File server + backup solution + redundancy...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by vincmo, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. vincmo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #1
    Hi guys,

    First off, I'm nowhere near a computer expert so your inputs are very valuable to me.

    I work from home and I have accumulated a lot of data over the time (drawings and design I dont want to loose). I also have a huge digital media collection (films and music).

    Right now, I have all my files on 3 HDD in my mac pro. I run time machine for my personal files and professionnal work & I do occasionnal backups on external HDD for my media files (firewire 400).

    Im on the market to upgrade my backup + file sharing system but dont really know which direction to take.

    Basically, I'd like something easy to use, trouble free and future proof to keep my data safe and would like to use this setup to share my media files in order to keep all the power of my Mac Pro for work.

    On a side note, I'm a huge Apple fan so I was even contemplating the idea of buying a second hand G5 or 2006 Mac Pro and use it for that purpose....Only problem is the low capacity of HDD in the G5 and only 3 drives (not counting the OS) in the Mac Pro...

    I'm looking forward to your opinions on the matter!

    Best regards,

    Vinc
     
  2. jljue macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    #2
    For your needs, probably a Mac Mini with external drives or external RAID enclosure(s) will good enough for you. You don't need anything super-powerful for backups, especially since your bottleneck will probably be your network. I'm currently using an old MacBook pro as a file server for media and to backup my late 2008 MBP using Crashplan, and the file server MBP is backing up to a drive attached to my Airport Extreme Base Station using Crash Plan. I'm actually tempted to move my Time Machine backup external drive from my newer MBP to the older one so that both my Crashplan and Time Machine backups are over the network, since my newer MBP doesn't spend as much time on my desk as it use to. I now work where I can find space and time, so I often go a week or so between Time Machine backups, but my Crashplan happens daily.
     
  3. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #3
    Sinology NAS

    I feel a bit like a broken record recommending this to everyone but it really suits your needs. A Synology NAS like the ds411j I just bought ($320 driveless) will do everything you've described. I don't know how much space you require but you can mix and match drive capacities (and brands, of course) and upgrade. 4x2TB drives yields 6TB useable space with single disk fault tolerance. Can later be upgraded to 4x3TB drives as needed and they bottom out on price like 2TB drives at present. That would give 9TB usuable space. They make bigger and smaller systems, too.
     
  4. vincmo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #4
    Those sound like great solutions. Thanks for replying my post guys!

    jljue: Could I use an old mac to do Time Machine backups of my Mac Pro over the network? I noticed that when Time Machine kicks in while Im working, I often turn it off as it eats up energy from my computer (while working in Photoshop CS4 that is).

    nightfly13: I like the idea of using as much space as possible while keeping the file redundant (RAID 5). Does Synology NAS work like the Drobo? I read several nightmare stories with the drobo where the unit failed and all the files where lost (as it is a proprietary format they use I think). I just want to make sure the solution is safe and that if the unit fails, I can still read all the files with an alternative method...
     
  5. jljue macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    #5
    From what I've read, you should be able to do so as long as both versions of OS X are at least some iteration of Leopard (10.5). I think that the last version of Leopard is 10.5.8, and if you are at least that far along, it should be fine. I don't remember the name of it (since I am at work and not at home), but there is an app that will edit Time Machine preferences ("Time Machine Editor" I think) to change your backup intervals. You don't have to have the most powerful Mac Mini to do the backups, but you will want at least a 2009 Mac Mini if you want FW800 for max transfer speeds. If FW400 or USB are good enough for you, any old Mac that is Leopard 10.5.x capable will work. You will definitely want to use 1GB Ethernet instead of WiFi, no matter the solution, for the initial backup due to speed.
     
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #6
    ^^^^^^^^^ What he said
     
  7. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #7
    I have a NAS (Synology 411+, 4 drives, 8TB, no RAID) and was also concerned about unit failure. I ended up with the 411+ and a couple of local external drives. Thus, I got three copies of my files (two in the NAS and another in the hard drives). I am now setting up an additional offsite backup with another Synology unit. This should cover me for unit failures and provide the offsite backup I do not currently have.
    AFAIK, if the NAS fails, the drives can be moved to another unit and one should be able to continue working with them.
     

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