First let me give a quick overview of my configuration. I have a Windows 7 Laptop; my wife uses an iMac. We have had a MyCloud device (3TB) for a couple of years, and have been happy with it.
My problem - I would like to have a backup of the MyCloud device. I would prefer not to backup into the same device, as this creates in my mind a single point of failure - not really a backup. I looked into Safepoints, and it seems like a good option, but I have some questions.
Can I get a second MyCloud device, put it on my network, and then use it as a Safepoint repository?
Am I better off to get a device to attach to the USB port on the MyCloud, and use it for safepoints.
can this work for both the Winodws Machine, and the iMac seamlessly.
I will shortly replace the Windows 7 laptop with a Windows 10 machine. Does this have any effect on my scenario?
Yes you can put a second or additional My Cloud or other NAS devices on the local network. If you add a second/additional My Cloud’s to the same local network each My Cloud will need its own unique name.
Using a USB hard drive to backup a My Cloud may be cheaper than buying a new My Cloud unit. One just has to buy a USB hard drive that is as large as the content on the My Cloud. Whether a USB drive is better than another My Cloud device is bound to generate some discussion. There are pro’s and con’s to both. Ultimately only you can make decision if a USB drive is better as a backup platform than another My Cloud.
No, adding or changing your computer won’t affect on your scenario.
This is a great option, I have a 3TB My Cloud with a 4TB USB3 drive always attached. This provides a safe point repository plus 1TB extra storage available on my in home network. This works for Windows 7, Ubuntu 16.04, and MAC OSx, connected with either direct cable or WIFI. If needed I can detach the USB drive and attach directly to one of my computers.
I suppost one con is since the USB drive is always attached there exists a slim possibility that a MY Cloud failure could damage it.
The main downsides as I see it to using a USB external hard drive are among other things, a single point of failure. If the My Cloud goes down for what ever reason then the USB drive and its contents will also be unavailable until the user moves the USB drive to a computer or other device. Another possible downside is the copy speed to the USB drive from the My Cloud. More than a few have experienced anemic copying speed from the My Cloud to the USB drive, even USB 3.0 drives.
Primarily the main advantage to using a USB drive rather than another My Cloud or NAS device will be cost. a large sized USB hard drives can be lower cost these days when compared to the lowest cost/sized My Cloud. On Amazon a 2TB My Cloud runs around $130, where as one can get a 4TB My Book USB 3.0 hard drive for about $130. Other USB drives from other manufacturers are available for possibly a lower coast and or larger size.
One of the major plus I see with using a separate My Cloud is the ability to place it in another location in the home. With certain higher end fire safes including power/Ethernet ports one could put a second My Cloud inside the fire safe for extra protection. Another plus is a separate My Cloud would allow one to dedicate each My Cloud to hosting different streaming content or to storing different user content (like one dedicated for personal files, and one dedicated to work, or kids, or spouses files).
While not an option for redundancy when it comes to backing up an existing My Cloud, one if they wanted to expand the storage space of their My Cloud could simply replace the existing My Cloud drive with a much larger one (or even an SSD drive) if they so desired. But with the cost of USB drives versus desktop SATA type drives that isn’t always cost effective.
PJ - That brings up another question - when using the USB drive, is the safepoint a “normal” file structure, or is it a proprietary format that makes it unviewable to anything other than another My Cloud?
Ideally, I would prefer the second device to be away from the current MyCloud, but this is probably not an option. Current configuration is somewhat predictable - my WiFI router and the MyCloud sit next to each other in close proximity to the cable modem. Adding another device does reduce the risk of hardware failure, but a true disaster is not really addressed. The idea of a firesafe with network and power is an interesting idea, but probably not practical either. I do have a WiFi extender, but it does not have any external ports - I’m not sure that there are such devices, and if there are, they would be at slower speeds that supported by MyCloud. The ideal situation in my mind would be to attach my second device to a computer at one of my kids’ houses, but that isn’t cost effective most likely.
Outside of cost, is there really any downside to putting a second MyCloud in the envoronment, outside of the naming issues - which I seem to remember were an option when doing initial setup?
I think in many ways you are having a theoretical discussion. From my experience the Safepoint system is totally unreliable. I am able to make safepoints on a USB drive attached to MyCloud and they may work for a short while. After that they will not update and of course I am not immediately aware of this. When entering the My Cloud dashboard and clicking on Safepoints, no Safepoint will display. In other words despite the Safepoint and it’s files being on the USB drive, the MyCloud software can no longer access it.
I have been through the scenario of remaking the entire Safepoint after reformatting the USB drive and the same thing happens.
As this has been a point of discussion on other threads for a few years it seems to me there is a basic flaw in the Safepoint software which WD are not too interested in. “You’ve bought the drive so tough if some non-essential bit of software doesn’t work”. Certainly I have had no constructive response or fix after reporting the problem.
It is very disappointing but I see no point in continuing with Safepoint. It is sadly fragile software for such a simple function. Little more than a disk copy activated at a certain time you would think this should be bulletproof but sadly it is not.
Be warned, Safepoint is too unreliable to form part of a backup strategy.
Safepoint works for some, and it doesn’t work for others. I’m in the former category in that Safepoint works for me backing up to an external USB hard drive. Plenty of others are in the latter catagory as evidenced by the many Safepoint problem threads in this subforum.
Some have taken to finding alternatives including using Rsync: