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I need to use 3 external USB drives as one drive for backup

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Hi all,

I want to backup my movies/series/Photos/documents stored on my Array to external drives and I cannot figure out the best way to do what I need to do.

Here is the situation:

My array contains about 12Tb of movies/series/Photos/documents.

My "Movies" share is the largest with 11Tb.

I own 3 Lacie external USB drives of 5Tb each.

 

I would like to use these 15Tb as a backup, ideally with 4 folders: Movies backup/Series backup/Photos backup/Documents backup.

I would like to use a sync tool to sync these 4 folders to my shares.

 

My problem, if you had not guessed it already, is that I have 3 external drives that are each smaller than the biggest folder (movies=11Tb) I need to backup.

 

Here is what I thought would be the ideal solution:

Plug the 3 Lacie drives to my windows PC, have windows recognise them as one drive (here is the guide found for this: https://lifehacker.com/5986883/how-to-combine-multiple-hard-drives-into-one-volume-for-cheap-high-capacity-storage) then use a sync tool to synhronize/transfer accross my network.

The problem is that the transfer rate/speed over the network to these USB3.0 drives is really slow (6Mb/s).

 

I noticed however than when one of these drives is directly plugged into the Unraid server via USB, the transfer (krusader) is about 40Mb/s

Krusader has a sync tool, so I am thinking I could use it.

 

HOWEVER I have no clue as to how I can make these 3 external drives appear as ONE drive in Unraid.

I don't want them constantly plugged in, and I guess I cannot mount them in the array and regularly disconnect them, rigtht?

Can I create a share on unassigned drives?

 

I am a little lost as to what solution would work.

 

Thank you in advance for your help.

 

D.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you very much Johnnie I shall try that.

Could you just tell me if, once I have backed up all my shares into the unique pool I have created, I can unplug the devices, plug them back later and obtain the exact config?

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I can unplug the devices, plug them back later and obtain the exact config?

Yes, unmount first then you can disconnect all, and only mount again when all are connected.

 

 

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Thanks Johnnie this is exactly the info I needed. 

 

I have created a "Frankenstore" backup solution (pic below), using 5 USB 16 TB drives.  These are cheap drives, at ~$310 each, and even with 3D printing an exoskeleton for portability, wiring up a single power supply, and using a 7-port USB 3.0 hub with toggle switches, my total cost for an 80 TB backup solution is under $1700.  The final solution is extremely portable, making it easy to take offsite for security.  The 10A 12V power supply could easily support 6 drives, and possibly even 7, so I have a bit of room to grow to 96 or even 112 TB of backup capacity in the future, though for the next year 80 TB is plenty.

 

The toggle switches on the USB hub are really cool, as it allows me to control the power-up order and get the same disk ID each time, though I'm not sure if that matters with the BTRFS pool.

 

Of course, at such a low cost, I am expecting drive failures.  Since this is primarily just an offline backup for my main array, I'm cool with taking that risk.  When I read through your linked instructions, you talk about replacing a drive, but not specifically replacing a failed drive.  Is the process the same, or will it be different?  I'm assuming with a JBOD, I only lose the data on the failed drive, plus any files that might have been split across two drives onto the failed drive - I don't suppose there is a way to prevent splitting files across drives in a pool, is there?

 

Also, with Unraid v6.9 in the wings, is using UD still the right way to go?  I'm running 6.8.3, and do not run beta or even RC on my production server.  Do you know if my UD BTRFS JBOD pool will migrate to v6.9's new multi-pool functionality, or would I have to recreate it from scratch and re-do my backup?

 

Thanks!

Paul

 

image.thumb.png.dcf06f7edc505f0a1e9c3731f1976644.png

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31 minutes ago, Pauven said:

as it allows me to control the power-up order and get the same disk ID each time, though I'm not sure if that matters with the BTRFS pool.

It doesn't, btrfs saves all info on the device metadata, so you can even clone one or more devices with dd and the pool would start without complaining.

 

32 minutes ago, Pauven said:

you talk about replacing a drive, but not specifically replacing a failed drive.  Is the process the same, or will it be different?

Same or similar if the device is missing, though now with the latest beta and multiple pool support you can more easily add, remove or replace devices using the GUI.

 

33 minutes ago, Pauven said:

I'm assuming with a JBOD, I only lose the data on the failed drive

Yes, if the metadata is redundant, still files might be split on multiple drives (there's no way to prevent that), and the pool won't mount, you'll need to use recovery options.

 

35 minutes ago, Pauven said:

Also, with Unraid v6.9 in the wings, is using UD still the right way to go? 

I'm already using v6.9 for my pools, good news i that you can import any pool create on UD.

 

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