Raid 1 mirroring for non tech savvy girl

malandra

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 1, 2003
117
24
I'm hoping for some low tech advice here.

What I'm looking for is some very secure local storage for about half a gig of photos and various other media with room to grow. I currently use a 2009 MBP. I will need to upgrade, but my storage issue is more pressing than my primary hardware issue. I have filled my 250 gig drive with photos and there is no room for any of my music or anything else. I am currently using time machine to back up to a 1tb drive. I would like to move my photo library and movies and music off the laptop drive onto the external, but that means there will no longer be a back up of any of this data.

So, in short, is the following a good solution for me? One that can come with me when I migrate to a new computer? I really want my photos safe from a drive crash.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/MirrorRAID/
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
304
Canada
So, in short, is the following a good solution for me? One that can come with me when I migrate to a new computer? I really want my photos safe from a drive crash.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/MirrorRAID/
If you want to be stuck on usb2 in the future then sure it will work. New macs seem to be eliminating the firewire ports and never have had native e-SATA. You can just use two external drives with time machine it will backup to both if you wish, still you would need larger capacity drive in your machine to contain all your data you wanted backed up.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
I'm hoping for some low tech advice here.

What I'm looking for is some very secure local storage for about half a gig of photos and various other media with room to grow. I currently use a 2009 MBP. I will need to upgrade, but my storage issue is more pressing than my primary hardware issue. I have filled my 250 gig drive with photos and there is no room for any of my music or anything else. I am currently using time machine to back up to a 1tb drive. I would like to move my photo library and movies and music off the laptop drive onto the external, but that means there will no longer be a back up of any of this data.

So, in short, is the following a good solution for me? One that can come with me when I migrate to a new computer? I really want my photos safe from a drive crash.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/MirrorRAID/
The best course would be to upgrade your internal hard drive to 500GB or even 1TB. It's pretty easy to do. Replace your external with a 2TB or 3TB drive (or even a Time Capsule for no-hassle wireless backups!). Over all it'd cost no more, probably less, than the RAID box you were considering. And keep in mind, RAID is not a backup solution. So if you did get the RAID device, you'd have to implement a solution to back that up.
 

malandra

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 1, 2003
117
24
"RAID is not a backup solution"

I hate to admit I don't know why this is true. I'm not against a time capsule, but that doesn't fix my internal storage problem...I want two full version of all my stuff, and I don't want to upgrade my internal because I'm not planning to keep the laptop for very long.

Can I keep all my non text files on an external and then back that external up?

Sorry for the dumb questions:/
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
304
Canada
"RAID is not a backup solution"

I hate to admit I don't know why this is true. I'm not against a time capsule, but that doesn't fix my internal storage problem...I want two full version of all my stuff, and I don't want to upgrade my internal because I'm not planning to keep the laptop for very long.

Can I keep all my non text files on an external and then back that external up?

Sorry for the dumb questions:/
Sure you can have two externals with the same data on them. I use a program called DropSync that does exactly this makes both drives have identical contents. Doing it that way loses your time machine backup though if you include one of the external drives in the backup it would backup all your data to another external that was used for time machine.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,117
6,555
[[ So, in short, is the following a good solution for me? One that can come with me when I migrate to a new computer? I really want my photos safe from a drive crash. ]]

The problem with having a mirrored RAID is that if the drive is stolen or lost in a fire, you lose everything. You might do better with two "standalone" drives. With two drives, you can store one of them "away from" the other, so that in a disaster (that NEVER happens, right?) you have something to fall back onto.

If what you need is an "archival setup" -- a drive on which to "off-load" important files from your (main) internal drive -- you might consider something like this:
http://plugable.com/products/pss-dd1
(disclaimer: I have no financial interest in plugable other than being a paying satisfied customer)
There are other dual docks available that can accomodate 3.5" drives as well.

Then, pick up a couple of 2.5" 1tb drives.
Initialize both using Disk Utility.
Put the first one in the dock, and "build your archive" either by simple drag-and-drop from the finder, or perhaps use CarbonCopyCloner to "selectively clone" those folders you wish to archive.
When the first archive is complete, put the second drive in, and use CCC to "clone it" the first drive to the second.
Store the second drive at a location -other than- where the computer (and first archival drive) are normally kept.
When you update the "first archive", do an "incremental clone" to the "second archive".

It's important that you don't keep important data on ONLY ONE drive. This is where that "second archive" comes in....

Having a USB3/SATA dock makes swapping drives and doing backups EASY.

By the way, doing what I suggest will probably cost no more than 50-60% of buying the minimal setup from OWC...
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
"RAID is not a backup solution"

I hate to admit I don't know why this is true. I'm not against a time capsule, but that doesn't fix my internal storage problem...I want two full version of all my stuff, and I don't want to upgrade my internal because I'm not planning to keep the laptop for very long.

Can I keep all my non text files on an external and then back that external up?

Sorry for the dumb questions:/
RAID1 mirrors data between two drives in real time. Delete a file and its immediately gone from both drives. Same with any large scale file system corruption. RAID1 ensures your primary data is still available in the event of hardware failure but does not protect against data loss. Backups ensure your data is recoverable in the event of data loss or hardware failure.

I know Time Capsule doesn't solve your internal issue. I'm just not a fan of tethering external drives to a laptop :p But if you are dead set against upgrading the internal, and don't mind adding another external drive, then a straight forward solution is to add another external in the 2-3TB range.

Use your existing 1TB drive for external data storage and let Time Machine back it up along with the internal drive to the new larger external drive. Of course you've got to have both externals connected during the backup process.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,550
417
Atlanta
My libraries of photos, music, documents sit on a LaCie 2Big 6TB that is running as a RAID 1 pair of 3TB mirrored. The RAID 1 configuration is about high availability....keeping the file system available if an HD dies. But RaID is not a substitute for a backup. So my entire file system is backed up to a drive on a separate machine.....a Time Capsule.
 

malandra

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 1, 2003
117
24
Yikes! This is so helpful, thank you all.

I like the idea of a drive stored "elsewhere"...and availability is not really my issue. The stuff I need access to is just text, usually only a few docs at a time. RAID could be overkill? I could, as suggested, get a time capsule and use it to back up both the external and internal. Further remote back up of photos could be simply a plugable set up or a cheapish 512 external?

Should I just pay for backblaze?

I know upgrading the hard drive would make sense, but I'm really not hooked on the whole laptop thing and want a new desktop. I don't need portability; if I'm writing somewhere that's not at my desk, I'm using *actual* notebooks. longhand! I'm dragging my feet because apple doesn't really have what I want now, something between a Mac mini and a Mac Pro. I can't look at an iMac, it's aesthetics are all wrong for me.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
304
Canada
I'm dragging my feet because apple doesn't really have what I want now, something between a Mac mini and a Mac Pro. I can't look at an iMac, it's aesthetics are all wrong for me.
You will be waiting a long time people have been on that same idea for years and Apple does not seem to care to cater to that segment of the market.
 

malandra

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 1, 2003
117
24
You will be waiting a long time people have been on that same idea for years and Apple does not seem to care to cater to that segment of the market.
Yeah, I know. I'll end up with a maxed mini or a minimal pro. Either solution seems ridiculous.
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,513
57
Xhystos
I'm hoping for some low tech advice here.

What I'm looking for is some very secure local storage
So, in short, is the following a good solution for me? One that can come with me when I migrate to a new computer? I really want my photos safe from a drive crash.
[/url]
A very secure system will involve more than one level of backup so that if one fails, then another is still available. You also need to think about how secure you want it to be ? e.g. What if there's a local fire ? Does it have to be secure from that ? Theft from your house ? Theft from your car ? etc

I have 3 levels of backup. Some that protect from hardware failure and some that protect from user error. I don't need versioning so I don't use TimeMachine, but I do use CCC. I have :

1. NAS #1 with multiple drives. This is where my main files sit (not on my MBA - as I only use the MBA at home). So I am protected from drive failure.
2. NAS #2 with multiple drives. Identical to NAS #1, so if NAS #1 fails, I can move the drives to NAS #2. I mirror NAS #1 to NAS #2 every week (I don't generate enough stuff to warrant daily mirroring).
3. In the bank is a USB drive which is copied from NAS #2 every so often (yes, not ideal, but OK for me).

If I wanted to I could also have a cloud version, but I can't justify the added cost. Even then I would only secure about 1TB of the 8TB of data that I have. Of the 8TB, 500GB is data, 400GB is audio and the rest is video.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,131
37
Portland, OR
RAID1 mirrors data between two drives in real time. Delete a file and its immediately gone from both drives. Same with any large scale file system corruption. RAID1 ensures your primary data is still available in the event of hardware failure but does not protect against data loss. Backups ensure your data is recoverable in the event of data loss or hardware failure.
The above is a good post... but still overstates the value of RAID.

RAID 1 does protect you from some hardware failures (such as a failed HDD)... but the complexity of RAID also introduces new failure mechanisms that do not exist in a single drive configuration.

I am making this point to reiterate the advice given that RAID is NOT backup. It is a pretty good enterprise solution when done right (very expensive). For the most part.. when it comes to consumer applications of RAID... I personally think the value is pretty dubious.

/Jim
 

malandra

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 1, 2003
117
24
The above is a good post... but still overstates the value of RAID.

RAID 1 does protect you from some hardware failures (such as a failed HDD)... but the complexity of RAID also introduces new failure mechanisms that do not exist in a single drive configuration.

I am making this point to reiterate the advice given that RAID is NOT backup. It is a pretty good enterprise solution when done right (very expensive). For the most part.. when it comes to consumer applications of RAID... I personally think the value is pretty dubious.

/Jim
Thank you, excellent explanation.
 
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