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Tech Bleg

January 29th, 2010 - 12:00 am

So I’m very nearly done with the Big Project of ripping al of our TV and movie DVDs to hard drives for inclusion in our iTunes library. That’s almost a thousand movies and 1,500 TV episodes ranging from Ultraman to Buffy to Californication.

Having all our video accessible on any iPod, iPhone, laptop, desktop or TV in the house at the press of a button… well, it pretty much rocks.

There’s just one problem. Right now, that’s three-plus terabytes of data spread out over four daisy-chained external Firewire drive — with no backup. Yep. Three terabytes of hand-ripped DVDs with no backup. Yep. I’m one hard drive failure away from having to redo weeks and weeks worth of work.

It’s pretty obvious we need to go to some kind of RAID enclosure. It’s cheaper to buy into a standard RAID bay, but when you need to upgrade one drive, you need to upgrade all the drives. At once. And I don’t even know where the backup space would come for that kind of chore.

Then there’s Drobo. The buy-in is more expensive up front, but you can mix-and-match drive capacities, making upgrades a lot simpler (and very probably) cheaper, too. Then again, I’ve heard Drobo units have reliability problems.

Anyone have experience with standard RAID and Drobo units? I don’t mind paying a little extra up front, if it will save money and headaches later. But if Drobo isn’t reliable, then what’s the point?

Anyone have any answers? And, please, I’m blegging you, keep the comments on topic.

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