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Why not optical?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by johnspack, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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  2. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    ?

    Circular logic is circular.


    You write, under ideal situations, 25 GB to a Blu-ray. If anything in that 25 GB changes you have to buy another disk, then write the data again. The only way a stationary back-up, ie any disc media, makes sense is if the information being stored is entertainment (movies, music, games). If you store data that has any practical use the second that a back-up is completed it cannot be updated. No updates means your static backup gets less relevant every minute it exists.

    HDDs may be more expensive currently, but that is their only down side. They are as durable, or more so, as discs (throw a disc against a wall and data is lost under scratches, though this is a terrible analogy...). They have the ability to be updated frequently. They can be protected just like discs. They have higher data densities, so take up less room. Finally, HDDs last longer once written (25 years to degauss, 15 for glue in BR disc to degrade).

    Tell me again, what is the advantage? Pricing will get worse as more back-ups are necessary, so I'm having a hard time following your reasoning....
  3. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    I think you should look for the solution in pills, not in backups. Throwing stuff around isn't a normal thing to do.

    All storage media are unreliable, optical, HD, tape, etc. That's why backups are recommended. But backups fail as well, that's why people made up backup schemes. In the end, even that isn't bulletproof. The right solution depends on importance of data and required availability.
  4. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Why not use RAID-5 or some other RAID level? If you do RAID-5 correctly, you should have practically no downtime, still have redundancy and you will have a lot more speed than a Bluray Disc. I have a RAID-5 and after a hick-up the nForce FakeRaid (Ha!) that my RAID-5 used to be sitting on said that one of my drives failed (which it didn't.) The computer would still boot even though the RAID-5 was degraded and you can rebuild the raid while you're using it. Also if you do the RAID correctly like how it would be done on a server, you should have a hot spare in case a drive does die so you can rebuilt it right away. Either that or you can find a RAID-6 controller so you would need to lose more than 2 drives out of n to lose your data instead of just one (this also required 4 hard drives, minimum, where RAID-5 only needs 3.)

    Keep in mind that RAID-5 and 6 have reasonable write (take into account that parity data has to be written every time data is written to the RAID,) but reads have performance similar to RAID-0 because it ignores parity (unless you're running in degraded mode.)

    Personally, I've been very happy with my 3x1TB RAID-5 and when hard drives weren't incredibly expensive, I would recommend 3x750gb WD Blacks which would have costs about 240 USD (before WD got flooded out,) for 1.5Tb of redundant storage (and relatively quick compared to a single HDD or a Blu-Ray Disc.)

    I just find it easier to search my files on a file system, not a cabinet with labeled cases. To each their own. Also there is no redundancy to Blu-Ray discs. Once it is gone, it is gone. I can rip a drive out of my raid, throw it out the window, and I would still be good.

    Edit: Additionally, if you do a RAID-5 of 3x1Tb drives like I did, you could get a 2tb external drive as a backup of your raid, then you have your data in a position where you would have to lose 2 drives in your raid and your external drive to lose all of your data. It can happen, but the point is every time you add redundancy you're mitigating the chances of everything dying all at once. At this point though, you've lost 3 of your 4 hard drives, something that won't happen if you replace things in a reasonable amount of time.

    Actually, the HDD platter would most likely survive, your case wouldn't though. Theoretically you can recover data if you do this. It takes a lot of acceleration to displace data on magnetic media (something like 100G of acceleration, some nutty number like that). At least HDDs can be written over multiple times quickly.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  5. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    Like someone else said, good for you for backing up your data, and NOTHING is indesructable, even if you carved bits into a stone tablet.

    I used to use CDs and DVD's to back up my data, but found the following problems:

    1. Piles of reduntant data on discs.
    2. DVD's in fact do ROT (especially when exposed to sunlight or heat over a certain amount, a HDD could survive more)
    3. They're slow.
    4. Eventually, as my music collection grew to over 400GB, and 60 GB of photos and videos, it just wasn't working.

    Hard drives are much easier to work with in the system. I wish I could put a RAID NAS in a fire proof box in my cellar, but there's an obvious problem with heat in an enclosed fireproof safe (and the need for power and cables).

    But, if it works for you, it works for you!
  6. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    A safer way to store data is to upload it to multiple file hosts as well as to an external HDD/Nas/Backup server.
    (*safe from damage* not from prying eyes*)

    To those who said RAID... RAID is not a backup solution, you must have files stored in multiple locations, separate from each other for a true backup.

    a fire for example would kill a RAID array, but lucky you made a backup and stored the HDD offsite at another location.




    IMHO, one backup is not enough for this "mission critical" data.
    Email it to yourself.
    Upload it to a file host.
    Copy it to an external HDD and or flash drive.
  7. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Jeez, for one, I only make primary backups to optical discs. I don't need to make sequential backups, although that could be handy. I still think a hard copy of any primary critical data safely kept in a spindle is much safer than any data on a running mechanical device. If I do need sequential backup, then yes, an external hd would be good. For primary however, 50 bucks for 1tb is sweet. Really can't see any cons about this....
  8. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    A fire would kill your Blu-Ray discs that are sitting on the shelf in your office too. :)
    You're right, RAID isn't a backup, that is for redundancy because copying > 800gb from an external drive can suck and you don't wait to wait all day for it to copy if you lose a drive. Hate to say it though, if your house burns down I think losing your music and movies will be the least of your problems. ;)
  9. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    Speaking of Optical Storage, I did run across these guys at CES, and they seem to have the best idea I have seen in a "disc". Since it was built for the Navy originally (exclusively tested with them), these discs are pretty indestructible!

    http://millenniata.com/m-disc/

    That isn't to say it wont cost you an arm, kidney, and your first born to own it, but it is a much better idea than typical optical media. Also as mentioned, fire and floods do need to be considered, so maybe a fireproof storage box bolted somewhere to house them is a good idea too.

    On the flip side of it. Why not just use a HDD for all the backups. Don't leave it plugged in and grab a dock for it or get a backup system as suggested. IF the drive isn't powered and is stored well, who knows how long that drive can last. When you think its been too long, buy another and transfer it.

    Bottom line is, what is that info worth to you????
    There is a company called ioSafe that offers products that are the most reliable way to completely protect information, but they are extremely pricey!!!!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  10. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    blu-rays don't warn you when they are about to fail or have an issue. HD's do.

    though if you're talking data you will rarely if ever use it's hard to justify active storage space on that.
  11. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The cunning problem with your plan, what happens when I have to re-burn my 1TB of data? With a hard drive, I just write the new file over the old, with BD-R you have to write over free space. So backing up 1TB might cost you $50 now, but over time, with requiring new discs every time you want to back up changed data, the cost quickly surpasses hard drives.

    Oh yes they will, optical media degrades, look up Disc Rot. Even if you store them in a "vault" they will degrade. In fact, it has been shown that a properly stored HDD will last far longer than an optical disc. Optical discs start degrading the instant they are exposed to air, a hard drive with a parked head will only loose data if subjected to a strong magnetic field.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
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  12. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Depends on how you measure that. What takes up more space, a 2Tb external drive or 82 single-layer Blu-Ray discs? Then you also run into the issue of organization, what is more organized, a single hard drive or 82 discs. Also I'm willing to bet that the HDD is faster to read and write to as well if it is using eSATA, USB 3.0, or Firewire 800.

    How much is your time worth?

    Also, if a drive does die and it has incredibly important information on it that requires you to have this much redundancy, my questions would be; why don't you have more copies of it and why aren't you paying the money to have the platter removed and your data recovered? Blu-Ray works well for movies and bulk media that you don't use often, but I wouldn't trust my documents or anything really important to optical media, like my virtual machines.

    Edit: Finally you also can't automate regular backups if you're using Blu-Ray.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  13. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Sure wish I could afford to spend 1000s on a raid 5 array, but only in my dreams... this is a poor mans backup solution. I can afford to keep spindles of blanks ready to go when I feel the need for a backup. If I could afford a few tbs worth of hds just for backup, I would, honestly!
  14. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    What I do at work for backups that I want to take offsite (disaster prevention) is to buy portable USB hard drives (I also have redundant on-site backups to other machines/servers).
    For instance, you can get a 1TB WD Elements drive for ~$110 at theEgg (or a 500GB Seagate for about $80).
    It's really a handy little solution. Using something like Robocopy (that comes with Windows 7) you can have it update the portable with only changes made (and new files) from the locations you choose and it's a lot faster than doing full backups.

    Just a suggest for the future :toast:
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  15. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Good idea Kreij, I will look for cheap external backup solutions. I see external backup hds on sale for cheap, guess I should pick one up....
  16. johnspack

    johnspack

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    I'm always incredibly amused by the financially well off. I basically posted this thread as a joke, as I'm poor, and this is really the only solution for me financially. I knew my decision would get bashed by those with lots of money. I asked what a low cost solution to backup was, and I get "buy more hds, or buy lots of flash drives" This is not an option for me, I can't afford that. I still can't figure out why being able to store 1tb in a relatively small spindle is bad? And then I can store more, and more... hmmm.
  17. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    It's not that storing data to blu-ray disks is bad, it's just really inefficient and horribly time consuming from a management standpoint. The good folks here at TPU are trying to make you life easier.
    I understand the contrained budget. I've been working in IT for almost 30 years and when the boss says, "Too much, make it cheaper", you learn to get very creative. :D
  18. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    I wouldn't consider myself financially well off. You prioritize when something is important.
  19. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    1000s on a RAID5 setup? You really have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

    1.) Startup cost for a 1TB RAID5 is like $250.
    2.) If you must have RAID, then RAID1 would be enough for 1TB, and cost for that is $200.
    3.) Why compare RAID to your solution? RAID is far more reliable than your solution. A single drive is more reliable than your solution, so you really only need a single 1TB drive. So $100.

    So you don't have to be rich to use an alternative to your solution.

    I don't get your logic, or your shitty math skills. You spent $85 on a burner and $50 on discs, to get 1TB of backup space. By my math, that is more expensive than the $100 it would have cost your to just buy a hard drive and use that. And the hard drive won't degrade as quickly over time as the Blu-Ray discs...
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  20. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    my practice has been to have separate OS and data drive....

    both drives get swapped out for BRAND NEW drives every 6-9months like clockwork.

    i usually get WD black drives, and i have one machine dedicated for storage for every computer i own. all pics, music, video, games get backed up to the main machine weekly.

    drobo is very nice, i've used almost every model but i recommend one with LAN as its sort of a pain to share the usb model over network and its crap to have to leave a PC on 24/7 just for the drive to be available to the network.
  21. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    but HDDs are cheaper then blu-ray discs.....

    i know i earn less money then you do, so dont use that as an excuse, guess i just have different priority's as to where my money goes.
  22. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    Internet storage is by far the cheapest no? Just use a service like mediafire...
  23. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    this is what i have been saying all along :D


    problem is you cant really upload multiple gigabytes without a nice internet connection.
  24. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    Well he is just arguing about costs and doesn't seem to care about efficiencies, so that seems like it would suit him best.
  25. Chevalr1c

    Chevalr1c

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    1) As already stated, a single (external) hard drive is cheaper than the combined costs of a Blu-ray burner and the blu-ray disks.
    2) Mis-burns and CD rot make the disks less reliable.
    3) You call yourself poor, while you have a f'ing Core i7 pc with 32GB (!) RAM and two (!) GTX 285 graphics cards. Define poor...
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