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Server Hard Drive Setup

I need some advice. I have a Server 2012 Essentials. I have 2 - 500GB drives and 2 -TB drives.

I was thinking of this structure:

1 - 500GB drive to be used to hold the OS and Programs
1 - 500GB drive to be attached via USB 3.0 external drive for incremental image backup
1 - 1TB drive for network storage
1 - 1TB for Backup ??

How should I approach the second 1TB drive use for backing up the 1TB storage drive? Should I RAID1 mirror?

My intent, I suppose, would be to have an image to restore upon hardware or otherwise failure, and also have a way to access data stored on the storage drive should it fail.
4 Solutions
Both drives should be in RAID1

So you'll have 1x500GB RAID1 &
1x2TB in RAID1

500GB is your OS and everything. 2TB holds your data so the system doesn't conflict with the DB speed. You can also restore it as I doubt your database will be that big.

In terms of backups - I'd use something like ShadowProtect with incremental backups or Acronis to a network drive. Something like Synology or QNAP, depending how much data you want to store, how many users and how fast. Yopu could also use just a simple USB HDD drive.

Rule of thumb - for critical applications, always use RAID1 (or 5 or 6 or 10 when applicable) and run backup to an external/network drive.
Two 500GB drives in RAID1 mirror.
Get another 1TB drives and create RAID5 of then three. Get a NAS storage and make backups to it. Yes, this means additional costs but you should think this way: I am not reach enough to use cheap approaches.
I would agree completely with the suggestions to go with RAID 1.  It is an inexpensive way to safeguard against hard drive failures.
I would suggest using Windows Server Backup to an external drive for general backup.  It is free and works well.
rbudjAuthor Commented:
So with my setup, RAID1 on both the OS and Storage drives. Then, have an automatic backup to a 5th external drive holding the OS image AND the Storage backup. Perhaps a 2TB drive?  

All agree on this setup?

I will consider the RAID5 once I research it more in detail.
Backup to disk as outlined by others here is a great way to get quick restores, but it has gaping holes and is not a complete backup solution.

Is your data important enough that you'll want to recover if there's a natural disaster, fire, or theft of your computer equipment?  If all your computer equipment is in one location, you probably don't have protection from those things, and you need to find a way to get your data off site (could be cloud backup, replication, physical tape).

Are there business or legal requirements requiring that you keep data for extended periods of time (five, ten, twenty years)?  If so, you'll be amazed at how quickly your disks fill up with weekly backups (even assuming perfect deduplication).  Hard drives don't provide good protection when powered off for long periods of time, and online backup services won't cover you for things like overwritten, corrupted, or deleted files past a typically short window (30 days?); your best solution here is usually tape.

And yes, it costs some money to have a complete backup and archiving solution in place; the only thing more costly is losing the business because you didn't.
rbudjAuthor Commented:
Thank you SelvGovern for the info. Yes, I agree that what I have is not a complete backup solution. For now though it should serve their needs. As time progresses I will have the client evaluate their disaster recovery program and move forward from there. Essentially, they need a simple domain and file server, and external backup so they can grab and go if needed.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
I agree with SelfGovern.

I think you should be getting your clients to assess their DR/DT situation right now and let them assess their Risks. Once they realise how exposed they are, they might come up with more money to fix it.
Or you could also use something like CrashPlan+ or BackBaze for a backup although I'm not entirely certain they can backup DBs -> you'd probably needed to run a local backup first and then backup that to cloud.

The biggest drawback though is slow restore and you can't do 1:1 restore -> you'd needed to rebuild the server yourself and just upload the data.
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