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Question about cloning a Drobo to a disk station  



I just bought a new DS218+ with 2 iron wolf 10TB drives to improve my back up.

Here is my existing back up strategy:  I have a Drobo 5n (pretty old) that I have lots of files on, I also have partitions for Time machine backups that are done daily and also I have  a couple of 10TB bare drives in cradles that have a time machine backup and CCC copying to when I plug my laptop in.  I also have files on google drive and dropbox.  If the Drobo died I pretty much could recover in time but it would take awhile. 

I also suspect my Drobo has issues.  Rsync works but I really don't know if everything down to every file is copied over.    Direct finder copying takes forever and is pretty janky with a DROBO.  I did rsync -arvu (I actually tried various incantations) from the macOS terminal.  I think I have most files over but I am not sure.  

My question is:  Is there a better way to do this?  Can I run rsync on the Synology so that my Mac is not part of the equation?  What about carbon copy cloner?.  Can I clone from my Drobo to the Synology?  

Is there a primer on what is the best way to set up my Synology  DS218+. What apps?  I am using a disk station.  Ideally I would like to have one disk with all my working files that I do not want on my Mac and I can get over the web and to hold all my media.  I would use the other DS drive for backup of the files.  Once I have everything of the ds218+ then I want to use wipe the Drobo and use it to clone drives to, have time machine backups of all our laptops and have a backup or clone of the DS218+

Would love comments answered or suggestions....



2 Answers

Hi @amoebadave

You said you had a DS218+ with two 10 TB drive, the way your talking makes me think you haven't done anything yet because you're talking about two separate drive. With the Synology, you have many options. If you want protection of your data in case of disk failure, you'll want to setup your drive in SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) or RAID 1 (mirrored). With two drive SHR will essentially make a RAID 1. If you don't want the redundancy, you make a RAID 0, which will make a 20TB volume. You can then have as many Shared folder (these would mount separately on your Mac) and assign different permissions or what not on those share points. It is much more flexible than using two separate drives of 10 TB each, BUT, if ONE of the two drive fails, you lose the whole 20TB of data. Best of both worlds would have been to use a 4 bay unit and setup in SHR with 3 drives, that way you have speed and redundancy, but it's too late for that since you bought the DS218+.

Are you planing on using the Synology for its network capabilities or just for your backup and clone? I'm asking because, in one of the latest MacGeekGab, Dave and John talked about a guy who clearly didn't need a NAS and was better served with an external disk enclosure, be it from OWC or other. 

As I've said many times, I don't think the NAS is a good place for reliable Time Machine backup, YMMV of course, Dave has it and I think John has it setup that way also, but I don't think it's their only backup either. As for clone of your Mac, the idea is to be able to boot from it, which you wouldn't be able to if you put clone to an image file on the NAS. If you use it like Dave as an Archive to get back to some app or other stuff you had at a point in time, that's fine, but it won't be a clone that will save your *ss in case of hard drive failure on your Mac. 

So you could have a Clone and TM on external drives, and other stuff, like movies, music, documents all on the NAS, which can be backed up to external drives or the cloud depending on your Internet speed and how much space you have to backup to your cloud provider.

Sorry if I'm not answering your question about what's the best way to copy your data. I would keep your Drobo as a backup for a while to be sure I have everything before formatting it. You can use Carbon Copy cloner or Chronosync to go from the Drobo to the NAS, but you'll be going through your Mac, so it will be slower but safer. You could do it in chunks too. I would not copy my TM data from the Drobo to the NAS and would start a new TM be it on the NAS or an external drive as per my suggestion.

Others will chime in I'm sure, but read a lot on all this before committing or be prepared to start over and over 'til you get it like you want, making sure your data is safe though!

Hope this helps (a bit at least).


For reliable file transfer I love Free File Sync!


man this app is so ugly! sorry Ari, just had to say it;-)

@jefflambert670, no I'd say "hideous" is actually a better descriptor. But it works like a charm! 😉 And for those of us who don't feel comfortable in the terminal even a hideous GUI is better than none. 😉


that's why I mentioned Carbon Copy Cloner or Chronosyc, both Mac apps that don't look like windows 3.1;-) But yeah, it's FREE so its got that going for it;-)