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Backup strategy

  • dmcdona
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15 years 4 months ago #74137 by dmcdona
Backup strategy was created by dmcdona
Folks - this may or not be OT...

I had a five drive RAID 1+0 (software RAID) which faied on me. As it happens, one drive failed and the software began writing to the 5th drive (hot spare). Unfortunately, during this time I got a BSOD event and a second drive failed. Then I was really stuck and couldn't even boot from a CD. Needless to say, I had to call in a data recovery company and God knows what that's going to cost - but it sounds like they've recovered everything.

What I need now is a bullet proof recovery/backup strategy. So if anyone out there has suggestions, please let me know.

To perhaps give you an idea, I was thinking of two main options:

1. A hardware RAID controller (PCI card) and two eSATA drives for regular backups
2. Software RAID as before with 6 drives plus a NAS box for backups

Any backup software needs to be simple and completely automatic. I just want to set it up once and then just leave it. So please don't tell me to get a large USB drive and remember to backup to it...:)

The data I currently have amounts to less than 400 Gb but would increase by about 100/200 Gb per annum.

Money is not really an object (within reason). I have three PC's on the network total - 2 pc's and a laptop. I'd like to include the other two in the backup strategy as well.

For the record, the PC is an ABIT AB9 motherboard with a core 2 duo processor. It can support 6 internal SATA drives and 2 external SATA drives. 4 Gb RAM and a 256mb Nvidia graphics card. 630W PSU.

Cheers
Dave

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15 years 4 months ago #74152 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re:Backup strategy
Dave,
I'm the option 1 type of guy - PCI card RAID controller. 5 years and no losses, thats a pretty good statistic. I will not let any piece of RAID software of that kind control my data storage.

But, also think of it as the lazy way of doing things. You just can't beat having 2 seperate locations, one backing up the other, like an external hardrive, or a second PC in your home connected wirelessly to your main machine. I also have this set up. Think of it like this, the chances of one machine being fried by lightening or a power surge is, of course, 100%. Total loss and an expensive attempt at data retrieval. But the chances of that happening to 2 machines simultaneously (for various hardware reasons), is not 100%.

Make you think?

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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15 years 4 months ago #74155 by fguihen
Replied by fguihen on topic Re:Backup strategy
I agree with Seanie. Two seperate locations seperated my a decent distance is the best option. As for hardware vs software raid systems, ive only ever had exprience with hardware managed implementations. From hearing your story I would be inclined to think software solutions are not the best route for me in future should the option arise.

As an additional precaution, is it possible that your data is stored in a database managment system of some type ( sql server, oracle mysql etc)? if so, it would be a nice extra safeguard against dataloss. Most db systems have some form of compression or can get addons ( such as lightspeed for SQL server) that allow backups to be compressed considerably, all assuming you are using a database.

If your not using a database, but flat files of some description, why not buy a backup application that will allow you to do one giant compressed backup of all data, and then a diff backup from there on in. I know this doesnt solve your current raid issue, but it would add a little piece of mind that your data is safe in the event of a total hardware failure ( of both your raid servers failing).

"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.

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  • dmcdona
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15 years 4 months ago #74160 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic Re:Backup strategy
Thanks lads - that's great feedback.

I'm going to cost up the harware RAID (I think a 16 drive card will cost me about 600 notes) plus the cost of a couple of external drives for backups. Perhaps the NAS is the way to go for that particular setup (i.e. the main PC covered by hardware RAID and backups done remotely). The NAS systems I've been looking at, whilst expensive, seem to come with comprehensive backup software.

As a bit of an aside, and know this might be contentious, how aboutI rebuild my system with Vista? Now that SP1 is out (and I think SP2 is imminent) is it now considered stable enough? Or should I stick with XP pro...

Thanks for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it.

Dave

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15 years 4 months ago #74161 by philiplardner
Replied by philiplardner on topic Re:Backup strategy
I've been using Vista now for the past year and haven't had any significant issues with it. I'm not what you might term a 'power user' but it seems stable enough to me.

Phil.

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15 years 4 months ago #74162 by fguihen
Replied by fguihen on topic Re:Backup strategy
I use vista on all of my computers ( desktop, dell laptop and Macbook Pro) and it works fine on all. they are all relatively high spec machines, and i wouldnt dare running vista on anything less than 2ghz , 4gb ram ( ive tried it on an old laptop and its brutal). I dont know really of any serious reasons to go from Pro to vista other than there will be (in theory) less updates weekly for vista and its slightly more secure ( google that for many good debates)

"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.

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