RAID Questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ipedro, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. ipedro, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

    ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I'm trying to better manage my growing library and ensure consistent back up. I have a LaCie 2big 6TB (3TBx2) in a RAID 1 configuration.

    My 3TB is at 2TB full so I'd like to start upgrading. Does it matter which drive bay I upgrade since they're theoretically supposed to be identical in a RAID 1 configuration?

    Can I add a 6TB drive to just one of the bays and once I exceed the 3TB, add another 6TB drive to the second bay?

    I'm also thinking of getting a third drive so I can keep one off site and rotate them every month or so. Will that work with RAID 1 and this particular LaCie set up?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If you want to swap drives all the time, get a "toaster" dock like a Rocketstor that can do RAID 0 or 1. Put a couple of 6TB Seagate drives in it and do RAID 0 over thunderbolt.

    BTW, I suggest this topic might be better served on the peripherals forum as this is about storage, not really about photography.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    To repeat what I've said in other threads - raid is not a backup, it's for fault tolerance. You use it when losing a drive would stop you from working. Anything that takes out the data on one drive takes it out on both - programming errors, fire, theft, or electrical glitches.

    Trying to swap out the drives of a raid configuration for off site storage is a bad idea. You lose any benefits of the raid while the array is being rebuilt. It also introduces the possibility for data corruption if something goes wrong.

    For off site backups either use a cloud storage solution like Crashplan or a pair (or three) of external drives. Rotate them into your backup plan.
  4. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Thank you for the advice. Doesn't RAID 1 at least offer me protection against data loss from hard drive failure? If drive A breaks, I still have a copy on drive B and I can put in a new drive in bay A to rebuild the 2 drive redundancy.
  5. VirtualRain, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Yes that's true, but the cheap power supplies used in these enclosures are just as likely to fail and possibly take both drives with them at the same time. And not surprisingly, drive failure on one drive is usually a great indicator of immanent failure of the other (if they were purchased together). There are plenty of horror stories of a 2nd drive failing during a rebuild.

    As the other fellow stated, RAID1/5/6 etc is all about business continuity. And any business interested in continuity also has a backup... Preferably offsite.

    Having said that, you can upgrade your drives as you suggest one at a time, allowing a rebuild in-between, but I would never do something like that without a backup if the data is worth anything.

    The best thing you could do IMHO, is buy a 6TB external drive, and use it for a backup (possibly even storing it offsite most of the time). Then, convert your RAID1 array to a RAID0 array which will give you 6TB of faster storage and you'll end up with the same capacity as per your scheme but better protected from incidents that might cause data loss.

    Of course, RAID0 doesn't protect you from a drive failure, but if you have a recent backup in a safe place, who cares about drive failures? Just plugin your backup drive and keep working while you sort out the failure and restore. :)
  6. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    Agree 100% with this. I'd make sure I had this data in AT LEAST one other location before trying this upgrade procedure.

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