Home backup & media storage solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jonathanstegall, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. jonathanstegall macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009

    I'm pondering how I can best create a system to backup devices in my home, as well as separate media storage (essentially iTunes and iPhoto, hoping to put movies, music/podcasts, photos in one place).

    Currently my home has an iMac (stores 500 gigs) and a MacBook Air (I think it stores 80 gigs), and a few iOS devices that get backed up to the Macs. The MacBook Air almost never travels; it just sits in various spots in the home.

    I also have a 2 TB external hard drive that is always hooked up to the iMac. The iMac and the MacBook Air each backup their contents (with Carbon Copy Cloner) to that drive once a week.

    This has worked fairly well over the last couple of years, but I'm starting to run into some issues:

    • The MacBook Air is always close to full (I think this is mostly because of photos of our kid)
    • The iMac is recently very close to full (it stores music, the occasional iTunes movie download, podcasts, photos, etc).
    • It isn't hard to imagine something happening to the iMac which hoses the external drive as well.

    I've been thinking about buying an NAS. In my head, the configuration would work like this:

    1. I'd split the NAS into two partitions (say, 2 TB each).
    2. One partition would function as a weekly backup location for the iMac and MacBook Air.
    3. The external hard drive would host nothing but media. Presumably the iTunes and iPhoto libraries from the iMac.
    4. The other partition of the NAS would backup the shared media, and also hopefully make it easier for the other devices in my home to access it.
    5. I'd run a cloud backup of the NAS, maybe monthly.

    Are there holes in this idea? Or better solutions for an all Mac/iOS home? If there aren't better solutions, is there a specific NAS you'd recommend that would work especially well for this (at least 4 TB)?

  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    What I did is this:

    I picked up 2 lower end Synology boxes and put WD Green drives in them (for low power consumption). I left them as one big partition, 2 TB on each NAS box. I then manually mirror stuff to the two boxes. I'm betting that if one of them dies, the other will live long enough for me to stand up a replacement. I also back up to crashplan. I've used time machine in the past but recently I don't bother. I find the dual NAS drives along with crashplan and the occasional TM backup to a firewire drive to be sufficient.

    I should clarify that low end for Synology is not exactly cheap. I think their least expensive boxes are in the mid hundreds and that's before you go out and pick up a 3.5 inch drive to put inside. But the software is excellent and I've heard you can use the Synology boxes as a TM backup target if you want to.

    Hope this helps...

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