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New guy says hello


ecthomason
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 Hello. I'm new here and just wanted to say hi. I stumbled upon your show on Youtube a few days ago and have watched several episodes since then. I really enjoy it but don't understand half of it as I am new to home servers. i'll catch up eventually though.

 

 I recently acquired an Acer v5 laptop for the sole purpose of learning to use a home server. It may be an odd choice for that purpose, but it suits my needs (i5 cpu, 6GB RAM, low power, low heat, low noise, headless when closed). I installed Linux Mint 15 on it as well as a LAMP server, Plex, SabNZBD, Sickbeard, and Tiny Tiny RSS. I'm having a lot of fun but have found Linux to be more limited than I had hoped in terms of software, a Winamp Shoutcast server for instance or iTunes for podcasts that I could play/mark as read from my Win7 desktop. Maybe WHS can do that, but I can't afford to explore that option at this time. I need a backup solution first.

 

I thought a NAS would be that solution, but after watching HSS and reading forums I'm not certain anymore. Several people have said RAIDs aren't backups, but aren't NAS built on RAIDs? Maybe I'm confused. Do I need a NAS to backup my NAS?

 

I do apologize if I ask too many questions. I'm a naturally inquisitive person.

 

Thanks

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Welcome.  RAID is definitely not a "backup" solution.  RAID is for high availability and redundancy.  So we now have your RAID established and suppose your home burns down (God forbid) but your data is now gone.

 

What you need to do is copy/duplicate the most critical data to an offsite location.  That could be a cloud solution such as Crashplan or one of the many alternatives or move the data physically by manually copying the data to removable drives.

 

You will see the term 3-2-1 when referring to backups.  You need three copies of your data, 2 of which are on different type of media (DVD's, portable HDD's, etc) and 1 copy offsite (Cloud Storage or Physical Copies)

 

If you do this, you will be covered.

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Welcome to the forums and you are correct that most NAS units are built on RAID technology.  As a second or third copy it is fine but it is not a backup if it is the primary storage.  Another words if your data is only stored on a RAID it is not adequate as it is not a backup, however if you have a second unit or if you are using the RAID unit as a second copy you are on your way.  Add a cloud as a third copy and you are good to go.

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 I see. Thank you. This makes me reconsider ripping my movies. Uploading and possibly downloading that much data seems unreasonable.

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I think you will find most of us do not include movies in our 3-2-1 solution because if you lose it, you just rip them again.

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I agree with what the others have said.

 

Just to describe backup another way, it doesn't matter whether your backup target is a RAID device or not. The main thing about backup is that it is another copy of the data. Backup is all about multiple copies, the more the better. Off Site storage is also fundamental to a good backup strategy; at least 1, preferably more, copies stored in another location. That is your single biggest data safety feature.

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One way to think about it is to consider what might happen, what are the consequences of it happening, and what steps can you take to mitigate this.

 

So start with the device which is holding all of your data (lets assume it's some kind of server or a NAS), hard disks do fail so if you only had a single disk, a single failure would wipe out all of your data in one go. To guard against this, you might set up a RAID-1 (mirrored) array with two disks. Now you are protected against the most likely problem which is a single disk failure, but you are not protected against accidentally deleting a file which would be automatically deleted on both drives. So you introduce another storage device (maybe a single USB drive) and some software which automatically make a backup copy or multiple incremental copies of the data each night. Now if you accidentally delete a file or even if the entire server fails and has to be replaced, you can recover all of your data, relatively quickly, from this backup.

 

Finally you need to consider what would happen in the event of a fire, or flood or theft which means you loose both the server and the backup drive. The answer here is to have some kind of backup which is off-site. This might be having two or more backup disks which you manually swopover and take somewhere else, maybe you could take one into work with you each morning, leave it there and bring one back for that night's backup (doesn't work at the weekends though or if you are off sick).

 

Another alternative is one of the many cloud-based backup systems (such as CrashPlan). With this you don't have to worry about taking disks off site, once set up it is all automated but copying the data up to the cloud and getting it back if necessary is much, much slower. This being the case, you can think about, what do I really need to have up in the cloud? If necessary, in the worse case scenario; could I re-rip all of my movies/music etc? If yes then you could probably afford not to include these in a cloud backup. But personal videos, family photos etc. can't ever be recreated so these do need to be copied up.

 

John

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