Pls Advise: Data or Drive Redundancy in 2020: Which?

  1. Posts : 396
    Windows 10 1803

    Pls Advise: Data or Drive Redundancy in 2020: Which?

    In the past I have used physically mirrored "RAID 1" setup for failover assurance - if one drive fails, nothing is lost, quick restart interval. From what I am reading, lots of users have moved away from that model to other things - but what? I read that Windows 10 Storage Spaces is supposed to accomodate the need, but which method is best? Or 3rd party. I am handy with Macrium Reflect and use it on my own home network, but it doesn't offer the "quick" route to recovery and does require some user intervention, which some ordinary users will adjust to and some will not.

    The system at hand is an upgrade of an older Windows 7 rig that had physically mirrored drives its whole life, both in perfect condition and the "insurance policy" never had to be triggered. But it never suffered a Ransomware attack either, which would have cratered everything. So I have a modern HP Prodesk, and a pair of Samsung SSD's, and can certainly employ an offline backup and will be recommending that, regardless of the online redundancy method.

    What is your suggestion?
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  2. pparks1's Avatar
    Posts : 1,687
    Windows 10 Pro

    So, a RAID 1 for me was always something that I would use on a physical server at work for the OS drive. Being a business critical, or at least business important system, it was important to me that we could not see downtime in the event that a single hard drive were to fail. The second drive in the RAID 1 was only an insurance policy for the system to continue booting, it was never considered a backup of the data. For backups of the data, we always used a solution that backed up to tape. That's where the important data was.

    At home, I never employed the use of a RAID 1 system. I didn't feel that I needed 100% uptime of the system. It never really mattered greatly to me if my desktop was down for a while or the OS needed to be reinstalled. The only thing which mattered to me was my data. And as you noted, a disaster (malware, bad windows update etc) would wipe out both copies at the same time.

    So, this is what I do:
    On my desktop which acts as my server
    1). All data is in 4 shares on the 1st drive
    2). 7 robocopy batch files exist (1 for each day, which is scheduled on that day) run to make a redundant copy too 2nd drive (one copy for each day)
    3). Once a month or so, I connect an external hard drive and robocopy to that external drive which I keep offsite
    4). The following month, I use a different external drive that is kept offsite. This protects me in case the 1st external fails.

    With my backup above, I have 7 days of rotation. Because maybe I won't catch the problem on the 1st or 2nd day after it happens. Might have to go back a few days. This protects me if my 1st drive fails. My externals protect me in case my house is robbed and all of my equipment is stolen, or my house burns down. My 2nd external protects me in case the 1st external fails. Worst case scenario I lose the current months data. I can live with that.

    I also use Macrium Reflect free to make occasional image based backups for quicker recovery of my PC's. These don't go offsite, because as I said above, reinstalling my OS and apps, isn't the end of the world.
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  3. Posts : 396
    Windows 10 1803
    Thread Starter

    I like your thinking. Not sure an ordinary person could pull off the maintaining of the copies, but you have the bases covered. The damage done by cryptolocker-class black hats is serious, and nothing I know of other than what you're doing is a good insurance policy. I'm not a fan of carbonite et al just because of the tax on performance, the uncertainty of who the players are and their integrity [trust, in other words], the extra expense.. One thing I wish for is that "ordinary" windows 10 could be given the one function of proactively keeping itself alive and on the network at all times, but as is it drops connections that are dormant. I use windows 10 pro on an old desktop [but a good one] with big drives to stash everything, and it is redundant also [mirrored drives, onboard ROM type], but its flaw is it has no backup offline. However, I keep it offline/web - simply have it blocked so it cannot be reached via web; local only. I have to manually go in, put online and update windows etc once in awhile. I could get backup program from other systems to stash their stuff there, but it drops their connections to the BACKUP volume once they sleep or are otherwise dormant.

    does anyone use windows 10 storage spaces for a semblance of redundancy, and does it perform well?
    now would be the time to set it up if so - before I put all the old boatload of data on the new system rig

    thank you
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  4. Posts : 264
    Windows 10

    Storage spaces is a software-based RAID, so its performance hit is higher than a real RAID. But it works well and its very flexible.
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  5. Posts : 396
    Windows 10 1803
    Thread Starter

    xaccell said:
    Storage spaces is a software-based RAID, so its performance hit is higher than a real RAID. But it works well and its very flexible.
    haven't tried it yet. I assume the process is to create a 'pool', then space, and mark it as Raid 1 or "Two-way Mirror"? am I close? I see notes about changing the file system from NTFS to ReFS ? I'd rather not. Probably should have gotten a better desktop/MT with hardware ROM-Raid built in
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 264
    Windows 10

    Yes, it is pretty "user" friendly, but I think it is more oriented to more computer savvy people. Could be confusing sometimes. Yes, you could use the long promised ReFS with storage spaces!
      My Computer


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