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Raid or not in a server for personal use
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Raid or not in a server for personal use

SaahibSaahib Member
edited February 2013 in Help

Hi,

I am quite happy to see responses / answers to query I make here, thanks to this beautiful community, I have one more small query.
I have few dedicated box and all have 2 drives, one for backup and other operating system. Since all my servers are never fully used, I never thought of using RAID, however now I feel that instead of wasting server's resources, I should set up VPS on it and use them separately so instead of buying 3-4 cheap boxes, I can do away with one little more powerful and that way I will also enhance my knowledge for managing vps.

The catch is, currently I am using second drive as backup drive (daily backups) and one of the server on other datacenter is storing weekly backups as all I have private clients. Now, if I get one big machines, eventually it will replace my 3-4 dedicated servers (so saving costs), now my budget is not that high that I should get Raid 10 setup which is most promising here..

So, should I go for RAID 1 (soft), will that be reliable enough or go for 2 disk setup as I do usually (1 for backup and one for actual use) , the main question is that, in Raid 1, your data is duplicated so both disks are used equally, so chances of failure of disks are equal.. isn't ?

Excuse if I sound ill-informed somewhere but RAID is thing which I am yet to use.. :)

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Comments

  • Personally I'd never deploy any server without raid for anything more than testing. Even if its for personal use think of the time lost if you lose the single disk. Servers can still die even without RAID, but time is too valuable (at least in my opinion) not to eliminate that point of failure.

    RAID1 will mirror one disk to the other and it will allow for one disk to fail and still have the array function.

  • shovenoseshovenose Member, Provider

    RAID1 works by having data being written and read to both disks simultaneously. Theoretically, if both drives are identical models and brand new at the time of deployment, they would both fail at the same time, however most likely one will have a mechanical failure.

  • Redundancy in a 2 drive system... Yeah you haven't done it because not really any options with so few drives.


    As a simplified example, consider a RAID 1 with two identical models of a disk drive, each with a 5% probability that the disk would fail within three years. Provided that the failures are statistically independent, then the probability of both disks failing during the three-year lifetime is 0.25%. Thus, the probability of losing all data is 0.25% over a three-year period if nothing is done to the array. If the first disk fails and is never replaced, then there is a 5% chance the data will be lost. If only one of the disks fails, no data would be lost. As long as a failed disk is replaced before the second disk fails, the data is safe.

    However, since two identical disks are used and since their usage patterns are also identical, their failures cannot be assumed to be independent. Thus, the probability of losing all data, if the first failed disk is not replaced, may increase.

  • RAID is not a backup strategy.

  • True that @NickM :)

    2 drives in my world = RAID 0 or two separate drives.

    Backups go to another machine over the network or across the country.

  • Definitely its not backups strategy but I think no one took in consideration that in RAID 1 array, though write is done at same time but read is done through only one disk, so eventually one disk will be less used.

    Definitely I will switch to RAID 10 when I can afford it, right now I am looking for a single dedicated server to replace 3 (may be 4 cheap dedicated boxes) as client need root access for their application / needs but resource usage is not that much. Now as I will cancelling few dedicated boxes, I will need to redo my backup strategy in new resources available. I do not take snapshot, I just backup what is needed and yes, at the moment time is no issue as all are my private clients.

  • @jbxl said: Personally I'd never deploy any server without raid for anything more than testing. Even if its for personal use think of the time lost if you lose the single disk. Servers can still die even without RAID, but time is too valuable (at least in my opinion) not to eliminate that point of failure.

    This

    @NickM said: RAID is not a backup strategy.

    And this.

    My humble opinion: When possible RAID 6 + spare, or RAID Z (ZFS). But lately been experimenting with BTRFS, quite cool.

    But, since you have two drives, go with Raid 1. Do you really need the storage? Or do you want to have some time to replace a disk when one fails, and still keep your data?

    As said above, disks still fail, but with RAID 1 or 5/6 it gives you some time to fix it without downtime.

  • Alright, so raid 1 is not supposed to be good option for backup, so what the suggested cost effective backup/ storage solution ?

  • @Saahib said: Alright, so raid 1 is not supposed to be good option for backup, so what the suggested cost effective backup/ storage solution ?

    It depends on how much you value your data / time.

    For me, i place different values on different content. For example, pictures, documents and some local code repo's are on a set of stripped zfs mirrors (similar to raid10) - 4 disks, 2 can die before data loss.

    For my media content i have 2 sets of 8 disk zfs raidz arrays (similar to raid5). This content isn't hugely important and could be recovered, however it would take a lot of time. I can have one disk die in each array and thats a chance I'm willing to take.

    Virtual machines are on a mix of stripes, and raidz arrays depending - again different value of importance on some machines.

    I also replicate some data sets to different arrays for backups and some important content gets pushed to the cloud and local usb disks.

    The point being - only you can answer what is a good backup solution for you.

    It really depends on how important your data is and what resources you have available to you.

    RAID isn't a backup strategy, however if its all you have available to you it is better than nothing.

  • What LEB hosts do here to do weekly backup of their nodes ?

  • I wouldn't rely on any provider for backups. It's your data, you need to be responsible for it.

    Thanked by 1GM2015
  • @Saahib said: What LEB hosts do here to do weekly backup of their nodes ?

    We normally don't, but can set this up for a bit extra.

  • So you mean LEB provider here doesn't care about backups of their node, so it means..
    LEB != Reliability ?

    Alright you are providing it for a cheap price but that never give excuse for not having professional services !!

  • prae5prae5 Member
    edited February 2013

    Your data, your responsibility as simple as that. Most (All?) make it clear that your data is your responsibility.

    That has nothing to do with reliability.

  • @Saahib said: So you mean LEB provider here doesn't care about backups of their node, so it means..

    LEB != Reliability ?

    All managed hosting also have this. Unmanaged plans and for the price means users will need to take their own backups. This is what unmanaged is.

    Some do take backups as such, but it's generally included in the cost.

  • atbradleatbradle Member
    edited February 2013

    "RAID is not a backup"

    Just keep offsites

    edit: I should add, as others have said above, backups are NEVER your provider's responsibility.

  • SaahibSaahib Member
    edited February 2013

    @prae5 , I don't want to sound rude but I do understand English, you don't need to repeat yourself, my data is my responsibility but as host you do have some responsibility, clearly if any LEB say because we are cheap but we don't do anything about offsite backup (atleast weekly) then is the one to who will be in my "NO-NO" list.

    I am ofcourse responsible for my backups and that is why I am looking for a box, I may go for Raid 10 instead of 1 , that is why I have invoked this discussion.

    So without diverting this topic anymore, when I asked, what LEB provider do for backup.. let me rephrase me :

    What those PROFESSIONAL LEB provider do who take atleast weekly backup, (exclude those who do not take any backup being LEB as their excuse) , do they use dedicated machines , or do round robin kind of thing ie using spare space in other machines .. etc..

  • I doubt many of them do backups for you, I know hosts like BuyVM provide extra ftp storage for you to place backups onto, but that is still something you would have to set up yourself

  • Are you reading my posts dear at all, or just answering because you want to answer ?

    I am not asking any one to do anything for me, I am just asking those who take this thing professionally, what kind of setup they use !

  • Value and availability of data > cost of disks.

  • prae5prae5 Member
    edited February 2013

    @Saahib said: I am not asking any one to do anything for me, I am just asking those who take this thing professionally, what kind of setup they use !

    I think I may be misunderstanding your question(?), or there is a misuderstanding on what you mean....

    By saying those that take it professionally, you are implying that hosts that don't back up aren't professional. This simply isn't the case. Any LEB, or unmanaged service / dedi is by definition unmanaged. This means the host has no responsibility for your data, they are not responsible for backing up your data. You may find they take occasional snapshots to allow a full restore in event of hardware failure, or they may only backup enough to restore the base config and setup containers. Regardless a user shouldn't rely on this and it is to be expected from an unmanaged service.

    @Saahib said: What those PROFESSIONAL LEB provider do who take atleast weekly backup, (exclude those who do not take any backup being LEB as their excuse) , do they use dedicated machines , or do round robin kind of thing ie using spare space in other machines .. etc..

    Are you trying to ask what kind of backup schedules/setups hosts use for those that offer backup services as an add-on or for managed services? I'm not trying to be pedantic, but thats not what you asked previously.....

    @Saahib said: exclude those who do not take any backup being LEB as their excuse

    Again, to be clear this isn't an excuse, nor an indication that a host isn't professional This is to be expected with any unmanaged service be it a LEB at $7/m or $99/m from a non LEB.

  • concerto49concerto49 Member
    edited February 2013

    @Saahib said: What those PROFESSIONAL LEB provider do who take atleast weekly backup, (exclude those who do not take any backup being LEB as their excuse) , do they use dedicated machines , or do round robin kind of thing ie using spare space in other machines .. etc..

    Best to do it on an offsite location. Many do it on a dedicated server. We do on it on our storage VPS, since it is our equipment anyhow.

    As to your argument of not taking backups = not professional, does that mean unmanaged = unprofessional since they don't help you manage it?

    Everything has costs. A backup = disk space + bandwidth to transfer. Happy to add it on at $0.03/GB, which is how much we charge for storage on our storage plans.

    I could add it to the package so it costs more, but most users aren't after it unfortunately (and hence why get them to share the cost?). It can be daily backup too - just different pricing.

  • Seriously, I don't want to be in argument that Unmanaged means no backup, leave it, now my only question is ,
    Say you have a node with lots of VPS on it, how you take care things ?
    As @concerto49 said, us other machines or use other drives , which one is cost effective ?

  • @Saahib said: As @concerto49 said, us other machines or use other drives , which one is cost effective ?

    It's not about cost effective. If you just add a drive to your server for a backup, it's in most cases useless. Chances are the server itself will fail. You need to backup to an offsite location. This is why most require offsite backup.

  • And what should be then offsite backup machine config ?
    Won't it be again same thing as for that offsite machine same thing again comes in effect.

  • @Saahib said: And what should be then offsite backup machine config ?

    Won't it be again same thing as for that offsite machine same thing again comes in effect.

    If you have to put it that way, yes you should backup the backup. It goes on forever.

    It comes down to price vs level of redundancy and what you need. Ultimately ask yourself what you need not I'd just like to have the cool features.

  • Awmusic12635Awmusic12635 Member, Provider

    @Saahib I know some definitely do do it.

    For example we don't do weekly backups, we do them every 6 hours.

  • So, you dump a 4TB array every 6 hours, and then transport this 'offsite'?

    Well, grats, I guess.

  • Awmusic12635Awmusic12635 Member, Provider
    edited February 2013

    @Wintereise It's an incremental BMR. 6 hours on site weekly offsite

  • RobertClarkeRobertClarke Member, Provider

    Software RAID is better than no RAID.

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