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To be more specific:
What procedure, or what kind of hardware would you need to set up a Raid 1 with 3 drives, where one of them is cycled out to an off site location.

So set up in something like this perhaps:
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3301338&CatId=285
Raid-1 HDD-1
Raid-1 HDD-2
Raid-1 HDD-3

Off-site HDD-4
A month passes: Take out HDD-3 and replace with HDD-4, now keeping HDD-3 Off-site.

I've seen this question, and it helped, but its more about ideas for getting around this.
Can the drives in a RAID 1 array be rotated?

I like this setup so that everything is automatically done for you, that is if it actually is. Because to do this the array would have to rebuild the third HDD each time it is replaced. I know its not a backup solution, I'm just looking for disaster recovery. If the drives are hot swappable, you would think you can just tell the unit to stop read/writing from HDD-3, take it out, put in HDD-4 and it will make it mirror the first 2.

Is there something special you need to do to make the unit stop using HDD-3, so you don't accidentally erase the data, and not realize yur backup is corrupted? Because with hot swap, you should be able to pull it out any time. It even looks like theres a power button for each drive in the link above.

Also, is there anything special to make it automatically rebuild the newly added drive? With 2 drives still in the array, one would think the software/hardware would know those 2 are the correct ones, not the new one. Any input would be appreciated.

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What is wrong with regularly rsyncing RAID to external disk, that is then delivered back to offsite location? –  Olli Mar 22 '11 at 17:58
    
Don't do it that way - it's just a disaster waiting to happen. –  Linker3000 Mar 22 '11 at 18:07
    
@Linker3000 How so? Is it too hard to make sure the off-site HDD isn't corrupted? Or is it that it could wipe out all the drives during the rebuild? –  Harry Hood Mar 22 '11 at 18:55
    
@Olli Nothings wrong with using an external, it would just be nice if its possible to plug it in and let it go. –  Harry Hood Mar 22 '11 at 18:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Not a great backup Disaster recovery solution. You need to keep in mind how long it will take to rebuild the array and what imapct that has on performance.

A quck fix would be to have RAID one to give you redundancy and use one or more drives to backup the data to and take off site. Backup Exec System Recovery will take an image of the entire system and has the advantage of restoring to different hardware if things really fail. There are lots of other applications to do the similar backups or full restore

There are alos many drives like Western Digital and Seagate that have applications that do automated backup of files every time a file is changed. Free with drive usually. Just plug in when it comes back to office and data is synch'd

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What impact does it have on performance? It won't be written to or read from very often. Only used for Solid Works files between 2 people, soon to be 3, and not shared across our whole server. –  Harry Hood Mar 22 '11 at 17:44
    
The array will need to rebuild and depending on amount of data, it could take some time. The rebuild will imapct performance as it is accessing the drive almost constantly. Would seem easier to backup to external drive and take off site –  Dave M Mar 22 '11 at 19:07
    
Thanks for the input. I found this question that helps too, for those who are looking. serverfault.com/questions/2888/why-is-raid-not-a-backup gcn.com/Blogs/Tech-Blog/2009/01/… But we just won't include the off site HDD in the Raid 1 array. –  Harry Hood Mar 23 '11 at 19:38

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