Storage And Backup Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by el duder, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. el duder macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2009
    I have about 500 gigs of movies music and photos I would like to move this to a separate storage off of my 24 inch iMac so i have more power and space for video editing. While speed is important for photo editing and video playback it is not everything to me. I am highy confused by RAID and know I will mess it up.

    I have researched DROBO for storage and just want to know if those whom complain about speed are just on a much higher level and looking for more than me. Also seems like there are reliability issues. It seemed much cheaper was thinking about JOBD set up with TowerRaid TRUT5. Then I could probably buy two and use one to back up the other. Thoughts?

    My needs are simply to expand my music and movies and keep it safe and secure. While making the backing up process as easy as possible. Best programs that auto copies new data over. Any one know?
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    With your iMac you basically have three options, of which two are viable.

    I'd say you get what you paid for. USB (2) has a maximum throughput of roughly 35MB/s. More than enough for video playback, too less for copying large amounts of data, though.

    Up to 110MB/s provided that you've got a really good NAS ($1000+ devices reach this throughput) and a decent switch. This is as fast as you can get with your iMac. Might be a little overkill for your application, though.

    This seems to be the sweet spot for your needs. Transfer rates of up to 80MB/s for a good price. Enclosures that have FW are a little bit more expensive than USB only devices, but not that much and the performance increase is definitely worth it, especially if you're constantly moving large amounts of data from your iMac to the drive and vice versa.

    The transfer rates of the FW800 are about 50MB/s read and 35MB/s write. Not as high as other RAID systems, but still fast enough for a pure data storage solution like in your case. Streaming video won't be a problem.

    The reason why people go with a RAID system is generally for capacity, speed or availability (or with parity based levels all of them).
    Speed can be erased from this list in your case since you will always be limited by the connections your iMac provides. Single mechanical hard drives can already saturate any possible connection of your iMac.
    So we're basically down to capacity and availability.

    How much storage do you actually need and does it have to be always available?
    Keep in mind that RAID is no means of backup. What a security designed RAID (1 and parity levels) level does, is keeping data available if a drive failure has occurred. It is no backup.
    So regardless of which RAID level or device you use (if you're going with RAID altogether), you'd still need a proper backup.

    How do you specify auto copy?

    What I do is using Carbon Copy Cloner to back up the data on my computers to local file servers or local external drives. The backup to the servers are scheduled on a daily basis at night since the server is always present.
    The backup to external drives can be scheduled with CCC as well. It incrementally backs up all new data to the drives as soon as they get connected to the computer, which means as soon as I turn them on.

    Try CCC, really a great program for backups (clones of your iMac's boot drive as well) which is also free.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Agreed with the above. A raid is nice and all but that's something you should consider after you figure out your storage needs and once you learn more about your options. The 100% important thing is that you have a backup of all your files. If you don't, i'd turn the computer off right now and get online @ the library or something. I had the good graces of being exposed to a very methodical enterprise backup coordinater back in the day and this let me realize how important it is so...yeah lol sorry off topic.

    Ayway, i'd just go for a few drives, either the Western Digital MyBook Studios or perhaps the OWC 3.5 Enclosures and outfit them with your own drive. For storage, the single drive enclosures will be more than adequate and will offer you a number of choices; USB, FW, eSATA (and yes, you can have an eSATA port, although I do not know whether or not the 24" is a capable model). After that, hook em up, use CCC or SuperDuper! and away you go. If you get a substantially larger drive, say a 2TB drive and 1TB "data" drive, you can use the 2TB Drive to backup both the Data drive and a copy of your OS drive, and you might even have enough space left over for a decent time machine backup.
  4. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    The WD Elements drives are the best for Macs, IMO. They are small, quiet, and you don't pay for software and features that Macs don't need. Just get a few of those and you'll be fine.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You have only 500GB, thus 2TB FW800 drive should be fine. RAID is nice if you need more than a single drive can offer and/or parity, but sounds like it's not worth it for you.
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    the OWC drives would be a much better deal if looking for the *best* match to a mac.

    -Aluminum enclosure (disappates heat better than plastic) which happens to match the imac (amongst others)
    -twin fw800 ports for daisy chaining
    -Robust Oxford 9xx chipsets
    -Included software bundle (Intech Speed Toos, 2 backup solutions for mac, 1 for windows).
    -Three year warranty (vs WD-E's 1)

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