John21601 wrote:I spent my entire career using technology. My first computer was one I built myself because there were NO computers to buy. This was years before Jobs and Woz got together in a garage in California. My first pre-built computer came with instruction manuals that were a joke. Written in broken English you needed a degree in rocket science to decipher them. By experience with RAID goes back almost to when the first hard drives came out. (Thank God we could stop using the tape recorder!) But you young whipper-snappers probably have no idea (or give a damn) what that was like.
I have used Synology products from the 1010+ onward. IMHO if you want a disk array, Synology is the ONLY disk array to buy. Not for the hardware, mind you, but for the software. Drobo has been after me for years (I ran a small computer network for the 15 years before I retired.) but their software was, pretty much, useless. It certainly didn't pack the power of DSM.
So last night my 1513+ and two 513s failed. (Actually it was one of the 513s - long story why I had an array setup like that but it worked fine for about a year.
EVERY SINGLE ONE of all of the many disk arrays I have used over the years has FAILED. EVERY -- SINGLE -- ONE!
I've learned to backup, but as you probably know, you NEVER backup perfectly. At least it's gotten to the point where it's a nuisance when the array fails instead of my wanting to blow my brains out (as I wanted to to in the early days of disk arrays).
The FATAL flaw is the RAID system. IMHO RAID is USELESS! In order for RAID to work you need redundancy at the Google level. Multiple disk arrays and then a backup disk array and cloud storage just to be double safe. For the small business owner that is just impractical. And management of all that is a full time job. And what is the benefit of RAID? Faster save times? As I think about it I can't think of a single additional benefit other than speed that compensates you for the hassle of replacing/rebuilding a failed RAID array. And just to be clear...it is NEVER a question of IF...it is ONLY a question of WHEN! And...you can bet your next paycheck it will be at the worst possible time! RAID arrays NEVER fail just after you bought a new one and transferred all your data over.
So...when my new 1815 gets here tomorrow (thank you Amazon), I'm going to JOBD it. Screw it! At least when this one fails (and it WILL FAIL), I won't lose everything.
Maybe I'll eat my words in another year or so when the new one FAILS! But I don't think so.
It seems to me the ONLY value of a Synology disk array beyond the software and, trust me, it's worth buying one JUST for the SOFTWARE ALONE! Is the convenience of storing a butt-load of HDDs in one convenient box.
OK...I'm done my rant for today. (I can't believe how calm I am after losing nearly 30TB of data!)
Question: When was the last time you vacuumed off your server (I mean, inside)? Dust creates massive problem. It shorts internal and external connections. It will screw up motherboard connections too. I have experienced it on my desktop pC running in my bedroom (sudden blue screens, sudden mouse and keyboard freezes, etc). 15 minutes of dust blowing, vacuuming, and the machine runs like new. Just a friendly reminder.
Disks? If they don't fail withing hours or days, they will run for ever, in my experience. I also use SpinRite from time to time. This refreshes sectors, and things are peachy.
But, yes, RAID on its own is not a backup, and it poses risk. When the Raid controller (single point of failure) goes bannanas, data will be crap on all disk (and not because THEY are faulty). Having backups on other devices is a must.