Help me choose a backup solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigvb@hotmail.c, May 12, 2010.

  1. bigvb@hotmail.c macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006
    So heres the thing, I have a 500GB G-Drive Mini, which backs up my uMBP, but thats now full. On it are a 200GB Superduper clone (i have a 100GB Bootcamp partition so my Mac OSX is <200GB), which i copy every week.

    The other 300GB is mostly .avi movies, music, pictures. I foresee this expanding to 1-1.5 TB over the next 18-24 months.

    I also backup to Crashplan Central, iTunes, Documents, Pictures, Mail and some of my movies.

    In terms of what is MOST CRITICAL to me; id say probably the music, docs, pics, mail and maybe 80GB of actual media. So not alot that i couldn't live without.

    As im about to buy a new external drive(s) i need to decide whats best.

    I want at least 1TB of storage space but possibly 2TB. This will be used mostly for .avi files and other media files. Thus this data is not CRITICAL, however i would feel very crappy if in 9 months I lose 700GB of media, when my single backup drive dies.

    Thus i am considering some more robust external backup solutions.

    RAID0 is out of the question, its suicide.

    RAID 1 would at first seem a reasonable and convenient idea, but everyone says im mad to think of this as a backup solution.

    Thus im not sure what to do. Someone suggested two completely separate HD enclosures, and use one to backup the other and take the backup off-site. I agree this is very good but:

    a) i cant be bothered with off-site 'material' backups for now. CrashPlan has 100GB of my most precious data and if every computer in the UK blew up, i would be ok only having that 100GB left (and losing everything else).

    b) it seems a real hassel to backup to a separate external from another external, im looking for ease of use.

    Alternatively I could get a dual bay enclosure and use JBOD and setup some sort of automated backup software to auto copy files from drive A to B. But i hear problems with enclosures can cause both drives to fail.

    I guess, the below options are things i would be willing to consider making the effort to do;


    -Dual-Bay Enclosure (2x2TB) in RAID1
    -Use my G-Drive Mini 500GB, to make a redundant copy of the critical files on the RAID1 configuration
    -Continue using Crashplan Central (for 100-200GB of the MOST critical files)


    -Dual-Bay Enclosure (2x2TB) in JBOD, store my data on drive A, and then back this up to drive B
    -Not use my G-Drive for another redundancy, as it is just too much hassel to manually make 2 redundant backups
    -Continue using CPC (for 100-200GB of the MOST critical files)

    C) (More Risky)

    -Dual-Bay Enclosure (2x1TB or 2x1.5TB) in JBOD*, using both drives for the storing of my files
    -Use G-Drive for redundant backup of the most critical 500GBs.
    -Continue using CPC (for 100-200GB of the MOST critical files)

    *Im saying JBOD as i believe using a 'BIG' configuration will crash twice as often is this correct?

    Any thoughts guys. Cheers
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Get one of these:

    Several versions are available, the fastest has USB2+firewire400+firewire800.

    It might be worth your while to pay more for a faster connection scheme (firewire800) because of the amount of data you plan on backing up.

    If speed isn't of the utmost importance, you might consider this:

    I use one of these myself and it works just fine -- I can even boot from it.

    The BIG advantage of going to the "docking station scenario" is that you are not "married to" a "one drive, one enclosure" paradigm -- you can easily swap drives if you need more storage (or if a drive goes bad on you). You can even swap out docking stations if need be.

    The only real disadvantage that I see is that you need to take a little extra care with handling and storing the bare drives.

    Once you have a docking station picked out, just choose one or more bare drives to your liking....
  3. CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    At the other end of the scale (vs. backing up on bare drives), I've read a lot of good things lately about QNAP's RAID boxes, in terms of features and reliability (the latter being, obviously, the most desirable quality in a backup solution). They sweat the RAID details for you, and you can upgrade to larger drives at some point in the future without losing any data (swap in one larger drive at a time, and their software will shuffle your data around as needed). (And yes, they are spendy, particularly as you go up the scale).

    But being basically a tiny home server wrapped around some drives, they can do all sorts of nifty things in the "I didn't know I needed that until I had it" category, configured via a simple web-based interface.

    And at least some of them have a feature where you could plug in your existing external drive to the front-panel USB port, push one front-panel button, and have it duplicate one of the unit's filesystems onto your external drive. Then you could take that drive to, say, the office, or a relative's house, and lock it in a desk drawer (bring it back and rinse/repeat every month or so), to have low-hassle backup against house-burns-down scenarios.
  4. bigvb@hotmail.c thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2006
    Very impressive stuff, but im wanting a FW800 connection, and i cant see any on their models costing less than £600.

    I have a budget of around £300

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