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Backup drive - external USB or hot swap bay?


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My R710 has hot swap bays. I'll be putting together a new server and I'm trying to decide what to do with the backup drive that I rotate with a drive at work. I usually spin down the drive, unmount it, then pop it out.

 

What do folks use hardware-wise for backup on their server for the offsite part assuming no cloud services?

 

A simple USB external drive or a (trayless) hot swap bay?

 

If USB, I'd be concerned with the power draw from the power supply brick. I could spin down the drive, but I think the brick would still draw power.

If hot swap, what would I need to support this function - just an HBA card? And the bay, of course, like a StarTech.com 5.25" to 3.5" trayless.

Edited by nraygun
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  • 1 month later...

Closed due to no responses.

I think I'll go with a trayless StarTech bay for the backup drive and rotate it off site. Not knowing how true hotswaps work, I'll just power down the server and remove the drive.

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I just tested this myself. I plugged in a hdd in my trusted 'icy dock black vortex' and it showed up in 'Unassigned Devices'. You could set it to auto mount and run a backup-script automatically. Then i un-mounted the drive, took it out and connected it to my linux-vm through usb. 

 

I don't know much about file-systems so i'm not 100% sure this is recommended.

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8 minutes ago, Aran said:

I just tested this myself. I plugged in a hdd in my trusted 'icy dock black vortex' and it showed up in 'Unassigned Devices'. You could set it to auto mount and run a backup-script automatically. Then i un-mounted the drive, took it out and connected it to my linux-vm through usb. 

 

I don't know much about file-systems so i'm not 100% sure this is recommended.

Thanks for testing @Aran!

That's what I was doing on my R710. What I would do is spin it down, unmount it, then pop it out. Then I'd pop in the other drive and it picked it up. I usually leave the backup drive in the system so it backs up everyday.

I'll be going with a non-server hardware config when I upgrade so I don't know if this process is officially supported. It's important backup data so I better play it safe and just power down, pop in/out, then power back on. The reboots of the server every so often might do some good too.

 

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Having recently setup my first Unraid server in  a Dell Vostro, I tested this...

* Startech 3-bay 3.5-5.25 trayless and 2x 2bay 2.5" trayless...

* 5 bays connected to motherboard SATA ports, 2 bays connected to ASM1062 mini-pcie card.

With 2 SSds installed as a pool, and one 3.5" disk to allow me to start the array (all on mobo ports), I was happily able to swap disks in and out of the other four bays while benchmarking the disks I had on-hand.

I did not even bother to spin them down before ejecting them...

Cheers.

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3 hours ago, Aran said:

Don't forget to enable hot swap function in the bios. If it's there...

Thanks @Fraddles! What's your process to pop the drives out? Do you at least unmount?

 

@Aran - Good call on the BIOS. I'm going with an Asrock Z690 RS and a post I found says it supports "hot plug" in BIOS by port: https://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=24664

 

So, I can get a Startech trayless 3.5 for the 5.25 bay and do what I was doing on my R710. Nice!

 

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