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Tom Vaughan December 26th, 2008 12:01 AM


Originally Posted by Alister Chapman (Post 982969)
I know this applies to many types of backup but what happens to your windows home server if the power supply fails and passes an over voltage to your raid array, mother board and everything else? You end up with a completely dead backup. One of the advantages of tape backups, BD or DVD is that a hardware failure is unlikely to lead to the loss of any data. I'm not sure I want to use a backup system that consumes half a kilowatt of power, not very green. I have a small linux server running on a box called an NSUL2 from Linksys. It only draws about 30 watts and you can hang a couple of USB drives off it (or more if you add a hub). I have a coupe of 500Gb drives on it and use the drives as a pair of backups. Once they are full I replace them with a couple more. The drives are independently powered so failure of both together while not impossible is unlikely. It's not the fastest device in the world but works fine as a network based backup device. If I need to edit from my backups I just unplug the drive from the NSUL2 and plug it in to the computer directly. All my important material is still being burnt to DL-DVD or BD.

Good points Alister. Offline backups are the only truly redundant form of backup to "online" data. Of course, really good surge suppression is always a good idea for any critical PC or server. I'm not talking about cheap power strips with surge suppressors... I'm talking about good multi-level surge suppressors (with gas discharge tubes, heavy MOVs, low-pass filters, etc.).

I wouldn't want to use half a kilowatt of power either. I built my home server from a 45 watt (Total Design Power) chip, and I use a very green power supply (300 watt capacity). I'm not sure of the standby power draw, but it's very low (maybe 50 watts?). It's so quiet I can't tell if it is on or not unless I check for the blue light. I don't keep it on all the time ... it takes less than a minute to boot up. I press the power button and it safely shuts down.

I like the Windows Home Server for many reasons, but mainly for the flexibility and the expandability. I think it is an ideal solution for video editors to store multiple terabytes of data reliably while keeping the files "online" for quick access later. I'm sure you can probably do many of the same things with Linux, if you have the time and the skill set. The Windows Home Server is dead simple to set up, connect to and maintain. You can add or remove hard drives whenever you want (it's not RAID... but it stores files redundantly). So later, if I want to remove a 500 GB drive and replace it with a 1.5 TB drive I just tell the server that I want to remove the 500 GB drive, it tells me when it is safe to do it, I add the 1.5 TB drive, and it adds it to the server's storage array.


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