In need of back up, but what

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ingvild, May 31, 2015.

  1. ingvild, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015

    ingvild macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2015
    #1
    I am a professional photographer and I am looking for a new way of storing my images. I think I want a 2-6 bay hdd cabinet/enclosure set to RAID 1, with the potential to start off with 2 disks and add on more when neccesary. In adidtion I want to back this up to my own cloud (like mycloud from wd), but I dont want this to happen automatically/not mirrored, in case I accidentally delete something. So I need a (manual) system of how I can back this up after making changes to files in the RAID setup.
    I am also not sure of what transfer speed I need. I am not really considering working directly off the harddrives, but rather use my iMac for working, and when my files are delivered to the clients I transfer them to the back-up, and will of course maybe need to access them again, but mainly my use will be for storage. Therefor I think thunderbolt may be a bit unnessecary, and USB 3 should suffice.
    - Can I start off using 2 disks i a ⅘-bay cabinet and add more as I go?
    - Can I use it solely for manual back-up and not have an automatic system?
    - What transfer speed should I look into when I am thinking of primarily using the cabinet as backup? Thunderbolt? USB3? Something else?
    - Is there a concrete recommendation of a cabinet and/or cloud I should look into?
    PS: I have no idea of what I am talking about here, and this might not make sense, which is why I need some input..

    Thanks,
    Ingvild
     
  2. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #2
    What do you plan to use for your offsite backup? No REAL backup solution is complete without offsite as well. Consider this - your house burns down but ALL your stuff is inside, how do you restore from your "backup" if that drive was also destroyed in the fire.

    By the way, RAID 1 is a mirror. When you add drives, you plan to add them 2 at a time and just add another mirror set? It sounds like you understand that RAID 1 is not enough of a backup on its own, but storing the "MyCloud" device in the same building isn't enough either.

    I have TM backing up my machine to a WD MyPassport drive but then I also have ANYTHING I can't reproduce (photos mainly) also backing up to CrashPlan (Offsite) so if something were to happen to my home I can get that stuff back relatively easily.
     
  3. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

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    Dec 29, 2013
    #3
    Amazon drive (aka amazon prime) has unlimited photo storage and is manual. Mirrored solution the best is prob crash plan.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #4
  5. ingvild thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    #5
    I want a hdd enclosure at my house that I can connect to my iMac, and then a MyCloud or something similar at my parents house.

    I know RAID 1 is a mirror, and I was considering adding them two at a time if that is possible, cause I am not sure yet how much storage I need..

    There are just so many choices of enclosures and disks available, and I have no idea where to start, and if it works the way I would like it to. Or even if the way I would like it to work is ideal... :)

    ----------

    Oh yeah, I also plan on having a separate disk for my Time Machine, and backing this up to my cloud as well.. :)
     
  6. ColdCase, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Is a 12 TB backup volume too small? The most reliable easy setup solution is to start with something like a 4 bay OWC thunderbay (the version without a HW RAID). Install four 5 or 6TB drives. Use disk utility (or buy soft RAID) and RAID0 a pair of drives into one 12TB volume and then RAID1 the two volumes into a 12TB mirrored set.


    When you need more than 12TB in a single backup volume you'll have to buy more enclosures and drives.


    I use CCC to copy my working library(s) to my backup set automatically. Are you storing images individually or within a library. I'm not sure how it works with libraries, but the default setup will move changed or deleted files to an archive folder. It won't discard changed or deleted files unless you set it up that way. Othere backup apps are similar.


    If you have several libraries instead of one big one, they can be backed up individually and spread over more backup sets.

    Personally I no longer use a mirror strategy in my backup destinations, choosing to backup to two (or more) drives independently instead. But I have less than 5TB of images and video in my biggest library. I use a RAID0 pair of drives as my working storage and backup to two different hard drives as well as the cloud.
     
  7. ingvild thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2015
    #7
    Ok, that sounds like what I am talking about, Cold Case.
    Why would I want RAID0? And what is soft RAID? Can I start with 2 6tb disks, and then add 2 more when needed?
    My files are stored individually in folders, but I also have them in a lightroom library. CCC sounds interesting though.
    Why don't you use mirroring?
    What kind of cloud to you use?
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Feb 10, 2008
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    NH
    #8
    Raid0 (striped) for 1) performance and 2) to make a 10TB sized virtual volume out of two 5TB drives.

    SoftRaid is a software app that makes RAIDs out of individual disks. It has a few more features than Disk utility. I use disk utility.

    When adding drives you should backup the data (if you really need it), add drives to the array, reformat, copy the data back (or run backup again). Some RAID controllers will expand some RAID types automatically in the background, takes awhile... and you need to backup the data (if you really need it) anyway. There are a couple good RAID descriptions on wikis.

    I don't use mirroring because TM can now backup to multiple drives (I hate losing TM backups). Mirroring doesn't buy me anything for backup over scheduled backups and doesn't do anything for OS or app generated errors (they just get duplicated on all drives when mirrored). Mirror helps if you want to minimize down time of your working volume, however.

    I rent my own server space on a hosting service. You may want to look at Flickr or Google. They will save tons of images for you for basically free. Lots of pros use them.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Virginia
    #9
    Mirroring is for fault tolerance. It provides zero backup capability. If you delete a file on one drive, it's gone from the second too. If you mangle a file on one, it's mangled on the other. If a power surge takes out the enclosure, both drives will likely be gone. The only advantage to mirroring is that it allows you to continue working in the event of a single drive failure. If you need that level of fault tolerance then go for it.

    I use 3 backup methods - TM, CCC, and CrashPlan (for off-site). TM is primarily for mistakes make and it allows me to recover quickly. The CrashPlan provides a backup in the event of a major disaster. The CCC is a bootable copy that I can plug into almost any Mac and be back where I was.
     
  10. TechpumpkinWD macrumors newbie

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #10
    Hello there,

    Since you won't use the Directly attached storage you have on site for work you might rethink the idea of using RAID 1. As glenthompson explained RAID is not a backup it only provides redundancy and since you aren't going to actively work on the files stored there, do you actually need this redundancy? In such situation you could use the enclosure in JBOD, that would allow you to add additional HDDs whenever you want without any need of tweaking the settings, you'll just plug a new HDD and start using it.

    As for the My Cloud options I think you can look into those two http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=5z7Q2o. With both devices you can upload your files manually through the WD MY Cloud app, you can also backup the content of your NAS to a external HDD connected to it's USB ports or to a Cloud service like ElephantDrive and Amazon S3 . However since this is a Network Attached storage you should keep in mind that the transfer speed of the files will depend a lot of the throughput speed of your internet connection and the internet connection that the My Cloud will be using. Both devices support RAID 0, 1, JBOD and spanning and the EX4 also supports RAID 5 and 10.

    For my personal files I have the following setup – all my computers data copied to my home NAS, I then have the NAS backed up on external HDDs, I use public cloud storage for another copy of the data and I have another offline and offsite copy of the most important stuff. I prefer to have the NAS on site because it offers other functionality such as Plex that I find useful at home.
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #11
    It sounds like you need to get a better handle on what a backup system really is.

    In my opinion, a backup needs to provide 3 primary features.
    - It needs to be automatic
    - It needs to provide file versioning
    - It needs to provide both local and remote copies

    In my mind, any system that doesn't provide at least those three things isn't really a backup.

    In your position I would first determine how much backup space you really need, from there determine what device and software is appropriate. If this is really just for backup, then connection speed probably doesn't matter much as once the initial backup set is completed, the daily transfer volumes should be relatively small.

    If you have the bandwidth to support a multi-terabyte cloud backup, choose a provider that is going to be affordable while providing appropriate features and security. If you don't have that bandwidth, then you need to determine some sort of off-site rotation which unfortunately makes feature #1 more difficult.

    Not knowing exactly what your needs are, I will say that I have been extremely well-served by Crashplan both personally and professionally. Their software is reliable, meets all of the criteria I listed above, and can be used for both your online and cloud backups. They also have extremely intelligent software that doesn't do things like requiring you to re-upload the entire backup set if you re-arrange your folder structure, or worse yet, just upload everything as a second copy (occupying additional storage space that you are likely paying for by the GB) after housekeeping.
     
  12. ingvild thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2015
    #12
    Thanks, glenthompson and techpumpkinWD! I kinda understand what you're getting at. But at the same time, I am not sure if it's quite what I need. I still need some kind of storage device to put all my stuff in (right now everything is a mess and I have a few broken hdds, and I need to put everything in ONE place). Do you have a suggestion for such a device, be it NAS or DAS (to me it seems DAS works quicker than a NAS- although I am not sure about other functionalities), and will I then- after this is in order start to use your suggested back up methods?
     
  13. ingvild thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2015
    #13
    I don't actually know how much space I need, probably some TB, but how many I don't know, which is why I was wondering about an enclosure that will allow me to add more disks when needed..
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    Knowing how much space you need is the primary consideration in determining a backup strategy. Everything else hinges on that. Then you buy something big enough for today, but upgradeable for tomorrow as your backup set inevitably grows. There is no point in buying an expensive multi-disk unit that requires management and has multiple failure points if you really only need a couple of TB and could be more easily served with a plain old external hard disk.
     
  15. ingvild thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2015
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #16
    Sounds like a NAS may be a good option for you. I'd also recommend a backup strategy for disk array you do buy. RAID is not a backup strategy so ensuring you have multiple copies of your data is a good move imo.
     
  17. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #17
    I use an AM1 with a raid card in an old computer case that holds 8 drives in the basement hooked to the LAN. For off site I have a Digital Droplet the droplet stores only the unreplaceable stuff wedding picture, kids pictures etc.
     
  18. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #18
    I have a Synology NAS for centralized storage. It holds all my media files and is one of my TM backup destinations. It is also connected via gig ethernet. It is accessed by 4 computers hence the need for a NAS. If you only have one computer using it then a DAS can be sufficient. Speed of a DAS depends on how it is connected to the computer. USB 2 is going to be slower than a good NAS. USB 3 or thunderbolt is the best method.

    If you go with a 4 bay Synology and put in a couple of 4 or 6 TB drives it should be ok for now. You can add more drives later as needed.
     
  19. TechpumpkinWD macrumors newbie

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    Sep 18, 2014
    #19
    In this case you might better start with a DAS so you can create one storage point. Make sure you have all your data stored in one location. If you are looking into WD products you might look at http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=ZdjMKA or get an empty 4 bay DAS, get a few NAS drives set in JBOD and add more HDDs as you fill them up. Then get a NAS to store the backup.


    The way I see the differences between a NAS and a DAS.


    The DAS can be physically connected to only one computer, it is possible to share the access to the HDD with other computers on the network, but the computer that has the drive plugged in has to be turned on for the HDD to be accessible. The file system of the DAS has to be compatible wit the OS you use, because your OS will access it directly. In case the data cable is disconnected during a write operation is in progress the data on the HDD might be damaged.


    The NAS is a network device it has it's own IP address and is usually turned on 24/7. It will wake up whenever you need access to the data stored there and can be used by several computers at a time. You can also access the NAS remotely, you can upload and download data from any device that has internet. There is no need to worry about what file system and different OSes here as the NAS firmware is doing all the reading and writing. Because it is a network device the file transfer speed will depend a lot on the network your using. To get good connectivity you need a gigabyte network. Usually the NASes have monitoring tools for the HDD health and will show notifications if something goes wrong. They offer a lot more functionality for setting up a backup – scheduled backups, local backups, remote backups, cloud backups. They usually have USB ports so you can connect DASes to them. You can configure different shares and users with different permission levels. And they you can use a bunch of other third party integrated apps for media streaming, P2P clients and other.
     
  20. ColdCase, Jun 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #20
    The third party NAS apps work poorly in terms of performance. They look good on paper but otherwise pretty much useless, unless you go high end. One runs into performance roadblocks early as you scale up. High end NASs cost as much as a OSX server and a MacOS server will run circles around any NAS. But NAS is good for file sharing and a backup destination as long as you are not intending to use time machine with it.

    I've given up on NAS except as a backup destination for CCC. If you want network storage, think about skipping the wasting of money NAS step and go directly to a server. Unplugging a DAS from your computer and plugging it into a server is seamless. Using the DAS box on a NAS requires a disk re-format. Oh, use TB as the interface to your DAS and avoid the USB drive quirk nightmares. If you are a pro and time is money, solid reliable performance may be worth the little extra up front cost for you.
     
  21. bgd macrumors regular

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    Aug 30, 2005
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    SG
    #21
    I've gone the same way as ColdCase, moved from NAS to DAS. Actually still in the process of doing it. Mini running as a server with DAS. NAS becomes one of the backups along with storing TM backups of all machines. CrashPlan for offsite . I'm using a dual TB enclosure on raid 0. If I need to grow I'll just add bigger drives but reckon I'm covered for the next couple of years.

    The NAS is good but struggled as a media server. So far the DAS approach works well but set up not complete yet.
     

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