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My Motherboard has 4 internal SATA ports. I am considering a linux software raid.

I plan to use this for backing up my work movies, music etc

Do I need to spend the money on RAID Level drives? Or am I safe with standard hard drives?

a 2TB Hitatchi 7200 is like $89 at NewEgg where a Samsung F1 RAID 1tb is $150.00

Thoughts?

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@~quack - RAID 1 is a backup and a backup only. –  Moshe Feb 21 '10 at 21:32
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@Moshe: RAID1 is redundant , not a backup. there's a difference. RAID1 doesn't just mirror a drive for redundancy either; it boosts read performance (at the expense of write performance). –  quack quixote Feb 21 '10 at 21:36
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@Moshe - Very wrong. If you accidentally delete something or corrupt it, it is deleted/corrupted on both mirrors and is gone. Raid 1 is strictly for AVAILABILITY! –  MDMarra Feb 21 '10 at 21:37
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@MarkM - Ok there, that's quite enough flaming for one question... Seriously, i had no idea. My mistake. @Quack - Makes sense now that you explained it. I thought RAID 0 was the only one that didn't do backup... –  Moshe Feb 21 '10 at 22:49
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@MarkM - Well considering the downvote at the same time as your flurry of comments,how should I take it? Well thank you for the lesson in IT, I really mean that. I learn how little I know every day. Thanks. ;) –  Moshe Feb 22 '10 at 1:58

3 Answers 3

RAID stands for Redundant Array of INEXPENSIVE Disks. Go for the cheap ones.

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it did, in 1987. it's current "official" meaning is Redundant Array of Independent Disks. (presumed a marketing move to dissociate "low cost" from the technology.) –  quack quixote Feb 21 '10 at 4:44

I second Nerdfest's answer, go for the cheap ones.

A friendly reminder, RAID is not a backup. RAID does not protect your data against many causes of data loss including a RAID controller failure, simultaneous drive failures (especially if you buy all your drives at the same time), software or virus corruption as well as many other user errors.

If you want to keep your data safe use RAID WITH a backup strategy.

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as this is not an answer to the question, it is best left as a comment. (i know you don't quite have the rep to leave comments, but when you do...) –  quack quixote Feb 21 '10 at 20:44
    
The poster's question was which drives they should purchase, which I answered with "go for the cheap ones". –  Dave Feb 22 '10 at 0:45

To answer your question - It depends on what you are doing with the box. Is it going to be a backup server and not your main workstation? If so and you plan on having it on all of the time, I would spend the extra money and get the RAID drives. RAID drives are spec'd for 24/7 continuous use where consumer drives are not.

If you are putting this into your existing workstation and plan to keep a copy of your data on a RAID volume, I would recommend against this as RAID by itself is not a backup. If you plan on using RAID for the performance and availability benefits and don't use the workstation 24/7 then regular consumer drives should be fine. I would recommend buying some online backup space or getting a few external hard drives to back files up to if this is your situation.

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@MarkM - Nothing to do with the usage of the box. It has to do with the DATA on it and the budget of the user. Music and Movies are not financial data or life insurance. The user is obviously looking to save money here or they wouldn't ask. Go with the cheaper ones. –  Moshe Feb 21 '10 at 22:51
    
@Moshe - It's irresponsible to assume something like that. If the OP was only looking to save money, he would have bought the cheap drives without asking. In a backup box that is running 24/7 the RAID drives would be preferable. In a workstation that is idle/sleeping for a large portion of the day then consumer drives would be preferable. It is the OP's decision, I simply provides accurate information based on the facts given. That hardly deserves a downvote. –  MDMarra Feb 21 '10 at 22:58
    
My apologies, will remove vote if you edit. "Value to old to be changed." –  Moshe Feb 22 '10 at 1:56

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