Forum Question: What to use for Time Machine

I am thinking of using a Buffalo Technology Linkstation Quad as my Time Machine drive. Safety-wise of my data, what’s better RAID 10 or RAID 5? Also what do you think of Buffalo equipment?
If the software or hardware controllers in the Buffalo enclosure were to go bad would I lose all data under a RAID 10 or RAID 5 setup? Would I lose data if it was a RAID 1 (mirror) setup? 
If data safe under RAID 1 if software or hardware controllers went bad then I would get an external HDD that used RAID 1.

Comments: 9 Responses to “What to use for Time Machine”

    3/2/11 @ 10:39 pm

    I would not waste a RAID for Time Machine. TM is a backup solution — it is for avoiding disasters. A RAID brings 2 things: data redundancy and speed. You don’t need either for a backup. It is a backup. It is already your second copy of your data.
    I would just get a normal hard drive that is at least twice the size of the drive(s) you need to back up. I use a 2TB normal drive. USB2 would be OK.
    I’ve never used Buffalo equipment. In fact, I have never used a RAID before. I suppose if I really wanted to step up video production — go from making 5 minute podcasts to TV shows or films — then I might get a RAID to allow me to handle the huge files with speed. But I never seem to have any problem with just SATA internal drives inside a Mac Pro.
    I also like the idea of using external SATA drives connected to an eSATA card with a dock. Those are cheap and easy to swap out.

    3/3/11 @ 12:06 am

    Got so much data that 3TB or even 4TB is what I need for TM. That’s why I was thinking RAID which can create a big TM drive for me. I could also exclude things from TM. Already exclude OS and app’s which I clone onto another drive. What else should I or could I exclude?

      3/3/11 @ 7:47 am

      The last thing I would exclude would be OS and apps. (Well, the user folder with photos and documents would be last, but still). When you exclude them, you can not really use TM to do a restore if your drive fails. One of the best features of TM.
      What else makes up your 4TB? More than one drive, I assume, right? Are some old projects? Things that should be archived? Or maybe a movie collection that can be backed up manually to an external hard drive but doesn’t really need to be handled by TM?

    3/3/11 @ 1:35 pm

    Right, multiple HDD. I have a SSD with the OS and Apps. My user folder is very small. Have data on another HDD and yes movie projects on another HDD.

      3/3/11 @ 2:56 pm

      I would put current projects on one drive, old projects on another. Clone the old projects drive whenever you add to it. Only backup the current projects drive and the SSD.

    3/3/11 @ 6:11 pm

    I have a MacBook Pro with a small SSD (128GB) which I haven’t been TMing. I could create a volume in one of my HDD on my Mac Pro to use as a TM backup? How would I connect the 2 machines together, use Target Disk Mode on MacBook Pro so that the volume on the Mac Pro is the Target Disk (Time Machine)? And connect using an ethernet cable?

      3/3/11 @ 6:15 pm

      You could do it over the network. No need for Target Disk. Target disk would be a hassle to set up every time you want to back up. The idea is you should back up often, and doing a target disk setup would not work well.
      So why not just get a cheap USB2 drive? That’s much easier and will be faster than doing it over the network.
      And get it going ASAP. Backups are important!

    3/3/11 @ 6:26 pm

    Yes, the obvious and simple is usually the best. I don’t know what I didn’t think of it. :) BTW, I am using File Vault on the MBP and I hear Time Machine doesn’t work well with File Vault. Would it better to clone to a USB drive? And since it’s a clone it would maintain encryption??

      3/3/11 @ 8:57 pm

      Right. I know it didn’t work well before with File Vault. Maybe it has been improved? I would consider not using File Vault unless you work in the spy business or something.
      But you said that you don’t have much in your user folder anyway? File Vault only operates on that. So unless you have a really good reason to use File Vault, I wouldn’t.

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