Backup devices and desktop organization

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jazzer15, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #1
    I currently have an older iMac that I am doing some research on replacing. When I switched from a PC over 5 years ago, I was concerned about upgradability, but decided to make the trade off and get an iMac for the convenience of an all-in-one. Over time, my all-in-one grew and while I didn't have a separate monitor and tower, I now have an extra CD drive, USB hub and external hard drive.

    As I am now considering a 2015 iMac with an SSD drive, I would need, at a minimum, yet another external hard drive because my media that is now on my 2TB internal drive would not fit.

    What options do I have for multiple hard drives that would be cost effective, reasonably fast and take up the least amount of space and ports on the computer?
     
  2. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    I use a ThunderBay 4 enclosure mounted under my desk with a simple Thunderbolt cable running down to it. It holds my archive, windows, clone, and time-machine drives. Out of sight, out of mind.

    If you really want to keep it neat ... get a CalDigit ThunderStation 2 and put it under the desk too. Then all your external cables (network, usb, ext. monitor, speaker, and thunderbolt) are out of sight and only a single thin Thunderbolt cable and the power cable connect to the iMac.

    http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation2/
     
  3. G.McGilli macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2015
    #3
    I bought a USB3 slim 2TB HDD (you can get any size u like) that draws power from the uSB bus (so it doesn't need a power adapter) - and then put velcro on it, and the back of my iMac - stuck it there - and you never see it and there are no cables to run etc. It's dead silent, super fast and perfect for my needs (silence and clutter free).

    Plus you can get the drives for very cheap / and it's portable if you ever need to take all your data with you.
     
  4. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #4
    Thanks hfg and G. McGill.

    G. Mcgill, what brand/type of HDD are you using? Do you know if they (and USB 3) can be daisy-chained? I had thought about USB bus powered external drives for my current setup, but was always under the impression that the drives with power adapters were somehow better, faster and more appropriate for desktop systems, although I admit that I never understood why.
     
  5. G.McGilli macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2015
    #5
    Here is the one I bought. It is dead silent. I use it as a Time Machine drive - and there is no spin up noise or anything. Extremely fast too. There is No daisy chaining on this - and I am guessing that the bus powered ones won't have this option.

    http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00FRHTSK4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

    Again, it is just really cheap, quiet, fast and no mess at all. Your new iMac would have 4 USB3 ports, so it would just take one of those per drive (if you need more than 1). Good luck :)
     
  6. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    #6
    Go buy Seagate fast, the 4tb portable raid. And a twelve south backpack. So everything is on the backside of the iMac, not on the desk. You will never see the drive again once you plug it in. If need more space, just buy two of them, you should have enough space on the back for like three sets
     
  7. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2014
    #7
    Besides, portable drives are much much quieter than desktop ones,
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I have a drobo mini connected to my MBP and once (if), I get an iMac, that will be connected to the iMac. I like it, as it uses RAID to ensure data integrity. I also back that up, as you cannot be too careful, especially since that drive holds my music library and time machine.
     
  9. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #9
    Thanks for the helpful responses above. After thinking about this for a while and considering things, I realized that most of my storage needs is related to music (I have about 150GB of lossless files plus mp3s) and photos, which is probably not too surprising.

    I am likely to get a 512GB SSD and would need an external drive. I would like to keep my music off the internal drive and be able to stream over my Sonos system without the computer. I would also like to have a redundant Time Machine backup of my internal and external drives (I figure for photos, I would work on them locally and then transfer over to an external about once a month).

    Does this make sense and is there an easy way to accomplish it? At the moment I simply have a large internal drive that is backed up with time machine to an external HDD and I have a separate portable clone, so thinking through an expanded workflow with both an internal and external drive is a little difficult for me to conceptualize.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #10
    when I posted what I did, I was not an iMac owner, I am now :D

    For me, I opted for the 2TB Fusion drive, mostly because that model comes with 128GB of flash storage.

    If you're going to have your music and photos on an external drive, I do recommend a RAIDed DAS, either USB-3 or Thunderbolt. I also would recommend having a backup strategy that backs up that disk array. If something catastrophic occurs to the disk array, you lose your Time Machine backup (which may be ok, as long as your computer is ok) and your music/videos (which may not be ok if you have no backup).

    When I had my music/photos on the Drobo, I backed that up to another external disk. I want at least two copies of my data.

    Does that address your questions/concerns?
     
  11. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #11
    Thanks ... sort of.

    I feel like I am being a bit dense but I am having trouble visualizing how this would work, I guess because I have always had everything on one internal drive (which does make things easier and argues in favor of a fusion drive) and used my computer as my music server.

    Let's say I had an internal SSD that had all of my apps, Lightroom catalog and my last one month of photos. I then have an external drive with all of my general and archived files (including music and photos). I guess this would have to be a NAS to stream the music? And then I need another external dual bay RAIDed DAS to set up a redundant Time Machine Backup of both the internal drive and the external drive/NAS (if it is even possible to have a Time Machine backup of a NAS?). And then if I wanted a bootable clone I guess I would need that as well. And one full backup or cloud backup so I have something off-site?

    I am sure I am making this more complicated than it needs to be. :confused: My data is important to me, but not that important that I need to go into paranoia mode. :p

    Seriously, thanks for the help.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    Here's how I had my MBP, I figured maybe a visual picture may be more helpful
    Code:
    MBP
     |----> Internal SSD
     |----> Drobo (via thunderbolt)
               |----> Time Machine
               |----> Music
               |----> Images
    
    My MBP would back up to the drobo using Time Machine, the same volume would also hold my music and pictures. If the Drobo failed, I'd still have my MBP, so all my data would be ok, but I'd lose my music and pictures. To mitigate that issue, I also backup my Drobo, so if the Drobo failed, another external drive would contain my images and music.

    Does that make sense?
     
  13. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #13
    Yup, perfect sense. Thank you. Did you have to set up a separate partition for time machine or was time machine, music and images all on a single partition? Also, do you do anything for off-site storage?

    I suppose I could get one of these and do generally the same as you did. http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Diskless-Network-Attached-Storage/dp/B00I2P53NY It wouldn't really take up very much more space than my current external drive.
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    The reality is that any external drive from a known maker is FAST enough to handle music. Music doesn't need a fast drive and even a USB2 connection is fast enough. What does need to be considered is making sure your system sees the drive when you want to access the music. Speed is only of value for moving the music files and no more.

    Last - though you might want to put your music on an external drive, consider also some other drive or means for back up. Drives are very cheap now and a couple of external drives shouldn't be too expensive - perhaps an external 2.5" drive for music and a larger 3.5" drive for back ups.
     
  15. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #15
    Although you can simply put the TM backup and other files on the same partition, I would create a separate partition for Time Machine as it will slowly grow to fill the disk or partition before it starts discarding redundant older data. Usually 1.5 to 2 times your source size is adequate for the historical backup provided by TM.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    Yes, I kept things separate by using different partitions.
     
  17. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #17
    hfg, in a different thread your said "Might I suggest using a internal SSD (big enough for OS X and Windows if desired) with a portable Seagate External "Fast" RAID-0 hard disk (USB powered) which can be velcro'd to the back of the iMac stand out of sight. It is quite fast, and the 4TB model would allow a bootable clone of your SSD plus plenty of space for photo, music, video libraries. Then perhaps a larger 3.5" USB3 backup disk (6TB) behind or under your desk for Time Machine backups. Neat and clean for normal "everyday" computer usage."

    This sounds like a very neat and clean idea. Can I ask what the difference in performance might be (and what the benefit would be) in doing something like this vs. getting a dual bay 3.5" setup set as RAID-1 and putting that under my desk?
     
  18. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    In the other thread the OP was looking for a simple and clean installation for "normal" everyday computer tasks. Using the Seagate Backup FAST drive would provide around 200-220 MB/s with RAID -0 in a tiny portable enclosure that can be hidden on the iMac stand. However, these are 2.5" 5400 rpm laptop drives which won't perform as well as 3.5" 7200 rpm desktop drives in a larger enclosure which also require AC power and are larger, louder, produce somewhat more heat requiring a cooling fan.

    Which to select depends on your usage demands, aesthetics, and budget.
     
  19. X Cruz 187 macrumors member

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #19
    Have you thought about a 3 TB time capsule? I love mine & I have it in a different room so no clutter!
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    Its not as flexible as other products, i.e., NAS units offer more features.
     
  21. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #21
    I currently have a Western Digital My Book hooked up to my Late 2009 iMac by Firewire 800 that I use for my Time Machine backups. I also have a bus powered USB3 Western Digital "My Passport Ultra." Each is 2TB.

    Rather than go out and buy something without a good understanding of what will suit my needs, I think I am going to start out with what I have. I'll get a $29 Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter and then I can continue to use the My Book for Time Machine and I'll use the My Passport" as external storage. This is similar to what hfg suggested above, except with a somewhat slower portable drive.

    I know I'll need more storage space -- certainly for backups -- but it should at least give me some idea of whether I need more speed as well as buy me some time to consider what I want to get.
     

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