Time capsule or Airport extreme + Drobo?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mugambo, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Mugambo macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2009
    Which of the below do you think will be more stable to wirelessly backup data for my macbook pro.

    While at it, apple website claims backup of iPhone/iPod touch using time capsule? anyone with any luck?

    Any advise/comments/suggestions welcome
  2. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008

    As far as I know apple as already made the choice for you (as usual) since any external hard drive you plug into the airport extreme can NOT be used for wireless timemachine backups. It can only be used as a wireless network drive (drag and drop files).

    If the airport extreme allowed you to plug in an external USB drive and use time machine with it, i doubt anyone would buy a time capsule.
  3. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    Well, I've got a extreme and the 1Gb drive that is connected through usb does function as my time machine drive since the first update that made it possible. However, I bought a 1Tb time capsule yesterday to remove a lot of clutter with cables and housings, get an extra 1Tb and to have the dual band.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    you're talking about two different animals here. The drobo is mainly for those who have a big media collection and want a place to store it with redundancy and keep adding drive in it.
  5. garyd9 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA area
    I'll give you another alternative...

    An Airport Extreme and a readyNAS device cabled to the airport. readyNAS, depending on the model, is very "drobo-like" in that you can add or change drives for increased storage needs, and also provides a bit of redundancy in the storage in case any single drive fails. Oh, and it natively supports Apple's AFP protocol and time machine (with no hacks needed.)
  6. pknoot macrumors newbie


    Apr 7, 2009
    Northern California
    Sorry, but that is incorrect; I currently use not one, but two 1TB USB drives (using a hub) with my Airport Extreme to back up an iMac, two MBs, and one MBP using TimeMachine. Works like a charm!

    I think the Drobo would be overkill for this purpose; I have a 4TB unit that is used for media storage. As far as I can tell, you could hook up a fair number of USB drives to the Airport Extreme for a lot less $$ than a Drobo...
  7. Trekkie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2002
    Wake Forest, NC
    o/ Let me introduce myself, I'm known as overkill.

    I have a Mac Pro, iMac, and a Macbook in my house. Between the three I have just over 2.0TB of storage, wit about 1.2TB in use so far. This is mostly RAW files from almost eight years of family photography, a bit of digital home video, and more music / TV shows than I want to count worth of iTunes Music Store.

    I've been using a Time Capsule since it came out, but as I feared I've filled the thing. In my efforts to research an external drive to put on the thing I've tried a few different products.

    Product #1. The HP MediaSmart EX485. hate the thing. I don't know why this won best of show because the Time Machine support sucks. You can only back up to the size of the hard disks, even if it supports four of them. It's not mentioned on their site anywhere but if you try and save money and buy say 750GB drives instead of 1TB or 2TB drives and put four in for 1.5TB of space you get a surprise that your biggest Time Machine backup is only 710GB.

    That kinda sucks when you have 900GB to back up, no?

    So yeah, you could buy another external drive and plug it into the time capsule, since I only have 1TB of space on mine (first generation) and buying a second one seems silly. having lost several lacie or other external drives over the last few years now drive redundancy is a bigger issue for me.

    So, later today I will be plugging a Drobo into my Time Capsule to expand it beyond the (full) 1TB of storage in it. Going to move two 1TB drives from my HP MediaSmart server and plug in a new 2TB 'Green' Drive. I'll write up what happens when I do this but everything I've read says this works fine.

    We will see.
  8. Trekkie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2002
    Wake Forest, NC
    Well I've had my Drobo installed for almost a week, and the initial 700+ GB is almost fully backed up over a 802.11n connection It's been running 24x7 since late last tuesdays.

    This was the first time I've ever hooked up a disk to my time capsule so I was surprised by the fact that the next disk shows up as a second one. So now I have my MacBook and iMac backing upto the internal disk and my data heavy Mac Pro backing up to the drobo.

    The drobo has 2x1TB Drives and 1x2TB drive in it, giving me 1.8TB of space. This should last me for a little while before I need to expand some more.

    I initially set the drobo up using the MacBook and then plugged it into the Time Capsule. It functions pretty self aware on the Time Capsule yet none of the Drobo management tools can talk to it, so you need to rely on the visual cues of the Drobo if anything is wrong. I have mine with my time capsule in the garage and I check it when I come home at night. I've got about 40% of the drobo used according to the ten blue lights across the bottom and it's solid green on all the HDDs.

    So far, so good. I'll keep watch on it but I'm pretty happy with how it works. My initial time capsule backup should finish sometime today. It was currently in the 760 of 760gb phase that sometimes continues to increment to 761 of 761 etc while it does that initial backup. once it's complete I'll breathe a little easier.

    My plan is to reconfigure my Mac Pro RAID array and take one 500GB drive out and use that for boot camp. Since I've had it three years and haven't been able to fill the 2TB of space I have I am going to use windows on one drive for a few games I like to play. Waiting for Windows 7 to come out but I'll try out the restore then. For the restore I'll probably run a 1Gb network cable down due to the amount of data but so far, I'm happy with my overkill.
  9. b8b macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    How are things going with your setup?

    I am looking for a solid budget solution to share media and have TM backups. I do not have an AE yet (can it be done over any N router?). I am about to buy 3 MBP's for the fam to switch from PC to Mac.

  10. Trekkie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2002
    Wake Forest, NC
    still running. I moved the Drobo to the Mac Pro though, and it now has 3x2TB HDDs and 1x1TB HDD.

    The Drobo worked well on the Time Capsule but every once in a while the TC would put it to sleep and the only way to wake it up was to unplug/replug and/or reboot the TC which got old. I had a disk failure in the Mac Pro and the restore would have taken a year over the wireless so I moved the Drobo to the Mac Pro and kinda never moved it back.
  11. b8b macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    Any advice for a n00b wanting to do a reliable/easy/inexpensive solution on a budget? :)
  12. stevespa macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Reliable/easy and inexpensive don't collide in the same sentence very often. Time capsule is probably the cheapest way if you don't have another wireless router. I have an Airport Extreme connected to a Drobo, and it works well for me. I also backup off-site to backblaze. Not cheap, but I feel pretty secure.

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