I’m seeking opinions on a local network-available backup storage medium. All my machines would back up to this volume. I have a spare local machine running headless and I’m tempted to just plug in some external drives on a RAID 1 configuration, but should I get a NAS? Dunno.

Okay, I've ordered a pair of 6TB external drives for RAID-redundant Time Machine backups, should be here next weekend 🙌 A lot cheaper than a NAS 😅 Thanks for the validation all!

The RAID array is all set up and working :+1: I had some trouble getting macOS Time Machine to behave, but figured it out eventually. Two drives -> RAID 1 array -> Encrypted APFS format -> two APFS volumes (one for each computer to use as a TM backup destination).

The initial backup, over wifi, took a few days 😅 But it did finish, and incremental backups are quick!

@ashfurrow complicated but cool option D, set up an Unraid server.

@xorowl ultimate control over my data? hmm, thanks but no thank you, haha

@ashfurrow its neat! i'd poke the free trial even if it doesn't fit the need here. just need a flash drive with 32gb or less.

one day when i have gpu virtualization passthru, i'm going to set it up with an ultimate machine running hackintosh, windows and linux all similtaniously with synergy to move between the VMs, each of which with a monitor

@ashfurrow unraid.
immagine something like ESXi or the like, but cheaper, easier to use, and more flexible.
it lets you slap together many drives into a raid, and have dedicated parity drives, and all kinds of stuff.

@ashfurrow easy S/W RAID
FreeNAS (TrueNAS) is pretty ok if you want auto-exports and zfs and such in a dedicated machine, but yeah
@ashfurrow Off the shelf NAS if you don't want to set a machine up, otherwise go with software RAID. ZFS gets my vote.

@norm I've already got the machine setup is the thing, seems like this would be the least expensive option, too 👍

@ashfurrow I'd definitely get a suitable machine and set up openmediavault. Even something like a RPi4 or ODroid would work well.

@ashfurrow I'm running OMV on an ODroid XU4 with an external USB3 SDD. I want to upgrade to a USB3 RAID enclosure sometime, though.


Backup to an internal drive on the spare machine, then set up a cron job to rsync from it to an external drive nightly.

You rsync to a new timestamped destination directory each night but use `--link-dest` on the previous night's backup so it hardlinks unchanged files; this gives you efficient revertable incremental backup.

Each week or so, swap the backup drive with the other one you keep offsite. If you don't trust your offsite, also encrypt the removables with luks.

Um, or so I've heard.

@ashfurrow I'd just grab a Synology NAS with some kind of RAID and move on. The upshot is then that it gives you other home network options beyond backups

@JonYoder so yes, it would give me that, but wouldn’t a computer give me more options than a NAS because a computer is a more general-purpose machine?

@ashfurrow More options, yes, and more involved administration. One thing I love about those devices is that I can pretty easily and quickly set things up that would require more time doing by hand, like setting up SMB shares. I currently have a NUC as a home server and while it gives me more options, I just want easy administration. Different strokes, different folks. 🙃

@ashfurrow i switched to that model about 10 years ago and have never regretted it 👍️

@ashfurrow My last raid build was raid 10. Not actually the tenth version but combines raid 0 and raid 1. 4 drives, twice as fast as one drive.

@ashfurrow Striping using raid 0 is great for speed but multiplies the chance of failure which is why raid 1/0 is recommended for the mirroring. However, The performance charts I've seen say raid 5 (stripe,stripe,CRC) is better for SQL server as it writes to the drives faster.

@angristan not to my understanding. RAID is support by the OS independent of the file system. but within the APFS system (which is mirrored with RAID 1) there are two APFS volumes, which are like partitions except both have access to as much free space as is available on the disk.

@ashfurrow For future reference, time machine backups run on a very low QoS priority to avoid hogging the CPU. You can temporarily increase the priority by running this command:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0

Run again with enabled=1 to revert it to normal speeds later (this not only affects time machine so could have unknown side effects on other processes, probably nothing serious tho)

@brunoph cool! would be ran on the machine that’s backing up over the network, or the machine which is serving the shared drive? both, probably 😂

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