Ideas for a Decent B/U Strategy?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MikieMikie, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Okay, I've gone long enough with my current backup strategy (crossed fingers, prayers and not looking at my 3 500GB externals too long in hopes they won't get "ootsy") and need something... reliable.

    Currently, I have less than 1 TB of media, so I was thinking a RAID 5 would be perfect for the three externals, but Apple, as is its nature, has yet to make its software RAID 5 available.

    In addition to the three HDDs dedicated to media, I have 1 500GB external dedicated to Time Machine backups for my main iMac, which is fine, but none of my external media is being backed up.

    Drobo looked good (I assume it's little more than a RAID 5?) but I was convinced to steer clear of it by a clown... er... genius at the local :apple: store.

    So, here's what I have at my disposal: 3 500GB externals, plus the one 500 GB HDD used for Time Machine BU of my internal HDD.

    I am willing to buy a reasonably solution.

  2. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    Netgear Readynas NV+ (formerly Infrant)

    Had mine for almost six months now and haven't had a problem with it yet. 1.4TB of redundant storage.

    And it looks nice beside the rest of my Apple equipment. :cool:
  3. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    This looks very interesting. I will spend some time to check it out. Thanks very much. (you wouldn't know if I could use my existing drives, assuming I remove them from their cases?)
  4. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    This is completely overkill but me and a friend of mine bought one of these:{dSJ8pNm3O...fZxC8nwVw**.node1?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    (if for some reason that doesn't work - go to and search for Buffalo)

    It's 4 TB and has raid as well.

    You wouldn't be able to use your old drives though. But it's really simple to use, has DLNA, and I haven't had any issues with it.

    It's not really for everyone (it's too damn expensive for sure) but just throwing it out there as another option.
  5. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
  6. Oilbrnr macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    How about a new 2TB drive, let TM handle all the BU, and recommission the 500MB.

    Raid 5 seems like overkill, unless you are real concerned about uptime.
  7. shokunin macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    IMO, Raid is NOT a backup strategy. Raid provides increased availability from drive failure. I've known more people lose all the data on their raid arrays to user-error and firmware issues than from drive failures.

    Backup should be offline / offsite. Best choice would be multiple tape backups, but that gets $$$ real quick. Second choice would be to copy everything that's important to another hard drive and keep it offline (use TM or some other software). Third choice would be to write to optical media. TM seems like a good option as it continually back's up your important files, I keep mine offline mostly, until TM reminds me that it's been 10 days since my last backup...

    I use LTO tape backups as well as time machine. If you drop a tape, it'll more than likely suffer no damage, drop a hard drive, well, the likelyhood of it being damaged is far greater.
  8. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    I don't agree with this 100 percent. Ideally, of course, backup should be offline and offsite. However, offline backup, by definition, is not continuous backed up. To me, this is a fatal flaw -- I want continuous back up,mostly for for documents pics/videos of my kids, but also for music, movies, etc.

    Thus, IMO you need a combination of offline/onsite and online/offsite.
    This is the solution I've developed:

    DATA: I have 750 GB and 300 GB harddrives NASed through a headless windows xp box. The 750 GB stores all of my files (quickly running out though). For the most part, my iMac and my hackintosh read and write files through the network only, not locally.

    First Backup (online/onsite): The 300 GB has my the timemachine backup of my iMac, and a continuous backup of my pictures, videos, and documents. The continuous backup is maintained by syncback, which runs continuously on the XP machine.

    Second backup (offline/onsite): Everything (music, pics, videos, docs, movies) is backed up to another couple of drives that I store in a fireproof safe box. I back these up every couple of weeks. My music and movies don't change that often, so mostly I backup the pics, vids, and docs.

    Third backup (online/offsite): Mozy, online backup storage. It's taking a long time to backup everything, but once it finished the first backup, it should stay pretty current. It was only about $90 for 2 years unlimited backup, so it's a pretty good deal.

    I think this has me covered for pretty much any catastrophe.
  9. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    If you are just backing up, you do not need Raid 5. You could just stripe or concatenate the 500 GB hard drives and use TM. Raid 5 as stated above is to provide up time which you really don't need for a backup solution in general unless you are worried about simultaneous loss of original and backup. Can happen but not really likely. I keep all of my media on a Raid 5 without backup but I live on the wild side.
  10. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    As long as they are SATA drives, I don't see why not.

    Good point... I use to backup my iTunes purchases... as for anything I rip using Handbrake, I guess the backup is the DVD on my shelf.
  11. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I think your whole RAID 5 plan is a wee overboard, but here's a suggestion.

    I've got an external HDD that backs up everything on my local hard drive using Time Machine. If I wanted to be really safe, I should probably back up a bunch of stuff to DVDs and store them somewhere else. Or I could just buy one of those sub-$100 pocket hard drives and do the same thing. That way I'm not wasting discs each time I back up stuff.

    As far as the many gigabytes of video, I pretty much have the discs as a backup and have done a DVD backup of TV series I bought on iTunes (Deadliest Catch, The Presidents). I mean if a fire burned this whole place down, I think I'd have other problems before worrying about a $20 TV series.

    But as for stuff like pictures and irreplaceable documents, you should probably do Time Machine and DVD backups with the DVDs stored at another location. If you don't have too much, you could use .Mac to store stuff online.
  12. MikieMikie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Thanks to all who responded. I have much more information, which will hopefully contribute to an informed decision about what to do.

    I'm leaning to a 2TB external and letting Time Machine do its thing.

    While I have the physical media which would enable me to recreate the movie rips/encodes, it's been a lot of effort, and I don't especially want to do it over again. Getting a 2TB backup drive will repurpose the current 500 GB TM drive, so it looks like the simplest solution.

    Thanks again.

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