Backup Strategy for iMac, DAS and NAS?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Damian39, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Damian39 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015

    Hopefully this is the right place to ask...

    I'm conscious I need a reliable backup strategy for my (family) setup.

    My original setup was an iMac, with a permanently connected external 1tb hard drive (DAS) which was used for time machine backups and storing home video/imovie stuff.

    I've subsequently bought a Synology DS214play to use as a central NAS store for documents, iTunes music, family photos, etc, with 2 x 3tb hard drive (in a Raid mirror arrangement). I also intending to rip movies to the NAS, although these don't need to be backed up. I've not transferred the time machine backups to the NAS, I think this solution performs better with a DAS.

    My initial thoughts were I need to get an offsite backup of the DAS and NAS, so picked up a USB 3 enclosure and a 3tb hard disk (although I really have 4tb of current storage, I'm unlikely ever to get near using this capacity in the foreseeable future and the 3 tb backup disk was at the right price point). The plan is to keep the offsite storage at the in-laws down the road and bring it back one a month to update/overwrite the previous backup of the NAS and DAS.

    The problem I have now is I'm not sure how to setup the 3tb offsite disk to backup the DAS and NAS. The Synology has some backup software built in for backing this up but I'm not yet sure whether this needs the disk to be formatted a particular way, which then may not be able to be used to backup the DAS attached to the Mac (not that I have worked out the best way to back this up yet, e.g. clone, copy folders, etc).

    I haven't got as far as setting up the disk partition and format yet, so any views on a way forward would be very much appreciated.

    Hope you can help, any questions, please shout.

    Many thanks,

  2. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    My suggestion is you move all the movies/photos off the external 1TB HDD and use it purely as a dedicated Time Machine backup. Move the import family photos/videos off of it to the NAS.

    I would recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the NAS volume to the new 3TB external drive you bought. With CCC, you can schedule it to perform the clone as frequently as you like (I use CCC to clone my video files every hour, most of the time, it has nothing to copy, but it ensures I have a recent backup)

    BTW, what 3TB external drive did you buy? Not seagate I hope...
  3. Damian39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015

    Thanks - I've got a WD green in the usb backup enclosure, WD green in the DAS and WD red in the NAS.

    Was looking to keep the home video on the DAS, so that it can be edited in iMovie (the disk format of the Synology and wireless makes it bit of a pain to leave on the NAS, although could copy it back I suppose when needed to edit).
  4. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Yes, but keeping your videos on that same drive as you use Time Machine, you don't have a backup of the videos.

    I prefer not to mix my time machine drives (time machine allows you to have multiple drives to keep multiple backups, staggered by an hour) with valuable data that I keep redundantly on RAID.
  5. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I use a combination of DAS, NAS and Dropbox. Essentially the NAS is a backup of everything I have onsite (OS on internal disk and data on DAS) and it enables me to backup multiple machines. This does two things for me, a local copy of large objects (video, etc) that are too large (expensive and time consuming) to take offsite, plus a fast recovery of any of my machines if I need to restore them.

    In addition to this I use dropbox to sync the small objects - general office docs and photos - so I can access them from anywhere. I also pay for file versioning within dropbox as I use this to backup my business data. I'm a freelance IT consultant, and there's only me in the company, so any managed backup services would be overkill and not as flexible for me as dropbox.

    Taking of managed backup services (crash plan, etc) they work for small amounts of data, but the upload speeds on broadband generally limit performance. Also if you want to recover large quantities of data it will take time and depending upon your ISP you may be in breach of your contract with them - acceptable use policies etc.

    There are many ways to achieve this, the best advice I would give you is A) keep it simple and B) find something that works for you, where you are confident you can restore your data.
  6. Damian39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks for the comments.

    I'm thinking the best bet might be to do the backup from the NAS and format the disk to its EXT4 format.

    I'd then look to take a disk image from the DAS connected to the iMac and copy this to the NAS and then backup to the external backup disk with all the other important stuff on the NAS.

    The DAS is one of the those old WD Mybook Studio 2 disks which is in a Raid 1 configuration. Not sure if this affects taking a disk image and what is the best software to do so. Also, transferring the disk image to the NAS via wifi may be problematic?

    Any thoughts?
  7. Santabean2000, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007

    I'd encourage you to keep it simple. Being technically minded we tend to look for rather technical solutions, but they don't have to be.

    Really, your photos/videos are the only things that are irreplaceable. Maybe some work stuff too.

    Time Machine can be easily handed off to your NAS. Your external can be kept for iMovie projects etc. Use CCC and Microsoft One Drive ('free' 1Tb of you have 365) to keep essentials backed up off site. Done

    Edit: Forgot to mention, I bought a 256GB SD card that stays in my (mini) Mac. CCC clones my essentials onto that every day and I slip the SD card into my wallet when travelling just for piece of mind - house burns down, robbed etc.
  8. Steveatesh macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2014
    North east England
    My approach is to acknowledge that anything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. I've got two hard drives attached to the iMac using Time machine on both. Both are USB3 of different manufacture.

    To recognize the need to have an offsite backup I'm using these:
    Dupplica Online backup, which is unlimited storage for $10 a year. Backs up automatically every hour ( or whatever you want) and you can select what you want to back up too.

    Both time machine and Dupplica will run automatically, thus leaving the other point if failure, human beings, out of the equation.
    If you have a strategy that includes you remembering to do something, it is, I am afraid, doomed to fail. Such is the way of systems with people in them!

    I used to have a RAID setup, mistakenly believing this was fine, until the PSU on the unit burnt out, losing the data on both drives. :(
  9. roadkill401 macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2015
    The Synology is running a version of Linux so it prefers the ext4 file system. The mac cannot read that. But Synology also reads and writes FAT32 just fine, so that would work as well.

    I have my TimeMachine running off a Synology DS209 box with a pair of 2tb Green drives mirrored. it works just fine and I don't see why you would say that having the TM on a DAS would be any better than on the NAS. For me it makes like easier as I have 2 mac's in the house and so both can write to the same TM and all is good.

    As far as backing up the NAS. It comes with a backup function built in. You just need to hook up your external drive to the USB port and run your backup. Go into Backup Wlzard and create a new backup set for everything to backup to your local usb drive and tell it to overwrite. But that would not get a copy of your TimeMachine.
  10. Damian39 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015

    Thanks all for comments, etc.

    I can't help think that the easiest approach is to just take a disk image of the DAS and copy it to my NAS probably once a month or so (the home video doesn't really change and this is the critical bit to back up). I'm not sure whether the OS X Disk Utility is the best solution for a disk image or whether I need a third party product?

    I can these just use the Synology backup solution to back everything to an external disk to take offsite. I had a play with this the other day and formatted my new external to EXT4 format and the backup seemed to work. Could reformat to FAT but not sure what else this will give me (apart from it being able to be read on the Mac?).

    I have a 256gb SSD in the iMac and I've thought whether I need to clone this (I do have a spare 500gb hard drive kicking about which I could use solely for this clone). To be honest though,the critical data on the DAS and NAS needs to be backed up and the ability for a quick restore from a clone of the SSD data isn't critical. Might be a nice to do though.

    Does there above sound like a sensible plan?

    Many thanks,

  11. evilgawd macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2010
    I think you should of went with a cloud backup strategy . Carrying the hard drive from point a to point b ,may work for some time and then you wont have time or forget.

    I use crashplan local and online . I got a DAS connected to my imac to store my data. I got crashplan on an old NAS so i got a local second copy ( slow and cheap) .

    Then kicks in crashplan online , i have only selected the bits i truly care about. It syncs it every 15 minutes i think , with versioning . Its about 4$/mo and i don't have to think about it :)
  12. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2012
    Somewhere In Time
    So many choices… My strategy:

    1. 1 TB USB drive that's dedicated to TimeMachine (keeps Mac SSD + photos)
    2. Carbon Copy Cloner (bootable 500GB dedicated USB drive) Mac SSD
    3. 3 TB WD MyCloud (very low cost Synology equivalent) for media files and other easily replaceable data — kept in house away from iMac.
    4. Backblaze (Crashplan is equally good) with essentials and everything that would break my heart if lost.

    I figure I can boot, retrieve essential operating data, and most important files quickly from CCC, then get my photos from TimeMachine. Replaceable media is replaceable, so who cares? I use Backblaze for disaster recovery.

    There are as many backup solutions as there are computer users. Decide what is most critical to you then find more than one place to keep it.

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