RAID Setup: Am I going overboard?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DTphonehome, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Hey All,

    I want to have a good backup solution for my Macs that is reliable and as near to foolproof as possible. I was thinking of this setup, but I think it might be overkill:

    Time Capsule (500GB)
    USB RAID Enclosure with 2 1TB drives in RAID1 config plugged into TC's USB port

    I would use the 1TB RAID array as my Time Machine backup disk (shared among my Macs) and the 500GB drive on the TC as NAS.

    Now, am I going overboard by having the external disk being a RAID array? While I don't want to depend on just one disk to backup my stuff, isn't having a Time Machine disk enough backup if my primary drive fails in my Mac? And if the Time Machine disk fails, I still have the disks on the Macs.

    So any advantage to having an external RAID array, besides for the added redundancy which may be overkill?

    Thanks!
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #2
    There is nothing having a redundant array for an external; I've had my back up volume and regular drive both fail on me at once, so a back up for your back up is not such a bad idea.
     
  3. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Whoa, that's pretty bad luck! But I guess you're right...anyway, the difference between a 1TB drive and a 1TB RAID setup is only like $150-200 at most. I suppose that's a reasonable price to pay for a very safe setup.
     
  4. p.luik macrumors regular

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    #4
    I feel you would be better off with an AEBS with 3 1TB drives in a RAID 5 config. This would give you 2 TB storage plus the redundancy. RAID 5 is great for large capacities.
     
  5. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I thought about using an AEBS, but I heard that Airdisk isn't officially supported, and I have several Macs that I'd like to all share one Time Machine disk. Is this not true?
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #6
    It is officially supported. It was included in the 7.3.1 update I believe back when they released the Time Capsule. So as long as you have the latest firmware, just connect to the Airdisk and then select it in the your Time Machine; then you can disconnect from the Airdisk as Time Machine will automatically connect when it needs to back up or when you choose to restore.
     
  7. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Wow, OK, I didn't know that! Now I just need to find a nice RAID enclosure! Thanks!
     
  8. p.luik macrumors regular

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    #8
    Well in your OP you wrote that you were gonna use the RAID for time machine. This would require AirDisk as its not the internal TC drive anyway.

    And AirDisk is now supported as of March 2008.
    http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/19/time-machine-now-works-with-airport-extremes-airdisk-feature/
     
  9. masteroflondon macrumors regular

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    #9
    I have a 1TB Time Capsule backing up all the Macs. I also have an Iomega Rev drive backing up the important stuff again, monthly, to a set of disks. Each disk takes a full backup (not incremental) and 1 of these is always off-site.

    The Time Capsule makes for easy recovery of simple losses, or complete recovery of a whole Mac. The Rev covers any disasters and means I can still recover what matters, I just have a little more work to do.

    So I, for one, don't think you're going over the top.

    If ever you come to restore a whole machine from your Time Capsule, you will be making more use of the disk than ever since you made the first full backup, so I'd suggest a slightly higher chance of it failing at precisely this time, while it's still the only copy you have!
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #10
    I just want to point out that the possibility of 2 drives failing at the same exact time is really really really low.
     
  11. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Thanks for all the replies. So, I'm looking at using a Drobo enclosure with as many 1TB disks as I can afford. Is this the optimal configuration? AEBS with Drobo attached to the USB port?
     
  12. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I know the odds are low, but hey, it happens (as it did to you!), and I suppose I'd pay a little more for the peace-of-mind for when I actually do need to restore my machine from my sole backup!
     
  13. p.luik macrumors regular

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  14. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
  15. masteroflondon macrumors regular

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    #15
    Here's some. RAID 5 or 6 even! FireRAID SR6600 RAID subsystem:
    http://www.raidius.com/UK/RAIDHDD/index.html

    Although I wonder if it supports Time Machine? Does that require HFS+ or something? I wonder if you format these drives like that or if it uses something else internally. Other peoples suggestion of Drobo is probably better.
     
  16. p.luik macrumors regular

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    #17
  17. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #18
  18. rouquin macrumors newbie

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    #19
    The Drobo looks very cool, the only problem I can see with it (and this goes for some other RAID enclosures / units as well) is that whilst they will protect you against a drive failure, what happens if you get an enclosure failure? for example the PSU dies or something goes pop inside?

    Drobo use a proprietary algorithm for spanning the data across the disks, so the only solution you would have would be to buy another drobo (and hope it picks up the existing disks ok), or if still in warranty send it off and wait for the repair, neither of which are very practical if you need to access the data.

    The simplest way to avoid the potential problems is to make sure you still have another backup elsewhere.
     
  19. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #20
  20. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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