Backup and storage advice requested

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spiritlevel, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    I am a graphic designer and I am about to purchase a new mac pro and put 2TB of internal storage in it (purchased elsewhere). This will be made up of:
    1 x 500GB System and Apps drive
    2 x 500GB RAID 0 array for file storage
    1 x 500GB split between photoshop scratch disk and PC Bootcamp drive for games etc.

    I am looking for the best way to back these internal disks up. I need both on site backup and off site backup for security reasons (guard against fire/theft etc). My on site backup drive will be permanently connected to the mac pro for constant backup (probably using time machine) and my off site backup will come into the office once a week, backup everything (or ideally just everything that's changed, then go home again. So my first question is what would you recommend as backup software for this off site disk? I don't need/want full time machine functionality for this - just the ability to backup new/changed files.

    For the on site backup there seem to be three ways I could go
    Buffalo Terrstaion Pro II NAS (connects via ethernet)
    Drobo (connects via USB2)
    or a standard 2TB external drive from the like of La Cie or Western Digital. (connects via firewire 800)

    I know that USB 2 is slower than firewire 800 but how does gigabit ethernet compare to the other 2 in speed?

    I only really need DAS not NAS as I am not sharing with others - does this exclude the terastation would you say?

    I really like the fact that the drobo allows me to keep adding bigger drives into the one box so it grows with me as opposed to keep adding more external firewire drives if I go down that route.

    On the downside, I am not sure I need/want the data protection functionality of the drobo as I will be using the whole drive as my backup anyway - What's on drobo will be a copy of whats on my mac - I'm not sure I need the backup of my backup if you see what I mean - perhaps a raid 0 array would be better?

    Also, I am concerned about how much drobo storage I need to backup my 2TB internal disks when both the drobo mirroring feature and time machine are being used. How much storage would I need on the drobo, 3TB more???- the mirroring will use up extra space and time machine will use up even more.

    Finally, I have some concerns about the USB2 only connection speed on the drobo - ideally I would like to have firewire 800...

    The alternative be a standard external 2TB firewire 800 drive dedicated as a time machine backup disk. I would miss out on the hot swapability and upgradeability of the drobo if I go down this path though - I like the drobo's one box solution. However a 2TB firewire disk would give me Raid 0 functionality and firewire 800 connectivity.

    I think the external firewire is probably my best choice for my off site backup disk.

    Sorry this is so long, but your thoughts and advice would be appreciated...
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    In your case, you are probably going from home (your "offsite storage place") to the office and back every day. What I would do: Have one 2TB FireWire 800 disk attached permanently for Time Machine backup. Buy a second 2TB Firewire disk, which is usually at home. Lets say every tuesday you bring the second disk from home. In the evening. remove the Time Machine disk, attach the Firewire disk, start backup, go home taking the Time Machine disk with you. Next morning, you take the Time Machine disk with you, remove the other disk with complete backup, attach Time Machine.

    If your second backup disk breaks, buy a new one. If your Time Machine backup disk breaks, buy a new one. If your internal disk breaks: Go home, get the Firewire disk, boot from it. If you use something like SuperDuper it should be possible to then upgrade it from the Time Machine disk very quickly and be up and running.
  3. spiritlevel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Thanks Knasher, that helps a lot

    Any advice on the best (most reliable) 2TB firewire external?

    I have seen ones from Western digital, La Cie, Freecom and Beyond Micro DriveZilla.

    thanks again.

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