Looking for advice on an inexpensive RAID setup

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dandingo, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. dandingo macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I just reverted from Windows back to OSX. I have a photography business and have a few different HDDs for backup and my files are kind of all over the place. I'm looking for a fairly inexpensive setup, with around 3 HDDs, that I can run in something like RAID 1.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Raid 1 is mirroring two drives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

    What are your requirements in terms of capacity, availability, and throughput?

    A simple "toaster" dock can usually support either RAID 0 or RAID 1. You can get drives from <1TB to 6TB. The third rive would be in a seperate enclosure for Time Machine to do backups. I am using Seagate 6TB 12MB cache drives that seem to work just fine.
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Not the cheapest but among the best, a Synology 2 bay NAS IMHO would be a good choice. Add an external USB drive (they're cheap enough) and use that as a nightly backup for the NAS.

    RAID is not a backup, keep that in mind.
  4. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Same here. I run a DS213 with twin 3TB drives mirrored plus an external USB 3tb as a weekly backup (nightly not needed for my volume of change). I flip flop the external USB each week with a second drive and keep one at a friends house. Fire and forget solution.

    Just remember not to put your OSX machines to sleep while they are backing up to this using time machine otherwise the backup gets corrupted and you need to start faffing to repair it. I use my synology for time machine and photo storage and also as home server so my wife and kids can browse photos from the TV.
  5. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    Almost any NAS will work the difference is going to be brand and price. Just keep in mind that:

    1.) If it's to be considered a backup, you must have two copies of the data.
    2.) Your data must be stored off site.

    Other than this, you're either just using network storage or a having a localized backup. Have 6TB of storage but not keeping photos in a separate location that won't be affected by a fire or other catastrophic event means that you don't have a real back up solution and can lose your data.
  6. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    Hey there,

    I have a photo business too, so understand that losing images is simply not an option. I used to use RAID but have since stopped. I found it a pain in the a$$.I was just trying to build in redundancy, but there are better ways to do it. As others have said, RAID is NOT a backup.

    For info, I used a Netgear ReadyNAS. It was cheap & I just wanted to see whether RAID was the right solution for me. I found it annoying to use and it just got in the way of my workflow. I know there are far better raid options out there, but I realised that all I needed was a solid backup strategy (all files on 1 master disk, 1 on-site backup, 1 off-site backup). Much quicker and more user friendly.

    For pro work, there's little need to stripe your drives for more space. Just separate your jobs onto different drives. It's quicker, cheaper and makes archiving much easier too. You may want to see all your personal photos in one place , but you don't need to do that with your commissioned work. As soon as that job is delivered and you've been paid you'll probably never look at it again, so just archive it & get it off your drive (remembering to back up your archive disks, of course).

    Hope that helps.
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The post is very vague and misses important things like disk capacity and the type of backup that's already in place. First, even though this has been said before, it's worth repeating: a RAID is not a backup. Secondly, about price, if photography is your business, you need to think about a good backup solution.

    (1) External storage: RAIDs are often not necessary, especially since harddrives have reached capacities of 8 TB, although 4 TB drives still offer the best bang for the buck. (Avoid Segate drives, though.) The purpose of a RAID is to ensure storage availability in case of failure or to offer larger contiguous volumes in case your capacity needs exceed that of a single harddrive. The added layer of complexity always adds more points of failure. That's why 2 external harddrives are actually safer as backups than a single RAID1 device.

    (2) Sign up for a cloud backup service such as Backblaze or Crashplan. I'm a customer of both, and for $5/month you get unlimited storage for a single computer with Backblaze.

    (3) If you really want a RAID, get a Synology NAS: a 2-bay NAS suffices for a simple RAID1 (mirror). There are cheaper alternatives, but Synology is very good with software updates (a NAS is nothing but a computer!), and the hardware is of high quality.
  8. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Use Raid for performance/temp project speed and 4TB drives for backup.

    As usual on this forum - CHEAP

    Cheap does not equal Safe in the real world, but it does equal this forum ;)
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    To the OP, why NAS and not DAS? There are several multi-drive enclosures that either have ability to do RAID (usuall 0, 1, 1+0, 0+1, and those beyond 2 disks can do 5 and maybe 6) or you can use the OS to create a RAID.

    As someone who has NAS and DAS, the advantage of DAS is that your computer is the control center for all copies of files and hardware. Both Thunderbolt and USB3 are plenty fast for storing files and accessing them in general.

    I downgraded recently to one NAS with 5 x 4tb drives. I tend to use DAS more and more these days with greater confidence and less issues than what may occur with NAS (including Synology which has some excellent soho NAS units).

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