What is the best practice when it comes to using RAID on a NAS, when that NAS is purely there to hold server backups?

My intuition tells me to forego RAID and just use a single drive. Reasons why:

  • Cheaper on Hardware
  • Better performance
  • Simpler. One less level of complexity = fewer things to go wrong / fewer things to monitor
  • Longer Drive Life (no raid integrity checks, synchronizations, and no heat from a second drive)
  • Any benefits of going RAID would be negated by a 2-drive failure anyhow.

Here's the reasons against that I can think of ...

  • local and offsite backups would be interrupted - everything since last backup would not be backed up.
  • would need to recreate the storage pools and volumes, and reconfigure the backup software so it could sync with the offsite. Potential problems / complexity with that.
  • Labour is the most expensive component ...

Specifics of implementation: Server 2019 - Drives are protected with RAID Replicating from Server to NAS NAS will be replicating to Backblaze B2 6TB Ironwolf Pro Drives in the NAS ...

If software like Veeam was involved - I'd definitely go RAID because you don't want to interrupt the synthetic fulls / replication chains .. but this is a smaller office .. so I'm left weighing it out.

What's the best practice for these scenarios? Do you really need redundancy on your redundancy?

  • RAID1 may protect you from one drive failure, but not using RAID means if your drive fails, you suddenly don't have a backup. – Michael Hampton Aug 3 at 2:46

Sounds like this is Veeam.

I use RAID6 on all my nas devices when I am using a setup like yours. If it is a Windows Server I will use storage spaces with SSD tier and a capacity tier. RAID5 is unacceptable on big drives (still usable on SSD).

And yes, you need redundancy on redundancy. I take it a step further and replicate my backups out to AWS virtual tape library. It's saved me a few times. There's a write up on it here with Veeam https://www.tecfused.com/2017/07/veeam-aws-vtl-virtual-tape-library-guide/

| improve this answer | |
  • Prices have dropped since that article, Glacier Deep Archive is about 1/4 the price - $0.00099/GB. – Tim Aug 3 at 3:27
  • AWS deep archive is cost efficient at the moment. In order to have additional redundancy, we are using StarWind VTL. It can upload tapes to AWS Glacier, B2 and other clouds. Nice alternative to AWS Storage Gateway. starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-tape-library – Stuka Aug 14 at 6:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.