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Re: RAID level for personal archival?

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      Sep 18th, 09, 4:43 PM
"Derrick Coetzee <(E-Mail Removed)>" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm building a RAID solution for personal archiving (general large
> things like raw photos, full disk backups, DVD rips, that sort of
> thing). I picked up a 7-disk NAS tower that I'm filling with 2 TB
> desktop-class SATA disks. Much of this is irreplacable data - RAID
> failure would be very bad.

It would be bad to lose your raid, but you still need to back it up. Trust
me, a "NAS tower + desktop class sata disks" will fail at some point, and
you will lose all your stuff.

> The question I have is: is RAID 5 sufficient, or is RAID 6 needed?

5 would be sketchy for such large drives. 6 is better.

> Because this is for personal archival, the system would only be turned
> on occasionally (much longer per-disk mean time to failure), and in
> the event of a disk failure, could be turned off until the disk is
> replaced (it would never run in degraded mode). On the other hand,

you don't know that it won't run in degraded mode unless you have some
magic way to stop the array upon any failure, which really don't do you
any good anyways.

> rebuilding a 2 TB disk could take a while, and this interval could by
> itself provide ample opportunity for a second disk failure
> (particularly if my disks happened to come from a single batch).
> Should I play it safe and go for RAID 6 here?

yes, raid6 may be better. I'd suggest using a decent RAID controller if
you can too. Any controller built into a motherboard is garbage by the

Again, you still need backups no matter what you do. you said it yourself-
the data is irreplacable. A RAID array can help reduce the chance of
HARDWARE data loss, but that's just one of many ways you can lose data in
the first place. It helps, but is never a complete answer by itself.
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