Finally, after numerous hard drive fails in my lifetime and a loss of important data, memories, photos and projects, I got around to building a RAID Backup Server.
What is a RAID server? RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It all makes sense now…
Ok so I will explain a bit better. Basically you buy 2 or more hard disks that are the same size and plug them into a card called a “RAID controller” that then combines the physical disks into one logical disk. So on your computer it appears as one hard drive.
The drives can either be optimized for speed, or redundancy. I chose the latter (A RAID 1 setup for you g33ks out there) so that the two drives mirror each other constantly.
What this means is that if a drive fails, there will be a copy of your stuff on another drive as well. You can then just buy a new drive to replace the broken one, pop it into the RAID setup, and it will automatically start mirroring the hard drive data again, so that you are back to having two copies of everything again.
In even simpler terms: you will never lose anything ever again.
So, for my RAID Backup Server I decided upon using two 2 Terabyte Western Digital Low Power consumption hard drives. I took my old computer from 2000 (its a dual 600mhz CPU, not fast, but it doesnt really matter) The server is running Ubuntu Server 10.10, and I have it networked so any computer on my network can access it. Total cost for the project:(since I used old spare computer parts) $200.
I do all of my work on an external 1TB hard drive though, so I have a program installed that automatically backs up the portable hard drive to the RAID server when they see each other on the same network. So at least with projects I am in the middle of making, I have three backups. For projects I have completed, I back them up to DVD’s as well.
So here’s hoping that I never ever lose my projects or work again. Finally…