Purpose of RAID? Alternatives? Thunderbolt discussion too

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by danpass, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #1
    I always wonder about the drawbacks quite frankly. A RAID controller goes out and all those drives are dead unless you can get that SAME EXACT model controller.

    Drives are not necessarily exact data duplicates of each other so that they can't be used as standalones (say you separate them out for some reason)

    I've been running a 1TB in-tower with frequent backups to an external USB 1TB to minimize hardware in between.

    Now I'm keeping an eye on Thunderbolt and I see many of the mass data backup solutions utilizing RAID protocols in their enclosure setups.

    Not sure how to follow all this now lol.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    RAID has never been a backup. You should always, ALWAYS backup your data, even if you were running a RAID (doesn't matter which).
     
  3. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #3
    Well ...

    Redundant
    Array of
    Independent
    Disks

    will make most everyone think of it as: "same data on each disk" as though it were a realtime backup of data being written.


    So what you're saying is to stick with some type of automated software solution using various pieces of hardware?

    I like simple and I'm trying to keep it that way.
     
  4. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #4
    RAID is not a backup solution because even if you are mirroring your files, you are not protected from accidental deletion or any kind of software-based file corruption, since all the RAID 1 will do is mirror the badness.

    You can certainly combine RAID and a real backup solution for improved reliability and/or speed, e.g. keeping your Time Machine backup on a RAID drive.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    RAID may protect you from data loss when a drive fails, but it's no use when the whole RAID controller dies. It's also doesn't protect you from accidental deletes like suggested above.

    For consumers, the biggest advantage of RAID is increased read and write speeds. Especially back in the HD days, RAID was the only way to increase disk performance. Now we have SSDs which bring other enhancements too (HDs still have high access time, even in RAID).

    Hardware RAIDs (e.g. 5 and 6) can also be useful if you have tons of data. It's much faster to replace the failed HD with a new one than erase all the data and then recover from a backup (this is when you have an array of several TBs at least). You still need a separate backup though.
     
  6. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #6
    As said above, RAID is for speed (raid0) redundancy (raid1) or both (raid5,6,etc). I have a RAID 5 array, not necessarily for speed because its just a file server, but in case a drive dies I have redundancy and I can just hot swap it for zero downtime. Plus as of right now it's the only way I can achieve a volume over 4tb, which I require.

    I still have to run a full backup of my RAID array in the event that my HBA or computer just dies.
     

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