Can someone explain RAID to me?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by vermonter16, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. vermonter16 macrumors regular

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    Nov 19, 2008
    #1
    I'm on the external hard drive search (which is another thread) and that has led me to a kazillion questions... I'm wondering what the difference is between having two external hard drives - one backing up the 1st hard drive and the internal hard drive (you can do that right?) and a RAID system. Now, a RAID is supposed to be mirror imaging right? Does it mirror image your internal drive as well? Or is it a backup to a backup? Any benefit to going RAID or not?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
  3. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    basic idea: you get two small hard drives and put em in raid, as 1 big one
     
  4. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #4
    You use more than 1 drive in any RAID config. It all depends on your requirements as to what is best.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #5
    not necessarily

    that config is known as raid 0. whats bad is that if one disk dies, then you cant access any of it

    as i said, there are many varieties of raid and the wiki article exlains it nicely
     
  6. vermonter16 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Ok, I printed off the article and started reading it... Here is my situation. I have a 320GB internal hard drive... I want an external hard drive specifically for photos and videos - probably 500GB or larger... I also want another external drive to back up both the internal drive and external drive with all my photos and videos. I need the photos/videos hard drive to be fast so I can work with it easily... RAID sounds like it will back up the one drive...which is great... But is it as fast...RAID 0 is supposed to be great - but that doesn't help me. Will RAID 1 be faster than just two seperate external hard drives?
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #7
    That really depends on the controller used to RAID the drives together. Some cheaper controllers, including some OS-based RAID arrays, do not read from both drives at the same time. You will most likely not see any benefit in writing performance though.

    Keep in mind, RAID is not a backup. If you were to damage some data on one drive, that damage is mirrored to the other drive. Depending on your speed requirements, if one drive is fast enough, I'd forego RAID altogether and use the second drives as a backup copy.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    yea id suggest this set up

    1 external: videos and photos. try to get a firewire drive
    2nd external larger than first: then use that for time machine and to back up 1st external

    i dont think id use a raid config for your situation
     
  9. vermonter16 thread starter macrumors regular

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  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #10
    Buy an external 500GB drive and then a 1 TB external. USB drives should be fine as far as speed.

    Use the 500GB drive to store all of your photos and videos. Then set up the second (larger) external drive as a Time Machine drive. Make sure to select everything when setting up Time Machine so it backs up all of your stuff. Do that and you're golden.

    I would still do backups to optical discs (DVDs) because ALL HARD DRIVES CAN FAIL. Optical discs are much more reliable, especially for something like photos. Best to put DVDs of your photos in a fireproof safe. If you take a decent amount of photos, perhaps back up your pics once a month and label each disc monthly. You could probably get away with just using CDs if you do that.

    Oh, in summary, I don't think you need RAID. Sounds like a bit more trouble than you need for what you're doing. I also never saw the point in anything aside from RAID 5.

    As far as speed, I have a ton of video on a networked USB drive that streams stuff fine. You should be good with a USB connection, which is at least 4x faster than a network connection.
     

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