Too many external hardrives!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by fitworldmac, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. fitworldmac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    #1
    I have about 8 external hardrives and need to consolidate..should I get a time capsule? should I wait for the cloud?
    one thing about time capsule....would all my backups go into "time Mchine" , I used that before but it seemed all too complicated. I just want to go into my files and get what I want and store what I want. any suggestions?
     
  2. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #2
    Tell us more. What size are all these drives? Are they all full of different data or do you back stuff up?

    I can't see how a time capsule would particularly help you, especially if you've got more data than a single drive can cope with.

    In general my advice would be to consolidate onto fewer bigger drives, then start doing regular backups onto backup-only drives, which you rotate to a different location. Use a drive dock and bare drives for the backups if you want to keep costs down.
     
  3. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #3
    Bigger fewer drives would mean he would lose more if the drive failed; having MORE drives of the same quality would be "safer" in that he could daisy chain them and use RAID storage, if he would like.

    That's just what I think anyway. But what are they? If they are things like media files, using TM wouldn't help; TM is used to backup a drive that's constantly being changed, like the internal hard drive or SSD of a computer. You're changing files every day, hour, minute, or second, and when the HD dies, you'd theoretically have that exact copy, depending on how constant your backups are of course.

    I have one TC HD for my MBP and one drive for my backup data like movies, photos, and stuff that isn't on my HD in the computer. By doing this, I only boot up the drives to move files to and from the computer's HD, so they get minimal use (increasing the life) and the drove that's most important to to me is always backed up.

    But it sounds like RAID storage would be your best bet, as it mirrors one or multiple drives across multiple drives, so if one HD fails, you can pop it out and put in a fresh one and lose NO data at all.

    Read up on that.
     
  4. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #4
    I don't agree.

    In the real world, 8 drives are a PITA to manage and back up. If it's 8 drives from 100G to (say) 500G, then maybe getting everything onto a single 2.5TB drive with 2 more 2.5TB drives to alternately back up on to would be a big improvement in safety and convenience.

    RAID is not a backup, and a drive failure is only one of the (many) bad things that can happen to your data. RAID adds cost, complexity and extra modes of failure (your RAID controller or NAS box might die) - and it gives you a lot less protection than you think. It won't protect against fire, theft, a virus, accidental file deletion, file corruption, spilling water on the box, dropping the box etc. It only protects against a single bad drive.

    Better to use rotating backups, with one always in a different location.
     
  5. Young Spade, Sep 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2011

    Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #5
    I love how you bring these points up as if RAID itself increases the probability, but yet, using the storage space you suggested has no problems at all.
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #6
    I think the best approach in comparing disk storage and/or backup solutions is to list the potential risks you want to cover yourself against and see which solution addresses that best.

    In large enterprise setups, RAID is only used to provide better 'uptime', it isn't expected to protect against data loss.
     
  7. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Quite true. Multiple RAIDs are always better, different physical location is a great thought.

    but for a consumer who is only storing their personal data, as long as its not such a massive quantity that it will fit nicely on a 2.5 TB drive, then multiple 2.5 TB drives rotated out for backups, with one kept in a different physical location isn't a bad route.

    If you can afford something like Drobo, it's a good way to go, but again you may lose physical security (against theft, fire, etc.) if that's your only solution.
     

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