A question about the storage/backup RAID setup I should use for a media center
February 16, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

I am creating a media center out of a high end Dell XPS Studio. I am using Dell hybrids as the extenders, but have a question about the storage/backup RAID setup I should use.

I have already purchased ten 1TB consumer Green Caviar WD drives and two SansDigital 5 Bay eSATA enclosures. My initial plan was to use one as storage and one as backup, but I dont know what RAID to set each one up so I get good performance out of the storage one and good reliability out of the backup one.

My thought was to setup the storage as either RAID 0 or JBOD and have the backup RAID 5. Does this sound like the best idea? Would you use RAID 0 or JBOD for speed/performance of media?

My concerns:

The storage needs high performance and speed to serve the media content (high definition, mkv, divx, mp3, photos) to the media center extenders.

The backup needs to be reliable but using RAID 5 will lower the possible backup from 5TB to 4TB (which I am ok with).

What I really wish I could do is just build both of them as RAID 5 for reliability and hot swapping AND use some type of online backup solution (but I have heard this would be impossible as it takes too long to upload on something like mozy). Someone else was mentioning that there are services that you can snail mail them your hard drives to be uploaded to their online servers, but I havent found any companies like that. I would literally be able to have 8TB of storage if it would work that way :(

Please let me know your recommendations
posted by schindyguy to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would NEVER use RAID 0 personally -- what sort of speed/performance do you need? I play BluRay rips on my Dell Latutide laptop with a 80gb 5400 RPM *laptop* harddrive. RAID 0 is asking for punishment, and not giving you any real benefit.

I guess I am confused about what your idea of "Backup" is -- why would you want to use RAID at all for backups?

I would run your online storage as RAID 5.
posted by SirStan at 1:09 PM on February 16, 2009

Sorry -- I wouldn't use RAID 0 except in the following situations:

1. On top of raid 1. (0+1)
2. If I needed extremely high performance, and budget was a priority over reliability. (I can't think of what this situation might be though... )
posted by SirStan at 1:40 PM on February 16, 2009

I can't see that you'll need super high performance ... but you've already brought 10 drives. So I'd suggest Raid 6 for storage and Raid 1 (or 1+0) for the onsite backup. And keep the spare drive for the first failure.

And then backup the whole lot offsite. Mozy or Amazon S3 or similar.
posted by Xhris at 5:25 PM on February 16, 2009

Response by poster: I cant do RAID 6 with that enclosure from what I read on newegg...maybe someone can correct me by looking into the link.

Like I said before I cant backup 5tb of storage to an online server because the initial backup will be a couple years long to upload...thats why I was looking for some type of sneakernet service to mail the hard drives in.

And to clarify, I would use RAID 5 on both the storage and backup OR
JBOD on the storage and RAID 5 on the backup.

In either case I would use something like SyncBack to backup the files to the RAID 5 backup enclosure.

So what do you think?
posted by schindyguy at 8:33 PM on February 16, 2009

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