Filling my Mac Pro with hard drives, What is a good backup solution?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jdl8422, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. jdl8422 macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #1
    Im installing some 1TB HDs in my mac pro. I eventually would like to get up to at least (3) 1TB HDs. Once I do this, what would be a good backup solution? I cant just go pick up a 3 or 4 TB external HD, and time machine doesnt backup to multiple drives. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #2
    A RAID system is really the only way you're going to be able to do that. Take a look at the Drobo (can't recall if they've got a FireWire capable version now, if not, don't bother), the 3ware Sidecar, and other RAID systems. You can get systems that will allow far more than 4TB of space, though I believe the two I mentioned both max out at 4TB, so decide whether you need more space (generally, backup drives should be 1.5x to 2x larger than your data, if you're using an incremental backup system like Time Machine, and larger never hurts though sometimes it can be a waste). You'll be best off getting one that uses either FireWire 800 at minimum or eSATA, which will require a PCIe card, but would be the fastest option available to you.

    jW
     
  3. poolvibe macrumors newbie

    poolvibe

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    #3
    Drobo is the way to go.

    http://www.drobo.com/

    Expandable and takes any sata drive x4. They even have a networkable one.
     
  4. jdl8422 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jdl8422

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #4
    ive seen drobo. It looks great but its pretty pricey. Its $500 for the machine PLUS another 400-500 filling it with HDs.
     
  5. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #5
    Anytime you're dealing with RAID, it's gonna get pricey. Drobo's one of the cheaper options out there. Lacie's 4TB RAID runs about $800-900, though that includes the drives, so right about the same price, but the Drobo's a bit more flexible in the drives it'll accept IIRC.

    jW
     
  6. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Not to mention that the Drobo is idiot-proof to setup and use. Mine is loaded with 4 1TB drives, and I've set it up so that as drive capacities increase, I can add larger drives and it will "see" up to 8 TB of total usable space.
     
  7. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    If you buy a Drobo and 4 1Tb Drives, to back up your possible 3Tb Data, then when the 1.5Tb Drives come out, you can buy one of them for the Drobo, and put the old 1Tb in the Mac Pro, then as you need, repeat.

    Drobo seems like the best solution to me, its really flexible, well presented, and its something i would want in view.

    The Drobo size calculator already has 1.5Tb options, maybe theyre around already...?
     
  8. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    Didn't sound like the OP was asking for some pricey, untested and super slow externel solution like the Diobo .
     
  9. michael7692 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    #9
    I bought the Drobo about 6 months ago (the FW800 one). Yeah it's pricy if you think about the initial $500 for unit, but after that it's just plug in disks.

    At the time all the other solutions were not really that much cheaper, and things like the WD Book drives either have RAID 1 or no RAID.

    My concern was I had over 1TB of home movies that, so TimeCapsule and other backup solutions were not practical. This way I have a lot more piece of mind against everything except a fire.

    I've been very happy with it, and imagine overtime I might buy a 2nd unit to rotate the smaller disks into, as larger capacity SATA drives come out. And a droboshare opens up some other possibilities.
     
  10. moez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #10
    So what do you want to use for all that data. If its for keeping ripped movies / audio, then you could always re-download/re-rip it and just backup your other stuff?
     
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #11
    Well Mr. Grumpy pants, what is your suggestion to help him then?

    There is no way to back up 3 1TB internal drives to another internal drive. It can't be done. And since the largest available drive is 1.5TB you either have multiple external drives (which then can't be used for time machine as the OP correctly notes) or you have to use a RAID system.

    And for an external system, DROBO is actually a very good choice for many. It is significantly slower than an eSATA raid setup, but it's idiotproof and very easily expanded and for a TM backup it's ideal.

    I'm biased because I own one (FW800 model, stuffed with 4 x 1TB drives) but I use it for TM and it's great for that. My needs were pretty much what the OP listed - I have 3 x 1TB drives in my machine and needed reliable backup.

    I also have a NAS 2TB system which I use for additional backup of my most important data (thus it's on 2 raid systems), but the NAS of course is even slower (ethernet is slower than FW) and unless you need network connectivity for multiple systems, the drobo is a great option.
     
  12. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #12
    Please expound upon your criticism by making a constructive suggestion. Maybe list your own backup solution or link to a product you've had good experience with.

    To the OP, if you want to just load up your machine then you will be stuck with mirror or striped raid on those disks. You can do this with disk utility or another software raid program. With the Drobo or some other external raid option you will have other available set ups. Most people tend to go with something like the Drobo or a NAS. If you tell us a little bit more about what you want to back up and your goals for use then we might be able to give more specific advice.
     
  13. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #13
    Question is, what does the OP need to backup frequently ?

    If several TB worth of data are being used and modified all the time, and thus reqire frequent backups, then that sounds like professional video or audio editing.
    External (e)SATA Raid systems seem to be the logical choice, no ?

    Say it's just about ripped DVDs or such, then it doesn't seem to make much sense to store all that internally and use precious drive bay space as a data morgue. But to each his own.

    However, in that case a Drobo might actually make sense in the long run, if the OP is going to need more space than a bunch of 100$ 1TB external drives deliver in the near future.

    But , if you have read the original posting, the OP appears to want to backup several 1TB internal drives without having to buy several additional external drives, which doesn't make much sense, now does it ?

    Apart from that, suggesting Drobo is the one and only solution for yet to be determined backup needs is not constructive, it's merely advertising a personal preference of a niche product .

    Drobo might not be there any more next year, and there goes your support, expandability and possibly compatibility.
    Or maybe it becomes the next industry standard, but I'm not holding my breath .

    So right now, imho, the safest, most future-proof and fastest multi-drive backup solution might be an eSATA or FW enclosure , for eSATA hot-swappable and with port multiplication, attached to a cheap SATA-eSATA/ODD port bracket.

    Goes for the same as a Drobo.
     

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