How to configure backup

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by LuckyButtons, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. LuckyButtons macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010

    I have previously sort of asked about this within someone else's thread, so apologies to anyone who may have already seen a convoluted version of the below.

    Basically, I am about to buy a 2010 Mac Pro 6 core. Due to many of the MacRumors posters, I have been advised to buy my drives and RAM from OWC, which I shall do. I am now trying to figure out just what I should buy, and how I would then set up for backup.

    So first, I will tell you what I already have on hand... I'm running a G5 with the internal 230gb drive (holds system, apps, photos, iTunes), an external 512gb LaCie (holds all my work) and and external 2TB LaCie that used only to back up the other two, using Retrospect. (it is partitioned in half and one half is just about full. Truth be told, I don't really understand the backup process and it was set up by someone else.)

    I am a graphic designer and keep needing more space to store and back up work.

    So I am planning for sure to buy an SSD - 200gb OWC Mercury Pro RE
    Then the MP will come with the 1TB drive.
    Should I get another internal 1TB or 2TB drive from OWC, even if I have the external now?

    Once I know what I should get, I then am confused about how it all gets backed up. I've always heard the backup drive needs to be MUCH larger than the sum of the drives it is backing up. Is that true? If so, do I need 1 drive that is bigger than 2TB for everything to go on, or can it be split up??

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!!
  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I've never heard that you need a backup larger than your drives.

    If you have a 200gb SSD, and a 1TB drive, how full is the 1TB?

    Your backup only needs to be as big as your data, with maybe a little room for growth.

    But if you have a 200 gig SSD for your system, and then a 1TB for your data, a 1TB would back them both up fine, just make a 200gb partition for your system so you can book from that partition in an emergency, and an 800gb partition for your data. If you need more than 800gb, get a 1.5TB drive.

    But yeah - there's no point to have your backup storage be larger than your working storage.

    Get SuperDuper to backup your boot drive, and then get ChronoSync to back up any other drives or folders you want. Easy as pie.

    And pie is so good.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    For cloned backups yes, equal sizes is appropriate. Larger backups drives are good when using incremental backup tools like Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner. All of my backups are done as incremental so I use destinations that are larger than my drive and I use up the space.
  4. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    Pie is very good. :) So if I already have a 2TB drive that I'm backing up everything to (it's half full) do I need to get more internal drives? As mentioned, I also have the 512gb external that is holding all of my work, but that is quickly filling up. So wondering how many internal drives (other than the SSD for the System and Apps) I should get, and will the external 2TB I'm already using be enough to back up all that up to? I would think not, but perhaps I am wrong.

    Which again leads me to the question - can I back up to more than one HD, or does it have to be one big one? (for instance, when the 2TB is full, can another TB drive be "added" to the "back up" plan?

    Am i making any sense? :0
  5. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    sometimes easier to keep everything in one thread :)

    you can join your two externals into a JBOD giving you 2.5 TB of storage good for BU ?

    depending on how you keep growing storage ? a thought might be something like one of the 4 or 5 disc raid boxes ? OWC has their mercury ones 4 discs can be configured in raid 5 get one with 2TB drives ? that way you have 6TB of BU storage use this for time machine BU think of this as something that will be a nice insurance plan ;)

    one option
    get a 2 TB drive for the inside a WD black this will be another storage drive for your main stuff !

    you can also use the 1TB that comes with the comptuer they are good drives and chop it lkinda like mentioned above ? but I might say this
    chop it into 3 pieces !
    the top 100 gig will be a scratch the bottom will be a 200 gig for your clone of your boot ! the reason the bottom is who cares about speed at this point in a BU situation it will still be plenty fast ?
    the middle part left over use as archive type storage stuff you want to keep around and access once in a while and use that lacie 512 to back this up
    use your 2 TB to back up your new internal ?

    now you have a fast scratch you can use for programs like PS LR bridge or others that want a scratch area ? your main files coming off the 2 TB and your SSD you should get good performance overall

    again this is one option of many you could do :)

    in a perfect world yo dont want to go over about %60 full on a disc as they start slowing down ! so keep your storage drives from getting to full

    do you have a budget to expand your storage options ?
  6. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    Honumaui - thanks for those options.

    Some of it makes sense! I'm probably making it more difficult in my head than it needs to be :) but having never done any of this, I'm cutting myself a tiny bit of slack. And I really appreciate all the advice.

    The JBOD thing you mention sounds like a good idea. Are you saying that JBOD would be the only BU needed, and any other internal drives would be for scratch and storage?

    Use my two current external drives as a JBOD (total of 2.5TB)
    On the 6 core:
    Bay 1 - OWC SSD (System and Apps)
    Bay 2 - 1TB drive that the computer comes with (storage that I will need to access regularly)
    Bay 3 - another 1TB or 2TB drive for storage (gotta check costs, cuz yeah there's a bit of a budget)

    Does that sound right?
    (you mentioned chopping an internal drive for some backup, but that may have been a different scenario than the above. Isn't it true that your BU has to go to all one place?)
  7. codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    I would humbly suggest that once you get what you'd like to do with storage settled, that you use the built in Time Machine to handle your backups.

    It's pretty good if you use it as intended and also pretty simple to use (bonus is, being built-in, it works with transferring data or new OS installs).

    Retrospect can get be pretty complicated to set up and recovery can be even more so. Without knowing how it was set up, it sounds like you'd be dependent upon someone else to help you recover as well. Recovery time isn't going to be the time you'll want to learn how to use the software and how your backups were set up. KISS principle and all that.
  8. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008

    I love Time Machine for backing up I love it cause its simple and works ?

    and Ditto codymac :)

    I also believe in having a back you can work off in case your main goes down?

    you cant work off time machine the files need to go somewhere ?
    also if your main HDD dies and you have only one other BU you are then kinda working on your only files !!!!! scary situation :)

    but how much data do you have now ? meaning how much total space do ALL your files take up and how much more do you think you need in the next year ?

    have you bought any of the drives yet like the SSD etc.. ?

    this will help a lot :)
  9. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    I have not bought the 6 core or any of the drives yet. Wanted to get this all straight so I knew exactly what I SHOULD get and so that I have what I need and that it all works together in the whole BU scheme.

    So right now I have 750gb of total info that needs to be backed up. That includes everything - my system, apps, work files, music, photos, etc.

    It's hard to say what I anticipate, but let's say I need another TB of storage. ? Possibly even more down the road.

    I am not familiar with how TM works. Does that work separate from the main BU?

    - codymac - I TOTALLY agree that I need to get a good working knowledge of how the back up is working and that Retrospect doesn't seem to make it easy to understand. :)
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    OK I am going to try to talk you out of a SSD they are nice but are a luxury ?
    you can get one later :) and if you do get one get the 120 save the cash ?
    how much ram are you getting ? depending on file size ? give me 16 gigs over 8 gigs and a SSD any day!
    lets say files are usually under 300megs in PS then 16 gigs and SSD might be nice ?

    so lets work without the SSD and know you can add it easy

    use that SSD money to get one of the little stand alone OWC raid boxes boxes
    keep the stock HDD that comes with the machine its a good fast boot setup
    go ahead and put a few personal files music collection etc.. on it ? since its a boot keep it under 500 gigs !!! also this way you an easily BU to your existing 512 gig external you have
    if you go the SSD route later you can move that music and such to another HDD
    get the $79 external eSATA card they have two ports both PM capable
    get the empty stand alone mercury 4 bay raid case one for $299 and put your own HDD in it ?
    I imagine the new samsung f4 drives will work fine it it ? they are about $95 on sale at newegg
    so for a bit more than your SSD you now have 6TB of storage to bu to
    the reason 2TB is 1 TB is wasted on a 4 disc raid box ? you can buy a single seagate 3TB for $199 ? and 1.5 are so close to the 2 in price might as well do this time machine setup once and do it from the get go !!
    also this will save you down the line a bit updating it and trying to move your BU around !!!!

    get yourself a 2 TB WD black for storage and your working files and use your external you have now to BU to

    so you now have
    bay 1) 1TB boot and going to Time Machine and clone to bay 3

    bay 2) WD 2TB drive two partitions main storage being backed up to 2TB external and Time Machine

    bay 3) WD black 1TB drive ($110 ball park at newegg) this is going to do two things ! its going to be a scratch disc and a clone of your boot !
    so partition with say 200-300 gigs for scratch/cache ! this wont need to be backed up ! and the rest of the HDD use a program like super duper to clone your bay 1 boot to !! this is a nice thing to have if you ever need it !!
    the first or outer partition is what you use for scratch ! the reason the black WD and not some other ? is speed for your scratch ? and for $40 or so more bucks you get this speed !!! and you get a nice fast clone and in the future you when you get that SSD for boot you can take your two WD 1 TB and make a raid 0 scratch and get some good speed out of it :) so it wont ever go to waste trying to think one step ahead :)

    bay 4) future storage of a 2TB HD for storing more files and also point this at your time machine ! the BU get this or something like this single SATA port box
    and put another HDD in it ! remember you have that two port PM so you can hook this new external up on that and get better performance than a regular BU USB type HDD

    if you keep that boot lean again just a few small things wont hurt and it can back up to the 512 external if you want to use that 512 for something :) or load it up with fav personal files and keep it somewhere out of your house :)

    OK my reasons again in overview thinking in the future

    the 4 box raid for time machine is a way to keep your BU safe from a HDD failure and give you one nice large time machine BU that is going to grow with you !
    the boot on your WD again wont make a huge difference of SSD in the overall pic and you need file protection over a SSD at this point and some growing room ?
    again you can always see how the budget is and in 6 months come back and the SSD will be way cheaper and you give your mac a new speed bump :)

    your extra 1 TB black gives you a fast scratch and a clone of your OS
    and then will work as a fast raid 0 scratch when you get that SSD
    and when you get that SSD you want your scratch to get faster too if you are trying to boos things boost as much as you can :)

    the 2TB WD black my reason is you want the speed !!!

    now your next 2TB storage :) your time machine has room you have the extra sata port on your card so all you need is a cheap case and two HDD
  11. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I don't use Time Machine.

    I have an external FireWire800 hard drive. I back up my system drive to it every Sunday morning at 2:30am with SuperDuper.

    This external drive is now BOOTABLE on ANY mac. I have booted my laptop to it, and it's the SAME system as my Mac Pro now. I've also used this to copy the system back and forth between new hard drives, new computers, whatever. It's an always-ready BOOTABLE backup of my system.

    I then have another external FireWire800 drive that I backup all my DATA with using ChronoSync. This backs up every day at 2:00 AM.

    I find this to be superior to Time Machine. Never had it, never will.
  12. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    prove to me how its superior to time machine ?

    so you work most the day and crash ? now you are out over a days work ?

    time machine is built in and incremental ? its a good system that along with a clone or 2nd BU

    not to sound harsh but from other posts ? before I made huge statements I would have more experience ;)
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Time machine is okay and clones are okay. neither one alone is enough if your work/ data is important. a combo of both is important. a great low cost cloner is superduper. use it to make 2 clones of your osx on 2 different hdds.

    buy this piece below stick a hdd in it and clone your osx onto it.

    if speed is really important make 2 osx backups. cost is under 120 60 for two carriers and a small hdd is about 30 so 60 for 2 of them. you now have 2 copies of your osx and can restart your machine in under a minute.
  14. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Well, I've been doing it this way for 4 years. Haven't had a problem. While a days worth of work is important, I've never felt I was at such a risk that I needed realtime incremental backups.

    And before you ask - I've been a full time internet developer since 1995.
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    thats a fair answer :) I guess when I hear its superior ? I would rather have someone say why :)
    again wasnt trying to be harsh either :) I have a hard time writing my points across sometimes :)

    ditto that :) I know I have 2 clones all the time ? also usually prefer my boot on a raid 1 ? but thats me :)

    also I like having a clone and before I install something I am not sure about I install it on a clone and try it out a bit ? that way I can test first :)
  16. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    One thing that some people forget in their back-up plan is the importance of off-site back-ups.

    All well and good having an external drive attached to your mac running Time Machine, but what happens if someone decides to break in and steal all of your mac kit?

    In our studio each mac has an external portable drive that is backed up to at the end of each day and taken off-site. They are only lightweight small drives so easily fit in your bag without too much hassle.
  17. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    our problem would be our home is our studio ? and the amount of data we have could not be on a few externals ?

    very good advice though ?

    we do have off site and online and a stand alone box in a media safe ?

    the other thing I say is you have to do a plan that works for you ? meaning some will go to the bank once a week ? good time to swap out to a safe deposit box ?
    but if you say well I am going to do this every other day and never do it then the plan is not working ;) so you have to make sure whatever your plan is make it realistic
    I know some that had the intention to back up and rotate to a safe every day and never seem to do it ?
  18. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    hi again. this is off the subject y'all have gotten to, and is probably a silly question but I thought I'd ask anyway...

    Can you have two internal drives (say both are 2TB) and "combine" them somehow to be one big backup drive?

    also, what is Drobo in comparision to RAID (according to Apple if I have an SSD in the mix, I can't use RAID, but it's $700 just for the card, which is out of my range) RAID is still confusing me. Trying to figure it all out!

    also, can I choose to backup an SSD to one drive and then the other HDs to a different backup drive?

    again, really appreciate all the options/advice so far.
  19. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    two options one is Raid 0 os striped set the other is JBOD
    both you can do from disc utility
    0 will give you more speed if you loose one HDD you loose everything
    JBOD writes across one drive at a time so in theory if a drive dies you have some data left on the other ? the problem is you have know way of controlling how its written etc.. ?
    really either way is going to work and if its BU I might say JBOD ?

    even some of the basic boxes like the Sansdigital raid or the OWC mercury 4 disc raid would be better
    the apple thing is proprietary so with say areca or using disc utility raid you can still use a SSD
    the Areca choice for good raid cards blows away the apple one and can be cheaper or more money :) but for the number of channels its cheaper to go areca and way way better

    you can get a nice 8 channel meaning 8 HDD hooked up for about $520 a battery BU module for $100 a nice 8 bay case about $400
    and sill use your inside bays :)

    I would avoid drobo ? its not that its so bad but their are way better solutions that also have some speed etc..

    Time Machine does everything together ?

    but programs like Super Duper that clone the HDD can be scheduled and do to whatever drive you want but it takes up the whole drive so it has to be a drive to drive solution
    the only way it does a shared drive is if you use drive images meaning one large file kinda like a DMG file if you have seen those ?
  20. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    This is pretty much identical to what I do. I love SuperDuper. And it was great when I upgraded to my new Mac Pro b/c I've still got my old iMac system on an external drive, so I can easily boot to it if needed until I'm comfortable everything I need is migrated and then I'll wipe the thing.

    I also use ChronoSync to back up my massive music folder, because I don't keep it on my system. I sync it with a little portable LaCie 640GB drive that I can take with me to work so I have all my music. I sync both ways so any new music either on either drive is synced and backed up.

    Now that I've got a smaller SSD boot drive, I keep a lot of bulky stuff (downloads, for instance) on a separate drive. I'd love to figure out how to use SuperDuper to back up both my boot drive and the separated folders to one single backup drive at the same time. That way, I've always got both my boot drive and separated files/folders on one single backup system. Can't figure out a way to add something that's not on the main disk, though. So I'll just use CS to sync the separated folders to the backup drive (which I partitioned into two parts for this purpose).

    ChronoSync is easily worth the price of purchase, btw.
  21. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    Hey, I just asked Dave from SuperDuper! if I could back up more than one drive and his response was...

    "you can back up more than one drive to a backup. Partition the backup drive into more than one volume, one for each source, and schedule each source to back up to its corresponding destination, even setting all the backup times the same."
  22. reel2reel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    That's a good idea. It's basically what I'm doing now with SuperDuper + ChronoSync, but this would get it all done with SuperDuper only.

    Thanks for that, I'm going to give it a try.
  23. LuckyButtons thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    hey,do you know if the "backup" of the system on a BU drive is the same as a "clone"? and can that "backup" of the system be used to boot from if necessary?

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