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  #1  
Old 05-30-2006, 08:46 AM
postjosh postjosh is offline
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nas / sparseimage questions

hi. i'm planning on buying a Linksys NSLU2 network attached storage device for use with superduper. i'm aware that you must use the sparseimage format if you are planning on backing up accross a network. my questions are:

is there any reason to buy a larger drive for the nas than is needed to create the image of the drive that will be the source of the backup? i seem to remember from earlier superduper versions that while processing the program requires additional drive space to create the image.

as i know the initial backup accross the network is very slow, i was wondering if i could attach the target drive directly to the source computer via usb for the first backup. after that, i would put it on the nas for the "smart backup" updates. is that possible?

sorry if this is covered in the faqs. i didn't see it. thanks.

- josh
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2006, 09:24 AM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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We don't need (much) extra space to create a sparse image -- only the regular overhead the system needs. But, your NSLU2 is going to need to be formatted as ext3 or something that will accept large single files, and doing so will preclude it being attached via USB (since it won't natively support HFS+, as far as I know).

You should definitely apply the most recent firmware update, too, and mount via SMB, since its AFP support is old, and doesn't support file addressing > 2GB.

Hope that helps!
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:37 PM
DarkskyZ DarkskyZ is offline
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Hi,
I have just bought SuperDuper! yesterday and I am using a NSLU2. In fact my goal is to store my backups on it as anybody would use a NAS for...

My NLSU2 is upgraded to the unofficial uNSLUng firmware which actually brings many enhancements but the default filesystem is ext3 even with stock firmware. The NSLU2 is somehow slow but it is yet usable and very affordable.

You must just be aware that it is 10/100 MBps only, no Gigabit so huge amount of data can take ages to push or be pulled.

Your option of 1st backup using the drive attached to your Mac through USB is not possible as the drive HAS to be formatted ext3 to work on the NSLU2 and you Mac won't read or write it reliably as far as I know.

Hope that helps.

DarkskyZ
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:38 PM
ScottEllsworth ScottEllsworth is offline
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Out of curiosity, how slow is it? My TeraStation, direct on gigabit, gets about 1.5-2MB/s on Raid-5 for the initial write.

It gets far better, of course, when doing an update - up to 80MB/s - as reads for a terastation are far, far faster than writes. According to buffalo, even on gigabit, you are lucky to break 8 MB/s, and are usually closer to 5.

Scott
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:07 AM
DarkskyZ DarkskyZ is offline
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Originally Posted by ScottEllsworth
Out of curiosity, how slow is it? My TeraStation, direct on gigabit, gets about 1.5-2MB/s on Raid-5 for the initial write.
Scott
Well after a few tries I can tell you that it painfully reaches 1.4 MB/s using latest uNSLUng and matching up to date Samba. (tech details : iMac Core Duo GHz / 2GB RAM / 500GB Sata II linked to the 100 MBps NSLU2 by an ASUS WL500G Deluxe running DD-WRT)

The smart update speed means absolutely nothing as it fully depends on the amount of files you have changed on the source and their size.

I really thought the TeraStation would be really faster, I even considered trading my SLUG for one one them. I won't now...

DarkskyZ => currently backing up 70GB to his NSLU2 with SD
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:12 AM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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One small tip for you guys: the underlying OS's handling of sparse images can cause slowness when the image is expanding -- something it does a lot of during the initial backup.

What you might want to consider, if you can afford the space, is using a read/write non-sparse image.

Once you've got one created on the NAS, you can mount it, and point SD! to its volume (not the file). We'll back up to that, and you'll see better speed.

We don't automatically unmount this type of image, but we will mount it. (You *might* be able to trick us into mounting/unmounting by giving it a .sparseimage extension, assuming that the OS will handle it right and not assume its structure based on the extension.)

Hope that helps!
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:35 PM
ScottEllsworth ScottEllsworth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkskyZ
Well after a few tries I can tell you that it painfully reaches 1.4 MB/s using latest uNSLUng and matching up to date Samba. (tech details : iMac Core Duo GHz / 2GB RAM / 500GB Sata II linked to the 100 MBps NSLU2 by an ASUS WL500G Deluxe running DD-WRT)

The smart update speed means absolutely nothing as it fully depends on the amount of files you have changed on the source and their size.

I really thought the TeraStation would be really faster, I even considered trading my SLUG for one one them. I won't now...
Check out Tom's Hardware. He has reviewed a number of Raid5 NAS units, most of which outperform the Terastation. The terastations hideous speed is because of a design boo-boo. They are doing part of RAID-5 in software, so it is writing sequentially rather than in parallel. There are fixes, but the TS firmware does not use them.

Scott
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:35 PM
postjosh postjosh is offline
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thanks for the tip about unslung. looks like the latest version will even allow ntfs disks.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2006, 10:37 PM
postjosh postjosh is offline
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dave, thanks for your help. i'll definitely heed your warning about samba.

- josh
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