can reduce downtime significantly in the event of HD failure. You have to think of hard drive failure as a "when" , not an "if"
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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