phantelope wrote in post #16577394
My 1TB drive is basically full (as is the backup of course) so I need to expand. I might finally get my act together and figure out this RAID thing (I have online backup with CrashPlan, so it's not ultra important to have this extra level of security.
But, what size of drive to buy? It's tempting to get 2 or 4TB drives so I don't have to deal with this again for a while, but I read somewhere that the larger ones simply have more disks (and readers and mechanics) in them, which adds a bit of possible failure chance. Or is it comparable to having four 1TB drives (with all their mechanics etc)?
I'd like to have at least 2TB (and the same as backup), should I go to 4? It's less of a price issue to me, more a reliability and clutter on my desk issue.
I don't know an awful lot about photography but I've been asked to post here. I think you are posting on the wrong forum and you'd be better suited to posting at a computer forum such as hardforum. To answer your question, I think some 3TB western digital reds, 4TB are okay but slightly less reliable, with a bay to load HDDs and freefilesync with truecrypt or bitlocker will achieve your goal. If you'd like to go a more expensive route, then an atom based computer or xeon will achieve your goal. Do not concern yourself with RAID in my opinion. It's a disaster waiting to happen. I'm not saying RAID is bad, it's just overrated for home use.
mike_d wrote in post #16577598
I'd buy two 4TB drives of different brands. Work from one, backup to the other.
This is bad advice; there's no logic in buying 4TB drives of different brands, 3TB drives are more reliable and it's better to stick with the same brand.
John from PA wrote in post #16577766
Do you really need ready access to all those images? I'd get a good cataloging program and start burning to DVD. It's lot of work now, but as you move forward if you do this on a regular basis it isn't a difficult task. Just remember FIFO, first in first out.
This is poor advice. DVD's do not hold enough data; I'd be surprised if a DVD holds enough data for one hour of shooting with RAW images.
RileyNZL wrote in post #16577982
Modern drives have higher storage densities per platter, so an old 1tb drives might have 4 discs inside at 250gb per disc, where as a new one might do the same but on 2 discs. Drives from the same model line that are all modern, for example the Western digital Green line, do indeed increase capacity by adding more internal platters, from what I know platter density is about 750gb-1tb per platter atm.
If you are looking at RAID, don't bother with RAID 5, RAID1 or RAID 1+0 however are good.
Buying two drives, and using one to back up the other (manually or via a backup program) is probably the best bang for your buck, however there are a few things to consider. Where do you store your second drive? If there both in your computer and it gets stolen or broken etc, there goes your backup along with original. If you have the backup as an external drive, and your house burns down, it's the same case.
Ideally, if you can afford to do it, and the data is worth enough to you, having an on location backup as well as an off location backup is the way to go.
Looking quickly online, 3tb drives, followed closely by 4tb are the best $/TB.
Western digital greens should not be recommended for RAID anything. You can keep the drives in the computer while you use them and then take them out after you've powered the computer off such as with the device here but do keep in mind that although SATA is hotswappable, most HDDs are not.
ImCBParker wrote in post #16578568
I cannot recommend going to a a NAS/RAID drive system enough. I was sick of constantly swapping external hard drives, then I bought a Drobo a couple years ago and I do not know what I would do without it. If it dies, I can buy a new one and just put the existing drives in. There are lots of cheap alternatives out there. It will cost more up front than an external drive, but it scales a lot better.
NAS/RAID systems are overrated and used for simplicity. The RAID systems they use are poor and even if you put the most reliable HDDs in them, it won't matter because a few years down the line when you can no longer buy the same NAS model, you'll find it EXTREMELY difficult to swap your RAID array to another RAID card.
It's far easier to get an HDD bay and take out the HDD(s) after backup or to build another small computer with an atom or xeon and then use software mirroring. If you use drive encryption with truecrupt or bitlocker, you will have difficulties with certain drive mirroring software; however, a program like freefilesync will allow backups in addition to full drive encryption.
mike_d wrote in post #16578668
RAID is not a backup. Repeat x 10.
As long as everyone knows that you still need to backup your data, RAID/NAS devices can be very useful. Almost all of my data lives on a Synology NAS. I have 3 backups.
They're fast to set up but in every other aspect they are inferior to building a small server. Unfortunately, the term "backup" has two definitions--the literal definition and the IT colloquialism. RAID can be, by literal definition, a backup of sorts but it's such a poor backup that people don't really consider it a backup that's why they use terms like "proper backup" but really there's no such thing. Unfortunately people try to associate one or two word labels with something too complex. You are better to understand what RAID is and how it works instead of trying to fit one or two word labels to it. It can be useful for read and write times or uptime. RAID can add new problems when the RAID card starts to fail, for example it'll try to rebuild data on another disk and end up screwing with both, assuming you're using RAID 1. You're not going to get the benefits of uptime with a home computer because the HDDs you'll use are likely to be non hot swappable HDDs.
Eyal wrote in post #16580254
This is not a raid / HDD / hardware forum, so I will not get into it too much.
But to be simple clear, both of you are completely wrong.
Today's technology is way more advanced than how you describe it, which was true maybe 20 years no. Not now.
If your raid controller or motherboard dies, all of your data is still accessible using a different raid card or motherboard (the raid and data is stored on the HDDs along with the file structure, and not
on the controller). Raid technology is universal (even it it varies slightly between controllers). You can move a raid between a motherboard and a dedicated controller if you know how. And this can be done without touching your data. Even if one of your raid drives is lost.
I can vouch for all of this. It works. Seamlessly almost if you know what you are doing.
This is not true in all cases. RAID hasn't improved much over the years. You're still generally in trouble if you buy something like a Synology NAS and then it breaks and you wish to transfer your RAID array to a computer. Trying to swap a RAID array from a dedicated card to the motherboard's RAID system is also trouble.
Eyal wrote in post #16580254
Regarding chance to losing a second drive on a raid5 or a third on a raid6 or 2 on the same strip of raid 10, or 4 on raid 60, well, it can. Also your computer can die because of an electricity spike, or you can lose several days of data if your HDD dies without a backup. And your external drive can suddenly be dead when you want to restore something off it. **** happens.
But if you use several ways to save your data, you will be covered about 99.9% of the time from any problems.
Also, there are several different raids beside the normal ones. Disk extender, raid-z, unraid and other sort of software raid to spread files between HDDs (which some don't have an active backup if a HDD dies, but still not everything is gone).
Anyway, as this has gone way too much into hardware mode, I suggest two things (three if you want to go the extra mile):
1. Using 2 HDDs in raid 1 (which is just a mirror, no strips or parity). This way there is always a copy on the same computer. Using 2x4TB of drives will make sure that even if one dies, there is always a second with exactly the same data available. You will never be "offline" from your data.
2. Files you have edited and are important to you, to save on a second 2TB+ external drive once a week (which can be setup automatically, so you don't even have to do anything beside hooking the HDD and let it run its automatic backup).
3. If you really want to be sure, duplicate that external drive to a second one and save in a different place.
This whole exercise really depends on how much data you have.
I personally have 10TB of data at home (work related) and 2TB of data stored away which is more important to me (family, projects and so on which I will rip my already missing hair if I lose it).
You don't have to use enterprise level drives. They cost a fortune. There tons of solutions like the WD blues or reds, but green or barracuda can be just as fine if you run them in raid 1 and aren't expensive at all.
I hope this wall of text (which was supposed to be simple) is more clear.
A lot of this is nonsense but you're correct about reds--they are quite reliable. You'll generally need enterprise level drives if you want to hot swap which is essential if you want to sustain uptime otherwise you might as well not bother with RAID for its uptime at all.
Eyal wrote in post #16582376
If you are running a raid in your computer and you have a problem with hardware, you can either let someone who knows what he is doing fix it, or you can do it yourself if you put your mind to it.
If your HDD dies will you throw it on the floor yelling "work damn you!" and try again? of course not. You will take it to a place which can restore your data for you.
Besides, setting up a raid today is almost dummy proof. Its completely a 5 steps (or less) setup. And 99% of the time you only have to do it once.
I didn't also say it was for everyone. But for people who need large space for storage and are afraid of failures and losing their data which they have yet made a backup to, this is the best solution.
To me it looks like people are more afraid of it because "raid is unknown to be". The same as some people are afraid of a new TV remote or hooking up a receiver to speakers. And the comments earlier about raid not as safe, are years outdated.
This is completely up to a user usage.
Raid can be a home backup, it can be an active redundant solution, it can be both. You are the one who choose what it will be.
Raid has a redundancy function, but you can store on it your data with less worry about the whole data going *poof* because your backup HDD suddenly died. It can replace other backup solutions like an external HDD or storing 10000 DVDs on the side for a long time.
Its a more expensive solution, but chances are it will out-live your external HDD by several years.
I disagree, it's not the best solution. It's one of the worst solutions and least future ready solution. If you keep a backup of your data on an external drive and computer technology changes a lot, you can still be sure to read the data on a USB drive reader.