Better storage solution?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dschultz, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. dschultz macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2008
    I have a Drobo 5N; it has been running for nearly two years now.
    I have 4 Macs at home that connect to it.
    4 separate Time Machine Enabled shares for TM backups from each Mac.

    So here is the trouble I have experienced:

    The MacBook Pro has a 2TB drive and is backing up to a 4TB TM share on the Drobo. Time Machine has reported the back up verification failed and needs to start over. Both times I have lost a years worth of incremental backups.

    So I am looking for a solution (hopefully a NAS for all the Macs) for Time Machine and other storage.

    Any ideas?

    I think I need to get away from the Drobo
  2. ColdCase, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Well if you want bullet proof time machine, the only products approved by apple are the TimeCapsule and MacOS Server.

    So think about a base Mac Mini (perhaps used or refurbbed), add the $30 server package, and a 4Bay OWC Thunderbay 2 populated with four NAS type drives of your choice. Use screen share to manage the mini from one of your Macs. Set up the mini drives with at least two TM destinations. Have your Macs alternate between the backup destinations. Avoiding wireless also helps. Use the mini's internal drive, perhaps, for shared storage. Then start experimenting with a family wiki or web page, media center... lots of fun.

    Otherwise move to something third party like Carbon Copy Cloner.
  3. mauka macrumors member


    Nov 24, 2006
    Synology NAS

    I've had a good experience with my Synology NAS over the past four years. I have a DS1511+ with five 3.5" hot swap bays, running 2TB Hitachi hard drives. It's been on 24/7 since 2011, one drive failed this year, and I replaced it with a WD Red 3TB. The system recovered without any problems. Runs quiet, fast, and UI is easy.

    Its the time machine target for my MacBook Pro 13" and Mac Mini. Also used for Plex, iTunes server, and general file storage. Some useful applications are available, and Synology markets a wide range of models for any amount of storage you might need. Prices are higher than most others, but we bought Apple Computers didn't we...:rolleyes:

    I am planning to replace mine this year, because four years is pushing it for any hard drive. With 4TB and larger hard drives available, I might get a 2 or 4 bay model this time.
  4. ColdCase, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I have had nothing but TM issues with my synology, as well as sluggish performance. There are many of us with similar issues. There seems to be several apps available that look great on paper, but they fail miserably in the real world for anything more than small/simple situations. I have been much happier since moving on to a mini server 6 month ago. I should have listened to the advice here to just bypas the NAS thing and save $$ and time in the long run, but my judgement was clouded by the NAS fanboys.

    My synology has been relegated to a CCC and widose backup destination, which it performs reliably. I suppose a higher end synology may perform better, but then you are in the mini/server price range so why bother. Synology can be a PITA to setup and manage for anything other than a file server unless one is a Unix gear head... not that there is anything wrong with Linux/Unix gear heads... its just the language conventions are different so they can be confusing if you don't work with it every day.
  5. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    If I understand correctly, Time Machine (TM) repeatedly reports verification failures on the MacBook Pro (MBP). The other computers are fine and there is no other sign of trouble with your Drobo. Is that right?

    Which OS X versions are you running on these computers? How is each machine connected to the network? There is probably nothing wrong with your Drobo 5n. That Drobo is fully capable of performing the task that you selected it for. If three out of four computers are doing fine with TM and only the MBP has trouble then there could be something amiss with your MBP setup.

    I had the same symptom with a Seagate Goflex Home. Those disturbing verification failures started with the original Mountain Lion setup and persisted into Mavericks. My original setup used a WiFi network connection for my Mac. Switching to a Gigabit connection sped things up but it did not correct the problem. Although my efforts did not seem to help, the problem ultimately went away. Now my oldest backup is 8/3/14 and TM is smooth and trouble-free.

    What solved the issue? I am not sure. Between the Mavericks release date in the fall of 2013 and August 2014 I tweaked my configuration settings a few times. I have completed two OS X updates on this system but only one happened during the TM troubles. My only losses were the original backup files.

    I wonder if replacing that Drobo 5n is really the best solution for your problem. Are you confident that your MBP will not have the same problem with a Synology NAS or some other solution?
  6. dschultz, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    dschultz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2008
    I am running from 10.7 on one to 10.9 on the other three.
    The MacBook Pro is running 10.9...
    The MacBook Pro is the only system with a large (2TB) drive, I have *everything* on it; probably about a 1 TB iTunes library. I suspect the problem is with the sparsebundle Time Machine uses when creating the backup on the NAS. Perhaps some scaling problem? The Drobo becomes extremely slow when processing the share TM is using.

    I have read several postings on the 'net concerning the sparse bundle band size. I tried to modify the band size once, but after a year the backup failed. So the last two new backups with TM I started over with default info on TM and the Drobo.

    I am warning up to the idea of the Mac Mini server and DAS storage instead.
    And I have read that the issue may be with all NAS systems.
    But right now, my backups for the MacBook Pro are not reliable over the long term.

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