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I want to build a backup storage system.

Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
All I know right now is what I want to do, I want to build a dedicated storage system with a bunch of big drives in it that will do nothing other than back stuff up on a semi regular basis and be used as a storage device.

I will keep it plugged into the network and use it as a place to write backup images to and keep large files that I don't use often on.

How should i start?

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    RandomHajileRandomHajile Not actually a Snatcher The New KremlinRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Are you wanting to buy something (like a server, with hardware RAID) and then build on to it, or just slap something together with the parts you already have (and use Software-based RAID or pool all of the drives together just to maximize storage)?

    I guess, the questions are (aside from what you will be using it for, which you already kinda described):
    1. Do you care about losing data during drive failures?
    2. What type of hardware do you already have to begin with?
    3. Do you have any kind of budget?

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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I am looking to have something that could possible grow, but I also want to start it with a couple TB of data so by the time I do need to expand it I might be ready to build a whole new thing.

    1) Not losing data is the purpose of this build. It's to care for the stuff on my main PC in case that one blows up on me.
    2) Nothing. This will be a fresh build. Not looking for high end stuff (like, I don't need a Core i7 Quad and a Geforce DX 11 card whatever to power a file server)
    3) Not really. I mean, I don't have a thousand bucks to blow, but I also dont expect it to cost more than my current rig did when I built it ($800).

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    RandomHajileRandomHajile Not actually a Snatcher The New KremlinRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Lord Jezo wrote: »
    I am looking to have something that could possible grow, but I also want to start it with a couple TB of data so by the time I do need to expand it I might be ready to build a whole new thing.

    1) Not losing data is the purpose of this build. It's to care for the stuff on my main PC in case that one blows up on me.
    2) Nothing. This will be a fresh build. Not looking for high end stuff (like, I don't need a Core i7 Quad and a Geforce DX 11 card whatever to power a file server)
    3) Not really. I mean, I don't have a thousand bucks to blow, but I also dont expect it to cost more than my current rig did when I built it ($800).

    Okay, so you're looking to build something with a PC budget (so servers are out, which is okay) from scratch. And you built your current PC, so you should be fine with buying the appropriate hardware with a bit of direction. I haven't been keeping up on specific motherboard vendors, but you should be able to find a Core 2 Duo or P4 capable motherboard (or earlier, really...even a PIII motherboard would be fine, but it won't have SATA ports for very large drives) with a hardware SATA RAID chip and on-board video (and if not, there are plenty of cheap PCI-E video cards these days...and really, once you get it setup, you could run it headless). Get a couple 1TB+ drives, set them up in RAID1 (that's the redundant one), and perhaps install Linux on it (for stability's sake, if you know anything about using it...there's a Linux thread here that can help you out if not). Then, get something like BackupPC and set it up to backup your PC to it.

    You could go with a software RAID solution--LVM on Linux can be used for this--but hardware RAID is always better. However, since this is your backup machine, both it AND your main machine would have to go down at the same time for you to be truly screwed, so maybe software RAID would be good enough? Anyway, it's an option. You should also be considering off-site backups of certain data if it is important enough for you to build a machine specifically for backup. In other words, what if your house burns down and destroys both machines. Burn (haha, pun!) your most important personal data (pictures, music, schoolwork, etc.) to DVD and keep a monthly copy at work or something.

    Depending on how the motherboard deals with differently sized hard drives in RAID, expansion may be easy or difficult (but you will always have to expand the actual partitions and file systems to accommodate larger drives...LVM can help with that, but it comes with its own complications).

    Of course, you COULD get a RAID capable motherboard on your main machine, and backup to an external drive or somesuch, and even store that external drive off-site, as well.

    RandomHajile on
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    ShadowrunnerShadowrunner Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Just remember that RAID is *not* a backup solution. It's designed to increase uptime in the face of hardware failures.

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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Assuming you are on windows, which it sounds like you are, this is pretty much what Windows home server was designed to do. You can either just go out and buy one of the $500 pre-built home servers and toss the hard drives that you want in, or buy an OEM copy of the OS and build your own machine.

    I'd recommend literally getting the cheapest CPU/motherboard you can find, make sure your motherboard has enough SATA ports on it for what you want to do, get 2GB of ram, case with enough drive bays, decent PSU, cheapo optical drive, and you're set. You really don't need much more than that.

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    RandomHajileRandomHajile Not actually a Snatcher The New KremlinRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Just remember that RAID is *not* a backup solution. It's designed to increase uptime in the face of hardware failures.

    Indeed...I wasn't suggesting he should just trust RAID on a single machine, but it would be nice to have on ONE of the two machines, at least.

    Seriously, though, if you don't pay attention to any of my other suggestions, you should really consider a periodic off-site backup of the really important stuff.

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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Exactly what you need:

    http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/mediasmart-server/alt.html

    Then toss a couple 1.5tb drives in it, then go here:

    http://www.homeserverhacks.com/

    To get the very most out of it.

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