Is this a good backup strategy?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Astroboy907, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    I just bought a used mac mini to use as a media server and am working at putting all my movies and media on it. I was also going to use it as a wireless backup point for my laptop. But I'm having trouble working out a backup strategy that I don't have to spend a ton of money on.

    May laptop backup will wirelessly backup onto a 3TB WD MyBook drive. This will be mirrored by software RAID onto a second 3TB drive so I have a semi-redundant backup.

    I have one each of a 1tb and 500gb externals- these were going to be my media storage drives. I was also planning on purchasing another 1tb drive to use as a mirror of the second 1tb drive to have a redundant backup. But is this really needed? I have a fairly large media library and will probably fill up 1tb easily, and could really use a second one for more storage. So which do you think would be better- having 1tb mirrored (and redundant) storage or 2tb non-mirrored storage? Or should I look into getting dual 2tb or even just getting four 3tb drives and putting the entire setup in a RAID box?
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    First off, I want to remind you that RAID is not a backup. Any changes made to one drive will be mirrored to the second drive. That includes corrupted files. RAID is useful for drive failures.

    Second, a good backup strategy should include some sort of off-site backup. If that means that you use Dropbox to back up documents, then that's fine. Fortunately, there are quite a few good services for online/ cloud backup. Most of them are pretty cheap, for a few bucks a month, you could set yourself up with one of them.

    Personally, I use CrashPlan+, but you could also explore the free version. If you have a family member or trusted friend, you could send them a hard drive and back up remotely to that. Not the best explanation, but check out the website and it will make sense.

    As far as media storage, you might want to consider some sort of NAS that will allow you to expand your storage as your library grows. However, also remember that NAS isn't really a backup if it's only in 1 place.

    Also, I've started this guide on MacRumors. It's definitely not complete, but check it out. I'd appreciate any feedback as well.
  3. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I also use Crash Plan +. Got an amazing deal last Cyber Monday, they're great.

    I've been looking to supplement or replace Crash Plan with Bit Torrent Sync. Amazing software.
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are many ways to do a "back up" and all of them have some pitfalls. This includes Internet services though some might tell you differently. Typical home Internet is not always a decent option given that uploads so to speak, by provider design, are usually far slower than download speeds.

    Mirroring - there are two types of mirroring and sadly, most people use drive enclosures that do the mirroring and as pointed out, if your copy to the first of the mirrored drives is corrupted, so shall be the copy to the second mirrored drive. On the other hand, you could have just one drive and it can also be corrupted so its a matter of odds or probability (and of course, how good your mirrored hardware is).

    The other type of mirroring leaves 2 or more drive unrelated and you copy independently to them. This is not real mirroring but created identical backups. Some call it asynchronous dual back ups. I believe this is safer than mirroring you have your target drive/file and 2 different destinations for copy or move. Higher end systems can be set up for a real bifurcation copy/move to two targets. Somehow, I think you would be wise to simply copy/move your files manually to each back up drive. There are ways to script this action and certainly some good software out there to make it relatively easy. In most cases, I use FTP software to move files from my Mac to a NAS, I also am able to use rsynch that works between a directory on each NAS to be identical.

    My system for media are two NAS units which are using RAID. Some of the data exists on both NAS units and some does not. I also have discs and external drives for further back up. I have in terms of media files, about 11 terabytes to contend with.

    You never mentioned what format your files are in or how large. There are archival CD and DVD media that last 10 or more years if kept reasonably safe, dry and in normal room temperature. I don't know the state of any archival blu ray so I cannot comment on that possibility.

    Hope you find a back up solution that suits your needs.

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