External drives/enclosures for storing music projects/files? Is RAID necessary?

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DJMaytag
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Location: Madison, WI

Post 24 Jan 2023

I have a new Mac Studio with a small hard drive on it, and I need to have the files readily accesible on it, so... I'm looking at getting a Thunderbolt 3 compatible enclosure and sticking some drives of some sort in it. Having had a portable HDD fail on me a losing a bunch of stuff that I stored on it many years ago, I'm considering some sort of RAID solution so that I'm not at risk of losing it all again.

Strongly considering an OWC enclosure, though I'm not sure if I want to get a SATA based enclosure or a NVME M.2 enclosure (they're the exact same price). Each one has the option of software RAID from OWC, though I don't really know if that's necessary with macOS or not.

I'm leaving my DJ music files on my old MBP (just using that for DJ'ing now), and pulling the folder for production (project files, samples, patches, etc) over to the Mac Studio. I might need to pull some DJ music that I'm not actively spinning off too, or at least the AIFF files of those that I could convert to mp3 in case I ever did need some of them.

Anyway, total space off that drive for ALL music related files is 80 Gb. I could probably get away with three or four 1 Tb drives in a RAID setup such one drive could fail and still not lose any files, but I think that uses something like 1/2 or 2/3 of the physical drive space available. How necessary is it, specifically for Reason project files, to have something crazy fast? Could I get away with a SATA setup, maybe even using 4x HDD's, or would I want to be sure that the read/write time is as fast as possible?

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Pepin
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Post 24 Jan 2023

Maybe you've left out some additional backups you're doing, but RAID is not a backup solution IMO.

Your backup needs some type of history (in case of accidental deletion or file corruption), and ideally you should have a second offsite backup as well. Once those two backups are in place, you may find RAID is unneeded.

I personally recommend Carbon Copy Cloner for local backups (with APFS snapshots retained on the backup drive). You could achieve this using two SSDs (primary and backup). The bigger you can make the backup drive, the more snapshots it can retain.

For the offsite backup, there are various cloud services out there.

DJMaytag
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Joined: 17 Jun 2015
Location: Madison, WI

Post 24 Jan 2023

I do have a Apple Time Machine, so as long as there is storage space on there, I should be good. It's an older one, with a spinning 2 TB HDD in there though, so that's not entirely failsafe.

Is it possible to set up a standard external drive, and then use the multi-drive enclosure as a Time Machine for that machine (plus the single external drive), with RAID as way to make sure the backups don't disappear? I guess I've never tried to back up an external drive to the Time Machine before, so I don't know how that works.

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motuscott
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Location: the New York

Post 24 Jan 2023

Agree w/ Pepin.
I also use CCC, my offsite BU is physically off site on a separate drive.
Vlad "Social media is not really within my bailiwick" The Impaler 🧂

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Pepin
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Post 24 Jan 2023

DJMaytag wrote:
24 Jan 2023
I do have a Apple Time Machine, so as long as there is storage space on there, I should be good. It's an older one, with a spinning 2 TB HDD in there though, so that's not entirely failsafe.

Is it possible to set up a standard external drive, and then use the multi-drive enclosure as a Time Machine for that machine (plus the single external drive), with RAID as way to make sure the backups don't disappear? I guess I've never tried to back up an external drive to the Time Machine before, so I don't know how that works.
It might work, but I would still recommend establishing an offsite backup over adding RAID to your local backup.
That will give you true protection for things like physical damage, theft, or a local backup that gets corrupted due to a software bug. RAID won't help you with any of those.

DJMaytag
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Location: Madison, WI

Post 24 Jan 2023

What do you recommend for offsite backup? iCloud storage? AWS?

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Pepin
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Post 24 Jan 2023

DJMaytag wrote:
24 Jan 2023
What do you recommend for offsite backup? iCloud storage? AWS?
I use Backblaze personally. The only thing to keep in mind is they delete backups of any external drive that's been unplugged for 30 days (unless you pay for their extended version history).

robussc
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Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 24 Jan 2023

I'm using iCloud as an offsite copy (and it also means I can access my stuff on my laptop when I'm away from my desktop). I don't have history of course, but I think I would make a separate copy if I wanted to "bookmark" a point in time.
Reason user since about version 2! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

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avasopht
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Post 24 Jan 2023

I'd recommend a Nas drive like Qnap synchronised to an AWS S3 bucket via one of the automatic backup plugins.

There are cheaper ways but there are so many technical complications that can arise when cutting corners (at least when I last checked).

For example, you could just get any regular external hard drive and use the cloud sync that comes with it - but there are filesystem incompatibilities where some file or folder names might work locally but not in the cloud.
---

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Billy+
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Post 24 Jan 2023

Save your self the hassle

if your backups are worth the money then pay for a 3rd party solution who will continue to make sure that your offsite data is accessible regardless of the situation.

Or maybe if it's just about the future then backup to multiple devices including individual projects to CD-ROM wow and store a copy in an alternate location to your home.
Freedom of expression does not exist in this dojo ;)

Reason V1 -- V11 suite, now I'm enjoying Live 11 suite and using Reason as a plugin RRPv11
R12 just still isn't worth it..... #justbuylive #sequencerfeatues #fixthebugs #aplanisnotapromis

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selig
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Post 24 Jan 2023

I use this for my external music project drives:
Image
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TCD ... CAQAvD_BwE
I have a couple of 1TB SSD drives (Samsung EVO) for my main working drive/quick backup.
Selig Audio, LLC

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