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Has anyone worked with non-on-board IDE arrays?


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   John_Berger

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Posted December 04 2003 - 02:54 PM

I've been tossing around the idea of an adequate tape backup for about 70 GB of data, but good DLT and DDS-4 drives are bank-breakers (not to mention the cost of the tapes) if you're not an IT shop with a nice budget.

So, I'm looking for a more cost-effective solution like a RAID 1 card that I can plug in and then attach two IDE drives. I'm not looking for a new motherboard because the one that I have works fine. (I can't use a processor upgrade as an excuse since it can handle up to an Athlon XP 2700+ and I already have an XP 2400+ installed.)

This will be used with Windows 2000 Professional, and the drives will be data drives (EPosted Image, not boot drives.

Suggestions on cards to do this?

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted December 04 2003 - 08:42 PM

I really like the 3ware cards (http://www.3ware.com) for anything IDE raid.

You could even set up two separate RAID arrays with this, for instance one mirrored boot disk and one mirrored data disk (for a total of 4 disks).

You could also go with a RAID5 array for the entire machine and have one partition on the array for booting and one for data. With a hardware raid card you get a bootable array which is nice.
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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted December 05 2003 - 03:23 AM

I'll second that vote for 3ware. They've got sata raid cards now, wish they had those when I was buying a raid card. Though I'm probably going to build a new server in the not too distant future...

You also might want to look into that new netcell thing that Tom's has done a couple of articles on. Sounds interesting, anyway.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   John_Berger

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Posted December 05 2003 - 05:42 PM

Well, my boot drive is removable so that I can have different environments if I want. So, making that part of an array could cause a wee bit o' problems. Posted Image

Cool. I'll look into this. Tape backup is just way too expensive. Posted Image Than again, why lament? At least hard drive mirroring will be instant access -- and an excuse to get higher-capacity hard drives! Posted Image

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Robert Houghton

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Posted December 06 2003 - 02:43 AM

The cheapest and most efficient way to backing up is cloning your drives. I think you said that you have removable drives, which would make it even better. I clone my c drive once a month and remove it from the system all together. I also on occasion clone another drive to leave at my daughter's house.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted December 07 2003 - 08:41 PM

Indeed, removable hard drive cages will work fine as a backup if you can shut down the machine whenever you need to switch disks.

Get another removable drive cage and use that to take copies of your data drive to another harddrive, no need to mess around with RAID then.

Or better yet, do a combo of those. Set up a mirrored raid array of your data drive and add a removable drive cage and use that to do backups of the mirror.

Even if you do have a mirrored drive, having backups of that is useful. A mirrored drive is more reliable than a single drive but it's still not fool proof - and no protection at all against things like accidental (or intentional) deletion of data.

Still, if you're switching operating systems etc going with RAID has definite pitfalls. You might be more comfortable with just removable drives.
"If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
"Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area." -- "BlackAdder 4"