Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Apple a day ....

Week two of living with my new purchase, an Apple Macbook. So far .... life is good. I have just spent the last week sorting out where to store all my data (Music, Movies, Images, Software, ISOs) Since the laptop only had a 160HD and I have over 1.5TB of data I needed to come up with some way of managing it all, and not to use My vista PC as the file server as I will be using that a Windows 2008 & 7 play thing later on. So I need a consistent low maintenance approach to have my data available not only to me but also to my wifes iMac.

I limited this to just focus on the Music / Images, as the other data can be easily replace, and most of the software and other data really needs sorting and cleaned up. So this reduced the amount of data I had to deal with. I have most of my data on external USB drives and synced to another location in case a hard drive fails. So after a bit of research I decided to invest in a Apple TimeCapsule 500GB (as this model as the better harddrive)

So why did I go TimeCapsule, First simple TimeMachine backups over the network to a second drive, gave me the redundancy I needed. It also backups up USB drives attached ot the source device, which is a feature I wanted. So my macbook and the external drive that has the master source of my data is backed up to the internal TC harddrive, automatically on a daily basis. This is my failsafe for my data.

I then via a hub attached the USB drive that had my movies on it to the TC (No redundancy needed). I also attached another USB drive that has shared data on it.

So it looks like this, The USB drive attached to my laptop is the master source of data (ie all our user generated data), this is backed up via TimeMachine to the TC internal drive. I then use Chronosync to sync the shared data (Subset of the master source) to another USB drive attached to the TC. This allows the data to be accessible on the iMac & other PCs in the house.

So my master data set is in two locations and update daily, Movies are accessible to everybody on the network (AppleTv included) shared sub set of data available to all.

This allows me to have the Vista PC turned off when not is use, also I can take my laptop with me and all shared data is still available.

Clear as mud.

The biggest issue I had doing all of this was the drive formats and the time it took to move data around. Since all my USB drives were formated NTFS, which is ok in the PC and OS X can read it, but cant write to NTFS (you can get 3rd plug-ins) I wanted to OS X as much as I could and if in doubt use FAT32, Yes I know the limits of FAT32, but is a compromise that Im conformable with considering the workload the devices would be under. So finding space move the data to and then reformatting the drives and then moving the data back. I think I have shifted over 4TB, takes a long while, And I changed my mind on how to do things and had to start over again. But I am finally there now.

So as of yesterday Vista64 shut down awaiting a rebuild on Windows7 beta or Windows2008, macbook able to be turn off or taken with me, data backup up and shared data always available ..... I think Im done .... well for this week.