Mirrored Terabyte Storage



I need to have 1 Tera Bytes of reliable storage capacity on a Windows 2003 Server. I am thinking of adding the LACIE External Hard drive  kit. ( This uses 3 X 330GB Drives)  

But there is the risk of drive failure.

So to prevent loss of data I want to add another 1 Tera Byte Drive that will Mirror the cotents of the First Tera Byte External Drive.

My question is - What is the best way to Mirror the data.
Do I need to write a Windows Service that will look for folder changes and copy the data to the second Tera Byte Drive?

Is there any commercial Mirroring software that I can use?

Thanks
Dominic
djmarattAsked:
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Your best option is to use 4 x 330GB drives in a RAID 5 array (you lose the capacity of one disc for parity/data protection). See http://www.acnc.com/04_00.html for more information about RAID. RAID is Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Industry standard Disks. RAID 5 will give you the security you're looking for.

You can set this up using dynamic discs in W2K3.

One thing you should consider is that whilst you'll have oodles of storage, performance will be pretty average. How many users will be accessing the TB store?
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rindiCommented:
I'm not familiar to the lacie harddrive kit, bit just make sure with the manufacturer, sometimes external storage solutions have builtin mirroring capabilities and wouldn't be dependant on the OS of your server, they can often be connected via optical fiber for highspeed. But as I said I'm not familiar with that particular device.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Consider a server/storage solution from www.aberdeeninc.com - most of the systems use 3ware RAID controllers and you can then mirror them through a hardware RAID - also provides for growth.
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HoweverCommaCommented:
Aberdeen does have great deals, I have a 1.2 TB system from them and a 2 customers have them as well.
Great value, and a HEAVY high quality RM case. Better RAID Utility than Dell could dream up IMO, and easily scaleable.
I looked at the LaCie systems, You could get 2 of them for 2 Grand and Manually Mirror the 2 systems, I'm sure there is some software that will do it to.
Then they could be placed far away from each otherone to possibly survive a fire/theft etc. You are in $2000 already and you are not really scaleable w/o buying 2 other identical towers even if you get a 500GB setup 2 of them would be more than adding 2 or 3 new drives to the Aberdeen.
LaCie is potentially new, not sure of their history but aberdeen has been around since 1990 or 91.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
LaCie has been around a while but is better known (to me at least) for making External Mac hardware - CD-ROMs, hard drives, etc.
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rindiCommented:
Now you spell it LaCie as opposed to lacie I realize what company that is!! I don't think this system will be good at raid. You'd probably need software raid, and I don't know how well that works on a USB bus (I'm assuming this device connects via USB2 to you PC, right?). I'd go with HoweverComma or Leew and get something more robust and dedicated for Raid.
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alanclosCommented:
There is mirroring software on the market you may want to consider.  NSI doubletake is the product and they do an excellent job in this function.  The initial copy will take some time depending on the amount of data, but from then on, it only copies changes to each byte of data...therefore being very efficient.  There is some overhead on the cpu and memory with this software, but it is a great tool to keep the data in synch.  They also have failover capabilities and integrate some with applications.  The nice thing is that it keeps all of the permissions as well...
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djmarattAuthor Commented:


I would like to thank everyone who responded to my question. The responses I got have certainly helped me to set the direction to follow with out making expensive errors. I greatly appreciate the help you have given me.

Sincerely,
Dominic
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andyalderCommented:
Why do you want third party mirroring software when the option is available within Windows? It's a neglible performance hit when compared to software RAID 5.
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