Some advice on my backup strategy

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cassady, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Cassady macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #1
    Hello all,


    I have a VANTEC NexStar HX4R running 4x 2TB WD Reds connected to my Mac Mini, set to RAID 10 (1+0).
    I've partitioned the drive, leaving 1TB for TM to backup my Mini, and 3TB for media.

    Others (and numerous Google searches) advise against using RAID as a backup. Fundamentally, I get why - but given my usage, does anyone here have an opinion on whether I should still worry about backing up my RAID as well?

    My Mini is essentially a further backup for the MBP and MBA in the house, along with two of the kid's iPads. Nothing unique is found on the Mini - all essentials (family photos etc.) are originally stored on the two laptops.

    Where the Mini does have unique data, it's media mostly - ripped kiddies DVD's etc., setup through Plex, feeding the other devices. It's also connected to the 50" Plasma in the lounge, for viewing the said movies.

    They way I see things, using RAID1+0 in this instance, is seeing a TM that is backing up a Mini that has critical data already found on other devices - devices which are uniquely back-upped themselves using TM to different externals.
    Therefore, it's surely unlikely that both Mini AND RAID were to fail at the same time? And even if that were to happen - the original data could still be recovered from the laptops or their TM backups? [In the case of my MBP - I have both TMs AND cloned disks as well]

    Any thoughts on this? I kind of feel forking out for another 4TB external, to backup my RAID is kind of overkill, given my use scenario... AFAIK, most of the advice against using RAID as a backup, is where critical data is only being stored on it - which is not the case here?

    Suggestions/opinions would be welcomed!
     
  2. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #2
    What's your recovery plan if there's fire or theft at your house? No TRUE backup solution is complete unless there are accommodations for off-site backups to be able to recover from a physical disaster (fire, flood, theft, tornado) at the location.
     
  3. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #3
    Well, before we start the discussion this is the first question. Are you OKAY, with cloud backup? Carbonite, Carshplan etc...? If you are against that then you pretty much just do what you do, and maybe do a weekly backup and either keep a hard drive at a friend's house or a safety deposit box.

    Another question most people seem to skip over, do you encrypt your backup? These days people are getting pretty smart, those that break in and steal your stuff might not know the value of your data, but their friends might or whoever can get their hands on your backups. It always freaks me out a bit when people do TM with no encryption. I can basically walk up to your TM, unplug and plug it into my machine to get to your data.
     
  4. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #4
    Thanks all.

    Hmm. TM encryption is something I never thought to do, but having read that – I no doubt should! Can it be switched on after the fact? I.e. can I simply make future TM backups encrypted?

    Cloud – upload speeds this side are simply to painful to give serious thought to Cloud backups, unfortunately. I did throw my entire family's Photos library on to Flickr, care of the uploader (although, the latter seems to have broken with El Capo), and that took me over two weeks... I know that once it's done, it's done – but it is not worth it to me at this point...

    Regarding theft/fire – yip, that's a biggie. My laptop has off-site back-ups, but not the wife's (external stays home). Might be something to consider. As for the RAID and Mini failing, well – that would only be fatal if both laptops are lost as well, which I guess could happen in a fire.

    That all being said though – seems that with the exception of encrypting TimeM, and getting off-site backups, for my purposes, the RAID1+0 will be ok then...

    Thanks for the input!
     
  5. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #5
    You are missing one very important part of any back strategy -- off site!

    What happens if in a disaster (e.g. Fire) or theft, you lose everything in the house?

    You should look into a cloud backup service like Backblaze or Crashplan to add another layer of backup to keep your stuff really safe
     
  6. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #6
    In my opinion you are way over-thinking this. If something happens to you nobody will be able to figure out where your stuff is. The reason for buying Apple is to benefit from their environment. Just buy the airport time capsule to backup the portable devices using whatever is the standard setting. Any fixed desktop machine if you have one should have its own backup drive.
     
  7. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #7
    Time capsule is too expensive and option, unfortunately. As soon as I have hardwired the house, the Mini will become a backup for everything else - not feasible now, since the house is too big for effective wifi backups.

    That said, I don't think it's that complex. Two laptops with external drives for them, a Mini with a RAID attached, running TM.

    Thanks for the input though.
     
  8. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #8
    You can get the 2TB airport time capsule for $179, and the 3TB for $279 from the refurbished section of the apple web site when they are available. They are there now. The range can be extended by adding remote antennas, which is lots easier than running cat-5 to everyplace.
     
  9. Cassady thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cassady

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Sqornshellous
    #9
    Were I in the States, or wherever with easy access to iStores and Refurbs, it would be a no brainer. Down these parts, the base model still costs significantly more than a new 64gb ATV4 - and the 3TB is just crazy expensive, as in more than double the cost....

    So that puts a bit of a damper on things...
     
  10. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #10
    You just hit another important point, which is "what happens to your stuff if you got hit by a truck kind of situation". Take me for example, I use two main tools, Crashplan and BT sync.

    Basically I have my server, where EVERYTHING is stored/synced to (family photos, my work stuff, my research etc...). Now, out of those, my family (mostly my wife) really only care about photos and videos. I seriously doubt if anything happens to me she would want to bother with my research and work stuff.

    So at this point everything has a master backup (Crashplan), photos and videos, are sync (via BT sync) from server to her personal laptop which is at home, also a copy on the server which she also has an account on, all the stuff is also sync to my own computer at home on an external drive (encrypted) but she knows the password.

    So at this point, unless, simultaneously, something happens to me, plus we have a break in, plus our house was destroyed then would she lost all the stuff she wants to retrieve.

    Backing up wasn't bad, but it took awhile before I can make sure she would have access to all the stuff she wants at all time.
     
  11. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #11
    Nothing wrong with RAID, but one of the purposes of RAID is to remove a SPoF, its not a recovery tool or backup as such - a delete is a delete and it gone. You need to put the data as a copy onto another device. Use a cloud provider to get the data out of the house or a separate copy to something in the garage for example.

    I dont like DAS, i use NAS for many reasons but one is i have a connection to a cloud provider and the device provides backups on a schedule or on demand basis. Also means i "could" access the data from anywhere.
     

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