Q. Can I use RAID as the only backup solution under Linux? Is RAID is reliable backup solution for server?

A. Short answer – NO.

Long answer – RAID is good for improving performance. RAID also offers fault tolerance. However, I’ve seen 100% data loss under RAID 5 and RAID 10. It is recommended that you use minimum RAID 6 for mission critical applications and data. RAID 6 is extension to RAID 5. It provides protection against double disk failure. RAID 6 protects against multiple bad block failures while non-degraded mode. RAID 6 protects against a single bad block failure while operating in a degraded mode.

For 100% peace of mind and data safety, perform regular scheduled backup outside Window / UNIX / Linux server using any one of the following solution (or combination of all):

  • NAS / SAN Storage
  • Backup to 2nd server
  • Tape backup
  • Create 2nd disaster recovery site
  • Always move data offsite
  • Virtualization can be used to create quick recovery plan

Checkout all our backup related articles here and here. I also recommend following books:


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1 comment… add one
  • Jason Walker Jun 2, 2008 @ 23:39

    Great points in the article/response. To further some of the thoughts….

    The backup concept should be considered as a method to restore data to secondary computing devices or to restore the data based on the fault of a device or user error.

    RAID 5 is graceful for tolerance against a single point of failure (the article/response covers this) and allows admins to recover a system when a single drive requires replacement. This should mean hot-swappable drives – power and data connections.

    In the event the DATA CENTER is compromised, RAID don’t mean a thing if you can’t take it with you. The article/response starts down this path of “moving data off site”. There will be times when off site is the only option.

    Also, a RAID device is not going to allow an admin to recover files deleted by a user.

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