Please help with storage/disk setup configuration. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Gang,

I lost a HD the other day, so naturally I'm going to setup a better scheme to protect my data. Luckily I only lost movies and music...no pictures or personal information. Phew!

Ok, so I've got a mismatch of drives. I don't know the exact model numbers:

Motherboard has 6 SATA ports, one is used for a BluRay drive.
64 GB - SSD running windows 7 Pro

Storage:
500 Gb external Seagate
1 TB WD Caviar Green
1 TB Seagate
2 GB WD Caviar Green (RMA currently in the works for this faulty drive)
2 TB Free Agent external drive
3 TB Free Agent external Drive (on the way from Amazon)

Would the Guru's here be able to recommend a few ways to configure my storage please? I'm not against popping open the external drives and using them internally. I'll probably copy all the pictures and irreplaceable data to the 500 GB and put that one in the safe deposit box just in case.

With RAID 5 not an option in windows, is mirroring the best way to go? I could mirror the 1 TB drives, mirror the 2 TB drives, then set up a weekly backup to the 3TB external drive.

That would essentially give me 3 TB of usable space with a hot spare and an external backup. But going from 9TB of storage down to 3 TB isn't the most appealing.

Is it possible to span a 1TB with a 2TB drive, then mirror with a 3TB drive?

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

I'm confused too.

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 09:46 AM
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I'm certainly no expert here, but your best bet might be something like FlexRaid. It looks like it will be perfect for your setup.

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Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 11:32 AM
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You didn't really list what your goals were - How much data do you have and how much free space do you need? What type of redundancy do you require? Anything can be backed up to anything, such as your example of a 1TB+2TB backed up to a 3TB, and you don't need to span for that.

I'll give you my example...
-movies & shows are on (3) 2TB disks which are mirrored to (2) 3TB disks that are offline.
-personal data is on each workstation which gets mirrored to the server which is then mirrored with 2 offline disks that get rotated and one is stored off site.

For me... I don't have a lot of data so can afford to mirror my A/V drives and have (4) copies of personal data.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-24-2012, 02:35 PM
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I'm not sure what gives you the impression that RAID 5 somehow won't work under Windows, but it does. If you have a fairly recent motherboard, the built-in controller usually supports RAID 5.

With your array of storage devices, though, a standard RAID isn't feasible. If you want redundancy and don't care about drive pooling, you can try SnapRAID. If you want redundancy and pooling within Windows you can add Drivebender to your setup or use FlexRAID.

If you just want backup, though, there are a number of free or for-purchase options to automate backups, which is probably all you really need.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-25-2012, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks gang,

I've probably got about 3.5 ~ 4 TB of actual data between movies, pics, music. I'd consider the pictures to be the most important, but smallest group of data. Let's use 4 TB as the amount of actual data to protect in this scenario please.

Currently pictures and music stored on one of the 1 TB drives.
Some movies are on a different 1 TB drive
Just lost about 1.5 TB of movies due to a failed 2TB WD Green drive. (The RMA is in the works. Looking forward to re-ripping the movies to a protected/RAID/more stable storage solution.)

I have the single TB drives backed up externally to a 2 TB drive. Shame on me for not backing up the 2TB WD Green drive to another location.

I'm all for mirroring drives at this point. Then backing up the array to an external solution once a week or so. The disk spanning option was just to make things look a little simpler in Windows. is it possible to mirror or span drives of different makes/models? Is it possible to mirror drives of different sizes? (The smaller being the primary.)

As far as RAID 5 in Windows 7... I haven't tried it, but in researching it appears this option was removed somewhere between windows XP and Windows 7 versions. I could be wrong. I run windows 7 Pro on the pc in question.

Definitely going to look into FlexRaid. DOwnloaded the demo. Hoping to play a bit this weekend after the RMA drive arrives.

I'm confused too.

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post #6 of 8 Old 05-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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If pics are important id still recommend actual back up over the raid set up

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-25-2012, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

If pics are important id still recommend actual back up over the raid set up

+1
Keep your extremely important stuff backed up to something external to the system (hard drive, DVD, ect) and since you have windows installed I would recommend either drive bender r flex raid also.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-25-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

If pics are important id still recommend actual back up over the raid set up

+1...

RAID is not a backup strategy. In fact, there isn't a live redundancy technology that can fulfill an actual backup strategy. RAID and other live data redundancy technologies are all about maximizing up-time for the data (ie. reducing or eliminating down-time when a failure occurs).

If you only have RAID protecting your data, there is nothing to protect you against, theft, fire, user error, or data-corrupting software issues. For that, you need an off-site backup.
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