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Old May 6, 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
tig0r
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Backup/Media Plan for External Hard Disks and Multiple Macs

Hi Guys,

I have been doing quite a bit of research and reading and have thoroughly confused myself. I thought I'd ask the gurus around here.

I have a Mac Mini, a MacBookPro, an Apple TV and 3 external HD's (4TB, 1.5TB and 1TB). Potentially, I would be getting more MacBooks in future.

Here is what I would like to do:

1) Move all media (iTunes, iPhoto etc.) and files to the 1TB and 1.5TB hard disks
2) Connect the 1TB and 1.5TB hard disks to Mac Mini and move Mac Mini next to a TV and install Plex/XBMC on it
3) Use Mac Mini as an NAS to serve media and files to the Apple TV, Mac Mini and Mac Book Pro
4) Use the 4TB hard disk to back up the other hard drives as well as both Mac Mini and MacBook Pro. This backup could happen once a week.

That is where I get confused.

Which software do I need to make it happen with as little manual intervention as possible? Am I missing anything or does this seem like a decent plan? Should I purchase Lion Server? If this is not ideal, what would you suggest I do?

I can be pretty technical in terms of configuring it all but just need the best setup suggestions.
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Old May 6, 2013, 05:41 PM   #2
FreakinEurekan
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I'm a little lost, do you have one Mac Mini or two? or are you getting a second one? Your step 3 makes it sound like you want one Mac Mini to serve a 2nd one (maybe that's just phrasing).

Regardless, if you have a Mac Mini running Lion or Mountain Lion, you could attach the 4GB drive to it and then purchase Server ($19.99 from the App Store) and use the 4GB drive to back up all your Macs with Time Machine using your server's 4GB drive as the backup destination. Time Machine will back up changes hourly; it keeps hourly backups for 24 hours - daily for a month - and weekly as long as disk space allows.
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Old May 6, 2013, 07:30 PM   #3
brand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tig0r View Post
3) Use Mac Mini as an NAS to serve media and files to the Apple TV, Mac Mini and Mac Book Pro
The Mac Mini would be serving as a file server not a NAS.
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Old May 6, 2013, 08:19 PM   #4
tig0r
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@FreakinEurekan Just one MacMini, sorry, should have been clearer.

@brand You are right, of course.

So it seems like it is not that complicated? File server using 2 small HD's and TimeMachine using the 4TB HD - all connected to MacMini, which would be connected to a TV and ethernet. Surely it is not that simple, or is it?
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Old May 6, 2013, 09:48 PM   #5
ColdCase
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Originally Posted by FreakinEurekan View Post
Time Machine will back up changes hourly; it keeps hourly backups for 24 hours - daily for a month - and weekly as long as disk space allows.
If it may be of any use, I use a little utility app called TimeMachineEditor to schedule only daily or in some cases weekly TM backups instead of the hourly thing. Our laptops are not always in wireless range during the day and the TM errors are annoy the kids.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:20 PM   #6
FreakinEurekan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tig0r View Post
So it seems like it is not that complicated? File server using 2 small HD's and TimeMachine using the 4TB HD - all connected to MacMini, which would be connected to a TV and ethernet. Surely it is not that simple, or is it?
That's about it. My network runs essentially the same way, plus I have a NAS configured for Time Machine as a secondary backup destination.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:21 AM   #7
Cinephi1e
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That's about it. My network runs essentially the same way, plus I have a NAS configured for Time Machine as a secondary backup destination.
So is mine. The only difference is my NAS is a 3TB Time Capsule. All media are on a hard drive enclosure attached to the Mac Mini. I find that it is better for the media to be on drives directly attached to the computer running iTunes.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:23 AM   #8
tig0r
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Thanks guys! Will set it up this weekend and will let you know if run into any problems.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:10 PM   #9
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So is mine. The only difference is my NAS is a 3TB Time Capsule. All media are on a hard drive enclosure attached to the Mac Mini. I find that it is better for the media to be on drives directly attached to the computer running iTunes.
Agreed. Currently my iTunes is on the internal Fusion drive but as iTunes is now up to over 730GB I'm looking at an external solution. It will definitely be local, not NAS, for performance reasons.
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