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Old 03-18-2014, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default raid array or backup drive?

Yeah yeah, we hear it all the time, redundancy != backup. But here is my conundrum...

I have an extra tower, an extra copy of win server 2012 , some extra ram, extra mobo, extra raid controller! extra CPU, extra power supply bla bla. All I need is some hard drives. But that's where I am getting stuck.

I was thinking three, 2 TB sata drives on hardware raid 5 , or two 2 TB drives on hardware raid 1. I could install win server 2012 and set it to auto backup the computers every week or however often I want. I could even make a network drive and map it on my computers. Sounds like a blast!

But the cost of a few 2 tb drives, makes me reconsider. Is this a good idea for backing up my data? Or should I just buy an external drive that doesn't have redundancy and set it to backup ?

What would you do? I think my difference in this situation is that they are pretty much the same cost to me. About $200 dollars.

Any advice is appreciated!
PS, because of the extra features, I am leaning towards a server myself.

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Old 03-18-2014, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: raid array or backup drive?

If funds permit the easiest solution is RAID 5 since you already have a controller. Setup the RAID, do what you want, let parity take care of the rest.

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Old 03-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: raid array or backup drive?

A simple external and SyncToy set to backup every now and then is dead simple and will not screw up.

Running an entire 'nother server + raid config brings with it a whole host of potential problems, not to mention more expensive to run 24/7.

So honestly, it comes down to whether you think you really need the extra features and sexiness of the second setup. If you do then by all means it's a great idea! If you don't, it's just going to be trouble for you in the long run.

edit: and if I've misunderstood and you're planning on running the server anyway, that brings down the problems to external backup vs raid. And there, again obviously a raid is going to run into more potential problems than a simple ext backup, but if the extras are worth it to you then by all means it's not a bad setup.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: raid array or backup drive?

Originally Posted by S0ULphIRE View Post
A simple external and SyncToy set to backup every now and then is dead simple and will not screw up.
This. SyncToy is wonderful for backing up.

There's also BTSync, which you can setup as a 2 way sync, or a regular backup service.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: raid array or backup drive?

If you wanna stay simple and cheap, I suggest an external drive and Synctoy... Or you could go SLIGHTLY fancier, get a home NAS solution that supports Raid1 or Raid5, and a few disks to throw into that... That way your back up destination has some redundancy of it's own.
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