How to Backup the Drobo (just in case the worse happens)

I have a Drobo with DroboShare. It’s a pretty 4 bay system that sits in a ventilated cupboard.

There’s has been a few scares in the last year with red flashing lights and a reboot loop that fixed itself, but now I am thinking I need a way of backing up the system.

I have around 900GB of data. I have spare drives and even a portable WD 1TB Drive.

What I need the Drobo to do is to backup to another device (NAS, Portable Drive, etc), just in case something happens? I don’t want any of my PCs or Laptops to be running for this (as they make to much noise)

Has anyone got a non intrusive setup for backing up the drobo, I had a crazy idea of connecting the 1TB drive to my Boxee someone how getting Boxee to pull all the files across over nigtht, every week. I’ve even was going to build a small NAS server that will cron and rsync, but cost and sourcing a system that wont over heat without a fan turned on all day might be a killer.

Any suggestion ???

It is always a good idea (I would go so far as to say it’s a critical requirement) to back up any storage, because backups are often the only way to recover from things like corruption and user error. Fault-tolerance addresses neither of those - fault-tolerance only addresses failure of a disk.

Since you have DroboShare, you could run rsync on the DroboShare and sync it to another network target.

Otherwise, a computer and some scheduled job works. I use ViceVersa Pro but it’s probably “too much” for normal users. :slight_smile:
Roboopy or SyncToy is probably more than adequate for those less crazy/paranoid than me.

I used robocopy to sync off media from the drobo to a WD portable.

But rsync … how would this be setup and fire at a set time ?

off the top of my head, i am think i will need to mount a network share somehow, the somehow add a cron job to run a rsync script …

any guidance would be great

hi if youre using the drobo (like me) as the primary direct attached storage area
you might want to check out syncback

its a cool windows tool that i actually bought, (but theres free versions too) and i use it to copy/synch/mirror certain folders from my v1 drobo onto my v2 drobo
(it can do more automated things once you set it up, but i use it in semi-auto mode to be be in more control) :slight_smile:

Ah, that is the thing, i don’t really want to have any machince on to do sync. i will check syncbank, as i a currently use Memeo Autosync to keep my files in sync for all machince. I tried SyncToy, rubbish, RoboCopy takes amn age. issue is i have a few machinces connected to it, and there’s not one machince i use more, so wanted the bloody think to back itself up…

it starting to do weird things, like restarting itself once or twice a day … last legs ?

Not to split hairs here, but for the sake of clarity, are you looking for something that does replication/mirroring, or actual backup?

They’re similar and often the same tool can do both but they’re not the same.

Replication/mirroring maintains another instance of the data as it exists in-time, whereas backups are a snapshot of the data at a specific time.

Backups can help save you from a deleted, overwritten or corrupted file. Replication cannot.

I am looking for pure replilcation, a complete clone of the drobo incase the drobo fails. (i.e. robocopy \Droboshare\drobo \portabledrive /MIR)

i already have backup of documents (which are being stored on the drobo).

so to be clear … pure 100% clone of what i have on the drobo, updated at regular intervals (like every night)

as we speak, i am copying the whole content of the drobo to a portable 1.5TB drive as i am sure anyday now the blasted thing will die on me ! but with this method, i will have to do this at regular intervals myself.

Cool, thanks for clarifying. :slight_smile:

On Drobo FS or Drobo+DroboShare, you could install and run rsync on the FS or DroboShare.

rsync is a *nix command that can be configured for replication (mirror source to target) or backup (augment/update target).

You could install and use cron, which is a *nix scheduler on the DroboShare to schedule rsync updates to happen automatically.

Both are available as DroboApps to install on DroboShare.

I don’t use rsync myself, as I don’t use DroboShare anymore, but in theory you could hook up two Drobos to the DroboShare have have rsync sync one to the other. Not sure how you’d stop it from sharing the replicated Drobo though.

I’m also not sure whether DroboShare “plays nicely” with non-Drobo storage - never tried… But if it mounts properly on the DroboShare (mounts as a local device, we don’t care or want it to share) then I think you can rsync to them as well.

Here’s more rsync info from my favorite syntax/reference site,

hi ben, just to check on that manual method…
if you are using a non-drobo ext hd to back up extra copies of whats on drobo, then im guessing youre doing that through a computer.

i think the synchback (even the free version) should help be a step up from your manual method, and might even help with the existing manual method. (personally, i always like the manual touch to a process because you can be in a bit more control… if its too automatic and something goes wrong its bad lol

First i will see if i can reach a networked share, before i try anything else.

if that works, then install rsync and cron … as see where i go from there.

can’t believe no business has come across this problem

Exactly how big of a market do you think there is for the ability to sync a drobo to a non-drobo NAS with no PC running anywhere on the network (to manage the transfer) while it happens? Hopefully rsycnc running on the droboshare will work for you in this situation.

From your comment that a laptop makes too much noise to leave on and that the drobo is sitting in a ‘ventilated cupboard’, I would suspect heat from being closed up with lack of adequate ventilation is your biggest risk here (and the primary cause of your previous issues). I would look to address that first, esp if you were planning on putting more external hard drives or NAS boxes in with it. I am assuming that you plan on enclosing them somewhere too, given that most external drives/enclosures I have seen are far noisier than a laptop would be.

would anyone even know how to mount a network drive ?

Have you given any thought to using a service like Backblaze or Crashplan for this? If you did, then your backup would be constantly up to date and offsite as well.

Crashplan even offers a seed drive service, where they send you a drive, you load it up with your data and then send it in (saves big initial upload).

Just a thought.

Sounds interesting, but is this a service that runs on the drobo, as can see how this is going to work without a human monkey doing something

You know, it might be better to consider using something like Crashplan.
One of the backup layers I use is backing up a selection of Drobo folders to a portable hard drive that I bring to the office with me and put in a drawer during the week. (It also backs up the entire Drobo locally, and sends a selection of folders to online storage)

Doing whole manual copies over and over is a lot of drive wear and tear, and it’s a manual step (which can be problematic).

Even using something like RoboCopy (which will cut down on the wear, only copying the changed files for subsequent runs) that will mirror has flaws in that if a file hasn’t changed, it isn’t copied again. Except you don’t know the USB copy is readable because only the file tables were read, not the actual files themselves.

If the file has changed, it still copies the entire file, which may be still a wear issue.

When I use Crashplan it has the following advantages:

  1. No cost if you’re only using it for local backups (though I use it online and happily have a subscription).
  2. data is verified as readable and intact, and automatically repaired if found not to be.
  3. If a file has changed, only the bytes that changed are copied.
  4. I can fit more on the backup drive or use a smaller backup drive as the backup is compressed.
  5. The space savings also leaves room for historical versions of the file. If the source file becomes corrupted, I can restore previous versions from the backup.
  6. Crashplan does deduplication, so there’s even more space saved. I’ve been able to fit large Aperture and iPhone datastores together on a USB drive that wouldn’t have fit natively, but because a large number of the images were in common, I had plenty of room for historical versions over time.
  7. The files are encrypted. So if my backup drive is taken from my office, or is lost in transit, it’s of no use to anyone.
  8. It’s set and forget. It backs up automatically, finds problems and self heals automatically. I can simply plug in and remove the portable USB drive, and with no manual steps or pop-ups it just sees it and brings the drive up to date.

Apart from sounding like a sells pitch, i am interested to know how its automatic if it doesn’t run on the drobo itself, and how it will only copy bits instead of the whole file? does it over ride the file handlers for windows ?

The comparing of backup file and live file is also interesting. I know robocopy is based on file size and modifed date stamp, but are you saying that Crashplan is comparing at the bit level. surly this is slower and provides more wear with deep full disk reads.

Don’t get me wrong, i still do manual back ups, using BeyondCompare, i also have Memeo Backup and AutoSync for pesonal drive to drobo. Robocopy seems to do the trick, even large corporations use it as a light weight backup tool, hence i still trying to understand why crashplan (or any other online back tool with uses a windows service to run in the background) would be better then a stand alone program.