Raid mirror or automatic backup copies

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by radiogoober, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    Quick question. I just ordered an enclosure that allows 2 hard drives to be either setup as RAID mirror or JBOD (or RAID one big volume, but I don't wnat that.) I sincerely just want my data to be safe. Is it better to do a RAID mirroring, or just have them as two volumes, and have my carbon copy cloner copy the contents of disk 1 to disk 2 each night (giving me two copies of the same data.)

    Thank you
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Neither is safe. Any systematic data error, corruption, inadvertent deletion, etc would be a permanent unrecoverable error. Best case... you end up with two copies of the same corrupted data.

    First and foremost, you need a backup solution that keeps revisions. Ideally, they would be kept infinitely.

    Second... you need a second backup system that automatically, without human intervention backs up your data offsite. This is for disaster recovery.

    Until then... not much matters. If your backup solution is robust... then you can flip a coin... but I would personally probably choose RAID1 mirroring... unless you needed the performance of RAID0.

    /Jim
     
  3. radiogoober thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #3
    flynz,

    I can tell by reading your post that you know a ton more than I do about back up solutions. I hope that if I tell you what I'm currently doing for backing up you could make a suggestion or two:

    Mac mini:
    - my ~/Documents, ~/Development, and ~/Desktop are all backed up automatically onto my Dropbox account. So all those documents are stored in a remote location accessible anywhere.
    - the hard drive is backed up, with revisions, by TimeMachine (q 1 hour) and kept on a hard disk on a different floor of the house
    - each night my mac's HD is cloned, via Carbon Copy Cloner, to an external drive that is bootable, etc
    - currently, my iTunes library is kept on an external drive that is always connected to the computer. Each night this media drive is cloned (rsync, not a block copy or whatever) to another external drive.

    I feel pretty good about my strategy so far, because I have multiple backups of my important files, and it all runs automatically. But I do not have any offsite backup for my media, but I do for my documents, etc. I have been unable to find an affordable, practical solution for disaster recover. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you kindly
     
  4. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    That's the hardware set up I use for my iTunes library. One dual-disk enclosure configured so the 2 disks show up as independent drives. One disk drive holds the primary data and then I use Chronosync to run daily backups (incremental) to the second drive.
     
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #5
    I like the three location backup stratagy. Two local one offsite or in the cloud.

    Incremental backups yes.
    Ability to roll back your backups in case you get a corrupted file yes.

    Especially if you have lots of documents and the like that you want to keep safe.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    From your original post (before the one above)... I thought this was your sole backup plan. My apologies.

    Some thoughts:

    1) I also use Dropbox, but I am careful of putting sensitive information there. The reason is that Dropbox has the key to your encrypted data, which means that the data is much more vulnerable than any backup that is performed by a key that you solely control. I generally do not consider dropbox to be a a "backup" destination... but rather a "sharing utility". Having said that, dropbox does provide versioning... so it does contain a history of your data. I think that aspect is a bit clunky, and since I do not consider it backup, I have never analyzed it's versioning characteristics. As a data sharing site... I think dropbox is currently unparalleled and I am a huge fan.

    2) I like you TM backup plan. Keeping it on a different location than your computer is wise... because it provides some (modest) protection against your local junkie performing a "smash and grab"... and taking your computer and backup at the same time.

    3) Cloning your Mac HD highly is fine, if you have a legitimate reason to need a bootable backup. I have no such need, so I do not do this. If I have to rebuild... it is trivial enough to reload the OS (or get on on a new computer)... and then restore from TM. I tend to work day and night... and I do not want to be waiting for a cloning process to run. I also have several computers, so if one craps out... I'll just move to a different computer.

    4) I really do not like the idea of cloning the media folder nightly. This is a hole in your strategy because you are not protecting yourself with revisions... but you already know that. Recommendation to follow:

    For offsite backup, there are several good services. I used to use Mozy, but I switched away from them because they only offered 30 day storage for deleted items. I felt that was way too short in case of inadvertent deletions (we are human... we make mistakes). I switched to Crashplan+ (make sure you get the plus). If you buy a multi-year plan, it is only $3/month for unlimited backups of a single computer. That is unbelievably affordable IMHO. i actually use the $6/month family plan because it allows me to back up all of my computers, including those of my daughters who live out of state (one out of country) going to college. This is the deal of a lifetime. My backup set for my "main" computer is 1.4TB last time I looked.

    /Jim
     
  7. radiogoober thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #7
    Flynz,

    Thank you kindly for the suggestions. I am definitely going to work on integrating them into my system. Also, thank you for telling me about Crashplan+. That is a fantastic price, I had no idea that any service existed that could do that, at that price. $6/month is perfect.

    My only problem now is that my ISP recently instituted caps and I'm limited to about 250 gigs per month, so I'll have to slowly upload my stuff to Crashplan, but its no big deal. It is still awesome.

    Thank you again
     
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #8
    Never heard of Crashplan, thanks for this, looking into this as we speak. Thank you.
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    For a one time fee (I think $150)... CP will ship you a drive that you use for backup locally, then return to them and 100% of your data will be instantly backed up to the cloud. I'll be doing that with my 1.4TB of data when I get my new iMac.

    /Jim
     
  10. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #10
    RAID 1 (Mirroring) is your best bet.

    Upsides.

    1. If enclosure/controller breaks, you can retrieve data from either drive.
    2. If one drive dies, you can still retrieve the data from the other drive.

    If you use RAID 5, etc, you will have issues if your controller breaks, etc.
     

Share This Page