What's your data storage and backup strategy?


Ok, I’ve just done a DIY upgrade and literally replaced all my drives by tripling the overall storage (everything replaced except the original Mac Mini 256Gb SSD) - the fun was documented in this thread here: DIY Upgrades

As such, my storage and backup strategy has been modified as per following:


The Mac Mini now has 2 x 256Gb SSDs. Originally, I was going to use 1 as the boot startup disk, and the other as a clone backup boot drive. But I decided to try to squeeze as much speed out the system as possible, and stripe both drives together as a 500Gb RAID0 striped partition, and use that as the main boot drive.

Interestingly, in El Capitan, I couldn’t find the RAID tab in Disk Utility anymore - Apple had removed it! You can now only set up software RAID in OSX via terminal using the following command:

diskutil appleRAID create stripe NameOfDrive JHFS+ disk0 disk1

(obviously use the correct disk device id).

Anyway, the Mac Mini boots off the 500Gb SSD in RAID0, which makes it quite fast now, and I keep my OS and apps on it.

Data is still kept on the Thunderbolt Promise Pegasus R4, but it now has 4 x 3Tb 7200rpm HDDs in it - 12Tb total - initially I was going to run it in RAID5, which would give me 9Tb, but I decided to opt for both speed and redundancy, so it is now in RAID10 giving me 6Tb of storage space, which is more than enough for me in the short to medium term.


I put the new 6Tb 7200rpm HDD in the Thunderbolt LaCie, which now serves as the local backup drive. I partitioned it into a 250Gb partition, which now serves as the Carbon Copy Cloner cloned boot disk, which I used initially to boot up in, to set up the RAID0 for the internal SSDs. At the moment, I will clone the boot drive once a week.

The other 5.75Tb partition now serves as my local Crashplan folder backup for the data off the R4 (before I was using rsync running off a Calendar event through an automator script in app, but Crashplan allows for versioning and roll-backs, like Time Machine but better).

The R4 data also backs up to the Crashplan+ cloud as well, so I have both local and off-site backup of my data.

As before, my work documents syncs to Dropbox Pro, replicated across my laptops.

So there you go, my new setup. :slight_smile:


Now that I have a decent internet connection, I’m looking at Backblaze. So re the promo code, I’m just letting you know… :wink:


Hahaha. Sure thing

Try here: https://secure.backblaze.com/r/01kkja


I used to have a Time Capsule until it died (it was the original one and lasted 4-5yrs so not too bad). I now do occasional not as often as I should do complete clones using SuperDuper onto a couple of external drives that I rotate. Documents are synced and backed up with Sugar Sync, iTunes Match for music, and iCloud for photos. This setup saved me earlier in the year when my MBA died and I was able to restore from a clone via Super Duper and sync the last week or so’s document changes from Sugar Sync.


I still have a dual bay Synology that my macbook air and our main computer an iMac back up to. The iMac keeps everything on it, so also has time machine backing up onto one of the drives and then the other is used with Superduper for a bootable clone. I have a portable drive I keep in my office and do weekly backups for the iMac in case the house burns down or theives steal the lot…haven’t used any cloud backups apart from the doc folder as although I have fast cable the data limits make it hard. My backups are huge really and I’d want to be able to do a main seed and then incremental after that. Did toy with the idea of putting another Synology at my in laws and using that as the remote backup over the web.


I have a Time Capsule… but the truth is, I probably don’t have one. I’ve got a lot of messy back ups of back ups scattered across multiple drives and cloud servers and I should probably sit down and consolidate.


I need to revisit my backup strategy as well.

At the moment only the MacBook in backing up - to a 1TB USB attached drive via Time Machine.

I also need to look at backing up a few VMWare VM’s that are on a an ESXi 6.0u2 server (around 500GB or so in total consisting of a couple of Linux VMs along with 2 Windows VMs) as well as the 4TB of media that I have in my Plex server (nd Ubuntu Server based machine)

The Mac backups are pretty much taken care of, but I might add either an additional Time Machine backup that I can swap out and take off site - I think you can have 2 set up and swap out the drives from time to time and it’ll work it out?? Or make a carbon copy cloner backup each week and take in to work.

But have no real strategy for the VMs or the Plex data, I might just have to invest in a large USB drive and use that to back up the Plex data using rsync and take off site - at worst I might lose a little but of data, but really have no idea what to do with them VMs. I can take them offline then SCP the files to another location but I’d like an method where I can keep them running if possible - not something that I have seen any software to do without a ‘commercial’ type ESXi license.

I’m open to any suggestions.


As far as time machine backups, I’ve had 3 running before, but now I have 3 bootable clones and 2 time machine backups of my system drive. My media is backed up 3 times to thunderbolt RAID 5 and a USB 3 8TB hard drive.


Yeah, my current setup:

RAID 10 - for fast redundancy of media files
Carbon Copy Cloner - daily clone of boot disk
Crashplan - all media and files - 1 copy goes offsite to cloud, another is duplicated locally to an external drive
Dropbox - work docs


I’ve updated a few things in my strategy.

I’ve put the secondary NAS in the back room in the cupboard. It boots itself once a week and pulls a versioned backup from the primary one of all the important stuff and shuts down again. I’ve also automated my documents backup from the laptops with Carbon Copy Cloner too.

I’d still love to push it all to the cloud (or an offsite location) but really want/need NBN upload speeds first.


How do you do that?


I actually have a working backup again… :slight_smile: … of part of my data array… :neutral_face:

Frankly my data is such a mess at the moment… I really need to work through it all and pull things together properly. Started trying to do that when I got my (first of 2) WD 4TB NAS MyCloud, but never finished the job after losing faith straight away when some data did not copy properly (which wasn’t identified til AFTER deleting the source…!). I have 2 x 1TB drives in a “Dual Metallic-Alluminium” no-brand firewire enclosure… I’d love a matching one to rip the 2 x 4TB drives out of the MyClouds, so I can move away from the WD NAS format… A 4-5 bay firewire array would be nice, but eBay just laughs at my budget…


Can relate, hobo. I am in a schemozzle, myself. I was forced to get a new external HD but could only afford one 4TB WD, not even a NAS, my old externals (3x2TB) are all dying - cant complain, they lasted well, but its a pest when budget and need just don’t match up. I’ve been transferring data over as and when I can, and will zero out the old ones when thats done. REally glad I bought Drive Genius, otherwise I might not have known until way too late, what was coming.


A word of warning, Drive Genius is not compatible with High Sierra, and so the latest update DISABLES Drive Genius until they release a compatible upgrade.


Yes… I saw that Apple has created a new file system with their latest OS… Headache city for a lot of people, even if it may be the best option going forward.

That old “Where have all my files gone” text message always freaked me out…


Just as well I don’t plan to upgrade, then :slight_smile:


Is it the best option though? I really dont want to have to futz about with all that. See, as @Matreya said… my Drive Genius wont work. I imagine Data Rescue wont, either. Nor TEch Tool and all the other system apps which third parties create which do a job thats essential to sanity. So there have to be updates. and if you do upgrade there will be no going back. Not for me, I’m over all that. As long as my computers keep working on Sierra, I’m happy. Well, actually, I havent even updated the Mac Mini… what was before Sierra? Yosemite? Thats what I am using on the Mini.


My iMac 9,1 wont even run the latest OS… and if I did try go up from 10.9 to 10.10 or 10.11, I’d have to double my RAM… and if I’m going to crack it open to do that, I may as well add a SSD, so suddenly we’re up to $600 - and for that I may as well just buy a new (ie 5 year old) iMac…


And it will still benefit from an SSD…


There are iMacs on eBay for $500 - $700 (completed price) that have SSD and decent RAM… typically 2010 - 2012 models… So it’s not out of the realms of possibility to find a good deal if you don’t mind the machine being from that era… though it’s getting longer and longer in the tooth. I’m still tossing up a Mac Pro 3,1 or 4,1 as well though… which would help with all the drives that I want to bring together… except then I’m up for a screen, too…