Advice on raid enclosure?


IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#1
I dunno if the is the right place to post this but here i go.

I have been taking photos for sometime. and the only backup i do is mirroring on a separate harddrive.

now that i am less poor of a person, i am thinking of investing in a 4-bay raid 10 enclosure. I'm also thinking of subscribing to acronis online backup to store my images.

So... I would like to ask, which brand of a raid enclosure is a more reliable brand? price is less of a factor (like i would rather pay for more sandisk memory cards, than the cheaper toshiba/hitachi/kingston cards), since i don't think it will cost alot.

(and if any pro knows, which type should i get? usb3 vs. esata vs. nas, i've got slots for all of these)
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#2
Hello, IsenGrim.
I use Drobo - the one with 4 bays that runs on BeyondRaid.
I have 3 x 2T HDD on it, leaving one bay empty for future expansion.
 

IsenGrim

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#3
Hello, IsenGrim.
I use Drobo - the one with 4 bays that runs on BeyondRaid.
I have 3 x 2T HDD on it, leaving one bay empty for future expansion.
Oh! Drobo is the enclosure brand and beyondraid is the hardware raid card? or a raid software?
 

limwhow

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#4
Oh! Drobo is the enclosure brand and beyondraid is the hardware raid card? or a raid software?
Precisely.
Drobo is the brand of the enclosure.
There are, as we know, various levels of RAID.
Honestly I myself am can't exactly remember which RAID is what after studying them and trying to memorise them.
But HyperRaid is a proprietary RAID software which Drobo uses that is probably not too dissimilar with RAID 5 or 6 (pardon, my memory fails me).
 

noraa80

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Nov 4, 2009
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#5
personally i think that Raid is not useful as a backup option.

the main thing that could go wrong on a raid setup is
1. Raid card failure ====> all data lost
2. always on with NAS means shorter HDD lifespan and hotter HDD as well.
3. It goes that same for the Raid circult board as well.
expensive rebuild from pros. Raid is not a replacement service for backup. it is used for reduce downtime.

Main failure on manual mirroring is
1. HDD failure and you will still have another copy in your other hdd.
 

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Alpc

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#6
Frankly, no matter what... You need to work using this basis - the more the merrier: As in having backups in as many copies as you can... Why?

1) If you keep in a separate HDD - what can guarantee that this HDD will not fail?
2) If you keep in a CD/DVD - what can guarantee that this CD/DVD will not fail/"rot"?
3) If you keep in a RAID enclosure - what can guarantee that the files will not get corrupted after some period of time? What can gurarantee that the corrupted file will not propagate to the other copies in the RAID?

Remember that companies with pretty robust backup policy can still lose data, what about your simple set up?

So, if you are absolutely thinking of not wanting to lose anything... Start thinking about how to do your backups, spread to as many media - CD/DVD/BR, tapes (LTO), separate HDDs, RAID enclosures to start - as possible to try to reduce the possilibity of 1 failure which can eliminate your chances of getting back a copy of the data. This also means, you will also need to fork out some $$$$ to fulfill this requirement.
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#7
personally i think that Raid is not useful as a backup option.

the main thing that could go wrong on a raid setup is
1. Raid card failure ====> all data lost
2. always on with NAS means shorter HDD lifespan and hotter HDD as well.
3. It goes that same for the Raid circult board as well.
expensive rebuild from pros. Raid is not a replacement service for backup. it is used for reduce downtime.

Main failure on manual mirroring is
1. HDD failure and you will still have another copy in your other hdd.
right now my biggest fear is disk failure, which is much much, more possible than a raid failure. I'll have to build on protecting against raid failure after i get this step down.

Frankly, no matter what... You need to work using this basis - the more the merrier: As in having backups in as many copies as you can... Why?

1) If you keep in a separate HDD - what can guarantee that this HDD will not fail?
2) If you keep in a CD/DVD - what can guarantee that this CD/DVD will not fail/"rot"?
3) If you keep in a RAID enclosure - what can guarantee that the files will not get corrupted after some period of time? What can gurarantee that the corrupted file will not propagate to the other copies in the RAID?

Remember that companies with pretty robust backup policy can still lose data, what about your simple set up?

So, if you are absolutely thinking of not wanting to lose anything... Start thinking about how to do your backups, spread to as many media - CD/DVD/BR, tapes (LTO), separate HDDs, RAID enclosures to start - as possible to try to reduce the possilibity of 1 failure which can eliminate your chances of getting back a copy of the data. This also means, you will also need to fork out some $$$$ to fulfill this requirement.
I understand that there is alot to be done if i want a complete model, but its not possible to be complete at my level. I just want what I can achieve right now, and build on it later.

probably adding mirroring against raid failure and online backup against natural disasters.

I'm not so much in fear of losing my archieved images. I'm gonna be sad for a while and get over it. I fear loosing yesterday's shoot's images, which I have yet to deliver!


Well, anyway, Now I have choices between Drobo vs Synology.
Drobo seems to be geared towards advanced BeyondRaid systems, making raid much easier; and Synology seems more geared towards NAS, user experience, backing up experience instead of the technology behind it.

I'm gear more towards Drobo, but any bros with experience, would like to share?
 

kwttan

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#8
Even with backup using RAID 0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume), 1 (creates an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two or more disks) or 5 (uses block-level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks) , don't forget there is something call data corruption. So it is always recommended to have another copy, e.g DVD, thumb drive,... for those extremely important pictures/data, assuming that you have deleted the copy in your SD/CF card.
 

noraa80

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Nov 4, 2009
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#9
i have been using synology for 4 years, System is stable. but i have kept it's operating temperature at <20C. ( i studied in uk then.)
synology allows you to back up your raid via USB to a external hdd if i remember correctly. It support ups monitoring as well.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#10
personally i think that Raid is not useful as a backup option.
the main thing that could go wrong on a raid setup is
1. Raid card failure ====> all data lost
2. always on with NAS means shorter HDD lifespan and hotter HDD as well.
3. It goes that same for the Raid circult board as well.
expensive rebuild from pros. Raid is not a replacement service for backup. it is used for reduce downtime.
RAID is not a backup, it is a redundancy approach. Backups have a different purpose and both things should not be mixed up. It could create a false sense of safety.
RAID card failures can be avoided by simply not using appliances with them. Linux based systems support RAID in the kernel and many NAS appliances use this way to create the RAID arrays. Big advantage: even if the entire appliances fails a single disks of RAID1 array is enough to recover the data in a different machine, e.g. using USB adapter or directly attached.
HDD need cooling, regardless whether in NAS or directly in PC. To me, two things help most to reduce heat strokes: proper cooling concept / airflow design (here most simple NAS boxes fail, too little space) and usage of 5400rpm drives instead of 7200rpm. Thanks to large caches the average user and especially when used in NAS will not notice any difference - but the temperature is about 5 degrees lower n identical cooling setup. If possible one should use smartmontools or vendor tools to monitor temperature. According many sources in Internet the reported temperature should not be higher than 45 degrees.
Using Windows and "Dynamic Disk" is the worst idea one can ever have. Thanks to the proprietary stuffs Redmond uses there seem to be no way to recover data. Luckily most NAS appliances come with embedded Linux system.
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#11
RAID is not a backup, it is a redundancy approach. Backups have a different purpose and both things should not be mixed up. It could create a false sense of safety.
RAID card failures can be avoided by simply not using appliances with them. Linux based systems support RAID in the kernel and many NAS appliances use this way to create the RAID arrays. Big advantage: even if the entire appliances fails a single disks of RAID1 array is enough to recover the data in a different machine, e.g. using USB adapter or directly attached.
HDD need cooling, regardless whether in NAS or directly in PC. To me, two things help most to reduce heat strokes: proper cooling concept / airflow design (here most simple NAS boxes fail, too little space) and usage of 5400rpm drives instead of 7200rpm. Thanks to large caches the average user and especially when used in NAS will not notice any difference - but the temperature is about 5 degrees lower n identical cooling setup. If possible one should use smartmontools or vendor tools to monitor temperature. According many sources in Internet the reported temperature should not be higher than 45 degrees.
Using Windows and "Dynamic Disk" is the worst idea one can ever have. Thanks to the proprietary stuffs Redmond uses there seem to be no way to recover data. Luckily most NAS appliances come with embedded Linux system.
Octarine, thank you for explaining further.
After reading through all the replies i begin to understand more about my Drobo.
May I ask, in my case as a simple user on a RAID system like Drobo, how should I cool down my this HDD to hopefully reduce the risk of failure?
 

kwttan

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#12
For Data Center, best practice for environment, optimal recommended value for temperature is 21-23 deg Celsius and humidity is 40-60 RH%
 

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Octarine

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#14
May I ask, in my case as a simple user on a RAID system like Drobo, how should I cool down my this HDD to hopefully reduce the risk of failure?
According Drobo websites the system comes with a cooling fan. Make sure it works properly and keep it clean. Dust and dirt will spoil the best fan over time. Check the manual about further details. Not sure how easy it can be replaced but I don't think Drobo re-invented the fan here.
Also, Drobo systems seem to have a diagnosis and report function. Check it at least once per month for error messages or warnings. It should also state the temperature of the disks. Here a link from the support pages: http://support.datarobotics.com/app...c2lkL2Q2b2VWY2Nr/kw/cooling/r_id/100004/sno/1
At home, we hardly can afford to get 22C for all our equipment. Keeping the fans clean and spinning helps a lot.
 

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IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#15
nice~~~

looks like drobo kicks more ass!

i'll go and hunt for one this weekend =D Drobo! here i come!

Cheers for all the info!

Edit: **** why is there a 300usd difference between Drobo and DroboFS!
edit2: anyone know where in sg can i find shop that sell drobo? so i can go ask whats the diff between Drobo and drobo FS (besides the NAS and extra bay). can't find a place to email drobo without buying anything first. or i have to order online?
 

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limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#16
nice~~~

looks like drobo kicks more ass!

i'll go and hunt for one this weekend =D Drobo! here i come!

Cheers for all the info!

Edit: **** why is there a 300usd difference between Drobo and DroboFS!
edit2: anyone know where in sg can i find shop that sell drobo? so i can go ask whats the diff between Drobo and drobo FS (besides the NAS and extra bay). can't find a place to email drobo without buying anything first. or i have to order online?
I personally find the service staff at Cathay Photo Peninsula Plaza the best for all my Drobos (I own more than one) and Mac laptops and desktops.
(Well, they are the distributor, anyway.)
Go to the section where they sell Mac.
If I don't remember wrongly, they are having some sales right now on Drobo.
And they will tell you exactly the difference between Drobo and DroboFS.
 

2evans

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Nov 8, 2007
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#17
nice~~~

looks like drobo kicks more ass!

i'll go and hunt for one this weekend =D Drobo! here i come!

Cheers for all the info!

Edit: **** why is there a 300usd difference between Drobo and DroboFS!
edit2: anyone know where in sg can i find shop that sell drobo? so i can go ask whats the diff between Drobo and drobo FS (besides the NAS and extra bay). can't find a place to email drobo without buying anything first. or i have to order online?
I'm not sure why that steep price difference but here are a few differences based on the specs...

The Drobo FS, like you mentioned is more of a NAS and has gigabit connection and can access the machine remotely. You also can add in applications to run on the Drobo FS as you wish so it's like a mini computer.

Another point from the website is that it seems to also have dual-drive redundancy so you can have back ups of 2 drives. The Drobo, only does one.
 

TMC

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Sep 4, 2004
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#18
Drobo, loud and expensive. Seen a few units that died and took all the data with them also. Cathay cant do anything except RMA the unit.
Simple Raid 1 backup is still the better option.
 

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