RAID backup question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ashman70, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    This is not Mac related per se, however I do want to ask those of you with storage experience what your opinion is.

    I want to build a tower with RAID storage as a backup to my current data which is stored on several NAS's also running RAID.

    My plan is to utilize an Antec 1200 tower, throw in a MB with CPU and RAM, power supply, 8xWD 2TB drives and a Dell Perc 5i controller all running on Free NAS.

    What do you guys think? I can't seem to get a definitive answer as to whether the Perc 5i is natively supported under Free NAS.

    I understand that RAID is not backup, however having my data, which is currently not backed up, duplicated on a system with drive redundancy is good enough for me, for now.

  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It would need to be supported (drivers available) for FreeBSD. Unfortunately, when I took a look at the hardware compatability, the PERC 5i is not listed.

    So the simple answer is No. :( You'd need a different RAID card (for hardware RAID support). However, you could also use software implementations (just stay away from parity based levels that are not on a true hardware RAID card, as software implementations cannot handle the write hole issue associated with parity based arrays).

    A good alternative that does not suffer from the write hole issue (nor do you need a hardware RAID card, just enough SATA ports for the # of disks), is Z-RAID 1 or Z-RAID 2 (equivalent to RAID 5 & 6 respectively), and this is supported by FreeNAS (it's part of the ZFS file system).
  3. Cmd-the-World macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2010
    I am not an expert in RAID storage but I suggest you have a look at Data Robotics Drobo products (if you haven't already).

    I personally own 2 and they are a life saver.
  4. ashman70 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    Thanks Nanofrog I had also found that the Perc 5i is not listed yet I have found threads from people who have made it work with that card, so I'll have to do some more research.

    Cmd-the-World, in my opinion, there are many alternative to USB storage out there better the Drobo's ,many people who own them complain how slow they are for data transfer and their proprietary RAID implementation doesn't help either.

  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    When I took a look at the Hardware Compatability Lists for FreeBSD, I didn't see the PERC 5i on the latest version (or from 7.2 on, as 7.2 is needed as the bare minimum for FreeNAS IIRC).

    Why not give it a shot, and see what happens (be a guinea pig, as you've already got the PERC 5i). :eek: :D :p Worth the time IMO. ;)
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I'll say this once. RAID array are not reliable as back-up. Maybe as a processing and data crunching array.

    Even RAID 5 or RAID 10/01 are not 100% safe for back-ups.
  7. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    You may not able to use PCIE controller, due to drivers issue...

    But how about using SATA driver-less hardware raid controller. Like I did here

    40TB Media Server runs under FreeNAS

    The beautiful thing, it consumes only 180W of power :)

    The MB that I use has 6 SATA ports, and dual Gb E.

    This means I can have up to 30x HDD, or 60TB RAW volume, and implement LACP (802.3ad), ff I want to increase transfer rate

    Current configure, It transfers about 85MB/sec - a single Gb E is used
  8. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    You will be surprise about RSYN feature of FreeNAS... It makes back-up so easy

    If you don't DIY, then get eBOX-N from DATOptic

    It has option of:
    OpenSource: FreeNAS, Open-Filer
    Commercial: Open-E.
  9. walshlink macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    You realize that much of the data on the web is backed up to spinning disks (usually in some type of RAID array) and not to tape right?

    Now, while the data backed up by the OP is not data at rest per se, it is still considered a backup copy as it is not production data.


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