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ARSCLIST  April 2013

ARSCLIST April 2013

Subject:

Re: current small studio RAID recommendations

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:07:54 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (210 lines)

Hi, Tom,

This could be a long discussion...but the short story is, what I have is 
about 95% automatic.

For my studio machine, instead of using the normal turnoff command at 
the end of the day, I run a viceversa script (through a shortcut) that 
is backup and shutdown.

The script pushes out everything on my hard drive to the proper storage 
location(s) via the ViceVersa profile.

At the end of the profile, it runs a batch file you create that uses the 
not-well-documented Windows Shutdown command.

There are details of this in my blog post.
http://richardhess.com/notes/2008/07/25/file-backup-strategy-and-utilities/

Some of what you want to do with backups is protect yourself against 
over-writing good data with bad. I have some of the built into the 
paired NASes, but ViceVersa also will do versioning, but be careful as 
it can eat a lot of data and be slow. You don't want to do it with 
email, for example...or audio files.

One of the things I was really worried about was pushing modified JPEG 
files out for the boys. Their JPEG files are their original work, so the 
backup NAS is set to only ADD JPEGs not update them. In this way, if you 
make a bad edit the second backup copy is not changed.

----

The other thing not described is that we do bi-directional backups 
between the server and laptops in that any file changed on the server is 
moved to the laptop and any file changed on the laptop is moved to the 
server. There can be issues with this, but it also allows using the 
server to sync multiple computers. The boys have two laptops at 
university and they keep them both sync'd to the RAID.

There are MANY concerns, but my systems are now running with almost no 
supervision. The only manual thing is on the audio machine and I use the 
special backup and shutdown command instead of shutdown.

The laptops are manual with about four sync routines to save time. For 
example, there is
documents
photos
music
archive

All you do is Sync Documents when you want to. It could be automated 
with shutdown if you wished, or you could do all. This is optimized for 
the 56 Mb/s wireless links to the laptops.

Cheers,

Richard

On 2013-04-16 2:53 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Thanks for all the information so far. I'm disappointed to be learning 
> that it's still far from background/idiot-proof/foolproof. Why the 
> heck doesn't anyone build this into an OS -- have it back up all the 
> time, you just tell it where to back up to? It seems like the simplest 
> thing in the world -- no one wants to lose data and no one wants to 
> babysit a computer or remember to back things up.
>
> Is there a Windows batch-command sequence that can just make every 
> file-write be done twice to two different hard drives? Or is there a 
> background-running/non-crashing utility that just keeps two drives 
> sync'd at all times? I do not want to go into the IT babysitting 
> business, I want to make this simpler than it is right now.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Gaer" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] current small studio RAID recommendations
>
>
> I too am not crazy about SANs but I disagree that a direct attached 
> device is like a SAN--I'd say it's a lot more like an external disk.  
> You're not dealing with networks, network protocols, network drivers, 
> etc.  It's simply a directly attached device.
>
> Of course, that attachment would be a lot faster and more useable if 
> it was USB 3 or Thunderbolt than USB 2.  I've seen some shockingly 
> poor performance on USB 2 connections, depending on the controllers, 
> OS's, etc.  A high quality dedicated NAS over 1Gb Ethernet can perform 
> quite well (better than a lot of direct attached USB2 single disks 
> I've seen), but may be overkill if this is really more of a backup 
> device (and may not perform well enough if one needs real time data 
> access, etc).
>
> I do agree that RAID controller failure is pretty uncommon (at least 
> in the enterprise level devices I've run) compared to disk failures, 
> and that dual redundancy wrt disk failures is a very good thing.
>
> I would take a good luck at Drobo.  They've gotten a fair amount of 
> good press (and a bit of ungood press in the past, no surprise).  They 
> originally started out as a direct attached device but can now also do 
> NAS.  They can be set up with dual redundant disks.  You can choose 
> your own disks.  If one wants real performance one could go with SSD 
> tiered data and high rpm/performance SAS disks, but both would be 
> expensive overkill for what is essentially a backup device.
>
> For cloud based storage/backup you might want to take a look at 
> CrashPlan (used by some people who's opinions I trust) and DropBox, 
> though the latter gets expensive with a lot of data. From the reported 
> experience Carbonite doesn't sound like much of a win (which doesn't 
> surprise me given their target market and marketing campaigns, 
> definitely looking for a non-technical audience).
>
> Arthur Gaer
> [log in to unmask]
>
> On Apr 16, 2013, at 12:47 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>
>> Hi, Tom,
>>
>> If the connection is via USB, then you're in the realm more of SAN 
>> than NAS. (Storage Area Network vs Network Attached Storage) I have 
>> never liked the SAN approach for what we do as it ties the storage 
>> (in small systems) to one machine.
>>
>> I got involved with the LaCie EthernetDisk which was 500 GB and used 
>> Embedded Windows XP. It wasn't a great product, but being able to 
>> create shares with security was a plus.
>>
>> When I moved to more of the mainstream SOHO NAS solutions (Netgear 
>> ReadyNAS NV+ and Thecus N5200), I was really impressed. The original 
>> NV+ is fairly slow, though I can usually play a few channels of 96/24 
>> off it (I think at least four), over the Gigabit Ethernet LAN.
>>
>> The Thecus units I've had since 2008 are faster than the Netgears (I 
>> actually own four and am possibly buying my neighbour's off-site 
>> backup as he's considering moving and is heading towards retirement). 
>> They are fine for storage and limited playback. I'd want something 
>> faster for my main NAS if I was running things off it.
>>
>> I have used ViceVersa Pro for ten years at least to manage 
>> backups--it is normally batch but they may have options for immediate 
>> backup now--not something I'm interested in.
>>
>> With the less-than-wonderful experience I've had with desktop drives 
>> above 1 GB in NAS units (Seagate 1.5 GB) I would suggest seriously 
>> considering the Western Digital RED drives to go in the NAS. My pair 
>> of ReadyNAS NV+ from 2007 still are running strong with four 500 GB 
>> Server Seagate drives. I replaced one drive under warranty. These 
>> were online for three years then sat out two years and now have been 
>> reborn as dorm room servers for the boys. I used one this year for 
>> non-redundant files.
>>
>> Search www.richardhess.com/notes for NAS and I have the brands listed 
>> that are worth looking at but I've only used the original Netgear and 
>> the Thecus.
>>
>> If you are using a single NAS unit, I'd suggest RAID 6 as that gives 
>> you more margin for error/failure. You can lose any TWO discs in RAID 
>> 6 without losing data. For that, I'd suggest at least a 5-bay NAS. 
>> With five 2 GB WD Reds, you'd end up with super redundancy with 6 TB 
>> of storage (more or less). The next NAS that I get--either the used 
>> one from my neighbour or a new one--will use 2 GB WD Reds.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>> On 2013-04-16 8:10 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>> Is anyone using any of the USB-attached RAID backup systems? If so, 
>>> can you share your recommendations and experienced. Connection would 
>>> be to a PC that has two external USB2 drives as the main storage. 
>>> I'd like to have some WindowsXP-compatible software that is 
>>> crash-proof, doesn't hog resources and runs in the background, using 
>>> idle times to keep things backed up to the attached RAID array. I've 
>>> seen 2-HD and 4-HD enclosures, and I'm curious which kind other 
>>> folks are using? I can't afford nor do I have the expertise to deal 
>>> with one of the fancy NAS systems (plus, it would take forever to 
>>> back up my studio drives over Ethernet, the backup needs to be via 
>>> USB).
>>>
>>> Input much appreciated. Up to now, I've been manually backing up to 
>>> a third, bigger USB drive. There's got to be a better way that won't 
>>> take down Windows or be unreliable.
>>>
>>> BTW, for what it's worth, I signed up for Carbonite for my office PC 
>>> last year. So far, 9 months into it, it's only got the PC and 
>>> external hard drive 30% backed up! So, not a practical solution if 
>>> you have a lot of data to backup! I don't run the PC 24-7, but I do 
>>> leave it on overnight most nights. To Carbonite's credit, the 
>>> software prioritized My Documents and the key system-identification 
>>> files and those got backed up first. But stuff like my iTunes 
>>> library, my extensive audio-documentaton library, my HDTracks 
>>> downloads, it'll take literally years. Not practical!
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>

-- 
Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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