Backup Solutions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bdsmith63, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. bdsmith63 macrumors member

    bdsmith63

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    #1
    I would like some suggestions on the best backup methods. I think right now my current setup hasn't been all that successful. I just purchased a Buffalo 3TB NAS to move all my media (music, videos, photos, home records) to from a 1TB NAS. I also bought a Lacie 3TB Thunderbolt External Drive a year ago to use for photo & video editing files. I also have a 1TB USB 2.0 Seagate External Drive. I was previously using Time Machine to back up my Mac systems to, but it was constantly running out of space and didn't seem like it was dropping off the oldest backups automatically.

    I just need a roadmap on how to utilize all my external drives and make use of them in a proficient way. I'd like to have all my data from the 3TB NAS (which currently will only be about 20% full) to be backed up to another HD, then that HD would be backed up to my Cloud service I have through CrashPlan.

    Thanks,

    Brian :)
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Whats the size of your Mac's internal drive?

    So you want to backup the internal mac drive and both your 3TB NAS drive and Local 3TB Thunderbolt drive to something? Which in turn goes out to the cloud? Do you have to use or prefer time machine for your MAC system disk?

    Sounds like you need 7-8 TB more local storage.


    Are you using crashplan for large amounts of data now and are satisfied with the performance?
     
  3. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #3
    Basically, the 3TB NAS will house all my media and I will want to make sure it's completely backed up. I would like to back up my Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro -- pretty much the complete system in case of HD failure. The Mac Pro has a 500GB HD with only applications pretty much installed, the Mac Mini I use for my Plex server with files located on the NAS, and the MacBook Pro is a SSD256GB with only the basic applications and a few other programs. Currently, I have only been backing up my media files from the NAS to the CrashPlan and it works fine. I can include certain files if I want from the 3 Mac systems if I want. I am very pleased with how it works -- I just want to be covered by more than one option in case something happens to the physical drives I at least have the essentials of my media located offsite.
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #4
    Just use a new NAS (synology) that supports Time Machine for your local machine and existing media files, then replicate the data from new NAS to the existing NAS device in order to provide a full secondary. Copying between NAS is easy to automate.
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #5
    But TM to a synology or any NAS is temperamental and not a good strategy. Then replicating the TM archive is a disaster in waiting.

    He has a Mac Mini that with $30 he can run the Mac server app on and make a more powerful system than any NAS less than $1K.

    I assume you don't want to add drives to your mini because its not hidden away?

    I have a mini I use as a media and myth server that also doubles as a File/TM server. I attach two drives large enough to backup the household machines and configure the machines to alternate their TM backups between those drives. My medias dives is directly connected to the mini. I use CCC to backup that media drive to a second drive volume thats about 20% larger. In your case you could use CCC to backup the media drive to the Buffalo NAS.

    Now if you don't want to attach drives to your mini... well... return your buffalo NAS and get another base mini and use it as a file server and TM destination.

    I started trying to fit a NAS into my storage and backup strategy and always ran into one frustrating roadblock or another. They are fine if all you are doing is file sharing. I have never been happier after switching to a server solution.... but there are several ways to skin the cat.
     
  6. rayward macrumors 68000

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    #6

    What's the volume of photo and video editing files? It seems to me that you have about 1TB of media, plus those editing files, plus what you have on-board your Mac. If that can fit on the Thunderbolt external, then you can move everything to that and use the Buffalo NAS as your target for a Time Machine back-up of the whole thing.

    Is your NAS an enclosure or a "sealed" unit? If its an enclosure, you can add / replace drives to give you more capacity. Buffalo's software allows you to add a drive to an existing array without losing any data from the existing drives.
     
  7. AFEPPL, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015

    AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #7
    Time machine is rock solid to Synology device..as well as many others and a perfect strategy for local device backup. I store nothing or next to nothing on the local device and store everything on dedicated NAS.

    NAS doesn't need to be powerful, its sole purpose in life is to serve and save data, nothing more. Using a mini as a NAS device is farcical, its an half arsed solution with drives hanging off via USB and no real raid support - each to their own, but remember NAS is derived from enterprise solutions scaled back to consumer scale units at a cost efficient price point.
     
  8. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    Dec 19, 2009
    #8
    Let me ask you this -- if I use TM through my Buffalo NAS which has TM support, will my backup drive completely fill up or can I manage the amount of space I want to use for backup and TM will manage accordingly?
     
  9. rayward macrumors 68000

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    #9
    When you use the Buffalo NAS for your TM backups, you have to set a folder for TM. You can make other folders for other storage uses, so they can coexist on your NAS. I do not know if you can set size limits to each folder, but I would be surprised if that wasn't an option.
     
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #10
    Will it fill up? depends - like with everything. its all about consumption.
    so to give context, i have 3MBP and 1 mini, they are linked to a 2TB TM and the size consumed after over 1 year is around 250GB. Remember its just incremental.

    If you use the NAS for the main storage, so you are not moving masses of files all the time, TM will never get big.
     
  11. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #11
    Question, I have the Mac server app, but am not really experienced in using the software, however, I could set all my Macs to TM backup through the server app to either a connected NAS on my network, or external drive on the Mac Mini right?
     
  12. AFEPPL, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  13. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #13
    Just to provide clarity to the information you've been given during your hunt for a backup solution: with over 30 years experience in enterprise network environments, I assure you there is nothing farcical about using a mac min (with or without) Server app as a file/backup solution in a home environment. And a mac mini with external hard drives hanging off of IS a scaled down version of the enterprise NAS. In the enterprise, server class computers with direct connected storage (scaled to large arrays of computers and external storage devices for larger environments) are NAS systems. Self contained NAS devices, like your Buffalo station, although very convenient appliance devices for adding storage to a network were developed primarily for the home/small-business environment.

    My home server is a Mac mini w/Server app and Thunderbolt storage devices (primary and backup devices). All my computers backup up to it through the Time Machine Service. In addition, the Mac mini hosts my media library and performs other network services for the house such as DNS services, open directory, internet streaming, etc. Very flexible and powerful compared to the typical appliance NAS. And yes, I do use "real" RAID for my storage needs as it's provided natively by OS X itself (at least 1 and 0) but that's probably not a concern for your needs at this point.

    With that said, the Server app on the your mini would be a very effective solution for backing up all yours computers. However, you can't use a NAS as a Time Machine destination for the Time Machine Service built into Server. It will only use storage directly connected to the host machine. But since you already bought a NAS, I think its best to approach a solution based on your current hardware.

    It sounds like you have approx. 600GB of media (music, videos, photos, home records). How much space do you use on the Lacie for video/photo editing? Are you adverse to getting additional storage for your backup solution? Like another high speed USB 3 or Thunderbolt external drive?

    My inclination would be to use an external drive connected to your Mac mini to host your media files. Since you are only using 600GB for media files, 1.5TB would be plenty of room with space to grow. You could even consider partitioning the 3TB Thunderbolt drive, half for media files and half for editing files. But that would only be a consideration if you did not want to get another drive.

    Since you already have the NAS, I’d use it as the backup location for all your home computers. That's assuming it is Time Machine compatible (What model is your Buffalo NAS?). If so you should have no troubles with it automatically tuning old archives when more space is needed. As for Crashplan, it’s best to backup up the primary data as opposed to backing up a backup. Since you said it’s working fine for you, I’d recommend you continue as you’re doing, backing up data directly from each of your machines using Crashplan.
     
  14. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Marzer provided good background. Short answer is no to the NAS.

    I made the same mistake near two years ago, bought a NAS based on the advertised feature set and fan boy advice here. It was a disappointment from a performance perspective as I quickly out grew it. It has since been relegated to a backup destination for my windose laptop and CCC backup destination for my macs and some other computer data (which is a redundant backup to my time machine backups on the mini server). I'm a belt and suspender guy and use two different applications for backup. CCC backups of large data (I like how CCC handles larger amounts of working data better than TM) are to large shared drive arrays hanging off the mini.

    I would suggest thinking about using the NAS you bought with something like CCC to backup as many of you computers and media that will fit. I don't trust TM backups to any destination besides an apple product (Time Capsule, Airport with attached drive, or a computer running a server app). Then, perhaps over the summer, add enough storage to the mini for it to be the time machine destination. Only backup original files to crashplan.

    For me, it was much easier to set up the mini than the NAS appliance. NAS appliances typically speak a slightly different language which can be confusing.

    There are lots of ways to skin your cat.
     
  15. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #15
    So many things disturbing about the last two posts its hard to know where to start...so i won't.. as I'm not getting into a forum spat even though with the misinformation above. So the only point i'll make is regards the "fan boy" comment - often people are not willing to look outside the one item they are aligned to, this is just the case with using a mac mini as a solution. But, in its defence, IF you have one doing nothing it DOES work, it's not really scaleable in the same way and it's limited to software raid only, performance throughput is not the same either and you still have the tangle of drives. TM for OS (or a crash plan as it been described), NAS (which you have) for storing anything else - with a separate backup plan.. btw the issue with apples TM (and i have one too - is its a single drive, what happens WHEN its fails?)

    OPs take your pick, pay your money.

    30 years "network environment experience" and recommends DAS as a backup solution, geez! :eek:
     
  16. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #16
    Sounds like I've got a lot things to consider based on various opinions on what route I should take. Based on your question about how much space I have on the Lacie, I'd say about 2TB left of the total 3TB. I'm not opposed to buying another Thunderbolt drive or partitioning the current Lacie as suggested. Here is my thing I need to get thought through -- for a long time I used a Windows PC as my media server for a long time - it worked, I switched to a NAS because I liked the self-contained environment it ran in and was DLNA compatible on my network (not a biggie though). I assume in my mind I have had it that a NAS was powerful and geared only for streaming my media efficiently more than a PC or Mac Mini where other resources were being taking up by the OS instead of purely serving the network with all the shared data. My new NAS is a Buffalo Linkstation 210D - 3TB.

    ----------

    A thought I am having is to use the Server App and run TM backups for all my computers to a connected Thunderbolt drive, continue to also use CrashPlan as an offsite backup for my computers, and run the media all on my NAS without having it handle through the Mac Mini as I am using it for my Plex server. I have used CCC before and would then setup that up to pull a backup of my NAS data on a separate connected Thunderbolt drive to the Mac Mini as well. I can also add the NAS to the CrashPlan for an offsite backup as well.

    There are a lot of ways to skin a cat -- I guess I've got a "litter" of cats to hurdle through!
     
  17. marzer, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

    marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #17
    Given your small environment, its unlikely you'd see the Buffalo overtasked as a media server. However, the Buffalo (800MHz CPU, 256MB RAM) is an appliance device with a fraction of the power of a modern Mac mini. The mini can handle far more services and clients, compared to the Buffalo, before you'd see any impact to its performance.

    If the Buffalo is working well as your media server, I think the remaining concern is backing it up. Do you have it currently being backed up? Is it backed up be Crashplan?

    My inclination would still be to have the faster external drive(s) as your primary data storage devices, something like the higher-performing mini running as the central media server, and the slower (but larger) stand alone Buffalo NAS as your central backup unit, which doesn't need to be highly responsive as backing-up is a behind the scenes process.

    P.S. Just to give you an idea of how elegant a Mac mini can be as a central server for the home:
    IMG_1001.jpg

    12TB of high-speed media and backup using two LCie 2big Thunderbolt drives, external 128GB Thunderbolt boot drive sitting off to the side, gigabit connection, all my computers back up to it (including the server itself) via the TM Service, Software Update caches Apple software for fast local updates, then a handful of other misc network services. This services 3 desktop computer, 1 laptop, 4 Apple TV's, several iPhones and iPads. I also run an internet streaming service so I can access my iTunes library over the internet away from home. All tucked neatly in my home-theater entertainment cabinet.
     
  18. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #18
    Nice! In Brazil, those 2xLacies would cost around US$2000,00. I'd be fine with just one of them in RAID-1 mode.
     
  19. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #19
    That's fine if the data isn't something you mind losing in the event of a major failure to your device. To protect yourself from data loss, you need to maintain a backup process. A friend of mine contacted me two weeks ago asking for help to recover her data from her RAID5 array. One drive failed hard, a 3TB registering only as 128GB. A second drive seemed physically ok but was registering as unpartitioned. After lots of troubleshooting, the unpartitioned drive was unrecoverable (short of expensive recovery services she didn't want to spend $$ for) The RAID was unrecoverable and she had no backup, over 6TB of data was gone.

    RAID 1 isn't as risky but you can't recover file errors or accidental deletions. You'd be better off using one drive in the enclosure as the primary storage and using a backup program like TM to backup to the second so you can at least recover from incremental backups if needed.
     
  20. Mago, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    Mago macrumors 68000

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    #20
    I have a NAS, an Synology DS414slim (the mini-nas with 2.5"hdd) has 4 1 TB hdd, I got it thinking on time-machine backup plus media-station and providing storage for a couple of sueveillance cameras.

    My NAS experience, notwhitstanding Synology has the best OS and moreless decent performance, using an NAS for TimeMachine backup IS NOT RELIABLE, period, I was lucky not to lost data since I had dual TimeMachine solution (the NAS and an external Thunderbolt Enclosure, I mostly used as strorage expansion), timemachine on a NAS is not an official Apple solution, which means you don't know when your TimeMachine backup on the NAS will be unavailable due licensing, incompatibility etc, you have no warranty and a backup w/o warranty is not a backup, just a Joke.

    Then, I reconfigured my strategy, now I use Folder sysc (all my pc included the mini-NAS) for most documents (mostly media) and last /document path (where I use to store my work), but TimeMachine full backup is now done on an WD My Book Velociraptor Duo (the Same I used previously for storage expansion), I swapped the 1TB 10K rpm HDD for a couple of WD Purple 6TB, because are by far more reliable and have more cache which is indeed an plus when you do heavy work, surprise, the WD Velociraptor enclosure now loaded wtih WD purple is by far Faster than when loaded with 2 10K rpm HDD, and cooler too.

    This solution at the moment its optimal

    Then I got an Mac Mini (the base model) I planned to use as Backup-NoMoreElse Mac just because....

    Now I'm converting the mini on an Server, using the WD Enclosure and swapping the internal HDD with an 480GB SSD, and it's awesome the functionality I have on this box, at the point I'm considering to ditch the NAS and leave the mini all the time on doing all the TimeMachine/NAS/MediaCenter/NoMoreElseMac role.

    My suggestion, if you Need Flexible networked TimeMachine, get an Mac mini (and OSX Server license ˜20$) and good Dual Drive Thunderbolt Enclosure (4+ Drive if you need more than 6TB), USB3 Enclosure still UNRELIABLE on OSX, forget It by now. Later if you need more netwoerk speed add an TB-Etherner or and Thundebolt 10GB adapter to the 2nd Thunderbolto port on the mini.

    About Multiple Drive Enclosure, Preffer an dual drive (raid 1) than an 4 or more drive solution, because as more drive you have, bigger the chance to get an failure, and when an drive fails in an encloser the best idea is to swap all the HDD since is an good warning of aging/wear, replace only the damaged one will not give you peace of mind. If you still decide to go on an 4+ HDD encloser, choose one with Raid 6 (dual HDD redundant) at least will give you a chance to recover from an 2nd HDD failure (sure soon after the first).

    Whatever you do, an true backup has copies stored on another building, so keep an 2nd set of relatively updated HDD or use an service as Carbonite (if you dont backup sensitive information), this will save you in case of Fire/Robbery/Quake etc.
     
  21. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #21
    Well that is a really nice setup! My Mac Mini is a mid-2011, that I have upgraded to 8GB memory, OS X Yosemite is running on an 240GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD 7MM HD, and the 500GB SATA disk is also still installed but nothing running or stored on it currently. So given the idea I would decide to use my 3GB Lacie Thunderbolt drive, you think this would be more robust and a powerhouse of performance than using the 3TB NAS I just purchased? I can always make a return if I wanted or utilize the NAS in a different capacity.
     
  22. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #22
    Absolutely. As I explained, box NAS like your Buffalo are convenience appliances. Intended to easily and cheaply upgrade data storage in leu of building a computer based server. However, if you already have all the parts, a computer based system is way more powerful and flexible. That's why I recommended you consider using the Buffalo as a convenient and low-cost central TM location for all your computers. According to the specs it is TM compatible.
     
  23. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #23
    This post I started has grown with a lot of suggestions and thoughts, and at one time I did use the TM feature with the 1TB Buffalo NAS that I started with. I didn't run into issues, it was just trying to run it as both a media server and a TM backup that I ran into problems, otherwise, it performed just fine. My biggest hurdle, would be easy steps to configure the Server App on my Mac Mini. Because of the many devices on my network, I wouldn't want to run all my updates and Internet service through the server, but I could just use it for the TM backups on all my systems if I wanted I presume? I also know there are a number of opinions by everyone on this thread - but is there any particular benefit to backing up to the NAS than a connected external drive?
     
  24. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #24
    The thing about TM is it assumes it has sole use of the storage device. That's why it wasn't pruning your backups, it thought it had more space because it's not aware of the other files you had stored on it. It knows how much space it's using and the total capacity of the device, that's what it bases pruning on, the diff remaining between those two values. So best to dedicate an entire device or at least a whole partition to TM.

    With TM Service in the Service app, there are settings to limit users to a certain capacity. But still easiest to just use a dedicated disk/partition.

    The software update cache is fairly low key, no worries there, I have about 15 computers and devices in all, never had a problem with...just turn it on and forget about it, it's the easiest of all the services to use.

    No benefit to using the NAS other than you already have one, otherwise a high speed drive connected to a late model computer will perform much better than the typical home appliance NAS. My pref is to use direct connected drives on a hosting computer, but you could make due with the NAS if you didn't want to spend the extra $$. Just keep in mind, it is the acting host/service for your computers to backup to, as TM Service under Server app can not use NAS as the target storage for backing up clients, it only works with directly connected drives.
     
  25. bdsmith63 thread starter macrumors member

    bdsmith63

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    #25
    So if I decide to use the NAS for TM backups on all my devices (3 systems running OS X) would I need to partition the drive for each OS or they can all backup to the same NAS and TM will manage the drive?
     

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