Suggestions for drive configuration?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hayduke, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #1
    I currently have 3 750GB drives for my mac pro. I have one drive in Bay-1, which is backed-up daily to the drive in Bay-2. About every two weeks I swap out the drive in Bay-2 with the third drive and use it as the back-up. That way I can keep an off-site back-up and it will never be more than ~2 weeks old. I am beginning to run out of drive space so I need to think about a new paradigm.

    I could buy 3 more 750GB drives and do the same thing again. This would run ~$730 (seagate from newegg). I think the 1TB drives are interesting, but still priced at a premium so I've kind of ruled those out.

    Alternately, I could keep the cost down and get 3x 500GB drives for ~$360 (again, seagate at newegg), which is appealing for the cost savings, but I might end up with a RAID card in the next year and it might be nice to have all drives with the same capacity.

    I've also considered doing something similar with a group of raptors, but the $/GB is high and I don't think I need the speed for what I do.

    So I guess the main question is....am I insane to have SIX drives in play, but really only using 2 at one time (four more serve as backup!). My data is valuable (many many man hours, expensive experiments etc.) So I am pretty insistent on an off-site back-up, but it occurs to me that maybe I should just by a ~1TB external drive and haul it into work every two weeks to make a copy. Anyone want to help with the cost/benefit analysis? Any thoughts?
     
  2. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    #2
    Thats a lot of backing up between drives, i personally clone the boot drive & apps to an external HD every 3 months, anything else of importance i back up to Discs, Techtool runs all it's diagnostic checks at login and is set up to email me with any problems on any of the hard drives, seems to work, only experienced 1 problem with the boot drive, but after rebuilding the volumes it's all ok, touch wood ;)
     
  3. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #3
    I burn DL-DVDs too (2x copies). If you've ever lost data that really counts, or seen it happen to someone you know you'll appreciate my fastidious back-up plan.

    I know there are other ways of backing-up, I guess I was mostly wondering if someone would tip me off that I'm really ready to step up to a RAID-5 system. Or if they had a less expensive, but similarly redundant back-up scheme.
     
  4. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #4
    I'll post again, hoping that someone might have some additional thoughts. I was looking at the newegg page again:


    http://www.newegg.com/blah_blah_blah

    I can't devine the difference between the $265 750GB seagate drive and the $209 750GB seagate drive (which I am using already). I've no complaints for the $209 ones, but would like to, at least, appreciate the differences (something besides the avg write time?). Thanks.
     
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #5
    Have you thought about a tape drive for backup purposes? It sounds a much better approach to the one you have now.
     
  6. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #6
    I've thought about this some, but the options don't seem too appealing. The tapes are relatively low/slow capacity ("160 GB on a single tape at a 6 MB/s") and the price ($1,690) for the drive seems a bit much. I think I'd sooner go for an Xserve, which admittedly is a *lot* more expensive, but I might be headed that direction anyways. Another option is a G-Technology RAID server for less money. I could stuff the MacPro with my 3x 750GB drives and use the RAID server as a back-up unit and to farm data to other users/collaborators.
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #7
    A RAID array is not a backup solution. It offers a higher degree of protection over other on-line storage methods but is not intended as a pure backup.

    If you are really serious about keeping your data secure then a good option would be a RAID 5 / 6 array to store it backed up using rsync to a tape drive and also to an internet backup service.

    That offers you a reliable method of storage (RAID 5 allows for one hard drive failure RAID 6 for two) and two forms of backup one housed in a data centre with all the advantages they offer and the other is portable (best to store in a fire proof safe or some such).

    Of course that is probably overkill but that is the direction I would heading in if I was intent on making sure my data was secure.
     
  8. hayduke thread starter macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #8
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. The RAID would be a back-up solution as I would use it to back-up the MacPro. Ideally, the RAID would just be in the MacPro, hence the mention of considering the newly released RAID card. I would then figure out another option for backing-up. Possibly a network back-up to a university core facility.

    Thanks for the input...still not sure what to do. What I really want is something I can grow into that is $2-3k. The tape drive option is in that range, but the tapes were lower capacity than I expected and then I have to juggle tapes all the time. Admittedly, I should look into this more though.
     

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