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Software RAID and drive failures


I apologise, that i bother you with questions, that are not entirely
Debian specific. I don't know any better place to ask those questions.
If someone here could point a newbie like me to right direction, it
would be very much appreciated.

I have a task to set up a file server. I have very small budget but
quite high demands for data integrity. I must do everything possible to
ensure, that i can recover data after hardware or user failures.
The performance of the computer is not very important.

There is no way i could buy expensive hardware (SCSI and tape drives are
really not an option). I think i can afford two or three IDE disks. So
here is my plan.

I buy two smaller (and cheaper) IDE disks and use them in RAID-1 array.
I hope that this gives me good protection against hardware failures. If
one disk fails, then other will still have my data intact, right? The
main question is, that how good is the software RAID, when one drive is
not lost completely, but it starts to have more and more bad blocks?
Will the RAID-1 protect me from data corruption in that case? Any

I know, i still have to take backups, because the RAID and mirroring
won't protect me against other types of failures. I was thinking about
using a separate much bigger IDE disk for backups. If the backup drive
would be 7 times bigger than those smaller disks, then i could take a
full backup every weekday and have seven copies of my data, every copy
taken in different time. This gives me maximum one week to react to data
loss or corruption and if i accidently deleted wrong files, i would
could restore them from backup, that is not older than 24 hours.

So what do you think, is my plan plain stupid, or does this really give
me some protection against data loss. Should i investigate any other
technologies? EVMS?

A bit worried, but still hopeful --

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