NAS advice

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ValkXB70, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. ValkXB70 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi all, I've been combing through threads on NAS devices here and have gotten myself a headache now. This seems to be way above my paygrade.

    Here is my scenario and I am hoping someone here can give me advice. I currently have a Macbook air with a Seagate 1.5 Tb external hard drive attached to it. I store all on my itunes data on here (approximately 1.2 Tb worth of data). I also run 2 apple Tv units, as well as 2 iPads, and my Iphone as well as an iMac 21.5 with a seagate 1 Tb external drive. I went out and bought a Seagate GoFlex Home 2 Tb NAS drive a year and a half ago to use as a backup drive with time machine for my itunes data.

    I have not had any luck with this damn thing, I have had to wipe it and re-format it at least 5 times and today I noticed it hasn't done a back up since mid December. I have contacted Seagate and they have been next to useless with these issues. Their advice so far has been one of 2 things, option 1 re-format and do a fresh backup or 2 send it back to them and they will send me a replacement within 4-6 weeks.

    So I have had it, I am not looking for a solid NAS drive that I can use as a backup drive. Something that is plug and play preferably that doesnt require lots of set-up. Any advice for a knuckle dragger like me?
     
  2. skippymac macrumors 6502a

    skippymac

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    #3
    I can't speak from experience here but I imagine an apple time capsule would be simple to set up, although potentially could be restrictive in terms of what you can do. Plus $$$
     
  3. AsterixGM macrumors newbie

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    #4
    +1.

    Synology is fast, easy to set up and reliable.
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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  5. idufour macrumors member

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    #6
    My book live... I have it and work well with time machine.... I didn't try streaming but you can find a wiki about that.....

    Let me know if you need more information....
     
  6. 537635 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    +1 for Synology.

    Yes, it's expensive. Most of all it's an expense that didn't exist a couple of years ago. Then you simply had all your data on a couple of DVDs.


    When it comes to data storage, in the end there is only one question - how important is your data to you?
     
  7. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

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    #8
    First, you must identify your needs and the features you want.

    - Is it a backup system ( = a copy of files on your macs) or a shared storage ( = files that are not on your macs but that you want to access via your devices) ? My guess is that you want both.

    - What software/file formats are you already using ? If it's only iTunes and Time Machine with only Apple devices, a Time Capsule might be a better choice.

    - As previously asked, how important is your data ? If you have "very important" data you should also look for cloud backup.

    My 2 cents.
     
  8. ValkXB70 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks for all the responses everyone. That synology set up looked great. Cost is a factor but considering the amount of money I've spent on iTunes could be worth it.

    I'm not looking to stream from this external source just back up to it. I can pick up the time capsule locally so that one might be an easier option.
     
  9. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #10
    The Synology can be both a TM backup and shared storage. If you want a backup of the NAS (not a bad idea) you can plug an external USB drive or eSata on some models and let it backup itself up nightly. External cloud backup is also supported.

    I quite like download station and its Safari & Chrome plug in.
     
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Time Capsule is the only officially supported NAS backup destination for Time Capsules. Most others work... but Apple has been know to break compatibility with them... requiring the NAS vendor to offer a firmware patch. Personally... I think if you are planning to use it for backup, then just get a Time Capsule.

    NAS boxes have many other great usages... but I personally do not use them as my backup destinations.

    /Jim
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #12
    Another option is to use other apps for backup. Yes, time machine is easy and well integrated into OS X. Carbon copy cloner can run scheduled backups for network devices and isn't as affected by network hiccups like TM.
     
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #13
    I love CCC, but it does a crappy job at versioning. Hence... I would not recommend it instead of Time Machine. It is great to use *IN ADDITION* to time machine if you want a second local backup.

    /Jim
     
  13. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #14
    Has there ever been a Macrumors user poll on Who actually needs Versioning ?
     
  14. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

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    #15
    Good point :)

    To be honest, in 1 or 2 occasions I was very glad to be able to retrieve an older version of a file.
     
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #16
    My suspicion is that most people (especially non-geeks)... have no idea they need versioning until it is too late.

    Having versioning for a single file is obvious... and is something that even CCC (with it's primative versioning) is well equipped to accomplish. CCC can save old versions of files in a parallel file system with date versions.

    What CCC cannot easily accomplish (as far as I know)... is to easily allow you to "turn back the clock" on a larger set of data... such as a database where (in this example) you need to restore the state of a great number of objects to a consistent state in order for the database to be coherent. Such complex errors are very easy to happen... either by human error or by algorithmic bugs.

    Another example... in fact the reason that I dropped Mozy and switched to Crashplan+ is how the application deals with deleted files. Mozy assumes that if you delete a file, that you do not want it anymore (a very poor decision on their part). Their versioning algorithm deletes such files after 30 days. It is very easy to inadvertently delete data. Back before I was using Aperture (in my PC days)... I inadvertently moved (vs copied) an entire year of my photos to a temp folder that I was using for a project... and which was deleted after the project was over. I caught the error within 30 days... so it was still in Mozy... but I could have easily missed this error for a year or longer... losing my photos of that entire year.

    Don't get me wrong... I love CCC. I have been a paying user supporting the developer since before it was a paid app. However... I have clear needs to protect my data and I take an analytical view of how to best achieve that. In my priority:

    1) Dual backup, using two different programs... at least one of which MUST be offsite.
    2) ZERO human interaction with the above... which pretty much mandates some type of cloud based backup
    3) Deep versioning of both of the programs above... so that I can recover from any temporal errors.

    Beyond that... some nice to haves...

    4) Manual rotating backups to HDDs moved offsite. I use CCC to backup my irreplaceable media (just my personal photos and home camcorder videos)... to a pair of 1.5 TB portable HDDs... at least one of which is always locked in my desk at work.
    5) Working clone IF you need to recover quickly. Personally... I have enough computers and replicated data that this is unnecessary for me. In the event of a full computer crash... I would likely take the opportunity to do a clean instal of the OS and a TM recovery.

    For 1-3, I like the combination of TM to a TC along with Crashplan+. For items 4 & 5, I prefer CCC.

    /Jim
     
  16. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #17
    So I would guess from your answers that you are in a professional activity of some sort and an extreme kind of versioning backup is essential.

    Do most users need versioning of their daily files ? Emails, Spreadsheets, Internet History.
    Creative writers, OK, they need a history of their creation. Artists, OK, maybe them too. The other 90% of us ?
     
  17. freejazz-man macrumors regular

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    #18
    synology is good but the software they include with it is TERRIBLE
     
  18. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #19
    I use both so don't think about CCC’s lack of versioning. Haven't needed it yet in the OS X world, only needed it a couple of times in the PC, mainframe, and VMS environments.
     
  19. flynz4, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #20
    My corporation keeps versioning for all work stuff. I am only talking about personal files.

    To address your questions:

    • Email: Not necessary. I have a setup where every email gets forwarded to an independent Gmail account just for archiving.
    • Spreadsheets: Critical for a few. One I update almost daily. However... CCC individual file retrieval would be sufficient.
    • Internet History: who cares.

    However... there are things that are critical for most people:

    • Pictures: These are irreplaceable. If you delete some by mistake... you need to turn back the clock. If you corrupt your iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom database... you absolutely need a mechanism to restore that database into a coherent database. There is no other choice.
    • Home camcorder videos: Same as pictures above
    • Music: Not necessarily critical, because they can all be re-purchased. Still... you may have many hundreds or thousands of dollars of media that would need to be replaced. Unlike pictures, these can at least be replaced even though it might be expensive. It also might be disruptive to lose the time and effort to recreate your iTunes database if you lost it all. I have dozens of hours of work in mine which I would prefer to not repeat.
    • Movies: Same as Music
    • Paperless office: If you move to paperless office, whichever database you use has the same requirements as any database. Your life information may be in there in electronic form only. It needs to be recreated if necessary... or if you inadvertently delete something... or if the database becomes corrupt.

    Bottom line: I would think that anyone with any reasonable amount of digital assets... needs a robust backup system... and IMHO any backup system that does not contain deep versioning is fundamentally flawed. Would you buy a car that doesn't have seat belts and airbags?

    /Jim
     
  20. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #21
    Versioning is of no use to me.
    However I do have the following on 3 identical NAS units with a hierarchy of backup : Data, Music, Pictures, Movies. I also have a USB drive in a bank vault. So I'm protected against most accidents, user errors and failure modes.

    Do most peoples' data change so often that versioning is useful ? Do they actually remember which version is what ?
     
  21. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Every time you play a song in iTune, organize a picture in Aperture or iPhoto, scan a document into DevonThink, etc... your databases change. Databases need to remain coherent. Sometimes they fail. So yes... data changes continuously.

    Regarding the second part of your question -- The point is not to remember which version is which. It is the ability to turn back to when things actually worked.

    Versioning is a fundamental element to backup. The fact that you do not personally need it (or think you need it)... does not minimize it as a mainstream need. I would suggest that you are the anomaly. I know of no serious and trusted backup program that does not support versioning... and that is because it is fundamental. Even Carbonite... which does not support versioning for the Mac, does support it for their mainstream market... the PC.

    BTW: I consider CCC to be a cloning tool much more than a backup tool.

    A backup program without versioning... is like an electronic history book... that only showed you what happened yesterday.

    /Jim
     
  22. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #23
    Not for me. I only use iTunes to manage the input of audio media. All playback is done through Sonos. My iTunes database only changes when I add or delete stuff and it's on a NAS anyway. You really care about your audio track play count ?

    I'm starting a Photo database to organise my images - I'll give some thought to whether versioning is useful. But then again, my images don't really change once acquired. Ditto Movies.

    It would be useful to hear from other forum members - versioning actually used or not ? I'm happy to be the anomaly but so many forum members want to use a NAS for backup that either they put up with the Time Capsule rebuild issues or they just don't really care that much.
     
  23. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    The problem with your comment above (bolded)... is that it is like asking how many have used home fire insurance. It protects you from something you cannot afford to lose. Few us us ever ultimately use it... but can we afford to be without it?

    /Jim
     
  24. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #25
    I'll wait to see if there are any other posts.

    Fire insurance being used implies that there has actually been a fire (and that the insurance company didn't manage to weasel out of paying out). Ditto versioning - users actually using versioning successfully to find older files.
     

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