One of the more critical aspects of running a business is data integrity. Data is valuable to a business, so those in charge tend to take seriously the need to keep data backed up, secure, yet make it a seamless process, with easy retrieval.
I’m the Mac360 hardware guy so I’ll give you a few Mac home hardware tips. What? Business needs are different than home user needs? Sorry. I don’t believe that. It’s merely a matter of scale and value.
Picture it this way. You’ve been a Mac user for a few years. iPhoto has many thousands of digital images. iMovie has some valuable and rare video footage. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in iTunes Store purchases.
Add to that applications, utilities, and so many other documents, files, and more that a 500 gig hard drive starts to look old and thin.
Now, picture yourself sitting down in front of your Mac after a day of work. You press the power button and nothing happens. Your Mac’s hard drive is dead to the world, and maybe the after world, too.
This is when you remember all that noise from Mac media pundits saying, ‘Back up, dude!’
Alright, we preach back up, back up, back up (or, is it ‘backup’ as in a single word?). Apple helps out with Time Machine and that requires another hard drive, usually bigger than the one inside your Mac.
Mac software developers have great utilities to help the back up process, including SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner, which are excellent tools to clone a Mac’s hard drive to another hard drive.
See? Taking the multiple hard drive approach yields rewards. Multiple back ups. If you’re serious about backing up your Mac’s data, and you agree that getting a reliable hard drive is important, then what’s next?
Back up hardware comes in many shapes and sizes. For the power Mac user we like the flexibility built in to the Guardian Maximus (sounds like an electronic prophylactic).
The Mac is a very ugly black box which looks all business. Inside, there’s room for two 2 terabyte hard drives, which can be combined as a redundant mirrored drive next to the primary back up drive via RAID-I (techno brief speak for Redundant Array of Independent Disks).
What I like about these drives is that you can add storage capacity as you need it, and move the drive around to other Macs because the drive comes with a ‘Quad Interface.’
That means you can connect it to your Mac via FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, or eSATA. The Guardian Max isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s affordable, flexible, comes with built-in RAID, and works on Macs or PCs.
For a small office with a number of Mac users, it can also double as a Time Machine back up. $149 gets you started with the bare black box, and you can add hard drives to fit your needs and budget.
What’s not to like? Other than the lack of beauty or aesthetics? RAID drives can be a little more complicated to manage; fine for IT guys in the office, but for folks at home, not so much.
Still, if data integrity is important and the value of your Mac’s files cannot be understated, then an enhanced back up system is all the more important. Mac360’s Ron McElfresh prefers the cool flexibility of the Voyager Q external drive, but it doesn’t do RAID, which is what the Guardian Max is all about.