To RAID or not to RAID, that is the question...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Richie3000, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Richie3000, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012

    Richie3000 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Hello fellow forum users!

    Got a situation I'd like some opinions on...

    Own a 2011 Mac Mini Server at home and have currently got my data spread out (and backed up) over 5 external drives of varying size that I've collected as my needs have grown.

    So far I've got about 5TB of total space, with probably about 75% of that used up by my data and it's mirror copy of that.

    What I'd like to do is be able to is de-clutter, simplify and secure my data backups automatically and in one place (rather than manually backing up and spreading files/folders out across five different drives).

    I'm thinking a RAID solution my be best with a 1+1 mirror for access and quick recovery, and then using my external drives for offsite backups every so often.

    Does this sound about right?

    Edit: I also use a macbook at home and will soon be purchasing an AppleTV as well... I have not yet utilized the Server portion of Lion but am wondering if this might be the appropriate junction to determine whether or not I should go NAS setup, which is another ball of wax I'm not 100% clear on...
  2. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    Be aware that RAID is not for backup. RAID gives you drive redundancy, that is if one of the drive fails, you can replace it with a minimal downtime. But if your RAID controller fails, or your file system get corrupted, you may lose all your data.
    I would recommend a NAS (Network Attached Storage, Synology or QNAP are good brands), ideally on a wired Gigabit network. The NAS doesn't have to be configured in RAID and you should attach USB disks to it for backup.
  3. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Someone has mention to me about ZFS with FireWire bus
    With proper controller, or Box like UF8-R5J you can daisy chain these five to gether and have a reliable ZFS storage
  4. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    Can you tell me the reason using DatOptic?
    I know this is a 2 man company.
    I know this company is not a manufacture, nor they have engineers to develop RAID, tray, box, etc.
    They simply pick and choose the components from the market and puzzle the solution.
    How do they provide LONG term support and guarantee the RAID.
    Do they have real anti vibration test result, FCC, UL, and the most important not relying on Datoptic's vendor support such as Areca, Lycom, iStar, etc?
  5. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    rebuild UF8-R5J

    Have you tried to rebuild the RAID?
    Saying RAID 5?
  6. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    For raids to work, the drives have to be the same size (or partitioned in the same way). Most NAS boxes will only read from two drives (not partitions) for RAIDs; in which case you might need to get some new drives (identical ones are best).

    If you're going to use a NAS (even if data is stored on a HD connected to Mac mini server) then you'll want to use Gigabit ethernet to connect all of the devices on the same network when transferring files (otherwise it's DEAD slow as you'd be limited to 100MBits/s = 12.5MB/s (max). You can't just use your old router and a gigabit switch for this - you need to have a gigabit router as all data transfer initiations are sent through the router so that the router knows where the data is being sent to & from.

    In terms of RAID setups for 5TB of data, you are better off using RAID 5. It allows 2 of your hard drives to fail (if you're using 5) without loosing all of your data. A RAID 1 + 1 setup would keep your data redundant but with 4 x 1TB drives you'd only have 1TB of storage. You'd be better off with RAID 1 + 0 over 1+1 because at least that way you're getting improvements in data transfer rate (0) and redundancy on the data with 2TB of storage
  7. almonde macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Incorrect, as long as the computer and NAS are connected to a gigabit switch then the speed of the router does not matter. The routing of the packets is done inside the switch hardware, the router has nothing to do with the routing of LAN traffic.
  8. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    RAID 5 only allows 1 drive to fail, RAID 6 is dual disk redundant

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