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3ware  RAID 1 card as a part of backup configuration

Posted on 2010-08-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hello All,

I am planning to use 3ware RAID card (3ware_9650se-2lp)with RAID 1 configuration for my mail server and I would like to make daily backups of entire system. I was thinking to use 2 x500GB drives in RAID 1 configuration and additional drive connected to SATA controller for backup of system installed on RAID 1 configuration. OS which I want to use is CentOS5.5 32bit and will be installed on RAID array.

My question is followed:
Is it possible to disconnect via terminal one drive from RAID array and mount it to running OS and then use dd or partimage and backup to drive connected to SATA controller
or any other tool which will make clone of this drive in case when RAID drives will crush

if any other suggestions please share
Thank You
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Question by:slmpb
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7 Comments
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 33543272
It won't work.  
Why not just get rid of the 3WARE card and implement 3-way RAID1 with software-based RAID?
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 33543660
WHy not rsync or similar, rather than dd

Other option is to virtualize it and do some kind of VM snapshot

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Author Comment

by:slmpb
ID: 33544393
Does rsync will make a clone of drive used  in RAID array on the fly or like I mentions in initial question one of the drives has to disconected from RAID 1 and mounted to same system which will continue running from second RAID array drive , and then use rsync or other tool to clone drives

I want to use the 3rd drive connected via SATA controller in case whole RAID will fail, so I can only switch drives and server will be up and running in matter of time spent on reconnecting drives from SATA controller to 3ware RAID card

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LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:SysExpert
SysExpert earned 30 total points
ID: 33544734
1) If one drive fails in RAID 1, you should still be able to continue working with no issue, but you no longer will have RAID protection.

2) You can not do a Drive clone with Rsync, but you can have a copy of all of your data.  The drive will not be bootable, but the data will be there

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Accepted Solution

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dlethe earned 65 total points
ID: 33544818
And if one drive fails, you could very well instantly get data loss.  Remember the redundancy is at the chunk level, not just drive level.  Just one unreadable block will get you.  So if you do unplug a drive, then at least do a resync to  insure all blocks match on both disks at the time you break the mirror.

I'm not a fan of breaking mirrors unless data integrity isn't all that important.  With 500GB disk drives, then you have a few trillion opportunities for partial data loss.  My gosh, this is a  mail server.  Do it right. Downtime and data loss is a big deal.

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Assisted Solution

by:SelfGovern
SelfGovern earned 30 total points
ID: 33551812
Six thumbs up to Dlethe.    RAID is only designed to protect against a drive failure.  It's not a backup, it's not protection against a virus, or a mistake, or a program bug.   It's not an archive.  It doesn't let you dial up the WayBack Machine, Mr. Peabody, to three days ago.

It just protects against a drive that fails.  And there's no magic syncing or consistency check for a drive that's pulled when the system is running.

Also note that most hot-plug systems are designed for a couple dozen plug/unplug cycles, not hundreds or thousands.

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Author Closing Comment

by:slmpb
ID: 34450967
Sorry for late replay. All yours answers convince me that RAID solution is not exactly what I need for full os backup. The way which I went is separate software backup which allows me to make full os restore with a little effort - Bacula

Thanks Everyone
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