Looking for advice on backup solution when using NAS

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by leftyMac, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. leftyMac, Nov 13, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015

    leftyMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    #1
    I'm looking into getting a NAS (suggestions are all welcome) and I was wondering what the best solution is for backing up. RAID 1 would be ok? Some people ink RAID isn't a backup, so what do I know.

    The volume won't be that huge, 2TB - 3TB max for now. But I know that hard drives fail at one point, so I just want to be safe.

    I lean towards a more minimalist solution, so I'd like to keep it simple. So far, Synology disk station is the contender, but I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    If you are simply backing up one computer, then why NAS? You could go for DAS (directly attached storage). With this approach, you can choose a smaller cheaper unit that will be formatted by your computer and easier to retrieve from another Mac (if required). There are lots of discussions on what is a good back up strategy but many find that a physical back up (DAS or NAS) and then also perhaps a cloud back up usually is sufficient.
     
  3. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #3
    I have a Synology NAS (9Tb in four drives). I was previously backing up this to an external USB drive (the NAS does this automatically to a drive connected to it). Now that you can get 5 and 6Tb single USB3 drives fairly cheaply this is a runner. But I got tired of the slow speed of the NAS. So I bought a 4Tb (2x4Tb) RAID Thunderbolt drive (Lacie) which is connected to my imac and shared over the network. The NAS is now relegated to backup of the entire system (including external TB drives), and camera footage via Surveillance Station, as well as some cloud duties and double-up backups. I have the 5Tb external USB-3 as a secondary alternating backup drive.

    Raid is not backup. It is more reliable than a single drive. But if your only copy of some data is on the NAS, you will need to back it up. Preferably to more than one place, and more than one location, as with all other data.
     
  4. leftyMac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 20, 2011
    #4
    that's an interesting point. so if I went with a DAS, what would be the easiest / best way to automatically back up to a second drive?
     
  5. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #5
    A NAS is just a storage device that is accessed through your network. The RAID on your NAS is just to protect you if you loose a disk. If you delete a file from the RAID on your NAS it is still deleted, RAID or not, as RAID only presents your operating system with a single copy of that file.

    A backup is simply a copy of your data. One copy might exist on your internal hard disk, a second copy might exist on your NAS and this second copy is a backup. I.E. the data is stored in two physically separate locations, not on the same disks in the same device and you can see two copies in your operating system.

    If your only copy is on the NAS it doesn't matter what level of RAID you have you DO NOT have a backup.

    So for now my advice would be ignore all the different NAS products, simply write down on a bit of paper where you are storing your the primary copy of your data and where you intend on storing your backup, and how you would recover this if you lost the primary copy. Once you have done this you will have a much better idea of what you should buy.
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6

    Whether you use a script or software, there are ways to do auto backups to DAS or NAS.

    Check out Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC), SuperDuper, and perhaps Retrospect. Look for a scheduler feature on this software options.

    As for making copies of your data, simplest mode would be a single drive back up. A mirror mode would be RAID 1 which requires two disks and the data is written to both. Just make sure that that verification is done on the copies. With DAS, either you will create the RAID (Mirror) with your OS or the DAS provides its own controller that will do it for you. Each has its advantages.
     
  7. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #7

    Have both! RAID will protect you against a drive failure, a backup will protect you against data corruption/deletion
     
  8. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

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    Jul 2, 2009
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #9
    For directly-attached storage (USB or Thunderbolt drive), you can use Time Machine - it'll automatically backup all attached storage (other than itself). Definitely the simplest, since it's built into OS X. But if you're backing up both the computer and attached external drives, then the drive for Time Machine better be a biggie.
     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #10
    I am not sure I gather the meaning of your statement. In spite of what some people say, a RAID 1 will indeed make two copies of the data you put on it as will RAID 10 and RAID 01 and variants. What it comes down to is how you back up your data. I am also in the camp that doesn't believe that RAID 5 and the like are proper backups for disaster recovery but a DAS with RAID 1 and a properly set up type of back up will indeed handle issues iwth data corruption and deletion if it is built into the command set or software being used.
     
  11. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #11
    You did get it, you repeated exactly what I said, but with more words. ;o) Someone was trying to decide whether to have RAID or a backup to protect their data, I said have both. If you can't have both then choose the backup over RAID.
     

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