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Is it better to setup a RAID array or a batch copy command on a scheduler? My needs are simple - to backup my important files (some source code, financial data, etc.) on my home network nightly to a separate hard drive. My server OS is Windows Server 2008.

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

RAID is not meant to be a replacement for backups. It's a method for making your harddisks redundant. If one disk is failing, the information will still be available on the partition.

But let's say you accidentally delete files or the folders on the RAID partition. In this case the deleted data will not be available on the other disks of the array.

So, if you're using RAID, I strongly recommend doing regular backups to other media (NAS, other servers' shares, tape etc.)

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ah ok that makes sense. I really don't have a need for the data to be immediately available in the event of a failure so i think i have my answer. – Tone Jun 7 '09 at 15:50
+1 for reiterating the maxim that RAID is not a backup. That should be the first sentence in the first paragraph of any document that mentions RAID. RAID is not a backup – Matt Simmons Jun 7 '09 at 16:27
+1 likewise. It's a common enough misconception, so there's no harm in the OP thinking it was an option. – Le Comte du Merde-fou Jun 7 '09 at 23:31
Hallelujah! RAID's awesome until someone goes and rm -rf *'s it. – Alexandre Carmel-Veilleux Jun 12 '09 at 20:33

Another option-- you can purchase an external USB Hard drive from any BestBuy or Walmart. Plug it in, run your batch file to copy the important files, then unplug it. That'll give you protection from virus/computer corruption/lightning strike. They're cheap and it works well.

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never thought about that from the standpoint of virus protection. Good idea. – Tone Jul 7 '09 at 11:40

You might also consider some of the free online backups like Mozy or Carbonite so that your data is protected even in the event of a disaster at your home.

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i actually do use Jungle Disk - i just like the idea of backing up my data to more than one place, and also on different schedules. So if i backup a virus on my daily then i'll be able to restore from my weekly before the virus was backed up. Now I haven't had a virus in about 5 years... but you never know. – Tone Jul 7 '09 at 11:39

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