Btrfs/RAID or Backup

From Forza's ramblings


Serial-ATA harddisks

A common mistake is to confuse RAID with backups. Both have its natural uses and it is important to carefully consider each option.

If you are unsure, the safe suggestion is to ALWAYS USE BACKUPS.


RAID is short for Redundant Array of Independent Disks[1]. The purpose of RAID is to increase fault tolerance against a hardware failure with a physical disk. The exception is RAID0 which utilises two or more disks to increase total total throughput performance.

You would choose a RAID when you need to ensure the continuous up-time of your system. If a disk fails you can replace it with a spare disk at a more convenient time without any data loss.

It is important to note that RAID does not protect user data against filesystem errors, data erasure, user deletions, etc.

RAID is part of Btrfs's built in volume management.


Backup used to protect your data in case there is a filesystem error, data corruption, deletions, etc.

There are many ways to make a backup. With Btrfs snapshots and the use of btrfs-send it can be managed relatively easily.

The the Btrfs/Backup page for examples of how to manage backups with Btrfs.


  1. Redundant Array of Independent Disks[1]