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Vol. 1 No. 7 September 2002

Pick the right ATA array for backup

In the June issue, (see "Surprise! Cheap disks cure slow backup") I introduced the idea of using inexpensive ATA-based disk arrays as the primary storage medium for a backup and recovery system. Instead of backing up to a tape library, your initial backup goes directly to these new ATA disk arrays and is later sent to tape for off-site and long-term storage. This article further examines the options available in this new world of disk-based backup and details the pros and cons of using various products with ATA disk arrays. RAID arrays There are a myriad of vendors offering inexpensive RAID arrays based on ATA disk drives and FC connectivity. These boxes usually offer hardware-based RAID supporting RAID 0+1, RAID 1+0 and RAID 5. What these boxes lack is a file system. How you use these RAID arrays in your backup system depends on your configuration and what you hope to achieve. ATA's attractiveness The non-streaming, random accessibility of a disk is better suited to the random and inconsistent streams of data that backups ...

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