Home backup solution for 2-3 macs

CtotheP

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
131
1
Whitefish Bay, WI
So I read a bunch of posts on the board, so I did use the Search functionality before posting :) I have a Mac Mini, Mac Book Air, Hackintosh, and multiple iOS devices. I'm looking for a centralized backup solution that they can all use Time Machine (OS X machines) to backup.

I've read a ton about Synology, I also realize just purchasing External drives is an option. With remote access and constant streaming becoming more and more of a need, I thought some sort of entry-level NAS would suffice.

Does anyone have a recommendation of something other than Synology, or should I start there?
 

dmccombs

macrumors regular
May 13, 2013
169
147
Or Netgear perhaps....

How many Terabytes are you looking for? that may help folks give you suggestions.
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,161
246
Florida
It depends on how much you're willing to spend vs how many disaster scenarios you want to protect against. The more you protect against, the more it costs.

A simple solution is to add a big external drive or array to the Mini and use it as the destination for all the other devices. Just add the server app for $20 and it works smoothly. However a fire or theft could take out both the computer and the backup.

If you have the bandwidth, an online service like CrashPlan is valuable. More expensive but a good off-site solution.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,556
419
Atlanta
The number of Macs does not directly indicate the storage needs. How large is the total storage for all the devices? I use a LaCie 6TB 2Big unit for my external library and a LaCie d2 6TB drive for TM backups. My wife has multiple TB file system and backup as well.

If there is relatively little data on each Mac, a Time Capsule with 3TB or 4TB drive might be OK.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,002
152
NH
Apple has not approved Synology or QNAP boxes for time machine backups although many of the technicians around here seem to work around that. I wonder how many are breaking with the yositime update. I always had issues using time machine to backup to a synology, but CCC works just fine.

If you want to run that mini 24/7 like many do, put a DAS of your choice and use the mini as the household TimeMachine destination. Plenty of flexibility and scalability. I started with a synology NAS and quickly outgrew it and found no growth path. Much happier with a mini and a OWC thunderbay enclosure with a couple drives. Use disk utility to RAID0 if you need larger than 6TB volumes. You could use any Mac.

Otherwise a timecapsule with a large enough external USB drive if necessary works seamlessly for backups. I back up four Macs to a 3TB TimeCapsule (backups alternate between the mini and TC). Three of those have ~300GB drives, however.
 
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CtotheP

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
131
1
Whitefish Bay, WI
I like the idea of just using the server version on the Mini and adding an external drive. My wife just needs to backup typical documents, media, etc where the mini stores all of our family photos, music, movies, etc.....
 

keeper

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
355
104
I like the idea of just using the server version on the Mini and adding an external drive. My wife just needs to backup typical documents, media, etc where the mini stores all of our family photos, music, movies, etc.....
If you use the Mini with Server installed you can't actually back up the mini using the software as you can't select the Drive.
I ended up creating a partition on the drive to use for TM, so unless you have lots of machines you may be better creating a partition for each mac on a large external drive...
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Might be old fashioned, but 1 drive per sys instead of all on 1.
If one system is the most critical, add a second backup.

Networking is cool/nifty and all, but why risk the jewels on one rig?
Feel the same way about software. Experiment with CCC or SuperDuper.
Time Machine has drawbacks.

Just a thought ;)
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
It depends on how much you're willing to spend vs how many disaster scenarios you want to protect against. The more you protect against, the more it costs.

A simple solution is to add a big external drive or array to the Mini and use it as the destination for all the other devices. Just add the server app for $20 and it works smoothly. However a fire or theft could take out both the computer and the backup.

If you have the bandwidth, an online service like CrashPlan is valuable. More expensive but a good off-site solution.
+1 to this. The simplest would be to connect an external drive to the mini, share the drive and let every Mac in the house use it for TM backups. What I would do though, is partition the external drive into 3 volumes with sizes that make sense, so that each Mac has its own partition to use for TM.
 
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keeper

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
355
104
Or use something like CrashPlan, Although TimeMachine also put you MAC back as it was rather than just backing up files.

I also like a bootable external drive with a partition for each MAC. I take a regular disk image using CCC then if the worst happens you can boot or restore from that image if you need the system working quickly.
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,161
246
Florida
Or use something like CrashPlan, Although TimeMachine also put you MAC back as it was rather than just backing up files.

I also like a bootable external drive with a partition for each MAC. I take a regular disk image using CCC then if the worst happens you can boot or restore from that image if you need the system working quickly.
I use Crashplan in addition to my local backups. For me it was the most cost effective offsite option. I have 4 computers being backed up to it, about 2 TB of data, all for a cost of $100 per year.

I use a 3 tier approach to backups. First is time machine which is great for stupid user tricks like deleting or overwriting a file. Second is CCC for significant equipment failures. I can plug my CCC drive I to my wife's computer and it's like I'm back on mine. Third is CrashPlan for when the house burns down or similar tragedy. I feel confident that I can recover from any significant failure.

Last but not least all backup systems need to be tested regularly. If you haven't verified that your backup works, you don't really have one.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,002
152
NH
In most areas crashplan will choke on files larger than 3 or 4 GB (Like home videos). They told me their service is not intended for that use case and to go somewhere else. Otherwise it does takes forever to backup or restore.

What many large do for disaster is to rotate backup disks off site, i.e physically put the backup drive somewhere else, like a friends house. Both TM and CCC can be setup to support.

Larger businesses will contract with a service company.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,656
808
Apple has not approved Synology or QNAP boxes for time machine backups although many of the technicians around here seem to work around that. I wonder how many are breaking with the yositime update. I always had issues using time machine to backup to a synology, but CCC works just fine.

If you want to run that mini 24/7 like many do, put a DAS of your choice and use the mini as the household TimeMachine destination. Plenty of flexibility and scalability. I started with a synology NAS and quickly outgrew it and found no growth path. Much happier with a mini and a OWC thunderbay enclosure with a couple drives. Use disk utility to RAID0 if you need larger than 6TB volumes. You could use any Mac.

Otherwise a timecapsule with a large enough external USB drive if necessary works seamlessly for backups. I back up four Macs to a 3TB TimeCapsule (backups alternate between the mini and TC). Three of those have ~300GB drives, however.
Yosemite doesn't appear to have broken anything. I backup using time machine on my own debian server running netatalk - the transition to Yosemite was seamless time-machine wise.
 
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