backup pipe dreams

So I’m increasingly annoyed with optical media for backups. It’s slow, it’s cumbersome, and it’s just a PITA. Enough so that I find myself being really bad about doing backups.

I’m also increasingly atracted to hard-drive based backups. I could just buy a giant USB drive and regularly copy stuff to it, but that doesn’t help me in a catastrophic failure (i.e. a fire). I’d like to at least be able to rotate something to my firesafe.

I learned recently that SATA is hotswappable (I think?). I then stumbled across this device:

MINI 3.5’’ SATA Dual Drive Aluminum Enclosure with USB 2.0 Output

USBG-SATA-2US (selectable HARDWARE RAID 0 ro RADI 1)

Basically you put two SATA 3.5” drives in it, and it uses RAID-0 or RAID-1 and spits it out via USB (which I am assuming would work in linux with regular USB mass-storage).

Because it’s using SATA, I am assuming this means it’s hot-swappable which means you could just yank a drive out and it would keep operating. I also assume if you jammed a drive back in there it would rebuild the array on the replacement drive. (Assumptions are fun!)

If all of those assumptions hold true, that would mean I could buy, say, 3 200G SATA drives, that enclosure, + 2 extra trays (it comes with one) and have 200G of fully redundant storage via USB with one extra drive rotated regularly out to my firesafe:

SATA Dual Drive Aluminum Enclosure: $290
200G SATA drives * 3 ~$400
2 extra trays $60
Total: $750

Ouch. Okay, definitely out of my price range, but still pretty damn cool.