George Ou has recently taken up the torch of demystifying RAID for average users so they can reap the benefits. Unfortunately for George, I agree with his detractors that say RAID isn’t going to fly in the home. Honestly, RAID makes even geek heads spin sometimes, including my own, and managing one’s RAID setup is really up there with changing your own oil: not everyone does it or wants to do it. In fact, most average people really couldn’t give a fuck about RAID; they just want to backup their data.
I think George should stick to the easy things when it comes to consumer-level storage. Educate people about regular backups using one of two methods: drag-n-drop or NT Backup (or both!). And for media, educate people to use one of four options: external hard disk, USB key (or two), cd burning, or dvd burning. Drag-n-dropping data is natural, and people just have to think about what they would want backed up, drag it over (or burn it), and set it aside in a safe place. If people don’t understand or know what they all need, use NT Backup and in the event of a disaster (on consumer levels, i.e. a hard disk gone bad) have that on hand for techies to restore.
That really should be the extent of trying to educate the masses. Granted, it is not pretty or scalable, but it gets the job done and goes only as far as most consumers really care to go. (Honestly, I’m not sure who George’s audience is, technically proficient people who already know this stuff or technically inproficient people who shouldn’t be bothered with RAID…either way, he’s seeming a bit lost on this effort.)
One thought on “why raid does not work in the home”
Not everyone has a need for RAID at home, but that doesn’t mean many people don’t want it. We can’t really say RAID is or isn’t for the home. It’s obviously needed for some users but not for others.
It my blog you linked to, I pretty much break it down for you on who needs and who doesn’t need RAID. If you’re just backing up a couple GBs, DVDs are the best. If you’re just backing up a few hundred GBs, a portable drive is the solution.
If you have 1 or more terabyte of DVDs and video downloads, RAID Level 5 is your only solution. You still need to do backup/replicate (preferably off-site) for your user-generated data such as personal photos, emails, and home videos. But it isn’t practical to replicate everything. Furthermore, RAID is a continuous protection mechanism. Backup doesn’t protect the data you created in between your backups.
So my blog isn’t about what’s right or wrong; it’s about educating people and giving them options.
I will continue to educate a wide range of users from casual to power users in the home and I will continue to educate the enterprise user. It’s just not my style to be pigeon-holed on any particular topic or technology.
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