Mac Pro Managing Drive Bays and Backups

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by motomike27, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. motomike27 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2008
    My pictures and video libraries are exploding in size these days and I'm having a hard time keeping up.

    My current setup is this:

    Bay 1 - 2TB "Primary" drive holding OS and Aperture library (approx 1.5TB of "managed" masters).

    Bay 2 - 2TB Movies (approx 1.5TB used)

    Bay 3 - 750GB "iPod" movies and music (approx 550GB used). Because I wasn't smart about ripping my old dvds, I have to have 2 copies of most of my movies; one for the ipods and another to stream via itunes to watch on the big screen or laptop.

    Bay 4 - Empty

    I also have 2-2TB backup drives kept off site for backup of Bay 1 and Bay 2. A 1.5TB drive is used to backup the Bay 3 drive.

    Because Time Machine cannot seem to handle more than one drive at a time, I have reluctantly been creating "disk images" using the disk utility to make identical copies of each of my working drives. This, as you can imagine, is a PITA and by that virtue only get done once or twice a year.

    To make matters worse, either I have the worst luck with hard drive reliability or my transporting the drives on and off site tends to substantially shorten their life.

    I'm tired of buying drives every couple of years and I'm tired of manually performing backups. I don't want to send my data to any "cloud" so I'm looking for another option that is somewhat fail safe and easy to manage. I like the idea of off site backups (physical drives not cloud servers) but the reality is, i'm more likely to suffer data loss due to drive damage than say a fire (hopefully) so I'm more interested in the easiest, most reliable solution at this point.

    I've been looking into the Drobo system but I'm not certain if that is overkill or if a raid system would work better. What I don't need is more work managing a raid (if possible). I've thought of up-sizing the first two bays and using the second two bays as redundant drives but a)the backups will be as likely to fail as the primary drives due to being powered up and spinning as long as the primary drives and b)if there were an impending emergency, i couldn't grab the backups and run.

    I'm struggling with buying bigger drives and having everything centrally located on one drive and one backup drive vs breaking out the music, movies and pictures onto separate drives. Any thoughts as to what makes the most sense?

    Then there's the SSD factor to throw in there. Should I get a small SSD drive to run the OS and apps leaving everything else on traditional drives?

    I bought the Mac Pro to serve as a central repository for music, music, pictures and when times require it, the speed and power that my macbook pro may lack and I won't lie it's nice looking at the 30in cinema display instead of the 13in on the macbook. The system is on 24hrs/day streaming music and movies to any one of my apple devices so reliability is paramount.

    Should I scrap everything and start over from scratch with all new drives and buy 2 of everything? Is there a way to use my old various sizes of drives in a raid or Drobo to save on costs? My Mac Pro is a late 2008 model and could use some upgrading (video card and ram (currently 8gb)). Most of the delays and slowdowns I seem to experience come from having the multiple drives and one has gone to sleep and has to wake up which makes me think going to a single drive would be better but I'm truly lost at this point.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. kendall69 macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    I bought an external hot swap tower loaded with (5) -4T drives. I have (4) internal 2&3T drives in my 2008 mac pro. Everything on auto back up, and or Super Duper Clone. Every night the system does what it does automatically and backs thing up - or clones.

    Cloning is good, I needed it twice and was back up in minutes, lost nothing.

    The tower stores two hard drives and the other two hard drives are back ups of the first two in the bank. (1) drive is taken off property with critical items in a safety deposit box that gets rotated every month.

    Everything is in one place and I have the drives OFF until back up times. Other drives are on 24/7 in the mac pro. Every two years I replace them with fresh drives.

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