Drobo S

In a recent article I wrote about “Avoiding Data Loss by Backing up your Data“. Since then I’ve slightly modified, simplified and streamlined the way I backup my data. Below are the changes:

CrashPlan instead of Carbonite
Instead of Carbonite I’m now using CrashPlan+ for two reasons:

  1. It backs up data on external drives (such as my Drobo). Carbonite only backs up data from your internal drive. In my case, the internal drive is only 512GB, so the bulk of my data (especially the archives) are on my 15TB Drobo.
  2. The upload speed is faster. Carbonite backs up at a maximum rate of 2 Mbits/sec (according to their support), my upstream supports up to 10 Mbits/sec and since I have 1.6TB to back up, with new data (Virtual Machines, photos…) being added every week, backup speed is essential. To be perfectly clear, the upload speed with CrashPlan fluctuates and I’ve actually an open support ticket to figure out what’s going on, but overall I’m happy with the performance.

Drobo instead of software RAID’s
Instead of a bunch of externally connected drives, configured as two RAID 1’s, I’m now using Drobo S. What is Drobo? Drobo is a sleek storage array featuring dual-drive redundancy, USB 3.0 and FireWire interfaces. It supports capacities of up to 20 TB (5x 4TB). Depending on your configuration it protects your data even if two drives fail. The failed (or full) drives can be replaced (hot swapped) without powering down Drobo or un-mounting the volume.

Just this morning I’ve read on Scott Kelby’s blog that he has had issues with Drobo. He apparently hasn’t lost any data but had to get a new unit, since the old one failed, and move his drives over to the new unit. My Drobo has worked fine so far, but if you’re storing business critical data on your backup solution (not matter what it may be) I would highly recommend getting the extended warranty, to be covered while the product is in use.

What has not changed
I’m still using Dropbox with Pack-Rat to backup, store and synchronize all my documents. If you’re concerned about the security of Dropbox, stay tuned for an upcoming article about encrypting data in your Dropbox. I’m also still using Time Machine and Time Capsule to backup the data from my internal hard drive on an hourly basis. In the past I wasn’t really happy about the performance of Time Machine but since I upgraded my internal hard drive to a Solid State Disk I stopped noticing Time Machine, since the SSD is fast enough to not be a bottleneck anymore.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns by leaving a comment!

Equipment (with links to Amazon)

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