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Raid1 vs rsync vs backup


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#1 Naught McNoone

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 11:30 AM

Over the years I have built a lot of servers.  Mostly for small businesses, using under 25 workstations.

 

The reason for Raid1 is still valid.  Data security in the event of drive failure.  Everyone remembers the "20/40GB Fujitsu Suicide Drives", right? And with Seagate's 3TB drives coming under fire, can we expect the same from them?

 

I have always been insistent on Raid1 as being a mandatory feature of a server.  Recently, however, I have been taking a different path.

 

The last couple of systems that I set up use a different approach.  Instead of using Raid1 on the server, I have used rsync instead.

 

This was done by co-locating a second machine, in another part of the network, to rsync the server data.  The result is virtually the same.  An image of the server storage drive, but in a different physical location.  The last one I did put the servers on different floors, separated by two concrete firewalls.

 

Further to that, the synced drive is not shared on the network.  In a Raid1 system, an attack on one drive is an attack on both.  In the synced system, only the original storage drive is attacked.  The sync drive is safe, until it's next scheduled rsync.

 

This feature can be further protected by employing a relatively cheap hot swap bay, and multiple drives. 3 drives, swapped once a day, provide a removable backup.  At worst, only 48 hours old, in the event of a major failure. (Think total loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, encryption trojan, &c.)

 

The client has effectively become their own "Cloud Storage."

 

The rsync unit, it's self, does not have to be anything spectacular.  A recycled P4 or Core2 will do the job.

 

Comments, observations, or suggestions on improvement, anyone?

 

Cheers!

 

Naught.



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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 12:30 PM

I think that is a pretty great idea. It seems you have implemented it and really thought it quite well. You have the servers located in different parts of the building, and you have a back up strategy as far as swapping hard drives and removing them from the rsync backup server (I also assume you have the backup drives moved off site for further protection?).

 

Good work. I think that is a great backup strategy, definitely better than just a RAID 1 setup. Though you could leave the RAID 1 there just in case drives fail before syncing happens? Of course it would add more cost so it depends on how much funds one has to do it.


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#3 mremski

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 02:17 PM

RAID or mirror the the machine you are rsyncing to.  If you were using a BSD or something support ZFS, you wind up being able to do snapshots very easily and send them from one place to another.  Linux may have other filesystems that support some of the same features as ZFS


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#4 Naught McNoone

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 02:48 PM

Installing Raid on the rsync system would be redundant.  Remember, the rsync system is not a server.  It's sole purpose is to backup the data on the server.

 

The server storage drive and the rsync drive become mirrors be default, as rsync creates an exact copy of the storage drive.

 

One issue encountered was drive id's.

I think that if the swap drives and original storage drive have to have the same UUID, they become interchangeable.  This means that they can not co-exist in the same computer, but . . . 

 

I should be able to remove the original server storage drive and replace it with one of the rsync swap drives, and the server carries on like nothing happened!

 

Downtime for repair becomes almost none existent!  Just unmount, swap, and re-mount.

 

I am going to try it out, on the next scheduled maintenance for the client, to verify that it works.

 

 

Naught.



#5 DeimosChaos

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 03:25 PM

Installing Raid on the rsync system would be redundant.  Remember, the rsync system is not a server.  It's sole purpose is to backup the data on the server.

 

Not on the rsync system, but the server itself still. But yeah, probably would be a bit redundant still.


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