Pretty OT...Suggestions to better setup my data storage

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dvdchance, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. dvdchance macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #1
    OK so I know this is OT but wasn't sure really what forum this would best go into.

    Right now my storage is a giant hodgepodge of 3 3TB and a 500gb external drives. And a mix of usb2 (2), firewire, and thunderbolt. Right now it is very vulnerable to a disk failure which makes me nervous, even though it isn't critical data just video and music, it would be a bear to recover.

    I'm looking for suggestions to better handle all of this.

    Right now I'm leaning toward getting a Synology DS411J or 412J as they seem reliable and value minded. Cost is an issue for me.

    What about other ideas? How do other folks with large data needs handle storage? Am I looking in the right area or am I overlooking something critical?

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

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    Mar 21, 2012
    #2
    I would suggest the WD My Book Thunderbolt - it's a RAID system with 4, 6 or 8 TB capacity. While definitely not the fastest TB hard drive out there, it is secure, not too loud and not too expensive.
     
  3. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #3
    I don't see mention of your backup process. If you have a good backup process in place there little risk for disk failure. Putting everything into a NAS enclosure is great for easy storage management but you still need to back it all up.

    I use a single OWC FW800 enclosure that holds 2 2TB drives. One drive holds the primary iTunes library and network share data and the other holds the backup data, performed every night using Chronosync w/archiving. The Time Capsule on the network is for backing up the machine's internal hard drive via Time Machine.

    Keep in mind, a NAS is a convenient way to provide large data storage across a network but you still need to be able to backup the NAS. RAID is not a backup solution.
     
  4. dvdchance, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

    dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thats another missing piece of the puzzle. Right now I have no backup process in place yet for my external data. Frankly, I never imagined my data would grow as fast as it has since I started running Plex and having all my media available to it.

    One of my externals is running Time Machine backups for my Mac Mini HD but nothing for the externals.

    I figure I need to get a handle on the storage before I start thinking about a backup plan.
     
  5. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #5
    Again, you've not said how large your data set is, so i'm assuming all your externals are required to hold your exisitng data with some limited future expansion.

    I don't know what your budget is but if it can accomodate it, i'd get an afforadable NAS first. Large enough to hold your exisiting data with room for future expasion. Preferably time machine compatible.

    Then backup all your data from the externals to it. Get your computer's internal drive backing up to it as well. Either time machine or third party solution or both. I use Chronosync for backing up the large media drive and time machine to backup individual computers. Important thing is to get backups in place.

    After your data is secured with a routine backup process in place, then start searching for a different method of storing the primary data. You can get another enclosure that lets you combine the exisiting drives into one large convenient drive using RAID0, either as an external to your computer or as another NAS on the network, whichever is more convenient for your needs. Then restore your media files on it from the backup device.

    Either way, you'll want a good backup before mucking about with the prImary storage drives. :)
     
  6. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

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    #6
    While RAID is not a real backup solution, it saves all your data from a HDD crash -- not from deleting them by yourself. However, that [disk failure] is the main reason for backups.
     
  7. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #7
    Exactly. RAID (one and up) protects against a device failure. Backups protect against data failure. That's why backups are more important to get in place first. Then add RAID to your storage solution. However, other than RAID0 for its aggregation convenience, i usually recommend not bothering with the expense of RAID 1, 5, etc. if your data isn't mission critical.
     
  8. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for all the great suggestions.

    Right now, all told my data is probably around 5 or 6 tb worth.

    While it's true that RAID only helps in the case of HDD failure, I've already had one of the externals fail on me a while back. Luckly it failed only a few weeks after I got it so I didn't loose much data. Thats why I got a third one hoping to spread the data out so if another failed it would take less with it. Silly thinking I know thats why I'm planning something more reliable.
     
  9. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #9
    Simple Low-Cost Backup Plan

    1. Two onsite copies of everything. How you get there is up to you. I like Samsung drives and OWC enclosures.

    2. Hourly and daily backups using Time Machine and SuperDuper!. I only use TM for files that change often in my Documents folder. SD! is used to create and update bootable clones.

    3. An offsite data backup just in case disaster strikes. I prefer CrashPlan. Unlimited data storage, Mac-like GUI and the best price if you go with a multi-year annual plan. I can skip paying for multiple Mac backups because I backup the cloned volumes that are attached to my office Mac.
     
  10. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #10
    What do you use to create your onsite backups? Do you have a NAS that mirrors your main NAS?

    I'm liking the CrashPlan but it would take forever and a day to get all my date uploaded to start. Even the seed data HDD they offer is only a 1tb disk.
     
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #11
    proper backup of 5 to 6 tb of info will cost money. you need 2 copies and a tm. that is costly. a 4tb lacie thunderbolt is 300 at mac mall if you had 3 of them you are at 900 and can have 12tb of info. that is a start at proper backup. the real question is why 5 to 6tb of info. add a nas with 5 drives for 1k and you have proper backup cost 2k.
     
  12. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #12
    Since this isn't mission critical data, 2k is way more then I am prepared to spend.

    Thats why I figured getting a NAS with RAID5 would be my best cost effective solution while giving me at least some data protection. It certainly would be better then what I have now, where if one of my external HDD's fail it takes a big chunk of my data with it.

    As to your question why 5 to 6tb of data, it's so easy to get carried away ripping a fairly large BluRay and DVD collection to have it always available all thru my house via Plex.
     
  13. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #13
    It's not critical so why bother with RAID5? That can be costly. If you lost the RAID controller device your drive data would be intact but you may be at risk of recovering them if you can't get the identical controller.

    Get an affordable RAID0 device with room for future expansion and and backup your primary drives to it.

    Scenario 1: You have backups in place and experience total failure of your backup device. Your data still exists on your primary device. You replace your backup device and recreate your backups from the primary.

    Scenario 2: You have backups in place and experience total failure of your primary device. Your data still exists on your backup device. You replace your primary device and restore it from your backups.

    Scenario 3: No backup in place but using RAID5 device as primary storage. You experience total loss of your RAID device or data. Your data is gone!

    Can you tell I'm a zealot for backups? :D I did some time years ago as a network manager. Backups are the first line of defense to safeguarding data.
     
  14. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I don't use NAS. I connect individual enclosures via Firewire 800. I've seen multiple-drive enclosures fail when the controller goes belly-up. Then none of the data is accessible until the enclosure is replaced. If an enclosure/drive fails it is relatively cheap and easy to obtain a replacement.

    I use SuperDuper! for manual and automatic backups. I prefer the simplicity and cost benefit of individual enclosures vs. a RAID solution. You can add enclosures to get to the goal of having two onsite backups. Stackable enclosures reduce the amount of space taken up by your backups.

    The sooner you start backing-up via CrashPlan the sooner it will be done. Prioritize your backups so your most important data is sent to CrashPlan in the beginning. If you allow CrashPlan to run backups overnight the data transfer will be faster than if you do it during the day when other processes are running. It may take weeks to complete your initial CrashPlan backup but once it is done your incremental backups won't take much time to accomplish.
     
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #15
    okay don't get a nas with raid5.

    get 1 of these

    http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9237532~pdp.hhbeafj


    and get a 2 bay nas


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108095


    find a deal on black fri. for some 3tb drives to put in it.



    raid5 alone is a bad move. the thunderbolt can clone your nas and you have decent backup under 600
     
  16. evilpaddy macrumors regular

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    Aug 2, 2012
    #16
    Probably more than you want to spend but I cant praise the Synology diskstation products highly enough.

    Great community support. Upgradable to 45TB! Remote access via DDNS. I use a few free products that scan newsgroups and download TV etc - all seamless.
    Currently have a 15TB array that cost $1500 AUD inc. all hardware (DS1512+). It was a big investment but It will meet my needs for the next 5-10 years.

    Looking back, I'd wishes I'd invested in it sooner!
     
  17. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #17
    In case you weren't aware of this ...

    You can have 2 separate backup solutions (NAS, direct connect, internal drive, etc.) and use Time Machine to back up your data to both of them. If you add both drive systems to your Time Machine disk choice, TM will alternate using each drive for the hourly incremental backups. Your full data backup will exist on both backup systems and be current within 2 hours.



    -howard
     
  18. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #18
    This looks like an interesting idea.

    So I use the 2 bay NAS with 3tb drives setup in RAID0 right. Then use the Lacie as RAID0 to backup the NAS.

    Is this how you mean it?

    The only thing is it doesn't give me much room to grow though, since I have probably between 5 - 6tb already.

    I should really add up whats actually being used on my 4 externals right now to know for sure, maybe I'm overestimation what I'm really using.

    ----------

    THis seems real nice. How many drives do you currently have in the array to get to 15tb? How do you have them setup and how do you backup them?
     
  19. philipma1957, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #19
     
  20. LorenK macrumors 6502

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    Illinois
    #20
    You might want to look at Addonics. While they don't have Thunderbolt yet in their array, they have a variety of boxes and solutions that you can mix and match to create really large storage enclosures in which you can add your own drives and raid or not. I have a MacPro and went with their eSATA solution for speed and it was a good solution for me at the time. I have since gotten Rosewill 4 drive enclosures, more compact and less noisy fans, but my Addonics is older, so I suspect that the fan noise is a problem of age. The best thing about Addonics is that if the bridge fails or some other part, you can replace the component yourself, and as technology changes, they've also updated the bridge boards, so that the case is still usable. It is not a "Mac" solution, but since it uses USB, eSATA, and other technologies, it can be used in the Mac environment.
     
  21. ToothTooth, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    ToothTooth macrumors member

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    #21
    That's a good price for a refurbished 4TB thunderbolt enclosure. Can that Lacie enclosure be powered by the thunderbolt cable alone? Or does it require the separate power supply cable to be connected for operation?

    I looked around on the Lacie support website and I couldn't find a definitive answer.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Never mind, I found the answer to my question. This Lacie drive is not capable of being bus powered. It must receive power via the included power supply cable.
     
  22. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #22
    It must use a separate power supply. The pic of the back of the unit shows a port for a power supply to plug into.
     
  23. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #23
    I haven't had positive experiences with Lacie external enclosures and you can find a lot of negative comments online about various Lacie drives. I stick with OWC enclosures because they are available for a variety of prices and they just work. (I got tired of trying other enclosures only to find they don't always support booting a Mac from the external drive.)

    Thunderbolt drives are over-priced. I prefer quad-interface enclosures that will work with Firewire 400/800, USB 2.0/3.0 and eSATA.
     
  24. ToothTooth macrumors member

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    North Carolina, USA
    #24
    I have an OWC Mercury Dual Pro Mini enclosure with two 1.0TB HDDs and, even though it has a power supply port, it can be bus powered when connected to a computer via FW800. This makes for a very simple and convenient connection in my media cabinet.
     
  25. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #25
    yeah but they are 2.5 inch hdds the op claims close to 4tb in storage needs. btw the 2.5 inch setip you mention is good and with the proper firewire bus can work with 4 units or 8tb.

    nitroav makes a 8 port 800 firewire bus. it has 1 fw800 in and 7 800firewire out it has a 3 am p 12 volt adapter firewire you can run 4 owc mini units on itso that is 4x 2tb small drive boxes or 8tb
     

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