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mrstop

What hardware for backup?

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mrstop

I'm looking for an onsite backup solution for my important files and documents (currently under 1 TB) to complete my implementation of the 3-2-1 backup strategy.  I have considered an external drive (e.g. WD My Book) but I'm really concerned about the failure rates on these types of drives when I read the reviews.  It looks like all manufacturers have high reports of failures in 1-2 years.  Granted this is likely not a representative sample but it worries me nonetheless.  Would I be better off rolling my own external drive using an external enclusure like this and a seperately purchased hard drive to hopefully gain some reliability?  Or, should I go the NAS route or other?

 

My current setup is a dual purposerHTPC/Server running Windows 7.  It is providing storage for media files along with backup and storage for family files (documents, photos, etc).  As the media files aren't as important, I'm using Snapraid to provide some resiliancy in case of a hard drive failure so I don't have to re-rip all my media.  Crashplan is backing up my important docs offsite.

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ikon

Here's some links to my backup strategy/setup:

 

PHOTOS: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1899-whs-2011-storage-strategy/page-8#entry47628

BACKUP STRATEGY: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4788-what-i-hope-to-acheive-with-your-help/#entry51373

BACKUP SCRIPTS: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5197-robocopy-backup-scripts/#entry56498

 

 

There is one significant change: in the photo of my server rack you see a Thermaltake Docking Station to the left of the server. That has since been replaced with one of these to back up my server's OS drive (Windows Server Backup): http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001666. I find it more convenient and it keeps the drive cooler. I'm debating about getting 1 or 2 more of those external chassis, so I can rotate the OS backup. My dilema is whether it's worth it considering it's only the server OS.

 

In any case, I vote to roll you own. Get a nice external chassis, like the Thermaltake, and put a good quality drive in it.

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mrstop

Thanks for the prompt reply.  A couple of quetions/comments:

 

1)  I am a bit curious about one thing.  How is it that an external attached USB drive counts as a good backup strategy versus say adding a dedicated internal backup drive to your server/computer?

 

2)  I know this is a contentious issue, but what would be considered a "good quality drive?"

 

3)  It looks like many of the external drive enclosures are limited to 2-3 TB drives.  Seems strange, considering that the best drive values are in the 3+ TB range.

 

4) How quiet is your enclosure?

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jmwills

I like the enclosure idea, as it is part of my setup, however I use one that I can pop a drive in and out of and take to work.

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ikon

Thanks for the prompt reply.  A couple of quetions/comments:

 

1)  I am a bit curious about one thing.  How is it that an external attached USB drive counts as a good backup strategy versus say adding a dedicated internal backup drive to your server/computer?

 

2)  I know this is a contentious issue, but what would be considered a "good quality drive?"

 

3)  It looks like many of the external drive enclosures are limited to 2-3 TB drives.  Seems strange, considering that the best drive values are in the 3+ TB range.

 

4) How quiet is your enclosure?

 

  1. an internal drive has some disadvantages:
    1. It can't easily be taken off site
    2. it relies on the same power supply as the main drives so, if that PSU goes wonky and destroys drives, the backup is likely to get destroyed as well.

       

  2. enterprise class drives from most of the Tier 1 manufacturers (WD, Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung, etc.) would be fine.

    I also think WD Red drives are good. Others will point to specific Seagate models. You might want to check out the blogs at BackBlaze for their recommendations.

     

  3. If and enclosure can take a 3TB drive it's hard to imagine it won't take a 4TB. I don't have to worry about this because I only back up the OS. All my data is backed up to 2 Lian-Li EX-503 external USB3 enclosures. They're shown in the photo, on the top shelf.

     

  4. the Thermaltake USB3 chassis is very quiet. I really don't hear it.

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Jason

I really like that Lian Li EX-503. But can't find them in stock anywhere? Currently I'm alternating between 2 HGST 4TB Touro Desk ext HDDs. My server backup contains my OS, some critical data and Hyper-V VMs. About 1 TB of data total.

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jmwills

You have 1TB of data and are going to use a 4TB external?

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Jason

Yes - I got a good deal on the 4 TB drives after my previous ones died. Since we have young kids and family photos and movies grow, the backup is likely to also.

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jmwills

Just me, but I would have gotten 2x2TB and kept one off site.  Remember, your backups are worthless unknown entities until you test a restore from them.

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mrstop

 

  1. an internal drive has some disadvantages:
    1. It can't easily be taken off site
    2. it relies on the same power supply as the main drives so, if that PSU goes wonky and destroys drives, the backup is likely to get destroyed as well.

So I think that makes sense.  While the external drive is physically connected to the computer via, it is in essence a "stand alone" system with it's own power supply and hardware, correct?

 

 

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