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post #2521 of 4005 Old 01-11-2014, 06:26 PM
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I started recording to dvd's in 2007. So far I'm not seeing any audio, or picture quality issues on discs from that period through today. I guess time will tell.

I remember when products were built to last.
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post #2522 of 4005 Old 01-11-2014, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Correct me if I am wrong but don't discs have a shelf life? What would have a longer shelf life --- a properly stored disc or a hard drive that is disconnected and properly stored?

I am asking because I don't know. Other than burning DVDs for the kids in the car I don't burn discs anymore.
A bad quality disc is about one to two years. A good quality disc is about eight to ten years. Hdd should be re-powered every year or so depending on number of platters,temp stored at, magnetic strength, etc etc. best bet is power them up every year for a few seconds.
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post #2523 of 4005 Old 01-11-2014, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaFan63 View Post

I started recording to dvd's in 2007. So far I'm not seeing any audio, or picture quality issues on discs from that period through today. I guess time will tell.
It's not degradation of quality that affects optical discs. It's the glue that binds them that is the problem.
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post #2524 of 4005 Old 01-11-2014, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think so .. But for 35TB it still isn't cheap all those pennies add up
how do you possibly have 35tb of data...?
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post #2525 of 4005 Old 01-12-2014, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

It's not degradation of quality that affects optical discs. It's the glue that binds them that is the problem.
Ok, the only problem I've had so far is when I dropped a disc and it landed on the side and separated. That happened like twice and I tossed the discs. I've had really good luck with just basic Tdk dvd-+r's. I do handle them quite a bit and am not seeing any separation. Good info though.

I remember when products were built to last.
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post #2526 of 4005 Old 01-12-2014, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcain View Post

how do you possibly have 35tb of data...?

It's not all media, but music, pictures, programs, and random stuff. I also have duplicates of stuff for different reasons, and I have some available space. I probably have about 20TB of real used space I'd need to back up if I wanted to do it. I'd love crashplan or some cloud service but it's just so much data for such a service.

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post #2527 of 4005 Old 01-14-2014, 07:46 AM
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I just started reading this thread today, I was focused on RAID 6 for my -soon to be- media storage server which will reside next to the big screen TV. (Now I am looking into RAID Z , of which I had no knowledge.)

I jumped from page 2 of this thread to page 85 for the current info, so please forgive me if M-Disc has been mentioned.

 

 

MediaFan63, and everyone else, you need to be aware of the M-Disc product.  

Pretty much everyone knows that consumer Recordable blank discs are subject to degradation over time and therefore are not as reliable as commercially manufactured discs

.  

Check out http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ , and/or Google M-Disc.

 

You will discover that M-discs have no dye layer, no ink!  

You will need a M-Disc capable optical drive (burner), but the end result disc produced is readable in most all standard optical drives.

LG manufactures the majority of M-Disc drives, both internal and external; they are inexpensive; I suggest you acquire one that also burns BluRay discs (BD compatible).

 

If you want ink jet printable blank media they are available from ProDuplicator.com and Ritek.com.

 

Clearly you will not want to burn your children's movies to M-disc, but pictures of your children - absolutely ! 

Any data that you wish to archive, M-disc is IMHO the best currently available solution. 

And I am one who utilizes RAID mirroring, CrashPlan, Carbonite, Acronis TI , and Mercurium for backup redundancy. 

 

Ritek web site shows BD M-discs available in 1stQ 2014.  

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post #2528 of 4005 Old 01-14-2014, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

I just started reading this thread today, I was focused on RAID 6 for my -soon to be- media storage server which will reside next to the big screen TV. (Now I am looking into RAID Z , of which I had no knowledge.)
I jumped from page 2 of this thread to page 85 for the current info, so please forgive me if M-Disc has been mentioned.


MediaFan63, and everyone else, you need to be aware of the M-Disc product.  
Pretty much everyone knows that consumer Recordable blank discs are subject to degradation over time and therefore are not as reliable as commercially manufactured discs
.  
Check out http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ , and/or Google M-Disc.

You will discover that M-discs have no dye layer, no ink!  
You will need a M-Disc capable optical drive (burner), but the end result disc produced is readable in most all standard optical drives.
LG manufactures the majority of M-Disc drives, both internal and external; they are inexpensive; I suggest you acquire one that also burns BluRay discs (BD compatible).

If you want ink jet printable blank media they are available from ProDuplicator.com and Ritek.com.

Clearly you will not want to burn your children's movies to M-disc, but pictures of your children - absolutely ! 
Any data that you wish to archive, M-disc is IMHO the best currently available solution. 
And I am one who utilizes RAID mirroring, CrashPlan, Carbonite, Acronis TI , and Mercurium for backup redundancy. 

Ritek web site shows BD M-discs available in 1stQ 2014.  



Interesting.

Thanks for posting. Thumbs up biggrin.gif

As for RAID versus software RAID I have tried both a few times now and for media storage sever software RAID is better by a mile.

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post #2529 of 4005 Old 01-14-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

I just started reading this thread today, I was focused on RAID 6 for my -soon to be- media storage server which will reside next to the big screen TV. (Now I am looking into RAID Z , of which I had no knowledge.)
I jumped from page 2 of this thread to page 85 for the current info, so please forgive me if M-Disc has been mentioned.


MediaFan63, and everyone else, you need to be aware of the M-Disc product.  
Pretty much everyone knows that consumer Recordable blank discs are subject to degradation over time and therefore are not as reliable as commercially manufactured discs
.  
Check out http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ , and/or Google M-Disc.

You will discover that M-discs have no dye layer, no ink!  
You will need a M-Disc capable optical drive (burner), but the end result disc produced is readable in most all standard optical drives.
LG manufactures the majority of M-Disc drives, both internal and external; they are inexpensive; I suggest you acquire one that also burns BluRay discs (BD compatible).

If you want ink jet printable blank media they are available from ProDuplicator.com and Ritek.com.

Clearly you will not want to burn your children's movies to M-disc, but pictures of your children - absolutely ! 
Any data that you wish to archive, M-disc is IMHO the best currently available solution. 
And I am one who utilizes RAID mirroring, CrashPlan, Carbonite, Acronis TI , and Mercurium for backup redundancy. 

Ritek web site shows BD M-discs available in 1stQ 2014.  
Very interesting, I probably wouldn't have found out about these discs for quite some time. This is something that I will definitely want when I build my HTPC. I have been using Ram discs for photos. Very cool, love the fact that the writers are reasonably priced too. Thank you. Thumbs up on the way.

I remember when products were built to last.
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post #2530 of 4005 Old 01-14-2014, 06:13 PM
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The "long-term" storage is one of those often debated topics

For library backups, they use LTO cartridges I believe. This is to avoid the "HDDs need to be spun or they die" phenomenon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_Tape-Open

The reason I refer to this as a phenomenon, is that my wife's Dell P3 from back in college is 12 years old. I bought her a laptop 6 years ago and the p3 gathered dust ever since. The Samsung spinpoint 20GB hard drive still works fine, but we have no use for it since it's old and slow (PATA). This is one of those junk systems we should have gotten rid of years ago, but it still works and we never threw it out. I know it worked a year ago when I installed flexraid on our server, because I copied all of her old school data off of it (painful transfer speed)

If the HDDs in my flexraid array lasts 12+ years as well, I'll be pretty impressed. Hopefully PCI based flash storage will decrease in price a lot, and I'll just copy everything over to a much improved interface and power friendly storage method. Flash storage is the writing on the wall at this point. It's being manufactured by the truckload for phones, tablets, anything smart, etc. While it's only cheap for small OS drives right now, if it becomes cheap enough for new data-centers to adopt SOHO servers will be shortly behind. OS drives are only the beginning I hope

I also still have my first usb flash drive (64MB) and it works as well, but I've had others die over the years.
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post #2531 of 4005 Old 01-14-2014, 06:14 PM
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Also, I've never had luck with CD-R or DVD-R discs lasting any length of time longer than a year

I believe that mastered "stamped" discs (like my DVD and Blu-ray collection) are supposed to last much longer, and they have lasted much longer in my experience. Not sure how you could replicate this process for personal data
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post #2532 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaFan63 View Post

Ok, the only problem I've had so far is when I dropped a disc and it landed on the side and separated. That happened like twice and I tossed the discs. I've had really good luck with just basic Tdk dvd-+r's. I do handle them quite a bit and am not seeing any separation. Good info though.
There are factors that speed/slow down the process, exposure to uv for example, but eventually the glue that binds will malfunction. I myself use Memorex bd's and have never seen one separate, but I know it is an inevitability.
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post #2533 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

I just started reading this thread today, I was focused on RAID 6 for my -soon to be- media storage server which will reside next to the big screen TV. (Now I am looking into RAID Z , of which I had no knowledge.)
I jumped from page 2 of this thread to page 85 for the current info, so please forgive me if M-Disc has been mentioned.


MediaFan63, and everyone else, you need to be aware of the M-Disc product.  
Pretty much everyone knows that consumer Recordable blank discs are subject to degradation over time and therefore are not as reliable as commercially manufactured discs
.  
Check out http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/ , and/or Google M-Disc.

You will discover that M-discs have no dye layer, no ink!  
You will need a M-Disc capable optical drive (burner), but the end result disc produced is readable in most all standard optical drives.
LG manufactures the majority of M-Disc drives, both internal and external; they are inexpensive; I suggest you acquire one that also burns BluRay discs (BD compatible).

If you want ink jet printable blank media they are available from ProDuplicator.com and Ritek.com.

Clearly you will not want to burn your children's movies to M-disc, but pictures of your children - absolutely ! 
Any data that you wish to archive, M-disc is IMHO the best currently available solution. 
And I am one who utilizes RAID mirroring, CrashPlan, Carbonite, Acronis TI , and Mercurium for backup redundancy. 

Ritek web site shows BD M-discs available in 1stQ 2014.  
I haven't looked in a long time, but if you are interested in raid 6 I would suggest hardware due to write speed differences between the two. Is there a particular reason you are going with level 6 over 5?
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post #2534 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 07:59 AM
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DotJun, the high profile advantage of RAID 6 over 5 is the two drive failure protection compared with the single drive failure protection of RAID 5.  

 

Dark_Slayer, I am a bit hesitant to point this out, but it appears you did not avail yourself of the mdisc.com link which I included in my post.  

It clearly (to me) explains exactly how "...you could replicate this process for personal data"  

 

Briefly , the mdisc is manufactured as a composite of minerals resulting in a 'rock like' substrate product.  

The optical drive LED burns physical pits into that substrate.  

Thus it is very close to the manufactured 'stamped' process.  At least as close as we may reasonably expect to achieve.  

 

Please, check out the info available at the link I provided, as well as various articles/reviews written by several tech people over the years.

Like I said, you should Google 'M-Disc' .

 

Respectfully, Captmcnet 

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post #2535 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

Dark_Slayer, I am a bit hesitant to point this out, but it appears you did not avail yourself of the mdisc.com link which I included in my post.  
It clearly (to me) explains exactly how "...you could replicate this process for personal data"

No, I availed myself to it, but I don't buy it

Stamped disc longevity is a known and tested method (to me) for 10+ year support, as I can attest to my first purchased DVD from 2000 (Matrix) still working nearly 14 years later.

Googling mdisc gives plenty of marketing fluff and an amazon link to purchase. The inclusion of charts such as this make me question the validity of their claims


My personal experiences don't align with the chart

Even if there was some base to their claim (and I don't believe the testing strategy outlined here actually translates into relevant life-predictions) I still wouldn't bother burning optical media just out of personal preference
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post #2536 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 09:53 AM
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They may have meant ordinary DVD-R and not stamped discs. Self-recorded discs have failed quite a bit for me over time, but i can't say i bought the overly expensive versions either.
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post #2537 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 09:58 AM
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Dark_Slayer,

I completely agree that one should be skeptical, and I also agree that the charts are marketing fluff.

 

However, there are articles available concerning extreme conditions testing of disc maeda by the US DOD, as well as I believe NASA, which validate the durability claims for the mdisc. 

 

Also, one's personal preferences are to be respected.

I personally believe in the archival quality of the mdisc product and I certainly hope that belief is justified.

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post #2538 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=ShellShocker-_-22-178-338-_-01152014_1

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post #2539 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 10:39 AM
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Sorry about the "... disc maeda ..." slip up , where is spell-check when you need it?  Clearly it should have been "media". 

Also, I have found other threads dismissing mdisc media because the disc is scratchable!  Who ever said the typical blank media disc is not scratchable?

It should not need to be said but I will say it anyway;

if you hope to read your disc at a future time, Do not scratch it! Do not expose it to extreme temperatures!  Do not slam it edge-on against a hard surface! 

WOW!

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post #2540 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Also, I've never had luck with CD-R or DVD-R discs lasting any length of time longer than a year

I believe that mastered "stamped" discs (like my DVD and Blu-ray collection) are supposed to last much longer, and they have lasted much longer in my experience. Not sure how you could replicate this process for personal data
I'm kind of baffled that you only get a year out of your discs. I've probably got about six thousand give of take a hundred or so. All going strong. I store them in paper window sleeves and handle them quite a bit. The only problem I have is having to wipe paper dust off them Sometimes. You must be really hard on your stuff. If M-discs have a harder coating than Panasonic Ram discs they should last a really long time.

I remember when products were built to last.
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post #2541 of 4005 Old 01-15-2014, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

I haven't looked in a long time, but if you are interested in raid 6 I would suggest hardware due to write speed differences between the two. Is there a particular reason you are going with level 6 over 5?

Can't speak for anyone else, but my next server is going to be RAID-6. RAID-5 is problematic when you are working with multi-terabyte drives, and need to recover an array. In order to rebuild an array after failed drive, you need to read the entire contents of all the other drives. When you look at the published specs for these drives, the likelihood of encountering an unrecoverable read error which can result in catastrophic array failure during a rebuild, is significant, approaching likely.

In some cases you can force a rebuild to continue after encountering a URE, which will "just" result in data corruption instead of complete data loss. Sometimes you just have to recover everything from backup. (everyone does have all their important data backed up, right?!?)

Having encountered this exact scenario with my current RAID-5 setup, I've decided I'd rather not go through the headache again.

Here's some further reading:

ZDNet
TechRepublic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet 
Sorry about the "... disc maeda ..." slip up

disc mæde?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #2542 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

DotJun, the high profile advantage of RAID 6 over 5 is the two drive failure protection compared with the single drive failure protection of RAID 5.  

Dark_Slayer, I am a bit hesitant to point this out, but it appears you did not avail yourself of the mdisc.com link which I included in my post.  
It clearly (to me) explains exactly how "...you could replicate this process for personal data"  

Briefly , the mdisc is manufactured as a composite of minerals resulting in a 'rock like' substrate product.  
The optical drive LED burns physical pits into that substrate.  
Thus it is very close to the manufactured 'stamped' process.  At least as close as we may reasonably expect to achieve.  

Please, check out the info available at the link I provided, as well as various articles/reviews written by several tech people over the years.
Like I said, you should Google 'M-Disc' .

Respectfully, Captmcnet 
I understand the differences between raid levels. I was asking why you think you need level 6 since it sounds like the primary data that is going to be held on your array will be media which you will have backups of?
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post #2543 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Can't speak for anyone else, but my next server is going to be RAID-6. RAID-5 is problematic when you are working with multi-terabyte drives, and need to recover an array. In order to rebuild an array after failed drive, you need to read the entire contents of all the other drives. When you look at the published specs for these drives, the likelihood of encountering an unrecoverable read error which can result in catastrophic array failure during a rebuild, is significant, approaching likely.

In some cases you can force a rebuild to continue after encountering a URE, which will "just" result in data corruption instead of complete data loss. Sometimes you just have to recover everything from backup. (everyone does have all their important data backed up, right?!?)

Having encountered this exact scenario with my current RAID-5 setup, I've decided I'd rather not go through the headache again.

Here's some further reading:

ZDNet
TechRepublic
disc mæde?
Yes, I understand that the likelihood of disc failure during a rebuild of multi terabyte arrays is greater. I should have explained my question better. I assumed that the data he is holding on his array isn't mission critical, that it was just a collection of movies, pictures, etc. he also stated that he has a robust backup method. So when I combine the two, it doesn't sound like level 6 is really needed. Shoot, I could even say level 5 isn't needed, just go snapshot in this case.

One last thing. If your data integrity is so important as you cannot have downtime then you would be better off using multiple smaller arrays vs a single giant array. This on top of regular backups of course.
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post #2544 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:19 AM
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My apologies DotJun, from my perspective there are backups and then there are BACKUPS.

I do not plan to start disposing of the original discs in a cavalier fashion, especially ones I paid for, BUT 

for me the true Archival backups will be 99% family treasures.  There are only a handful of commercial movies 

which I care about, and when shelf space is at a premium a lot of entertainment stuff will be eliminated.

 

Maybe I do not have a good grasp of the big picture, but this is my current thinking.

 

Also, mea culpa on the "LED" mistake.   Of course I should have written Laser, not led.  I must have had led tech on the brain.

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post #2545 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

My apologies DotJun, from my perspective there are backups and then there are BACKUPS.
I do not plan to start disposing of the original discs in a cavalier fashion, especially ones I paid for, BUT 
for me the true Archival backups will be 99% family treasures.  There are only a handful of commercial movies 
which I care about, and when shelf space is at a premium a lot of entertainment stuff will be eliminated.

Maybe I do not have a good grasp of the big picture, but this is my current thinking.

Also, mea culpa on the "LED" mistake.   Of course I should have written Laser, not led.  I must have had led tech on the brain.
I think I did my usual and confused you as to what I was talking about 😄 I was not talking about your backup methods. I was really just curious as to why you chose raid level 6 vs snapshot raid when it doesn't sound like you need 100% uptime on your array. Again, my assumption was that you don't have any data on the array that you absolutely must have access too even during drive failures.
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post #2546 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:40 AM
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DotJun, Thank you for your suggestion of multiple smaller arrays.

Also, have you investigated the Win 8 "Storage Spaces" tech?  Read - Write test results for the mirrored approach 

seem phenomenal.   

 

When each of use writes I am sure we believe we are being clear.  It is entertaining to discover we may not have been.

 

I agree that I have a robust backup system.  At the same time when I talk about Archival backups I am referring primarily 

to M-Disc backups.  All electronic backups , including off-site , are to me fragile. And, like you (I suspect) I want physical,

hardcopy backups of "important" data.  Eventually I may need a bigger house!

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post #2547 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

Yes, I understand that the likelihood of disc failure during a rebuild of multi terabyte arrays is greater. I should have explained my question better. I assumed that the data he is holding on his array isn't mission critical, that it was just a collection of movies, pictures, etc. he also stated that he has a robust backup method. So when I combine the two, it doesn't sound like level 6 is really needed. Shoot, I could even say level 5 isn't needed, just go snapshot in this case.

One last thing. If your data integrity is so important as you cannot have downtime then you would be better off using multiple smaller arrays vs a single giant array. This on top of regular backups of course.

Well, I was addressing the question you asked about why he (I) chose RAID-6. Choosing RAID-6 and needing RAID-6 are two different issues. I don't need RAID-6. I chose my RAID-6 setup because it was the best fit for all of the factors I was weighing. I could certainly get by with RAID-5 (what I've been using all along) or even snapshot RAID. That said I feel that RAID-6 provides me with the best fit for price, performance, reliability and convenience.

I'm not choosing snapshot RAID as my usage patterns aren't conducive to snapshot RAID. I could change my usage patterns, but that would be inconvenient.
I'm not going with RAID-5 again because I'm aware that if I lose a drive there is a good chance that it will result in significant data loss (which if it's one of the thousands of movies that I've ripped, It can be replaced, but I have to figure out which movie was corrupted in the first place which is no small task) or total data loss, which is simply unacceptable. Even though I have all of the original media, the time involved in putting it back on the server after catastrophic failure , just makes RAID-5 far too risky. I'm mulling over the possibility of adding an LTO autoloader to further mitigate the possibility of having to rerip everything.

Yes, adding a RAID-6 capable controller and SAS expander, will make my build more expensive, but when the cost of the bare drives will be north of $4000, I don't mind spending an extra $500-$600 to sleep better at night. Since the array will be exclusively accessed over gigabit ethernet, the performance of RAID-6 shouldn't be an issue.

If I were to go with multiple small RAID-5 arrays, I would either need a bigger (or secondary) case and additional drives in order to maintain the same amount of storage, or I would have to significantly reduce the amount of usable storage in my build. Either option is going to have a pretty significant impact on my $/GB, much more so than the cost of getting the RAID-6 card and expander. And while I do want to keep the server up as much as possible (my current server has been available every minute that the power has been on since I built it) I'm less concerned with the downtime of the server compared to the time I have to dedicate to re-ripping movies.

So while I don't need RAID-6, I think it is the best fit for my wants.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #2548 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:53 AM
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DotJun, I see we are playing leap-frog here with our responses. 

To satisfy your curiosity, take a hint from my robust backup approach.  I am probably way over cautious.

I try to install fail-safe tech everywhere, all the time.  I clearly do not have the broad experience level of 

many of you who contribute routinely to tech forums.,

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post #2549 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captmcnet View Post

DotJun, Thank you for your suggestion of multiple smaller arrays.
Also, have you investigated the Win 8 "Storage Spaces" tech?  Read - Write test results for the mirrored approach 
seem phenomenal.   

When each of use writes I am sure we believe we are being clear.  It is entertaining to discover we may not have been.

I agree that I have a robust backup system.  At the same time when I talk about Archival backups I am referring primarily 
to M-Disc backups.  All electronic backups , including off-site , are to me fragile. And, like you (I suspect) I want physical,
hardcopy backups of "important" data.  Eventually I may need a bigger house!
You're welcome. I was hoping my posts didn't sound argumentative or anything like that. Hard to get good natured conversation across on these forums sometime 😊

I tried out storage spaces when I first got windows 8 just to check it out. My problem with it is that if my computer for whatever reason shuts down or reboots abruptly, windows thinks a drive failed which means it will rebuild the pool the next time you boot up.

I hear you about having physical media as backup. It just makes me sleep better at night haha I would be devastated if I were to lose my family pictures and videos. I also think I grow more paranoid of this as I get older because what started out as just a backup copy at home has turned to a copy at home, work and cloud haha
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post #2550 of 4005 Old 01-16-2014, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Well, I was addressing the question you asked about why he (I) chose RAID-6. Choosing RAID-6 and needing RAID-6 are two different issues. I don't need RAID-6. I chose my RAID-6 setup because it was the best fit for all of the factors I was weighing. I could certainly get by with RAID-5 (what I've been using all along) or even snapshot RAID. That said I feel that RAID-6 provides me with the best fit for price, performance, reliability and convenience.

I'm not choosing snapshot RAID as my usage patterns aren't conducive to snapshot RAID. I could change my usage patterns, but that would be inconvenient.
I'm not going with RAID-5 again because I'm aware that if I lose a drive there is a good chance that it will result in significant data loss (which if it's one of the thousands of movies that I've ripped, It can be replaced, but I have to figure out which movie was corrupted in the first place which is no small task) or total data loss, which is simply unacceptable. Even though I have all of the original media, the time involved in putting it back on the server after catastrophic failure , just makes RAID-5 far too risky. I'm mulling over the possibility of adding an LTO autoloader to further mitigate the possibility of having to rerip everything.

Yes, adding a RAID-6 capable controller and SAS expander, will make my build more expensive, but when the cost of the bare drives will be north of $4000, I don't mind spending an extra $500-$600 to sleep better at night. Since the array will be exclusively accessed over gigabit ethernet, the performance of RAID-6 shouldn't be an issue.

If I were to go with multiple small RAID-5 arrays, I would either need a bigger (or secondary) case and additional drives in order to maintain the same amount of storage, or I would have to significantly reduce the amount of usable storage in my build. Either option is going to have a pretty significant impact on my $/GB, much more so than the cost of getting the RAID-6 card and expander. And while I do want to keep the server up as much as possible (my current server has been available every minute that the power has been on since I built it) I'm less concerned with the downtime of the server compared to the time I have to dedicate to re-ripping movies.

So while I don't need RAID-6, I think it is the best fit for my wants.
I asked because I too was using level 6 until I rebuilt my array when the WD red 3tb came out. I switched to level 5 at that time because my backup method changed and I didn't like the slower writes on level 6, though that could be because of my 3ware card.

Like you I have the physical media available if I have an array failure. Unlike you though, I encode my movies which takes hours upon hours to finish. I figured I could stick with level 6, but in the event of catastrophic array failure I would have to re-encode hundreds of hours of movies.

Well that wouldn't do, so I had to come up with something better for myself which meant raid 5 with backups of my encoded movies. It's a lot faster to just copy the backup over to the array than for me to have to encode all over again.

Oops, I forgot to say why I don't opt for snapshot raid. Well there are a few actually. 1) I have a couple of 3ware raid cards so why not. 2) I keep data in a smaller array that I need access to anytime I need them. 3) if I had snapshot and the drive that held the movie that my wife wanted t watch at the time failed, I would never hear the end of it. It would sound something like this: I don't know why you don't just stick to those DVD discs that never fail blah blah blah 😄

Oh, also you mentioned something about not knowing which file was corrupted during an array failure? Your raid management will tell you that after the rebuild if for some reason it was not able to fix it automatically.
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