Sensible setup?

Hi all,

had a Drobo for a few weeks now, all good so far. I have it set up with my iTunes library on it (about 1.5tb) and it has four 1tb Hitachi drives in it, formatted HFS+ in one 16tb partition.

I have then re-used my old 1tb WD externals as follows

Drive 1 - Time machine for main mac mini drive only,
Drive 2 - Copy of my iTunes movies folder,
Drive 3 - Copy of the rest of iTunes - TV shows, music etc.

The copies are done on demand with an app called FolderSync so I can choose when to backup, as data does not change very often on the drobo.

This seems to make most sense to me as it gives the constant availability of the Drobo allied with a full copy of the data in an uncompressed easily accessible form. I estimate it will be a year or so before i need to expand the drobo. I was thinking of another ‘backup’ drobo but the price-point does not make sense for data that is just home use only.

Sound ok?

hi davek, the concept/model of having a drobo used as primary, and copies of your drobo data on standard readable disks sounds good. :slight_smile:

for me i actually went with a 2 drobo setup (with one mirrored onto the other) plus selective data saved in readable media plus selective data backed up offsite.

my next aim is to expand on what i have currently but yes there are pros and cons to different methods, and most have a pricetag attached to them :slight_smile:

some cloud features might help prevent you from having to buy what you already bought if you delete it by mistake but am not too sure.
however from some horror stories /rumours i heard about itune libraries, its good that you always keep a separate copy of your files, eg separate and readable without any apple dependencies whatsoever, that way if your ipod gets stolen or lost etc, you’re not limited to having to purchase another ipod, you can get a cheaper music player etc.

just be sure to be careful with that FolderSync and make sure you know what its going to do before it does so. eg, if something goes wrong and your library shrinks or files vanish, then it wouldnt be good if your foldersync did the same to your only backup copy of that data - if you see what i mean :slight_smile:

Thanks Paul,
I have just this week got a second drobo with the same capacity as my original (still working perfectly) so I can use it as a mirror backup.

I am using SuperDuper to perform scheduled copying of the main drobo. I originally had the filecopy app set to copy but not delete stuff, the downside is that the backup drive fills up with stuff that is usuall not wanted again. This time I am setting superduper to keep mirror copies, both methods have advantages but as I am only ruining backp once a week, I have time to find deleted stuff before backup clears it.

No backup is perfect but a mirror image seems the best option I feel.

My main concern is that the main drobo corrupts and then gets backed up thus corrupting the backup drobo? What happens if the main drobo suffers a drive loss during backup??

Am I getting paranoid?

oh no youre not paranoid, thats a normal feeling in general when it comes to any backups :slight_smile:

what i do (on windows) is to run a chkdsk on all my drobo volumes, one at a time.
then when they are confirmed as ok, to do a syncback (one volume at a time)

for Extra cautiousness, you could try a (read only) scan, and then proceed with the Fix option if it showed some errors, rather than a Scan&Fix process, but i heared that sometimes a read-only scan might not always find all problems. (needs citation) :slight_smile:

as long as you can do your synching/backups with a frequency that you are able to (approximately) remember what has changed, and as long as you read through what the changes are (BEFORE) they take place on the destination, then that process has been working fine for me.

(eg, once i was working on the mirrored drobo by mistake - and when i later when to synch my main folder with mirror folder, it said that this action will “delete” x files, of xMB… i was puzzled as to why, and then i realised and corrected the mistake by cancelling the sync, and manually moving the files back to the main 1st drobo, and then running the synch again from there.

of course - i did a copy and paste operation (with parity verification) rather then simply a move command, but maybe i was paranoid? :smiley:

Hmmm, maybe it’s better to not use scheduled copies?

User intervention to check the integrity then start a manual copy cycle, filecopy has a preview function where it will scan target and source then present a list of changes including any data to be deleted. I have been using this for a year and thought ia scheduled system would be better but now I’m not so sure???

I think scheduled is better than “when the mood strikes,” as long as the failure modes are understood and acceptable.

I agree that it’s not wise to automate removing potentially valuable (backup) data. This is where incremental/differential backups are useful, because you merely add more backup data without changing what already exists.

[obmention of CrashPlan]

Yes, both superduper and foldercopy have options to only add data, never delete it, it’s good but does result in the backup drive filling up before the source drive, swings and roundabouts I guess.

I’ll go with weekly automated probably, see how it goes.

hi davek, how have things been going so far?


Both Drobo’s are still ok, got them stuffed with 3tb drives now, about half full.

I have ejected the backup drobo and only do a manual sync when i have added more films to my main library, paranoia about backing up damaged data got the better of me :slight_smile:

My data does not alter too often anyway so it seems a fair system.

I did look into consolidating my system into one 8 disk drobo but the thought of relying on data protection and no backup did not seem good.

I also looked into changing for a NAS option but no supplier currently has a NAS box powerful enough to transcode 1080p media real-time so I’m still running the drobo and mac-mini to do the grunt work.

thats good to hear :slight_smile:

it’s good to have 2 baskets to put food in, in case a basket breaks.
that way you can still access the food from the other basket while the 1st gets repaired.
(just be careful not to overfill any basket past the drobo free space, because while it might seem possible to drop stuff onto the basket, anything that overflows can fall off or cause too much weight and the bottom falls off) :slight_smile:

i wonder if a drobo has ever been referred to as a basket (we’ve had the car/car tyre analogy before)
(dont mind me, im a basket case) :smiley: