Need backup advice?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mediaark, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. mediaark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #1
    Hey first post,

    I have a mac pro and I have 4 drives installed. Stock 500 and then 2 x 1TB (Which I RAIDED) I used Disk utility and choose to duplicate (I believe that’s RAID 1) so now it shows up as one drive at 1TB.

    My Set up.
    500 Gig-Boot Drive & Applications
    1 TB- Home Folder (2X 1TB in a RAID)
    500 Gig- Time Machine only on Boot Drive

    How safe is this? I have heard good and bad things about Apple Raid’s? I do a lot of video, graphic design, and I am so tired of external drives. I like the idea of a Raid if one-drive dies; I can rebuild the raid by simply replacing a drive.

    I haven’t removed my files from my old computer. So I did a test and yanked one drive and nothing happened I was able to open all my files. (I replaced it and it rebuilt the raid and everything was good again) I just don’t know how safe this is? I have been reading forums where suddenly both drives become un-readable. Do I need another back-up?

    Thanks in advance for you input.

    D
     
  2. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #2
    RAID is not a backup system. It is a higher availability system. You still need to do backups. Using Time Machine is fine.

    S-
     
  3. mediaark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 18, 2009
    #3
    I don't understand how that is not a back up. I have 2 drives that I want it to back-up automatically (Hence RAID) isn't that the point? What is the point of even having a raid then? I just like the idea of saving and having it on two drives.

    I strongly dislike time machine. (The interface is childish, it gets extremely bloated, it hogs system resources) One render can be 5 gigs and then time machine needs to keep a 100 different versions of every file.

    I apologize for the “tone” no one can give me straight answer on this. I just don’t understand Raid 1 if it can all blow up anyway… The number 1 reason I bought a Mac Pro is to do a RAID so I can have a bullet proof backup.
     
  4. claimed4all macrumors 6502

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #4
    Raid 1 is Data Protection, not a backup.
    Protection helps if a drive fails. A backup helps when you delete something and don't notice it for a month and realize you need it.
     
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #5
    Picture this: You delete a critical file and empty the trash.

    Raid 1 = the file was just deleted off of both drives. You now have nothing.

    Backup = you dig the file off of a backup drive.

    the beauty of time machine is it keeps multiple backups so if you delete a file a month ago, and find out about it today, you can go back far enough to find that file. If you just do -1- backup to another disk or whatever you choose, then by then you'll likely have written over the backup that had the file you need and again you're stuck.

    Although time machine is a bit of a system drag when running, and I agree about the interface, it does seem to be a very elegant solution for the vast majority of users who don't understand backup very well, which I would argue includes you.

    RAID1 will save you from a single drive failure, and that is a good thing, but it is NOT {A GOOD} backup {STRATEGY}.
     
  6. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #6
    RAID 1 is all about having higher availability. If a drive fails, you don't have to restore your data from backups because you are still up and running. You put a new drive in to replace the one that failed and the array rebuilds itself.

    Why is it not a backup? What happens if you have an event that erases important files? What if you delete a series of folders by accident? They are gone. What if a power surge takes out both drives in the RAID 1 array?

    Again, RAID is not a backup system. It is a high availability system meant to reduce the possibility of down time. If you treat it as a backup system, you will be very unhappy at some point in time.

    Time Machine's interface is not childish. It's provides a familiar view to access files that have been backed up. You may not like the interface, but it is simple and elegant. It is much easier to use and understand than traditional backup program interfaces.

    I don't get how Timer Machine is a resource hog. I hardly notice it on my system. I expect it to use the all of the drive I have it backing up to so that is not an issue. You don't want it backing 5GB files? Put them all in a folder that Time Machine does not backup and back them up manually to the Time Machine volume or somewhere else. That's what I do with my VM's. In fact, I wrote a shell script that backs them up and run that script whenever I feel the need and every Saturday.

    S-
     
  7. justflie macrumors 6502a

    justflie

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    #7
    For backup purposes, what about a Drobo? I'm considering getting one just for home use/backup but it's an interesting, Mac-friendly system that might fit your needs. drobo.com for more info. I don't have any personal experience with one but I've heard good things about them.
     
  8. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #8
    I use a DROBO for my time machine volume. Multiple points of failure, makes me sleep well at night :)
     
  9. inigel macrumors regular

    inigel

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    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    I reckon Time Machine is perfect. I used to use it with a Time Capsule, but that is a real system hog. Backups would take almost 10 times longer too.

    So I switched back to using an internal HDD in my Mac Pro and it runs perfectly! Now I just have a 500GB Time Capsule to flog off to someone.
     
  10. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #10
    popping in a drive to use with time machine is perfect for the mac pro.
     
  11. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

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    #11
    Instead of Time Machine, I recommend investing in a solid backup program like ChronoSync, SuperDuper, etc. I use ChronoSync and while its i/f may not be the most simplistic, for any user who takes the time to understand what the various options do, it is incredibly powerful.

    Right now I have a 500GB and a couple 160GB's in my MP with a 320GB external over f/w (looking into a NAS, but cash is tight ATM). Depending on the content, I have set up ChronoSync to either keep a defined number of versions of a file or for a certain period of time with unlimited versions. This method has saved my butt numerous times and simply is a product I cannot live without.
     
  12. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #12
    ChronoSync is a fine program, but overkill and too complex for the average user. Time Machine is a "solid" backup program that is simple enough for anyone to use but provides what most people need from a backup program.

    I have using complicated backup programs on Unix and Windows systems for many years. I find Time Machine, which is free with Leopard, to be more than adequate for my backup needs. And I certainly appreciate the simplicity of the user interface.

    S-
     
  13. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #13
    I have to agree that TM is a very well designed program that suits the needs of a lot of people very well- and ANY program like it that makes it simple for people to actually DO backups is worth its weight in gold. Now if they could just find a method to make the most current backup bootable like a CCC/SuperDuper clone so that no time would be lost while obtaining a replacement drive and restoring the data to it it would be pretty close to perfect in my book.
     
  14. kudukudu macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #14
    As numerous posters have said RAID is to help with performance and prevent downtime. I am sure Wikipedia has a good overview of the history and rationale behind this stuff. RAID1 doesn't protect against the following scenarios:

    1. accidental deletion of files
    2. software related corruption of data (bug, virus, etc.)
    3. Fire/theft

    Anyone who has a time investment of family photos, videos, financial information, etc. should have 2 backups of all data at a minimum: one on-site and one off-site. The frequency of how often the backups are swapped depends on how much data you feel you can afford to lose (e.g. days, weeks or months). This is the only way to guarantee that you can safeguard your data against all of the scenarios listed above. This is how enterprises manage their data, often having learned the hard way that a single on-site backup is not good enough. Disk drives are pretty cheap these days. Do yourself a favour and pick up a couple of WD 1TB drives from Costco.

    I prefer super duper over time machine since I really like the idea of having a bootable backup disk. I also sometimes have booted from my backup to perform disk maintenance on my primary drive, but each to his own.
     
  15. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    is a state of mind.
    #15
    I would keep your apps where they are, but move your user to the 500GB drive then TM everything to the RAID TB drives.
     
  16. jasleinstein macrumors newbie

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    Nov 18, 2008
    #16
    so what is a good back up strategy?

    I am struggling with two backup issues. First space. I have 4 TB growing to 5 TB of digital media, %95 photography. At a minimum I need two copies, plus the original.

    I here several of you say raid is not for backup, but what happens when we have to back up a RAID array?
    I don't see a choice other than another raid system.
    Is there a tape system out there?

    We thought the Drobo was a cool idea. After a month of struggling with the product and support, we have concluded there are serious issues there and the product is not reliable, and very slow, less than 10MB/sec copy, takes thirty 32 to 36 hours to rebuild a disk, etc.

    Second question what about back up software? Time Machine is interesting but will only create first back, not the second. We like it as it keeps the files in native state so we can easily find them if we need to.
    We tried Super Duper and it had a few bugs. Does Chronosync work in large data sets? I see that EMC is about to ship a new version of retrospect, but I hate it when these back up systems create their own data structures.

    thanks for you help in advance.
     
  17. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #17
    The RAID is not a backup thing is more specific to two disks in a RAID 1 configuration not being a backup system, i.e mirroring your active drive isn't backing it up). Using a RAID to store backups on isn't an issue. Infact it's a step further than many go.
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #18
    I still like tapes, although nearline HDD backup is pretty much there in terms of replacing tape for a single-site backup. It's still pretty quick, sure and portable.

    An example of an OS X (and Retrospect) compatible autoloader is this:
    http://www.tandbergdata.com/us/en/products/search-result/?action=11&product=121&ref=166

    You can even remove the worry of forgetting to rotate tapes by having someone come in to pick up the tapes and actively prompt you to do so, and taking it away to a secure location. Recall offers a service like this in many metropolitan locations, and it's only a couple of thousand a year in many cases.
     
  19. Bartman01 macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #19
    If I read this correctly, you are backing up your system to another drive in the same system. This kind of defeats a big piece of the backup process. If something happens to that system that kills the main HD, there is a decent chance it will kill the backup HD as well. A good backup solution should be backing up the system to a separate device/system and a really good backup solution should use multiple backups that include off-site copies.
     
  20. inigel macrumors regular

    inigel

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    #20
    I use it as a backup in case I delete files I need. My "true" backup happens about once a fortnight when I travel. I do a Carbon Copy of my primary HDD with all my data to an external FW drive, and take it away with me. I also do the same for my PS3 and take my Xbox 360 HDD as well. I don't care if someone breaks into my house and steals all of my stuff (that's what insurance is for), as long as I have my data for easy restoration, that's fine by me.

    And the chances of my house burning down and me being in a car crash that destroys all my data is pretty unlikely.

    Until now, I think I jinxed myself.:eek:
     
  21. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #21
    What type of scenario would do this outside of typical life span of a hard drive or two hard drives failing at the same time? I am perfectly happy with an extra hard drive on Time Machine in my Quad G5.

    Do you mean a catastrophic power surge?

    I do email my important files to myself once in a while. I also have two separate firewire Time Machine back ups that are not current but contain the bulk of my photos, emails and files from a few months back.
     
  22. Zyniker macrumors 6502

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    Feb 14, 2008
    #22
    RAID 1 is a backup plan, not 'system'...it's just not a spectacularly good one. For the obvious reasons such as it doesn't protect against physical harm to the computer.
     
  23. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #23
    Do you have a problem with my use of the word "system"? Why?

    No, RAID 1 is NOT a backup plan because it would be a spectacularly bad backup plan. RAID 1 was never intended to be a backup plan and it does not offer what backup plans are intended to offer.

    That's kind of like saying that dollar bills are toilet paper. It's not what they designed to be used as and they certainly don't do a very good job. But you could them as toilet paper.

    Regardless, RAID, whatever level used greater than zero, is not a backup system. It is a higher availability system. You still need to do backups. Using Time Machine is fine.

    Anyone thinking that RAID 1 is a backup system, plan, or whatever you want to call it, needs to have it explained to them why it is not.

    S-
     
  24. Zyniker macrumors 6502

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    Feb 14, 2008
    #24
    Oddly enough, I don't need RAID explained to me (quite the opposite, actually). You are mistaken here. RAID 1 is a valid backup plan. Like I said, it's not a good one. However, it is a backup:
    "2 Computing the procedure for making extra copies of data in case the original is lost or damaged : automatic online backup | [as adj. ] a backup system."
    RAID 1 (as I'm sure you know) makes a 'copy' of the data on one drive onto another. Yes, RAID is a high-availability system; however, that fact does not preclude RAID 1 from being a backup plan, which is very obviously is. Your argument that RAID 1 is not a backup plan because it would be a "spectacularly bad" one is quite simply false. A Pinto is a spectacularly bad car, it is, nevertheless, a car.

    That being said, I still recommend an actual backup plan. Preferably Time Machine and something else (depending upon how sensitive/important the data happens to be). Personally, I use Time Machine, sporadic backups using Carbon Copy Cloner, and Apple's Backup app once a month (to DVD).
     
  25. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #25
    Zyniker,

    Backup: A copy of a program or file that is stored separately from the original.

    RAID doesn't do that.

    Read this article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup

    It doesn't mention RAID at all. Why? Because RAID is not a "backup system" or "backup plan". Someone thinking that RAID 1 offers them a backup system or paln doesn't make it a backup system or plan.

    S-
     

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