How do you backup your 5D3 on macOS?


I’m looking for practical examples of what others are doing to physically backup their 5D or 5D3 in a macOS environment. Are you using another Drobo 5D3, and if so, what utility are you using to maintain the image copy; Are there any gotchas if I want to keep the 2nd Drobo turned-off most of the time and maintain 2 sets of physical backup images?

For context, here’s what I presently do:

  • I use Time Machine to maintain on-the-fly continual backups of my iMac SSD
  • Once-per-month or before major HW or OS changes, I also:
    — Update & verify a backup image of my SSD to a folder on my primary external drive using SuperDuper!
    — Create & verify a bootable backup of my SSD to an independent portable drive using SuperDuper!
    — Physically backup my external 11TB-of-data to a set of external disks
    — Both backup sets are then placed back into an on-site fire/waterproof safe in another part of my home
  • Every other month after updating those backup copies, I physically rotate my home version with another set I maintain in my bank safe deposit box

What I end up with is: Time Machine provides independent on-the-fly file and effectively an SSD backup for the system part of my data; RAID helps prevent data loss from single/double disk failures for my bulk data storage; Should a physical failure or loss still happen, my independent home safe backups of both are up to 30 days old; and then if those are lost or stolen, my offsite version of everything is a max of 60 days old. It’s a balance of risk and convenience I am willing to accept.

Note 1: I’ve tried cloud-based apps like BackBlaze, but with my max 6Mbps internet upload speed, it takes 2 months+ to complete an initial backup or if I do any major file directory changes. A complete restoration is impractical via download (weeks), and would cost a fortune to have drives sent ($189/4TB), with hoards of my time required to figure out how to break up my 11TB+ of data into 4TB chunks on those drives, and then put it all back together once the drives arrive. It sounds good, but for me, just isn’t very practical if the worst restoration scenario were to ever happen.

Note 2: I formerly had a Drobo 5D that I backed-up with a series of Chronosync Tasks which I painstakingly designed to break up the Drobo’s 11TB+ of data into logical folder groups that fit on multiple 4TB external drives. I loved my Drobo and it worked well for me, but the complex process involved with the physical backup process I require became complex and tiresome. Earlier this year, I sold my Drobo and migrated to a dual NAS environment, where I now use the 2nd (cheaper/slower/less-capable) NAS to maintain 2 sets of rotated backups. The NAS are great after I did all the studying and got them set up, but I have now proven to myself I don’t use or need most of the more robust functionality they are capable of, and miss the Thunderbolt speed and ease-of-use with my Drobo DAS in daily use. As crazy as it is, I am considering migrating back to a Drobo 5D3 as my single large external drive once again – with a 2nd Drobo 5D3 that will be kept off most of the time, then rotate my 2-sets of backup drives I already own (and use with my NAS for the same purpose) to maintain a simple single image copy of the whole drive via Chronosync. Since I can’t find a reasonably priced tape solution (which would be awesome from a portability standpoint), it seems owning dual 5D3 would be much simpler and give me improved throughput (Thunderbolt) for my needs.

Your thoughts are appreciated.


I’m not an expert, but’ here’s how I do it.

I believe two Drobo’d are a good choice for back-up and safety.
I got a 5Dt at home, hooked up to my iMac, and uploaded/backed-up to Jottacloud.

I’ve different folders on my Drobo, photos, documents, movies, music etc.
When I first started uploading to Jottacloud, I did one folder at the time.
(No problem doing all at once, I just liked to see one was backed-up before I did the next).
Now, when all folders are uploaded, Jottacloud, like most other cloud storages just upload/back-up new files.

Every few weeks I bring in my 5c, which is stored off-site to back up my 5Dt.
I’m using Carbon Copy Cloner.

In theory, I should be pretty safe.

If one of my Drobo’s should totally fail, I can get a new one and put in the old disk set from the failed Drobo, or I could copy from the other Drobo. Worst case scenario, I could download from Jottacloud.

I can recommend Jottacloud. Fast, reasonably priced, and no storage limit. Also based in Norway, with one of the worlds best privacy laws. And for me the service has been very reliable, and the customer service is good. www.jottacloud.com


Thanks very much for your reply. I’m going to migrate back to a dual-Drobo 5D3 environment before Spring.

Happy Holidays.


Good luck!