Best RAID 1 Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by andrewdale, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I have a question for everyone who has ever bought or is going to buy a RAID 1 system for backups. My wife is a professional photographer and recently, I've just began wondering how terrible things would be if her external were to fail. True, it wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would hurt some feelings and probably ruin her reputation. So, I figured we could get her a RAID 1 system and have at least 2 copies at all times of the data.

    My question is: What is the best RAID 1 drive for me to get her?

    We don't want to spend a ton of money, but we don't want to buy some cheap crap. We want a 1TB (2x500GB) for a total of 500GB of storage. I'd prefer not spend much over $500 for this, but I know that's asking a lot, maybe. Preferably, I'd like it to be a metal enclosure, as these plastic ones just scare me. I'd prefer that it have at least FW400, but FW800 would be nice.

    These are a few I've seen:
    http://westerndigital.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=409
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822154221
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822101088

    Those are just a few that I've seen. Any advice would be great. I wanted to look into the G-Safe, but it seems they're all out. Any idea where I could get one? Or is it worth it?

    Thanks for the help. Remember. RAID 1. Not RAID 0. Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    Your problem is that when you have both drives of the RAID1 in one chassis, then if the power supply or the bridge board of the case fails, then both your original and your backup are equally ^^&&&ed.

    RAID 1 is not backup. If she accidentally overwrites a file, it is just as gone on the mirror as on the original.

    A better plan would be to get two separate drives, and set up SuperDuper, CarbonCopyCloner or (on 10.5) Time Machine to make scheduled, periodic backups.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #3
    I'm not asking for a backup of overwriting files. She's not going to do that. I'm asking for something that is a backup in case ONE drive fails. I guess the Time Machine could work, but I'd prefer something that saved in real-time.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #4
    RAID1 is *not* a substitute for backing up your data!! If you're making regular backups of your data, you don't have much to worry about when it comes to data loss.

    What you gain with RAID1 is availability. In the event a drive fails while you're working, you can simply keep working when you have RAID1 vs. having to stop your work to restore from backup.

    There are several nice RAID1 firewire enclosures available at otherworldcomputing.com and they also sell nice single-drive firewire enclosures that you can use for backing up your data. CarbonCopyCloner is an easy tool for making backups.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #5
    So, you're telling me that buy having information on TWO drives isn't a form of backup? Tell me how that's so. As far as I know, if she has two copies of the data at all times, that's a pretty amazing backup without having the trouble of having to back it up manually.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #6
    Any of those the Lacie drives should be fine but remember in RAID 1 you will only have half the stated capacity. Though I would stay away from the Cavalry drive it has a pretty low customer rating.

    CanadaRAM makes a good point here. I would say if you want RAID 1 then you should be using two separate enclosures. Normally I would say buy an enclosure and combine it with a hard drive yourself but given the price of FW800 enclosures and hard drives it cost just about the same to get a premade unit. The only difference is when you build yourself you get to choose both parts.

    For externals you may consider two of these Fantom 500GB HD's.

    If you want a single unit then instead of the 1.5TB Lacie you can get this 2TB Western Digital My Book for about the same price.

    However have you considered going to the next level and build a NAS using RAID 5 then you can have redundancy and speed. You just start with one of these and add 3 hard drives or if you want to have more expandability you can get a four bay unit. With a NAS you can keep it in another room or a closet then you do not have to listen to it when at the iMac you can connect it directly by gigabit ethernet or through a gigabit router/switch and the NAS would be available to any other computers on the network for file storage.

    Now if you are the kind of person who likes to tinker with stuff and want to save money on a NAS you could build one yourself by getting a decent case and PSU ~$75, a good motherboard that supports RAID 5 with 6 SATA ports and integrated graphics(the Intel ICH9R has good performance) ~$130, for ~$35 you can get a 35Watt 1.6 Ghz Single Core Intel Celeron CPU which is more than enough for NAS, 1 GB DDR2 memory $25, DVD drive to install the OS $25 and Linux Free. Then 3 or more matching hard drives of the capacity you need.

    $290 for a do it yourself NAS base that can handle up to 6 drive in RAID 5.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #7
    Hi Andrew,

    A RAID1 device will provide you with a recovery path in the event that a single drive fails.

    However, in the event of catastrophic failure where both drives are in jeopardy (such as a fire, accidentally taking a dive off the desk, power supply failure, writing bad data, liquid spill) you have no recourse.

    That's why you were given two excellent suggestions to back up your data. This typically consists of a separate media device (HD, DVD) that is maintained off-site as well as a scheduling application to initiate the backup and manage deltas.

    Since you were asking for suggestions, here's my setup:

    Newer Technology Guardian Maximus 1TB RAID1:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/usb/raid_1/Gmax

    Jungle Disk (network backup to Amazon S3):
    http://www.jungledisk.com/

    Jungle Disk is very slow (due to my network connection) but very inexpensive. Plus there's the assurance of high reliability and high availability because it's Amazon's infrastructure. I only backup my photos to Jungle Disk to keep things manageable.

    Hope this helps.
    j
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #8
    Thank you, so much for this. This is the kind of thing I think would suit us great. I agree with you about keeping backups off site in case of a disaster or something of that sort. Jungle Disk is inexpensive and that's our favorite words as newlyweds and as young adults. Thanks for your advice.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    bobbleheadbob

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    What about a Drobo? Would that do what the OP is asking for? I'm thinking about getting one of those sometime soon. :confused:
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #10
    I bought a Drobo yesterday. I'm returning it today.

    I installed a drive in it and formatted it OK. Then I updated the dashboard software to the latest version. This caused me to have to re-initialize the disk again (I'm glad I had no data on it). Then I updated the Drobo firmware to the latest version, which put the Drobo into a continuous reboot cycle. Nothing but a factory reset would get it out of the reboot cycle, which means I had to initialize the disk again (still glad I had no data on it). Once the initialize finished, the Drobo went into a continuous reboot cycle again. Another factory reset, initialize, and continuous reboot cycle, and I've had enough. There's no way I'm trusting my data to it, so it's going back.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #11
    I use time capsule along with http://mozy.com/ for daily automatic offsite backups. That way if my house catches on fire or i get robbed, i don't lose any important data. It's very nice. The initial backup takes a long time (depending on your upload speed) but after the initial backup, only new and changed files are updated so its nice and quick.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #12
    @ASFx - Thanks for the tip regarding Mozy.

    I've been meaning to setup some kind off-site backup - your post prodded me to do so. Most all the reviews of Mozy I read rated it highly. I just signed up to give it a try. If it functions well for me, it will definitely be worth the $5 per month (per computer, unlimited storage space).
     
  13. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #13
    Drobo doesn't use a traditional RAID - it uses its own proprietary data striping scheme, which strikes me as an excessively risky choice for the average computer user... if something goes wrong, you are tied to Drobo and their software, and data recovery could be much more difficult.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #14
    If you pay 2 years in advance, mozy gives you a discount too. I paid $103.95 for 2 years of unlimited storage which is about $15 less than if i paid monthly.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #15

    http://www.drobo.com/offer/
    Check out this link, It's the one I bought;)
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #16
    Having a 2-drive RAID1 where your Time Machine data resides can hardly be a bad idea. It is just one more step in peace of mind. If your backup drive fails, well, you have a duplicate.

    For further peace of mind (to protect from fire, theft, flood, tornado, 3-year olds, etc.) periodic off-site storage or something like Mozy also makes sense.

    I think it is all about having a plan that takes into account reasonable prediction of potential problems.

    If you have multiple levels of protection, then you significantly mitigate your risk.

    Remember, something like 85% of people have NO backup at all. Just having a Time Machine backup or a SuperDuper! clone of your hard drive puts you light years ahead of them in your risk management. Having a more systemic plan, all the more so.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #17
    I've read that Newer Technology really emphasizes the fact that this drive is hardware Raid 1. I'm familiar with how software and hardware raid work on computers, but not in enclosures. Is hardware raid better? When enclosures are hardware raid?
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
  19. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    A very wise post.

    Backing up data using a dual drive "box" should not be done in RAID but an asynchronous fashion. Either you back up to each drive separately or, you back up to one then schedule backups of your backup drive. Each method has its pros and cons. I would suggest the latter so that there is always a before and after delta of data at a given time. In short you would back up your data. If all is fine then back up the back up. If there is a problem then the last back up of the back up should have files that can be accessed and retrieved.

    Mac ---> backup 1 --- backup 2
    If the Mac or backup 1 has an issue with a file, then the previous "backup 2" ideally should have data you can retrieve.

    Mac----- backup 1
    ------backup 2
    If either drive goes bad, you still have a backup

    Mac ---- RAID 1
    similar to dual backups but more subject to RAID issue/failures. A good RAID box for mirroring is less subject to errors and mechanical problems than a cheap solution.

    The alternative of course is a bit more complex but a good option too - do a backup and then duplicate the backup only when there are changes to the original volume. Having more than one backup available for data retrieval is the key. You might end up with 2-4 backup each slightly different based on changes made on the original drive or by schedule. This is similar to the old fashion "tape rotation" method.

    I am sure some will suggest Time Machine which has its pros and cons too.


    Last - a safe bet is to also store data away from home in case of catastrophic events but that might be taking it a bit too far.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cebu, Philippines
    #20
    I think it would be better to use the disks individually than doing a raid 1. Something like, disk B is the backup for disk A.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Location:
    ar the moment on the Death Star
    #21
    Right on, a raid 1 or 5 or 10 is NOT a REPLACEMENT for a backup


    i7-4650U

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/87...7-3537U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html

    Specifications of Intel Core i7-4650U and i5-4350U CPUs

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/87...7-3537U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html

    Core i7 4650U
    http://cpuboss.com/cpu/Intel-Core-i7-4650U

    Intel® Core™ i7-4650U Processor
    (4M Cache, up to 3.30 GHz)

    http://ark.intel.com/products/75114/Intel-Core-i7-4650U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/86...5-4250U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html



    Sent from my iPad



    i7-4650U

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/87...7-3537U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html

    Specifications of Intel Core i7-4650U and i5-4350U CPUs

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/87...7-3537U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html

    Core i7 4650U
    http://cpuboss.com/cpu/Intel-Core-i7-4650U

    Intel® Core™ i7-4650U Processor
    (4M Cache, up to 3.30 GHz)

    http://ark.intel.com/products/75114/Intel-Core-i7-4650U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz

    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/86...5-4250U_vs_Intel_Core_i7_Mobile_i7-4650U.html



    Sent from my iPad

    ----------

    You want/need a hardware Raid, but this is NOT a REPLACEMENT for a solid back-up and recovery plan.


    Originally Posted by CanadaRAM
    Your problem is that when you have both drives of the RAID1 in one chassis, then if the power supply or the bridge board of the case fails, then both your original and your backup are equally ^^&&&ed.

    RAID 1 is not backup. If she accidentally overwrites a file, it is just as gone on the mirror as on the original.

    A better plan would be to get two separate drives, and set up SuperDuper, CarbonCopyCloner or (on 10.5) Time Machine to make scheduled, periodic backups.

    ----------

    You want/need a hardware Raid, but this is NOT a REPLACEMENT for a solid back-up and recovery plan.


    Originally Posted by CanadaRAM
    Your problem is that when you have both drives of the RAID1 in one chassis, then if the power supply or the bridge board of the case fails, then both your original and your backup are equally ^^&&&ed.

    RAID 1 is not backup. If she accidentally overwrites a file, it is just as gone on the mirror as on the original.

    A better plan would be to get two separate drives, and set up SuperDuper, CarbonCopyCloner or (on 10.5) Time Machine to make scheduled, periodic backups.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #22
    Lacie 2big is a good option. The drives are hot swappable.

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10573

    I use a 2big in Raid 0 (practically SSD speeds but with 4tb of space) as a projects drive and then backup internal drive and the Lacie to a slower USB3 drive.
     

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