Resolved Storage Strategy for Data

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Laust, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Laust macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    How do you store your data efficiently? If your data is a mess, please don't reply.

    I currently keep all my computer files (audio/video/photos/etc) on several storage devices.

    Mac Mini: 1 GB (250 GB + 750 GB - not a fusion drive) I keep my photo collection on the mini. Almost full.
    Seagate HD 1: 4 TB (Videos and Music) Using almost 2 GB
    Seagate HD 2: 4 TB ( Back up drive)

    I would prefer keeping everything on one drive, the master drive of my Mac, but I'm waiting for a Mac Mini that will be able to accommodate the amount of data I maintain, 3 GB and growing.

    I am not looking to clean up my library. I want to keep all the data I have. Yes, I need that photo of the floor that my child took, call me a digital hoarder. :)

    Am I wrong to want all my files unified in a neat package? It bothers me that everything is strewn about and I feel like every time a hard drive fails (luckily it doesn't happen that often), I have to learn how everything is linked up and stored all over again.

    So again, if you have some genius way of managing your large amount of data, in a rather efficient way, I'd love to hear about it!

  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I have no idea what this means....

    How does "learn how everything is linked up and stored" mean? Are you using some complicated setup where you are using symbolic links (just stop, it's a waste of time). What would reducing to even 1 drive do for you? Aren't you using time machine? That would pretty much solve your problem if you aren't. Or just have back up drives that mirror your current drives. Time Machine would be the easiest.

    Fact is, you probably never will have a Mini that has enough storage to cover your needs (short of going with a 2012 or earlier and running dual 2.5" mechanical drives), because it sounds like as soon as a 2.5" drive would cover your needs (i.e. 3TB) you will have outgrown that size.

    I have 16 drives hanging off my main media Mini (granted they are in 4 - 4Bay drive enclosures). Doesn't bother me at all. 1 set of 4 for movies, 1 set of 4 for TV shoes, 1 Set of 4 as a centralized Time Machine backup, and 1 set of 4 for photos, music and other files.

    Doesn't bother me one bit and when I have to swap out stuff due to drive failure or what not it isn't a big deal.
  3. Laust thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    Thanks for your response. What I meant is that the OS wants to put the Movie/Music/Photos folder in a specific location in the User folder. I use preferences to change the routing to my external drives, but it just feels wonky to me. It also seems like occasionally the system places files into the default locations. I'm not sure why this has happened, perhaps because I've had failures of the hard drives and then it places the files in default.

    Regardless, the array you have set up sounds like it is something I should investigate closer. And yes, I do use Time Machine. Would you mind giving me a little bit more info on your array? Any tips for buying? I haven't used one before. I have a mid 2011 MacMini.

  4. Laust thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    What you're doing is similar to how I do it.
    I don't have the large amount of files you have, so I'm able to make do with partitions, not actual "drives".

    I maintain:
    - a separate "boot" volume - OS and apps, bare-bones account (much stored elsewhere)
    - "main" partition for important files (financial, medical, etc.)
    - "music"
    - "media" - photos, ebooks, other media
    - "general" - movies, backup copies of apps, general cache-all (hence the name)

    This makes it easy to know where a particular type of file should go.
    It also makes backups go faster. My "main" backup runs in about 30 seconds, because not all that much changes.

    I use CarbonCopyCloner for backup, onto separate drives.

    If you have as much "stuff" as you say, you're probably not going to get it backed up onto a single drive.

    Do you currently maintain some kind of "off-site" backup for your most important stuff, as well?
  6. Laust thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    Thanks. I have about 3 TB of data (currently spanned over three drives 256 GB, 750gb and a 4TB). I do keep an offsite TimeMachine backup. I've been checking out youtube videos about setting up RAID arrays which seems like it is the direction I'm headed.

    The questions I'm currently trying to figure out is:

    If I purchased a four disk array (something like this), how would I best configure it?

    Could I create a RAID 0 with the first two disks, then another RAID 0 with the second two and create a TimeMachine backup on the second two? Or would it be better to set up a RAID 1 mirroring scheme with the second two. As you can tell, I'm totally new to this, so suggested strategies welcome!
  7. Laust thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    My puzzle is solved. I will purchase this unit. It will give me comfortable room to grown. I will turn it into a RAID 10 using SoftRAID 5.

    Here is the article that finally put it all together for me.
    How to Build a Custom RAID Setup for a Mac

    Thanks for those who pitched in, hoping this thread can help someone else with the same problem.
  8. mac1984 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2007
    Do you need a backup for that RAID array too? If that array itself stops working, will you be able to recover any of the files on the current drives? Sure, RAID 10 is redundant, but what if the array breaks, do you have to buy a new one with the same model in order to bring up the drives you have?

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