Shopping for Raid enclosure


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Jul 30, 2012
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New Hampshire
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I am looking to buy a RAID 1 system because im wasting so much time backing up events. I was thinking of getting a thunderbolt setup but the price difference between that and USB 3.0 are insane! Plus I transfer images from my card right to my external drives and I don't think any cf card reader would be fast enough to make thunderbolt worth it.

Does anyone use a USB 3.0 raid enclosure, what do you have/recommend as far as brands? There are quite a few on the market.

I want something with hot swappable drives.
I don't use RAID for the simple reason that recovery, should it be needed, is, by most professional IT peoples' opinions, less than 'drop in a new one' easy.

There are many threads on this site and others lauding and praising the ease of RAID. That's indisputable, if your RAID is set up for mirroring everything. But, I've also read that recovering from a crash isn't quite so easy. I have no definite proof, and am only parrotting others on this point.

I've always been one for KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid. For that reason, I have two identical 1TB SCSI drives, both are in separate slide-in bays on my computer. When I want a copy, it's from one folder on drive D: to drive E:. Done. If it's a biggy, eat something while it's busy copying. After I've made my backup, that drive is removed from the computer and stored safely in my house. At present, I use an external USB drive for offsite backup. I may go to another SCSI, just to keep it simple, and faster.

Here's how my drives are mounted in my computer: 3.5-Inch SATA SAS Removable Hard Drive Mobile Rack for 5.25-Inch Bay DRW150SASBK (Black): Electronics
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RAID is not a disaster recovery tool. It is a tool to provide availability. If a RAID member crashes the very first thing you should be doing is an incremental backup, that is using your existing backup and backing up everything that's changed. That places the lowest possible load on the surviving member on the array. Then you may try to rebuilt the RAID controller and you may expect that the other drive will fail during the rebuild, because an end of life drive suddenly getting thrashed for 12 hours straight will really ruin it's day.

If you have the choice between RAID and two single harddisks, take the two single harddisks and use one as an offsite backup. The offsite backup protects against everything but you may loose a few days / weeks worth of data depending on how often you backup.
The RAID array will on the other hand cause data loss when:
- Second RAID member fails (which is statistically quite likely)
- You accidentally hit delete
- You get a virus which deletes your stuff.
- Your RAID controller craps itself and stores garbage.
- Your USB controller craps itself and stores garbage.

Basically anything that can cause data loss except for a harddisk failure will result in both RAID drives losing data.
Why not just buy a full tower win 7 Pro(if available). Buy 3-5 2/3 tb HDD boom instant media server. Buy an external for client backup.

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