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Best Configuration for Long Term Reliability


darkly
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I have two SSDs that I want to use as a cache for my CloudDrive. This system will be writing extensively to this CloudDrive so I need it to be durable and reliable over the long term, especially when I neglect to monitor the health of the individual drives. I was considering either using a RAID 1 between the two drives; or pooling the two together using DrivePool and either duplicating everything between the two drives, or utilizing both drives without duplication to spread out the wear. I have Scanner installed as well to monitor the drives, and it could automatically evacuate one of the drives (in the non-duplicated DrivePool) case if it detects anything. Speed isn't as important to me as reliability, but I don't want to unnecessarily sacrifice it either. Which option do you think is preferable here?

  1.  RAID 1
  2. DrivePool w/ Duplication
  3. DrivePool w/o Duplication + Scanner
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If you want to protect your data, then you really need a good backup plan. IMHO, no online pool system - RAID, DrivePool, etc... - is adequate to protect your data. But that is just based on years of having these online systems fail and data not backed up being lost.

As to your specific concerns:

1. RAID 1 - takes a lot of HDD to mirror your data. Does everything in your pool need to be duplicated? If not, then RAID 1 may be too costly as your pool size grows.

2. DrivePool w/ Duplication - I only have a few directories selected for duplication in my DrivePool. Duplication in DrivePool is not designed to be a backup solution. It is there if you have a HDD failure and you could probably recover the pool faster from the duplicate copies. However, if you have some kind of file corruption, DrivePool cannot tell you if the original or the duplicate copy, or both have been corrupted. 

3. DrivePool w/o Duplication + Scanner - Scanner might be able to save your data is the HDD has signs of pending doom and there is time enough to evacuate that drive. However, in my experience, with these newer larger TB HDDs, you might not have enough time to evacuate the drive before it fails hard and loses all data. I had a couple HDDs that were starting to fail and they were able to be evacuated without data loss. Hurray! However, I had a couple other drives that alerted and died within hours with no where near enough time to evacuate the drives. Lost data on those drives. Good thing I had a backup plan and archive HDDs stored elsewhere.

Other options to consider....

4. DrivePool with SNAPRaid - there are a number of people using DrivePool for their main data and SNAPRaid to offer recovery options. I personally don't use SNAPRaid because I have very little data on my DrivePool media storage center that needs that extra protection. But maybe your situation is different.

5. DrivePool with MultiPar - This is my method. I use Multipar to create 10% .par2 files for folder verification and rebuild. For my applications, 10% .par2 files is enough for me to verify if the files are still all there and intact, or if some of the files are missing or damaged, then there is probably enough .par2 file blocks to rebuild the damaged file(s). You can set the .par2 file setting all the way up to 100%, but then you would probably be better off with DrivePool duplication or RAID 1 options.

I prefer to use MultiPar on my album folders, because DrivePool will send your album tracks to any number of HDDs in your pool. If you lose a track or two from a HDD failure, then MultiPar will fail verification and attempt to rebuild the missing files. Since I have all my data backed up on HDDs I keep in the closet, I don't really worry too much about lost data and if there are not enough .par2 blocks to rebuild the folder, then I'll just pull out the archive HDD and reload that album if I still want it. DrivePool itself cannot tell you if the folder is intact with all associated files, and if the data was damaged somewhere, then your DrivePool duplicate copy might be damaged as well. MultiPar will tell you if the files are verified or not, and you can decided what to do after that.

Anyway, good luck on setting up your system.

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