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  • External HDs with large capacity?

    What would you recommend? I use Glyph, but their 8 TB RAID is really expensive, so I'm looking at other options for external drives. I need this as back-up primarily, so I need reliability, but not necessarily blazing speed. Thanks.
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

  • #2
    The main problem with external drives for backup that go above 2-3TB is that you start getting enclosures that 1) have more than one drive "joined" by a custom controller and 2) aren't user replaceable. So what ends up happening, eventually, is that one of the drives dies (or the controller dies) and you're SOL on the backups.

    If you're really serious about backups in the sense that losing them could cost you in a real way, there's something to be said for spending the money to do it right the first time and get an actual decent RAID-5 or RAID-1 setup, maybe even NAS'd.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
      so I need reliability
      Get two of whatever, don't count on the reliability of a single unit, even RAID.
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      • #4
        Oh really, so just getting 2 4TB drives is actually better than RAID? I didn't know that RAID was *less* reliable.

        Is it pretty easy to back up to two drives simultaneously using something like Super Duper Clone or things of that nature? Just curious. Thanks.
        G-Technology G-Drive 4TB $189
        http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-G-DRIVE-GDREU3G1PB40001BDB-External-Drive/dp/B00ND4DV9M/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416015841&sr =1-3&keywords=g-technology+4TB+-RAID

        G-Technology G-Drive Professional Strength 4TB $269
        http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-G-DRIVE-Professional-Strength-External-0G02537/dp/B009AP6X0C/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416015841&sr =1-1&keywords=g-technology+4TB+-RAID

        Glyph 4TB $365
        http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StuPro4TB?adpos=1o1&creative=55226102161&device=c& matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CIrmo7a8-8ECFQlgfgod3i4ADg (same price on Amazon)
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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        • #5
          ken, you should really check out a NAS, like a drobo. it's made for people like you.


          http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/5n/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
            Oh really, so just getting 2 4TB drives is actually better than RAID? I didn't know that RAID was *less* reliable.

            Is it pretty easy to back up to two drives simultaneously using something like Super Duper Clone or things of that nature? Just curious. Thanks.
            G-Technology G-Drive 4TB $189
            http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-G-DRIVE-GDREU3G1PB40001BDB-External-Drive/dp/B00ND4DV9M/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416015841&sr =1-3&keywords=g-technology+4TB+-RAID

            G-Technology G-Drive Professional Strength 4TB $269
            http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-G-DRIVE-Professional-Strength-External-0G02537/dp/B009AP6X0C/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416015841&sr =1-1&keywords=g-technology+4TB+-RAID

            Glyph 4TB $365
            http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StuPro4TB?adpos=1o1&creative=55226102161&device=c& matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CIrmo7a8-8ECFQlgfgod3i4ADg (same price on Amazon)
            While it's true that you probably want backups (offsite) in addition to RAID, the advantage of having RAID is that you can lose discs in your local backup and not lose data.

            In the case of RAID-0, or mirroring, whole discs are duplicated. So, if you have 4 discs, you really only have 50% of that total storage space, because, if we assume the discs are labeled A, B, C, D, you'd have it set up so that B was a mirror of A and D was a mirror of C -- that way, if A or C die, you swap B or D respectively (or the RAID array fails over automatically) for the failed drive, then destroy the bad drive and replace it with a new one. The downside of that sort of system, aside from it only having 50% of the total drive space implied by the number of drives you're using (because, remember, half of that disc total is duplication) you have to be careful about using the same size of disks, etc. The upside is that, in theory, you can lose multiple drives and the set will stay online.

            There's other types of RAID like RAID-5 where instead of duplicating all the data, the array maintains parity bits that it can reconstruct into actual valid data if a drive fails. The advantage is usually that you "give away" less data space in the process (i.e. it takes less than a 50% overhead to maintain the parity bit set), but the disadvantage is that the recovery process can take many, many hours to rebuild your data.

            Ideally, what you'd want to is have some sort of local RAID/NAS setup (e.g. The Drobo NAS mentioned earlier; while not all NAS units are implemented with RAID setups, Drobo has a "RAID-like" system that functions kinda-sorta like RAID-6), and then also have some sort of cloud backup for offsite storage (RAID is nice, but it handles floods and fires very poorly!). That way you have offsite backups that protect against catastrophic loss, but you don't have to wait a long time to pull down a set of files from the web backup, either.

            The trick is, of course, that not all RAID controllers are the same. You're going to want one that has good support from the manuf and good reviews from its users. In this case, you can somewhat narrow down the issue in that you want it for backup, not increased performance. As such, you don't really need a dedicated RAID controller card, just something (again, like the Drobo) that isn't just a bunch of drives hanging off your computer, but, rather, something that you attach to your network that you can (ideally) automate backups into.

            In general, the larger the individual drive, the less reliable they are in terms of their Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF), *especially* on the consumer end. That's why disk arrays are preferable when you get to large data stores.

            So, in summation: Some sort of NAS box that sits in your office, and then that NAS box itself also gets backed up into some sort of cloud backup service.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post
              Oh really, so just getting 2 4TB drives is actually better than RAID? I didn't know that RAID was *less* reliable.
              It's not that RAID is "less reliable", it's just that, assuming the data only resides on one RAID unit, that data isn't really backed up, despite the ability to rebuild it in the event of a single drive failure. Take worst case scenarios: what if you had more than one drive fail at a time? Or what if the controller board failed?

              If you only need 4TB of storage I would suggest two 4TB units rather than one 8TB in RAID 1. It may be more cumbersome, perhaps even more expensive, but your data will be more secure. Depending on your setup and your preferences, you could get two NAS units and use automatic NAS-to-NAS backup.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nijyo View Post
                In the case of RAID-0, or mirroring, whole discs are duplicated.
                Sorry, I just have to correct this: RAID 1 is mirroring, RAID 0 is striped for improved speed, no data duplication.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by veracohr View Post

                  It's not that RAID is "less reliable", it's just that, assuming the data only resides on one RAID unit, that data isn't really backed up, despite the ability to rebuild it in the event of a single drive failure. Take worst case scenarios: what if you had more than one drive fail at a time? Or what if the controller board failed?

                  If you only need 4TB of storage I would suggest two 4TB units rather than one 8TB in RAID 1. It may be more cumbersome, perhaps even more expensive, but your data will be more secure. Depending on your setup and your preferences, you could get two NAS units and use automatic NAS-to-NAS backup.

                  Thanks for the clarification. I probably will need at least twice that much for back-up.

                  I am thinking about either going with some sort of Drobo-like setup or with a Glyph Triplicator setup. The latter gives me more transportability, I think. But I'm still thinking about this as I go.

                  I appreciate the help immensely.
                  Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by veracohr View Post

                    Sorry, I just have to correct this: RAID 1 is mirroring, RAID 0 is striped for improved speed, no data duplication.
                    You are 100% correct.
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    "Vaginas are nice, but I wouldn't trade my balls for one." - boxorox

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                    • #11
                      Do you want back up storage or a work drive? I have a 3TB ROKSTOR that failed after 4 months. They replaced the internal drive but it was a slow process and I had to buy another large drive to keep working. The second drive is a 4TB G-Drive.
                      For Storage, I use a Synology 4 drive unit. I run RAID 5 for security and storage which takes apron 1 entire drive space for redundancy. Replace the drives every 5 years or sooner.

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                      • #12
                        Reek, is that you?
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Havok View Post
                          Do you want back up storage or a work drive? I have a 3TB ROKSTOR that failed after 4 months. They replaced the internal drive but it was a slow process and I had to buy another large drive to keep working. The second drive is a 4TB G-Drive.
                          For Storage, I use a Synology 4 drive unit. I run RAID 5 for security and storage which takes apron 1 entire drive space for redundancy. Replace the drives every 5 years or sooner.
                          Thanks. I am looking for a storage drives for backup, so probably either something like a Synology/Drobo sort of setup, or Glyph Triplicator, which allows you to copy/back-up to as many as three external HDs simultaneously.
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                          • #14
                            I think of backup and storage as two different things. Backup is if some problem happens with a project or computer, I can get the data back. Storage is when the project is finished, but I may want to get that data back at some point.

                            For storage, I'm into Blu-Ray. 50 GB discs are about $2 and from everything I've read, Blu-Ray discs are inherently more robust than writable DVDs. You're also spreading your storage over more media, so if one disc dies, you're in better shape than if a 4 TB drive dies.

                            I've been using optical media for storage for literally decades with no mishaps. I do "refresh" the data as higher capacities appear; for example, I moved my CD-Rs over to DVD-Rs but kept the CD-Rs so now I have two sets of backup for older data.
                            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks. I don't know very much about Blu-Ray. Okay, I know almost nothing. I have a Mac Pro 1,1 running OS 10.6.8 with the usual DVD burner that is built in to the tower. Can I use whatever appropriate software there is, such as DVDFab or IMGBURN or Roxio Creator and that DVD burner, or do I need something that specifically for Blu-Ray? I'm a little confused by this. Thanks.
                              Amazon.com: Verbatim Blu-ray Disc 50 pcs Spindle - 50GB 4X BD-R DL - Inkjet Printable: Electronics
                              Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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