For quite some time I haven’t been happy with the level of data protection on my servers … a while ago I ran mirrored (RAID 1) IDE (PATA) drives on my system using a Arco Duplidisk adapter. It seemed adequate, but after I upgraded my servers to the Dell PowerEdge systems, it didn’t seem to work quite right. It was reporting failed drives when there were none.
So, after a fair bit of research, I decided to get a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. My criteria were a) had to support various RAID levels (1 & 5 at least), have hot swappable drives, and support NFS (the linux network file system).
The device I decided on is a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. The model I got came with 2 x 500gb drives, with bays for two more. It wasn’t cheap, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
It supports various RAID levels … RAID 1 (mirroring, where the data on one drive is completely duplicated on the other), RAID 5 (where data is stored on two drives with a parity bit on the 3rd … if any one of the drives fails, the data can be reconstructed on the fly using two of the drives), and it’s own RAID X … which is an eXpandable and adaptive RAID variation … which will use RAID 1 if you only have two drives, and RAID 5 when you add more.
Although there were a few hiccups, I’m not displeased.