Time for another (backup) server

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7 hours ago, TimTheSettler said:

No parity?  On a backup system?  Interesting...

I went a step further for some of my media servers, no parity for both main and backups servers, for a few reasons:


-performance, servers are connected with 10GbE so I can write data to multiple disks at the same time, backup script also does 4 disks at at time, so replication is also much faster

-data is not super critical, and since I backup disk to disk having the same disk # fail on both servers at the same time would be very unlikely, and if both fail at least some/most data should be recoverable, because it's even more unlikely that both would be completely dead.

-any array change it's much easier to make, just do a new config with more or fewer disks and I'm done.

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Same here. None of my servers have a parity disk.
I think it makes more sense to have a parity disk on a 'main' server then on a backup server.

Also, with only 3 hard drives on my main server it is easy to manage shares per disk. If one disk fails, i just copy the data from my backup server. The largest hdd is 3TB and only 2/3 full.

And indeed, cost, performance and space are other factors for people not to use a parity disk.

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I'm glad it works for you guys.  As you can guess, I'm paranoid.  Burned too many times and don't have time to deal with massive restores.


On one hand I love to putter around and try new things but that's my hobby time.  When something fails and I rely on it then it cuts into my real life and that's too valuable.  In the end I feel that a few hundred bucks is cheaper than me tearing my hair out at 3am after six hours of trying to fix/recover from a problem that came up.

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I think I've read somewhere "Parity is not a backup".  (Maybe it was here on the forum 😉).


That's why I built the backup server - to back up the last of the data that wasn't duplicated somewhere.  My main server does utilize a parity drive, as it allows one to perform array maintenance tasks much more easily.  I just recently shrunk/moved/swapped 5 drives around in my array.  Over 100 hrs of rebuilding, zero errors, minimal stress.


For the backup server, if a drive fails, the data is on the main server.  Replace the drive, run the sync script, back in business.  No real down time, as the server's only purpose is to archive.

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2 hours ago, ConnerVT said:

"Parity is not a backup"


Parity is redundancy which implies duplication.  So parity is a form of backup.  Parity also helps in the ease of recovery.  But other things can happen to that server or the data so a separate backup server serves a few more purposes:

  • Separate hardware (complete server backup)
  • Offsite location
  • A snapshot in time (history)

Many people say, "I want to back up my data", and then there are lots of ideas about backup software, parity, multiple machines, etc.  Backing up your data is about protecting your data and backup is only part of that protection (encryption and access to the data are others).  A good backup strategy involves multiple parts and parity is a nice, easy, and effective way to get started.


But I digress because we've already established that people here are using parity in their main servers.  Do you need it in a backup server?  Only if your backup data contains important info not held elsewhere (like the snapshot history for me).

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A quick follow up on how well this is working.  I have the User Script cron job set to run twice a month, on the 14th and the 28th.  Yesterday was the first time where the script ran automatically, where I wasn't triggering it while sitting beside watching.  (After all, isn't automating things the reason we do this stuff?)  I was sitting in a diner having breakfast, 200 miles away from home, when the attached Telegram texts started coming in.


Don't you love when a plan comes together?  😁



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