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Hook up ZRaid SSDs on a low powered machine (like raspberry pi). Set up regular ZFS scrubbing, and connect that to a monitoring service.

You're not going to prevent silent bitrot no matter what modern technology you use, so take a proactive approach instead to prevent data loss.






Agreed. I used to back up onto DVDs, creating a set of (say) 12 DVDs with an extra couple generated by par2, to take care of the case where some of the DVDs just straight aren't readable.

However, I found that I had a lot of data to back up, and it was actually cheaper and less tedious to get 4TB USB hard drives for ~£100 each, and plug them into an old defunct EeePC901 (with the added advantage that if the power goes out it has a battery).

My main PC has an SSH private key that lets it access a restricted shell on the EeePC that only allows it to give it files to store. That way, if a hacker breaks into my internet-facing machine, all they can do to my backups is fill the disc up, not delete or access anything. I have a process on the EeePC that regularly scrubs the par2 files, and the hard drives (I have two so far) are formatted with BTRFS, so given all the data is regularly read by the scrub process, that should notice any drive failures. My main PC uses ZFS, so I have safety in variety.

I also have an off-site backup stored on an encrypted USB hard drive in my locked locker at work, which isn't updated as regularly. My internet connection is slow, so I use the rsync --only-write-batch trick, and then carry the large update file to the backup on my laptop.

What could possibly go wrong?


Re: 4Tb drives, I do the dollars-per-mb calculation before buying hard drives. The most recent time I included the enclosure cost and found that it was actually cheaper to go huge. Granted the enclosure was a Synology, but buying 16TB drives is the closest I’ve been so ‘solving’ storage in a long time. Formatting them and adding them to the array was brutal, and they are noisy, but it has been worth it.

Yeah, I'm using 4TB laptop-sized (2.5") external USB drives, because they are small, cheap, quiet, and they don't need a secondary power supply. At the time of purchase, they were the sweet spot, with 5TB drives considerably more expensive. That may have changed now.

If you're going for 3.5" drives, then yes I can well believe that the sweet spot is with slightly larger drives, especially if you take enclosures into account. I did the calculations for work a while back for shoving hard drives into something from https://www.45drives.com/ and it seemed that getting the largest drives possible was the best price/capacity option.


Buying enough 16tb drives for an efficient raid array is an expensive way to save money.

Something that's easy to overlook with larger drives is that their rebuild times are worse.

"Shucking" drives throws the economics way off even if it means having to do some hacks and losing warranty... Usually the drives that come in enclosures are smaller.


> Buying enough 16tb drives for an efficient raid array is an expensive way to save money.

A lot of ways to be efficient with money start by having or using a lot of it:)




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