Need help with storage and backup strategy

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by imahawki, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    I am undergoing a project to put all of my DVD library (~700 disks) into iTunes so I can stream them to my Apple TVs and put some on my iPad when I travel for work, etc. I think this is around 1.5TB right now

    In addition, I am an "advance amateur" photographer and have tens of thousands of photographs consuming many GBs (thought not nearly as much as the movies). I actually don't have an exact idea, this is somewhere between 60GB and 200GB.

    I consider the photographs to be absolutely mission critical. I CAN NOT lose them. I would be absolutely devastated. I consider the movies to be a very close second. I could reproduce the content frankly but there are HUNDREDS of hours of work into ripping and encoding them.

    I have two problems.
    1) In general, I am running out of storage. I currently have a 3TB Seagate FW800 drive and have used 2TB of it. The last TB will last me a while, but not super long and I want have a plan in place before I'm completely full.

    2) I am in even worse shape for backups. My backup drive is only 2TB. So basically between the photos, movies, and my iMac system backup, my drive is full and can't even complete a backup right now.

    I signed up for crashplan and started a backup. Its telling me I have nearly 50 days remaining which sounds about right. I could let this keep going or I could pay $125 and seed the backup.

    If I relied solely on crashplan as my offsite backup, this would ALSO free up my additional 2TB drives for local storage (I actually have 2 because I currently rotate my backups offsite). But it means I don't have full control of my backups which worries me a little, though not overly.

    My other thought is to get a 4-5 bay NAS. But I'm worried about this because if I finish the Crashplan backup and them get a NAS, is Crashplan going to recognize it as the same data or is it going to make me re-backup 1.6TB AGAIN???

    Additional thoughts:
    1) I'm mildly concerned if I let the crashplan backup finish online that my ISP will shut me off eventually.
    2) Crashplan says they send a 1.5TB drive for your seed, which wouldn't even cover all of my data.
    3) As my data grows, if I continue with the crashplan option, I could have 4TB, 5, 6, who knows. Are there going to be significant additional fees from crashplan if I have to do a mail-me-a-hard-drive restore of 6TB???
  2. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    I'm in a similar situation. Your best bet is to get 2 NAS with multiple bays on for your house and one for off-site backups but this will be costly.

    Others probably have better suggestions.
  3. imahawki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    I thought about that but that could easily be well over $2000. Maybe even $3000.
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Do you seriously need an offsite backup especially as an advance amateur photographer?

    I do photography as well, businesses and magazines and my backup solution is no where near complex as you're making this out to be and I do just fine.

    I would just do a 2 or 4 bay Synology NAS for 4+TB of storage, then replicate to externals and mail them out if you REALLY need off site backups.
  5. imahawki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    Yes. I'm also an IT professional and if your data is in the same place its a copy, NOT a backup. If you don't want to potentially lose it it needs to be physically separated. But I'm just talking about taking a drive to my office. Its not like I'm sending tapes to Iron Mountain.

    When you say replicate to externals, what are you suggesting? If I had 4TB of data, what external drive will hold a copy of that?
  6. Orlandoech, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

    Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    lol Im also an IT professional.

    This is what I do, but I believe you have more data than myself.

    I have a MBP with a 750GB Drive, which is backed up to a 2 bay NAS of 2TB total. Now I dont have near 2TB of pics, music, files, Im sure I would if I ripped all my movies but Im too lazy to ever do so. Id rather just pop in a disc than spend hundreds of hours ripping and finding a container and codec that has a quality to my liking. I then just back up to a 2TB external 3.5" and travel with if (if I can remember lol.)

    Why not then just a hot swappable NAS/DAS?

    Or what about a DROBO solution?
  7. imahawki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    Yeah, the root problem is I need a scalable main storage AND backup. So if I did a NAS/DAS I feel like I would need two units (main and backup) and THREE sets of drives (main and then two sets for the backups so I can rotate).
  8. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Well if you want to complicate it, then its going to get pricey. I think you're over doing it but thats my opinion.
  9. mtbuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Let us know what you choose

    I'd be very curious to hear what you choose. I'm not an IT Professional, so that might be part of my issue (which I just posted here:

    But it appears I need a new back-up system, and I'd like to hear what you end up getting and how it works. Thanks!
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I think that you are thinking soundly. Good job so far.

    I would clearly pay for the seeding service with CP+. You will perform a backup to the drive they send you. I would make sure that the most important data that you have is backed up first.

    As you are probably aware... within CP+, you specify what you want backed up. I would start with my photos, documents, home camcorder videos, etc. This is all data that could never be replaced. Beyond that... I would check enough music and movies to get your seed drive fairly full and then send it in. That way you know your critical data is backed up... and you have a head start against your replaceable media collection.

    Personally, I do not back up the MPEG-2 version of my video collection to CP+. Instead, I just keep them on a 8TB WHS box. There is some protection there... but honestly, if they were destroyed (ex: fire), then the insurance would pay to replace all of my melted DVDs.

    I am pretty disillusioned about storing lots of videos. Personally... I think it will give way to streaming services over time. If I had to do it over again... I do not think I would have bought the WHS, and I often wonder if it is worth the power to keep on. I do load my H.264 (MPEG-4) movie versions into iTunes, and they do get backed up to CP+... but I even wonder about the wisdom of doing that.

    I agree with you 100% about the wisdom of having an automated offsite backup strategy. At least once a week (probably closer to once a day)... some poor soul write on this site about how they lost all there data. It is unfortunate, but completely avoidable.

  11. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Here is my new revised setup.

    MBP with Optibay Mod and 750gb drive which is backed up to a Synology DS212j NAS (raid1) and the 750gb drive is also replicated to a Seagate GoFlex 750gb FireWire 800 drive which I take off site daily.

    I was debating on backing that Seagate drive to another external at work and let that drive sit at work.
  12. imahawki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    I ended up coming up with a plan. All I really needed was to bounce some things off other people so I appreciate all the input.

    For my primary storage I got a Drobo S. I decided I didn't need a NAS and everything that would go along managing that. I've always had my main PC acting as a server for other computers and media devices (Apple TVs, etc.) in the house forever. So I knew that was a setup I could easily manage. I also did have to evaluate what I could live with from a data redundancy perspective. Basically (to be IT nerdy) I had to sit down and develop my requirements.

    I also decided that as long as I didn't buy something that was not at all scalable or made the situation more complex (like having 4 external drives hooked up at all times etc.) that I didn't need to solve the whole problem all at once.

    So now my situation looks like this. I am backing up to Crashplan so that will serve as my catastrophic event backup which hopefully I'll never have to use as it will be expensive to restore from. If I have to I'll pay up, gladly, but I won't be restoring over the internet. I've got my primary storage on the Drobo which is expandable. I'm backing up via Time Machine to what USED TO BE my primary storage which for now is a big enough backup. If that gets to be too small, I'd actually consider a backup Drobo. But I can keep costs in check by not needing to rotate my backup off-site since I have a catastrophic backup plan.
  13. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I am in a similar situation and this is the solution I've come up with.

    First, I have decided that I have 3 backup tiers.

    Tier 1: Critical stuff that I cannot lose (e.g., contacts, documents, photos, original home video clips). About 600 GB total.
    Tier 2: Less important but stuff I rather not lose (e.g., edited home video). About 1.5 TB total.
    Tier 3: Stuff that I can regenerate (e.g., music ripped from CDs and downloaded from iTunes, video ripped from DVDs, apps that I can re-download). About 2 TB total.

    For tier 1, smaller data are synced to iCloud and/or Dropbox. Larger data are backed up over CrashPlan. In addition, both are backed up to Time Capsule (2 TB 4th generation).

    For tier 2, data is backed up to newer external hard disk periodically as well as CrashPlan.

    For tier 3, data is backed up to older external hard disks.

    I am considering replacing external hard disks with used Mac Pro ($1000-1500, depending on the vintage), which can accommodate 4 SATA hard disk out of the box, and 6 if you get creative.
  14. doveq macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010

    I think your drobo solution deserves a two thumbs up. I just bought one for my office and i just love it.

    That being said i havent bought one for my house as i am hearing that time machine is having issues with the drobo fs (network only, no firewire). Im actually trying to find out whether anyone has got time machine working on a drobo fs.
  15. imahawki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2011
    I just wanted to drop in and give an update in case people search on this thread in the future. I bought the Drobo S and migrated my data over. I have (3) 2TB drives installed in it giving me 3.57TB total with single drive failure protection enabled. I decided to go with CrashPlan as my catastrophic failure backup and will continue to backup locally as long as hard drive sizes permit, just to have a local copy to restore from. Once my media library gets too big I'll rely on just the cloud storage (CrashPlan) and I'll do local backups of only my digital photos and system image. That should last me for years as the bulk of my data is my iTunes library.

    As far as the Drobo, the ONLY negative comment I have at all is I wish Drobo had a way to show actual capacity in the native OS (i.e. in Finder and Windows Explorer). Instead you have to setup a volume size when you initialize the device and can't change it after that without formatting. So in Finder it shows that I've used 1.8TB of 16TB right now because I set up the volume as the MAXIMUM size. Otherwise if you set it to something smaller (say 4TB) when you go over that, it creates a new volume. I didn't want 5 different volumes or whatever it might end up being so I formatted it to the maximum supported size for the time being.

    Speed seems to be just fine, I didn't benchmark because I don't care as long as it meets my real-world use needs, which it does.

Share This Page