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Second array for backups


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I want to create a second array in my Unraid server.  I want to create offsite backups, and the simplest/cheapest way for me to do this to copy my array to backup drives which are later stored in my safe deposit box at the bank.  I know that I can use Unassigned Devices, and this works well for targeted backups, but I am wanting to make a backup of my whole array.  I will need an array of drives to store the data.


I did a forum search on this topic, and it seems that most talk is about creating a second cache pool.  My existing cache is fine.  I just want to create a temporary array for backups.

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If you have one Unassigned disk for each of your unRAID array data disks then you could copy each unRAID array data disk to an Unassigned disk and would have a complete backup of each data disk without actually having a 2nd array. What about that solution doesn't work for you?

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5 hours ago, ashman70 said:

A second array is not a feature of unRAID, not sure if it ever will be.


I really do believe unRAID needs to support multiple arrays. I can't use unRAID for my main machine just because it can't do multiple arrays. And I don't want to run multiple unRAID in individual VM.


But it isn't meaningful with a secondary array just for storing the backup of the main array and then be able to remove the drives to store somewhere else. Any backup to disks that will be disconnected really should be made to normal UD disks without attempt to introduce any additional parity. Then the user has the option of replacing just a single broken data disk and rebuild parity. Or replace all the data disks and rebuild parity.


If the user wants a full array for backup of he main array, then the correct way is to use two machines - that's the only way to make sure the backup array doesn't get destroyed when the PSU in the main machine suffers a catastrophic failure and burns all connected electronics.

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Personally, I wouldn't want to go through the trouble of creating a 2nd array in my unraid server(if it was an option), or adding drives to an existing array, if I just intended on removing the drives after the backup and storing them in a different physical location. 


What I would do, would be to buy an external storage array, that could connect to the server via usb or esata. With a lot of them, you could create a traditional raid array internal to the box, that should then present itself to unraid as a single drive you could work with as a large unassigned device.  Although, you'd want to do your research, cause I'd bet there are some that unraid would ignore the traditional raid and try to use the disks individually anyway.  


But if you successfully did this, you could just remove the whole array and put it in your secure physical storage location.  




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  • 2 weeks later...

@trurl - I want to use a variety of backup drives, some of which were pulled from older systems and aren't large enough to hold the contents of my main array drives.  I also do not necessarily want to back up everything in my array.  Ripped DVDs can always be re-ripped.


@pwm - After considering my options, I agree with you.  I repurposed some old hardware and built a second server.  I chose to use bare Linux as I did not necessarily need another Unraid system just for backup.  I plan to add scheduled tasks to rsync Unraid shares to the backup server.

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I just rsync a few User Shares to external Unassigned Devices once a month for storage offsite. I keep several of these in rotation in case any have problems.


These monthly backups are just our music collection, some of which could be difficult to reacquire, and the documents, photos, and other important files that are copied to my server nightly from our desktop PC. All of that will easily fit on a 2TB drive (so far). Movies, etc. aren't important or irreplaceable.

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