Help Needed with Backup Strategy

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by hiptech, Jul 30, 2006.

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  1. hiptech

    hiptech Registered Member

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    I am at a crossroads regarding system backups and could use some advice. Currently I am running an Asus A8N-SLI Premium mobo using nVidia Raid-0 with 2 WD 400GB drives and a 74GB Raptor independently as my C-Drive.

    With Acronis TI-9 Home I have made several system image backups onto an external 120GB drive and some DVDs but the drive is almost full and doesnt have much space left to perform daily backups.

    To my way of thinking I could either go Raid-5 (need to get another WD 400GB drive and lose the 74GB Raptor), but involves switching from nViida to Silicon Image drivers and starting over (I think)?

    Question - is it possible to back up the current system setup (both C-Drive with programs files and Raid-0 D-Drives with document data and restore it all onto a Raid-5 setup?

    Or am I better off just getting a larger external drive?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi hiptech,

    If the information is not confidential could you provide some background into the purpose for which the system is being (or will be) used.

    As a very general guideline Raid 5 is best suited for transaction processing as well as for relational database applications, enterprise resource planning and other business systems. If this is not the purpose for which the system will be used then Raid 5 is possibly not the best solution.

    :)
     
  3. hiptech

    hiptech Registered Member

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    Tabvla,

    The system is for home use and not really anything confidential, mostly CAD, graphics and multimedia use.

    This is my first raid setup and after reading through raid material, thought Raid-5 might be a good compromise in terms of redundancy and speed?
     
  4. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Hi hiptech

    1. RAID

    The Raid-5 option that you are considering is an interesting (if somewhat challenging) way to resolve data integrity. Personally, I have not seen it used as a solution outside of a commercial environment. If you decided that this is the route you want to go then you need to ensure that your system supports this technology. As Raid-5 is possibly the most popular of the Raid configurations, your system will most probably be compatible but it is always advisable to send the equipment manufacturer (not the OEM) an email asking for specific confirmation. There may be some specific setup option, driver or DLL that is needed to make it work properly, something which probably only the manufacturer would know.

    However, my advice, with respect to Raid in general, is that you still need to have separate, verified backups that are held on tape or disk and that are stored in a locked, fireproof cabinet. Raid technology does not (contrary to popular misconception) protect you from a catastrophic system failure or an attack by a virus (or any other type of malware) that is appropriately coded.

    2. Using your Existing Equipment

    If you decide against the Raid-5 option then you should perhaps consider a redeployment of your existing storage to ensure that you are maximising the equipment that you already have.

    In a normal Home PC environment a 74GB system disk and a 400GB data disk would seem adequate unless you are storing vast quantities of media files.

    Based on the above assumptions you may consider the following setup as an option:

    * System Disk - 74GB Raptor (Windows and Programs)
    * Data Disk - 400GB WD (My Documents and all other data files)
    * Media Disk - 120GB External (Music, Video, Photographs)
    * Backup Disk - 400GB WD (All TI9 .tib image files)

    You may consider housing your Backup Disk in a rack. The advantage of this is that you can very easily remove the disk from the system and store it in a locked, fireproof cabinet.

    I am currently recommending products manufactured by Raidsonic. Raidsonic are, in my view, providing top quality products at the best price/performance ratio.

    If your drives are SATA then a simple Trayless Rack is all you need like the one at this link:
    http://www.raidsonic.de/en/pages/products/mobile-racks.php?we_objectID=4342

    If your drives are IDE then something like this will serve your purpose:
    http://www.raidsonic.de/en/pages/products/mobile-racks.php?we_objectID=2588
     
  5. hiptech

    hiptech Registered Member

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    Tabvla,

    Thank you for your thorough and insightful reply, you bring up some interestnig and vailid points to consider.

    As an FYI, I recently put this system together myself usnig the following components:
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor
    Cooler: Scythe Ninja Plus CPU Cooler (SCNJ-1000P)
    Mem: OCZ (1GBx2) EL PC-3200 - 400MHz DDR Platinum Dual Channel (OCZ4002048ELDCPE-K R)
    Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI Socket 939 AMD ATX Motherboard
    Video: eVGA e-GeForce 7800 GT CO - 256MB, PCI-E x16 (256-P2N-517AX)
    HD: 1 - WesternDigital Raptor 74GB 10,000 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 150 (WD740GD)
    2 - WesternDigital CaviarRE2 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA (WD4000YR)
    3 - WesternDigital CaviarRE2 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA (WD4000YR)
    Optical: - Plextor Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer (PX-716A)
    - NEC 16X DVD+/-R Burner (DVR-ND-3550A)
    Floppy/USB: Black Mitsumi 7-in-1 Internal Memory Card R/W + Floppy Combo (FD-FA404M)
    PSU: ThermalTake 680W+PFC Black P/S (W0049RUC)
    Case: 11 drive bays; (4)5.25", (2)Ext 3.5" and (5)Int 3.5" (NZXT Lexa) Mid-Tower
    Audio: Sound Blaster Audigy PCI (2 ZS)
    Monitor: ViewSonic 20.1" TFT 1680x1050 Resolution 600:1 Contrast 8ms Resonse Time (VA2012WB)
    OS: XP Pro SP2

    So as far as contacting the manufacturer, I'm it. However, I do know this, Asus motherboard supports through the nFORCE4 chipset (4 Serial ATA and 2 PATA connectors) RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD. The Silicon Image controller provides (4 additional SATA connectors) for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID1+0, and RAID 5 functions.

    With 11 drive bays total, I still have remaining space left for an additional (2) int 3.5" hard drives so space isn't an issue. BTW, thanks for the info on the racks, they are rather nice.

    Everything I've read so far indicates the nVidia nFORCE4 chipset is considerably faster the Silicon Image controller. So I can understand how this might compromise system performance.

    Based on your info and what I have researched so far, I'm more inclined to keep the current Raid-0 setup and either increase the external drive size to around 500GB or add one internally just for backup purposes. If I compress the daily backups and retain a week's worth at a time, I think this could be adequate?

    So far I have made several image backups of the C-Drive and need to initiate backup of the 2 Raid-0 drives. I planned on using differential backups but after your post " A question about Differential Backups," until Acronis reconciles the issue of inability to recover after deleting an individual backup file from a differential set, I'm not sure what to do?
     
  6. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Nice bit of kit..... I think I am going to cry with envy :'(


    As for "contacting the manufacturer", what I meant by that is to contact the company that actually manufactured the part - motherboard, chipset, HDD...etc

    Absolutely invaluable the information that you can get from the folks who design, develop and build the components.

    Good Luck :D
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello hiptech,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Yes, it is possible. However, since you are going to use another RAID controller I would recommend that you use Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation with Acronis Universal Restore plug-in. Acronis Universal Restore technology provides an efficient solution for hardware-independent system restoration by replacing the crucial HAL and hard disk controller drivers. You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation and Acronis Universal Restore in the respective User's Guide.

    Please note that to restore data from a differential backup, you must have the initial full backup as well. No other differential backups are needed. However, if you created several differential or both incremental and differential backups based on the same full backup (and therefore, in the same folder), you will need ALL of these successive backups to validate the archive.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  8. Tabvla

    Tabvla Registered Member

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    Aleksandr Isakov wrote...
    Which is a bug. Which should be fixed.

    Hello Aleksandr, any news from your developers when they are going to fix this?

    TiA
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tabvla,

    I am sorry for the delayed response.

    I believe you have already found my answer in this thread. Just would like to post the link to that thread here.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
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