Storage Solution for Multi-mac Home

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rupnok, May 2, 2009.

  1. rupnok macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002

    I am looking for some advice from folks on the best storage solution for redundancy & speed.

    I currently have:
    Main Desktop: iMac 2.8gHz with internal 1TB HD
    HTPC: macmini 2.0gHz with internal 500GB HD

    They are currently connected via gigabit ethernet, and I am syncing my Music, Movies, and Photo files every day between the two. I am interested in guarding myself against catastrophic failure. A few options I've considered:

    (1) Newertech ministack with 1TB HD as a Time Machine backup

    (2) Building my own NAS device (using the MSI Wind Nettop), with two 1TB HDs set in a RAID 1 configuration

    (3) Attaching the OWC AL Elite-Pro 2x1TB to my iMac

    I am also about to sign up for a Mozy account (but am open to suggestions on Carbonite/BackBlaze/other alternatives)

    I am getting serious about storage and backup, but I need some help!
  2. scan macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2005
  3. rupnok thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    I've taken a look - and I've ruled it out for a few reasons

    (1) Proprietary file format
    (2) Venture backed company - I don't think it's making significant profit yet
    (3) Cost prohibitive - I want to stay under $450
  4. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    backup just the iMac

    If you are syncing the iMac and Mac Mini daily, then it seems like you already have at least one backup of your data (if one computer goes, you have the data on the other). My suggestion is to keep it simple. Get a 1 TB drive in a firewire 800 case, connect it to your iMac, and clone your iMac to the backup drive using SuperDuper. SuperDuper has a smart update feature, so after the first backup, it only copies the changed files to make a bootable clone of your iMac drive. Do this a couple of times per week, and when not backing up, disconnect the backup drive and store it somewhere off the network.

    If you are really concerned about both computers, get a 1.5 TB external drive, partition it into 1TB and 500 GB, and clone both your iMac HD and Mac Mini HD to it (to each partition, respectively).
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First off an internet based backup will just not work if you have 1Tb of data. It would take months to sinc up.

    The other thing is that you are going to need off site storage. Just buy a set of external hard disks and rotate them. Keep one off site, one connected to the compute and the other in a desk of file drawer. Rotate them and every year replace the oldest drive. In addition keep on e Time machine drive connected full time to each computer.

    About "copying your data". That is not a good idea. The way Time machine does it is better. It does increental backups. The thing to avoid to over wrint old data with new. For example a file gets corrupted but it's OK because you have a backup. That is until do the next backup and over write you good copy with the corrupted version. Far batter to keep all those old version for as long as you can. Any incremental system will work, TM, Retrospect. or simply rotating a number of hard disks, with four disks you keep four old version.

    When you design a backup system you have to look at what are the true risks to the data. The high risk things are (1) theft of the equipment. (2) fire, flood, lightening striking the power line. (3) software screwup that corrupts a file or set of files. and lastly the most common is (4) operator error such as accidental file deletion and so on. (5) your disk can fail.
  6. rupnok thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    This is SUPER-helpful - thanks! As far as internet backup, I was only going to back up a 30GB Photo library, and maybe some of my home movies - nothing totally more than 100GB.

    Your point around incremental backup is very well taken. One of the ideas I had was (2) A RAID-1 NAS that I would use as a my Time Machine backup. I don't actually have 1TB worth of data on my machines - probably closer to 300GB

    So as far as I am concerned, I use the macmini as a dumb head for the iMac, and should probably just think about the iMac as my main computer that needs to be backed up.

    Given cost, do you think it would be better to do two external driver, rotated, or one drive, with RAID 1 configuration?
  7. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    why not both?

    Why not do both copying and incremental backup? The superduper developer has a nice article on his website on the rationale of doing both types of backups and the benefits of doing both.

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