Monday, July 11, 2011

ICY TIP: How to backup your photos, video and data in a safe and secure RAID storage device

Backing up your data and storing it in a safe and secure place is important for just about any computer user. But when it comes to backing up a large archives of valuable photos, videos, or sound files you need a larger capacity storage device then other users may need. If you are a photographer, video editor, or music producer you know what I am talking about. Keeping large archives of your files requires a very large capacity storage device or server. With the newer technologies emerging with larger capacity hard drives a 3Tb hard drive is not uncommon. In the past when you wanted to make a large capacity storage enclosure you needed to purchase a 4 or 5 bay enclosure to build up a 3Tb storage enclosure. These enclosures were bulky, heavy, use a lot of power and can be very costly.

The other popular backup option is to use backup software, to set a scheduled time and the software will move the selected files to a destination (usually another hard drive). The weak point of the backup software is sometimes it fails without any notice. You wouldn’t know until your drive has gone bad but by then it is too late to do the backup. Some backup software can corrupt previously installed software or data on the server. Not to mention it uses system and hard drive resources while backing up the files. That’s why many professional users prefer hardware RAID backup solutions; even the software backup solution has built-in to Windows server & Mac OS.

You may already know that RAID 1 mirrors all data from one drive to the other drive automatically. Having an enclosure in RAID 1 allows you to not worry about drive failure. Dual bay 3.5” external RAID enclosures are getting more popular as hard drive prices are dropping and hard drive capacities now hitting 3TB. However, there are many dual bay RAID enclosures on the market and they aren’t cheap. So it is important to choose an enclosure that is reliable, fits your needs and packed with features.

Here are the tips when buying a dual bay RAID enclosure:

1. Drive compatibility: Make sure it supports more than 2TB capacity per partition; many RAID chipsets are limited to 2TB capacity. That said, it won’t work with 3TB hard drives or even 2TB hard drives in RAID 0 or BIG. So make sure the enclosure you buy supports greater than 2TB capacity per partition.

2. RAID Chipset: It is the core of the RAID enclosure as it handles the data connection, interfaces and RAID functions. It is important to choose a brand name chipset since brand name chipsets have more thorough testing for better compatibility with OS and hard drives.

3. Cooling: One of the main causes of drive failure is caused by heat. Having proper cooling is important in dual bay RAID enclosures. Make sure the enclosure is equipped with a quality cooling fan in order to protect your drives as well as the enclosure.

4. RAID selection: Although you can only use one RAID mode at the time, it’s always good to have more than one RAID option to choose from. Another RAID option might be good for a future upgrade.

5. Warranty: Most hard drives come with a 3 year warranty. It would be nice if enclosure came with a 3 years warranty as well.

ICY DOCK offers dual bay enclosures that cover everything we’ve mentioned above. The MB662 series has two different versions, MB662US-2S and MB662USEB-2S. Both of the enclosures support more than 2TB capacity per partition and compatible with 3TB hard drives, the MB662US-2S uses a Silicon Image chipset and the MB662USEB-2S uses an Oxford chipset. They both are equipped with high performance “Sunon” MEGLev cooling fan with fan speed control in order to keep the hard drives cool and running smoothly. ICY DOCK team offer various customer service options including phone support, email support and live chat support. As always, all the ICY DOCK products are covered with a 3-year limited warranty.

Tool-less Design
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MEGLevc Cooling Fan
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Using Icy Docks MB662US-2S or the MB662USEB-2S you can get the benefits of a large capacity storage device with the added benefits of RAID 1 (SAFE). Using the enclosure in RAID 1 with two 3Tb drives would be an excellent storage unit for any professional that wants to keep a large archive of files but still keeping them safe in RAID 1.
When a hard drive fails it is usually due to heat, vibration, and condition of the drive and when it does fail it can be a major issue. RAID 1 mirrors all data from one drive to the other drive automatically. Having an enclosure in RAID 1 allows you to not worry about drive failure. If one drive false then you are still in luck since the other drive has the exact data on it, simply replace the failed drive with a identical hard drive and then the enclosure will automatically rebuild the data to the new drive. With the MB662 series all of the RAID setup and functionalities are handled by the enclosure. This means that the enclosure is a standalone RAID enclosure that requires no tricky software, complex setup or additional hardware such as RAID controller card. This is a perfect solution for anyone who has a fixed form factor system such as iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro, HP / Dell All-in-One PC or any laptop computer. Desktop computer can also benefit from quick hard drive installation and hassle free setup.

If you want a rock solid external RAID enclosure that will out perform, out last and provide protection not found in any other enclosure then you need an Icy Dock MB662 Series enclosure.

Product links:

MB662US-2S - Dual Bay eSATA & USB 2.0 RAID External Enclosure

MB662USEB-2S - Dual Bay Quad interface RAID External Enclosure

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