2 time capsules (1: back up; 2: photos)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by oyuen, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. oyuen macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2013
    Would appreciate some advice please!

    I currently store all my photos on a WD My Book Studio external hard drive. I would have to plug the HD in to my Macbook whenever I want to access my photo files. I've been hoping to find something that I can access these files wirelessly. I've tried to plug the HD into our router but MacBook couldn't find it. And I think if I were to plug it into my Time Capsule (which I use strictly for wireless back up), Time Machine would not back up any HD plugged into the TC.

    My questions are:

    If I get another TC, which I use as a wireless drive for my photos, can my original TC back up everything on my MacBook AND the new TC where my photo files are?

    Are there any better set ups that I should be considering?

    Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Time Capsule doesn't back anything up. Time Machine on your Mac does the backing up, and it stores its files on the Time Capsule. So without a Mac involved, no backup. Doesn't matter if it's plugged into your primary TC, a secondary TC, or some other box - it has to be treated as a drive on a Mac in order to be backed up to your Time Capsule.

    You could do a server (a base Mac Mini and download OS X Server from the App Store for $19.99). Start iPhoto on that machine & set up shared libraries. Photos are viewable from your Macbook, as well as any other Apple devices like iPads and Apple TVs. That keeps everything in the Time Machine system & lets you use your Time Capsule to back up both your Macbook and your server.

    Or, you could come up with a different backup strategy for your photos. Go with a NAS box that has its own backup solution, or a third-party backup utility for your Macbook that lets you back up network drives to a different location.
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Yes, if you specify that the new TC will be included in the Time Machine backup then Time Machine should back the new TC up to the old TC.

    But you're risking a lot since you're backing up to a single-drive solution.
    I'd recommend a server like the previous poster; try a used Mac Mini ($300-400 for cheap), $20 for Mac Server, and an external RAID solution. Then you can put your photos onto the server, and the server backs itself up. In fact this server could completely replace your Time Capsule as a backup solution!
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I do not think that Time Machine can be set to back up any networked attached drives.

    I do not agree that there is risk of using a single spindle backup target. The bigger risk is not using two different backup locations, each using a different backup program.

  5. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    First point I guess I was wrong, I suppose.

    But I hold to the need of a multiple drive backup. A single 4-drive RAID 5 backup will never lose any data if properly maintained; if even 1 of 4 single-drive backup locations fail then you lose some backup data. Not to mention the complexity in managing multiple backup programs; CCC is a useful tool but I consider it impractical as a backup utility, especially when Time Machine works well enough and now even supports multiple locations.
  6. flynz4, Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    That is not true. There are any number of reasons that a RAID 5 backup array can completely fail. In fact... in many ways, the complexity of a RAID array introduces new failure mechanisms not present in a single spindle drive. Search for the "RAID 5 Write Hole"... a well known weakness in RAID 5... although it is also present in most (if not all) other RAID configurations.

    While a RAID array (I prefer RAID 10 over RAID 5) is likely more reliable than single spindle drive... they are far from perfect. Plus... they suffer from the exact same other "not technical" failures of single spindle drives, such as theft, natural disaster (ex: fire, earthquakes, floods) and the most common -- human error.

    Once again not true. The concept behind multiple independent backups is that each has the full relevant backup set of the data that you are protecting. It is OK to have two different backup locations using the same program... but that still leaves a single failure point (the backup program... or the human who determined the backup set). A much better approach is to have at least two different programs backing up to two different locations. To maintain robustness... at least one of them should be offsite with no human interaction. That used to be hard (or nearly impossible) to do... but cloud backup providers have made it "nearly foolproof" as well as incredibly secure and innexpensive.

    My personal favorite (the one that I employ) is:

    1) Local backup with Time Machine. I use Time Capsules because they can be located away from the main computer (for security against simultaneous theft of both the computer and local backup)... and also since Time Capsules are the only NAS units officially supported by Apple.

    2) Cloud based backup using Crashplan+. I have eight computers being backed up... the largest of which is 1.2TB of primary data. It costs next to nothing. A total bargain.

    Everything above is sufficient. However, if you have an extremely valuable set of data (to yourself)... then you might do the following:

    3) CCC clones of data of the set of data that it is irreplaceable. I use a pair of rotated drives... one of which is always offsite. They never both been in the house at the same time.

    Finally... if you need to have very fast recovery in case of a drive failure, then you can do the following:

    4) CCC clone of your entire drive. You can just attach it to your computer and reboot with that drive.

    NOTE: I do not consider items 3 or 4 to be real backups... because they do not contain effective versioning. I would never recommend using 3 or 4 unless you already are doing 1 & 2.


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