I’ve read several blog posts recently about people having major harddrive failures or other hardware problems and losing data. Loads of data. Metric asstons of personal, important, completely unreplaceable data. So I’m taking these stories as fair warning, and not waiting for a crash of my own. I started building a backup server.
Just happened to be at Fry’s last weekend (surprise, eh?) and they had 200 GB harddrives for what seemed like a good price, roughly the same as online (before shipping). So I bought two. Not planning ahead cost me another trip back to geekmart for a pair of fans and couple round ATA cables. I could have used some extra mounting brackets too, but I still wasn’t thinking too hard I guess .. brain sometimes shuts off for the weekend, you know.
I made room in the case for the two new drives and crammed ’em in. Buttercup (the fastest Linux server in the house .. Natalie named it 😉 ) now has four harddrives and a DVD burner. I had to buy a PCI ATA133 controller last time I bought a drive, since it was bigger than the motherboard could handle. This time I had to reenable the onboard IDE controller to get all that working at the same time.
Once the thing was physically configured, I booted back into Debian and setup the new drives as a single 200GB RAID1 volume. Easier than I was expecting .. @apt-get install mdadm@ and a few @mdadm@ commands, plus some config files to make it show up after a reboot.
Next step is to get some backup scripts running on the other machines living in the house. Probably some combination of @rsync@ and @cvs@, depending on which files I’m backing up.
Speaking of CVS, this “@cvsmenu.vim@ plugin for Vim”:http://vim.sourceforge.net/scripts/script.php?script_id=1245 is quite nice .. makes it nice and easy to commit to CVS as you’re editing a file.
I’m also in the process of dumping (and reorganizing) all the pictures and music I have onto the RAID drive. A while ago, I made a DVD backup of all the digital (and digitzed analog) photos we have, but burning discs is annoying enough that I don’t do it as often as I should. Hopefully the RAID1 will help fill in the gaps.
(later): Continuing with the nerdery, I got some new RAM today also. First, some background: buttercup’s mainboard is the (unrecommendable) K7S5A Pro from ECS. My main reason for purchasing it was the two sets of RAM slots – it accepts PC100 or DDR memory. This allowed me to upgrade to a faster chip (Athlon) while not having to spend money on new RAM. Unfortunately, the slow old stuff limits the speed at which I can (safely) run the chip, effectively forcing me to underclock the thing. This was still more powerful than whatever system I was replacing at the time, so I was happy. But now that I have the PC2700 RAM I can finally unlock this Athlon’s true potential.
* Old BogoMIPS count: 2605.05.
* New BogoMIPS count: 3465.21
Is this what you would call fast? Maybe. Definitely faster .. feels speedy anyway.
That’s probably enough geeking for one weekend .. time to go do something productive 😉