Is Raid 5 and Time Machine Overkill?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mikeylikesit, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. mikeylikesit macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I'm in the process of upgrading my home network with additional storage and would like some advice. I currently use Time Machine to back up my Mini to a usb drive. I also have an old MBP which isn't currently backed up. Most critical items are on the Mini but I would like all machines backed up.

    I was considering a Time Capsule or Synology DS411 Slim to back up both computers. The Synology has the advantage of being a raid and provides a lot of NAS functionality. I already have a couple of AEBS so I don't need the wireless functionality of the TC. I was also looking at a 5 drive enclosure to hook up to my mini to expand its storage. This could also be set up in raid 5 configuration.

    Is it overkill to have a raid 5 setup on a time machine drive or to have a time machine backup of a raid 5 usb drive? The likelihood of having both the primary drive and time machine drive fail at the same time seems very remote. Thanks.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If you are going to use it for storage as well, then RAID 5 sounds like a good idea so you won't need another drive for backing up the external. Otherwise you should be fine without RAID 5, although it wouldn't hurt.
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Might be overkill from a triple-backup standpoint. But what convinced me is that my Synology is still quite functional if one of the internal drives dies (and this has happened to me once). Whereas you're dead in the water if a single-disk USB/Time Capsule unit stops working.
  4. RafaelT macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2010
    Lakeland, FL
    It sounds like they are about to refresh the Time Capsules with something new and cool, I would wait until they do that to make a decision.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    First of all depending on what model AEBS you have, it may support adding a USB disk to it, so there may not be a need to buy a TC at all. Now as for the Synology bo (I'm not familiar with it)x, would Time Machine work with it? I'm not sure if it will work ANS storage except for storage connected to a TC or AEBS.

    As for RAID 5 for your backups, is it overkill? Maybe, maybe not. If the alternative for your backups was a RAID 0 setup for needed disk space, then RAID 5 is not overkill as a RAID 0 loses it's data whenever one disk in the raid set dies. ow much redundancy is needed is always a good question.
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Actually Synology does allow for Time Machine. I was surprised by this - when I got it I was expecting to have to do custom disk images. However, it simulates an Air Disk and allows Time Machine to have its own dedicated folder and user quota on the drive. Quite nice :).

    Restores are a dream too - 75Mbps read speed :D

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