Protection Close To Home

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 718163

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Protection Close To Home

  • bledu

    SSChampion

    Points: 12335

    I did think about getting a home server with raid but because of the cost (read credit crunch) I decided to use the free online offerings like http://www.mesh.com . The only problem with this is that it forces you to select the info that you want to replicate/backup. I also backup my info to a removable hdd.


    Everything you can imagine is real.

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    I actually have HP's Media Smart Server, which runs Windows Home Server.

    It's incredible.

    It has 4 drive bays, one is full already with the OS and some storage space, the rest you can fill up as/when you need to. It does also have some e-Sata connections and USB connections, but I dont use these.

    The server then does two things for backing up.

    Firstly, there is a small client which you can install on the other PCs on your network. This client then backs up each drive on it's host to the server (Resulting in each pc being completely backed up every night). It will then flag any issues with backups and ask you to remedy the problem.

    Secondly, it uses folder duplication.

    It allows you to easily create shared folders on it's drives, and you can tick a box to duplicate the folder. If this is ticked it will keep a copy of the folder on two separate drives in it's bays.

    The best part being that since I installed it, I've hardly had to do anything at all.

  • SuperDBA-207096

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8176

    Steve,

    I'm paranoid about losing stuff. I have RAID (mirroring) on my home pc, a NAS device I use for backup and filesharing and external drives I use for backups. I also have a older 2nd pc I use to copy stuff off onto.

    That said, I've been investigating off-site storage, like Mozy and Idrive, as well as a few others.

    Wondering if anyone else is doing off-site stuff? and how it's working out?

  • Ben Moorhouse

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2385

    I'm thinking I need to do some kind of off-site stuff, but it will just be things like photos and written data (the stuff which can't just be re-purchased or re-downloaded).

    I need to get myself sorted out first, but would love to hear how you get on?

  • jay-h

    SSCoach

    Points: 18816

    I don't use RAID. I'd rather use several copies on separate devices. My backing up is done to USB hard drives which run only when I am doing a backup, so they have very low mileage.

    In business, with multiple people constantaly accessing data, RAID pays off (at least in primary storage). For home use, it's probably less helpful.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • lionfan91

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8794

    Just an external USB HDD connected to my desktop PC. I use SyncBackPro to back up all of the important folders to the HDD nightly. I also have the wife's laptop running SyncBackPro and backing up to the same USB HDD. Everything has been working like a champ.

  • SuperDBA-207096

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8176

    Ben Moorhouse (8/21/2009)


    I'm thinking I need to do some kind of off-site stuff, but it will just be things like photos and written data (the stuff which can't just be re-purchased or re-downloaded).

    I need to get myself sorted out first, but would love to hear how you get on?

    Ben - check out Mozy.com, and idrive.com, although there are probably others. they are 2 I know of. Haven't pulled the trigger on one yet.

  • ta.bu.shi.da.yu

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3985

    Steve, please tell me that you aren't implying that a RAID setup is a good substitution for a proper backup strategy!

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  • cy-dba

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4149

    Surprisingly, most of the important data on my home pc can be backed up to a flash drive. Although I am starting to build up a library of photos and was just starting to look at backup options, so this poll came at the right time. I will look at the options others have already given and look forward to other recommendations.

  • Chris Harshman

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42038

    I do have a home "server" with RAID mirroring, but it's not Windows server, it's running Ubuntu 8.04 and using Samba to create network shared resources that my Windows PCs can see. For backup purposes my wife and I both use USB flash drives to hold copies of documents and for portability.

  • Rob Nickolaus-860201

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 201

    I would be hesitant to use RAID without a solid backup strategy as well. If you have a drive failure, you may have a hard time finding a single replacement drive. If you start carrying a spare drive on the shelf, then your costs just went up.

    After my brother's house burned down (no one was home) and they were able to retrieve only some of their memories, it hit me that backing up my documents and storing them next to my PC was only protecting against hardware failure. Also, I was less than consistent in backing up my documents to an external USB drive.

    A couple of years ago, I went with a $50/year online encrypted storage. I chose Carbonite although it's been a couple of years since I've researched the vendors. I've been very happy with the service and have had to do a full system restore and got all of my documents back.

    They only back up (by default) your content. That means your digital photos, Word docs, spreadsheets, multimedia, etc. You can select other files for backup (programs, etc.) by selecting them within Explorer. What I like is the second a file changes, it is queued up for backup to the continuously running system with a file watcher component. There is no thinking about what I need to back up and when. It just works.

    I still maintain a full backup to USB drive in the event that I need to perform a complete system restore. I would have that backup + the up-to-date Carbonite backup. When I had to do my disaster recovery (due to my own stupidity in converting a disk to Dynamic partition), I received a workable system between the two backup systems, although it had a few issues as would probably be expected.

    I guess my two cents would be - If your home PC contents are valuable to you, protect them likewise. Now that all of our family photos and videos are on the PC, I want to protect them in the event of some calamity to my home that would affect an on-site backup.

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004474

    My home file server (domain controller, sharepoint server) is running Server 2003 and has 4 drives in a RAID 5 config. Served me very well earlier this year when one of those drives unexpectedly failed.

    Bought a new drive, switched the faulty one out, let the array rebuild and all was well again. Didn't even have to fetch out the backups.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Nadrek

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 20039

    RAID 5 on an Adaptec AHA-2400A with 4 ATA drives, experienced the first issues 7 years after installation.

    Slated replacement is an Areca 1231ML with 4 to 8 WD RE4 2TB SATA drives, running RAID 6.

    You don't need to keep drives on the shelf, just replace with a larger drive of the same spindle speed.

    Alternately, have an external set of connectors for your RAID card for RAID 5 external drive backup, put them in a caddy/mount, and have two sets, one of which stays offsite. Use those for spares if you have to, replacing the backup sets with mismatched components.

    Also, as usual, it's not a bad idea to buy the drives 1 at a time from different sources at different times, to try and avoid all the drives coming from the same production run.

  • lhowe

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1267

    I have a Buffalo Terastation Live (2TB) NAS server that I bought a couple of years ago (it was on sale for less than $800, quite a deal at the time). I store all of my photos, music, software installers, etc. on it. I back up the more important stuff early each morning to a drive attached via USB to the NAS server. I run the NAS server in RAID 5 mode, and that actually saved me recently when one of my drives went bad. I bought a same sized/speed replacement drive, shut down the server, popped out the bad drive, put in the new drive, started the server back up, and in a few hours it had rebuilt the new drive. I was fearful when I had to do this that it wouldn't work, but it did, and now I feel very comfortable using RAID 5.

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