Nas for Mac Mini Server Backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lumencreative, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. lumencreative macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #1
    Have finally decided on going down the Mac Mini server route for our office and I'm now looking for a backup solution.

    The plan is, the Mac Mini server will act as a file server and time machine backup for two - four macs in the office. I also want to be able to use as an ftp server to backup our web servers.

    I then want to backup the Mac Mini server to an external drive which will then sync with something like Acronis Cloud via Acronis True Image or Microsoft OneDrive, etc.

    Is it worth getting something like a Qnap NAS drive or should I go with a bog standard USB drive like the WD MyBook?
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Don't waste the money (and reduced performance) for a NAS when a USB3 external drive will do. I've got 12 TB of external drives on my Mac mini server and it does just fine. I clone the more static drives (and keep the clones offsite) and use CrashPlan for the more dynamic data.
     
  3. lumencreative thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #3
    Thanks for your post. Out of interest, what external drives do you have?
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    OWC - http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB although mine are older (no USB3). Never had a failure with the housings (I've bought most of them without drives), and have had only one drive failure. The aluminum housing keeps the drives cool yet doesn't require a fan.

    [​IMG]
    Disk toaster is used for backup cloning (to bare drives). I've got three more OWC drives not connected to the server.
     
  5. lumencreative thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #5
    Thanks for the post. My main concern with USB enclosures is that although I've not had any enclosure fail, I did tend to have issues with disks failing in them more often than I would've liked, although those were IcyBox 1 and 2 bay enclosures. This is why I thought a NAS drive would be good as I could get a 2 bay NAS enclosure that supports RAID and Mirror the drives.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I agree with Talmy. You should not need (nor want) a NAS. The Mini Server performs that function.

    If you decide you really want a 2 (or more) bay array... I would recommend that you get a DAS vs a NAS. Why would you want to deal with another NAS when your server can provide NAS functions to your entire network. Just attach DAS arrays.

    /Jim
     
  7. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I have a Mac Mini Server and a brand new Synology NAS.

    The Mac Mini is used as a general file server and media server only. Its backed up to USB3 drives. I use my Time Capsule for Time Machine backups of all my systems, and external drives for backup images.

    The Synology NAS was provided to me - I would never have purchased it myself as the Mac Mini Server is so much more flexible. Hence the NAS sits unused - switched off most of the time!

    NAS as a backup is a waste. If you really want RAID in your backup solution, there are RAID enabled DAS units like Drobos or Lacie units etc.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    I have both a mini server and a Synology but for different reasons. I do not use the Synology as a backup for the server. That is done via other means.

    For backup of your server, the use of a DAS or external drives is the best way to go. In addition you need to consider off site backup. If you have a decent internet connection then a cloud service is good. Otherwise you need a plan to swap drive around to different locations.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    This seems odd. You are buying a Mac Mini because you think it is the best why to backup and serve files to other Macs and then you are asking what to buy to backup the Mac Mini. Well. if the first answer was a Mac Mini then the second answer should be "a Mac Mini". Why would your second iteration be different?

    Then looking at it the other way. If a Synthology NAS is the best thing out there, why did you buy the Mic Mini?

    Don't say they do different jobs. You said File server and FTP server and a target for Time machine. Any decent NAS can do all those things. A Mac Mini can do those things too.

    Here is what I would suggest:

    1) Buy Two IDENTICAL systems, each of them should have space for several disk drives

    2) Program the second system is keep itself synchronized with the first system, It will Mirror it continuously. Place this second system as FAR AWAY as you physically can. Hopefully in a different building but at least down the hallway. A fire or (more likely) theft of the equipment should b=not take down both systems at the same time.

    With this, if system one goes dead you have a backup with system two. It's a mirror and you can quickly turn it into the primary. You also have only 1/2 as much to learn.

    Then #3. sign up for a cloud backup service.

    What system would I buy? I'd buy or build a FreeNAS system. These are by far the most powerful and cost effective NAS systems but then I have the technical background to work with FreeNAS. If you lack that something like Synthology is also very good

    More here:
    http://www.freenas.org/about/features.html

    Macs are great because of there user interface but a server is run with with no monitor or keyboard most of the time. You want a good remote access ability. FreeNAS does that. It's build on BSD and ZFS. I'd use two of these and let them keep in sync.
     
  10. lumencreative thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #10
    Thanks for your post, however, you have missed the point slightly.

    The Mac mini was already in my possession so I have opted to keep it and use it rather than try to sell it then buy the NAS that I liked for £40 less than I get for the Mac Mini (resale value of Mac Mini £400 if I'm lucky - NAS drive I liked was £360). My second reason for sticking with the Mac Mini is that there are an abundance of reports about difficulties with Time Machine backing up to NAS drives.. I just want a system that works and that can be relied upon.

    I don't agree with your sentiment that because a Mac Mini was chosen first time round, I should then use a Mac Mini to backup the Mac Mini. That doesn't make sense because both systems will perform 2 very different tasks.

    The Mac Mini server will act as Access control, File Server, Time Machine Backups for a number of computers, FTP server to backup the web servers (in essence a central unit). Whatever option backs up the Mac Mini server will only be backing up the one device. It won't need to connect to the outside world, it won't need to pull data from numerous machines, it won't need to serve files in the office, it will just backup the Mac Mini server.
     
  11. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    It hangs on the meaning of "backup". Is it to be a backup for the data or a backup for the server? If the server itself fails, what is your strategy? A backup server keeps things running while the primary server gets repaired.

    But we know from your OP that you are interested solely in data backup.
     
  12. lumencreative thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #12
    Yeah it's the data I'm concerned about more than anything. I will be using Acronis True Image for Mac I think.

    I have just bought a 2 bay RAID enclosure so going to give that a go and see where we go from there.
     

Share This Page