A couple of months ago, OWC Stephen wrote an article that dealt with RAID units not being a “true” backup for your data. This caused confusion for some people; after all, RAID has built-in redundancy (it’s the first letter, for goodness’ sake!), so data should be completely safe, right?
Well… not really.
RAID will protect you against drive failure; that’s exactly what it’s designed to do. However, there are a lot of other things that can cause data loss. For example, if you knock the average RAID enclosure off your desk, there’s a good chance both drives are going to be damaged. If both drives are damaged, then anything on that unit is gone.
What it comes down to is that an actual “backup” consists of at least two copies of the files you want to keep.
- the original file (usually on your main hard drive)
- a copy of the file (preferably on some sort of external device that can be moved off-site)
Ideally, you’d want three copies – your original and two copies – one on-site and one off-site in case of things like fires, tornadoes or theft. That, however, is an article unto itself, full of “exciting” topics like “backup drive rotation scheduling” and “methodology comparison.” Yeah… about as exciting as that Economics class we all had to take in high school, in that stuffy classroom which, despite being windowless, somehow still admitted the slightly disturbing smells emanating from the cafeteria kitchens just down the hall.
Instead, we’re going to talk about something much more exciting: a cross-country auto race. No, I haven’t watched Cannonball Run one too many times; I’ve got a viable (if somewhat bizarre) analogy going here; just follow along. Article Continues…