I have a MacBook Pro I'd like to backup using Time Machine. I have money to purchase any storage solution that will allow me to keep 4TB+ of "history" of a FileVault volume. My current solution gives me 2 TB which is not enough in terms of being able to "travel back in time" far enough. What to buy?


  • Does Time Machine support NAS? (USB 2.0 seems like a bottleneck, my NIC is 1Gb)
  • A FireWire 800 external disk > 2 TB?
  • An external RAID?

4TB+ is really a requirement and backing up to tape is not viable as I need a fast restore.

Can Time Machine "aggregate" external drives to allow for "longer time travel"? I have another computer I could use to run software RAID on it (USB though, not FC/SAS/SCSI/FW) but to me this would be too risky... would it not?

How about migrating older Time Machine backups to slower/cheaper/larger/more power efficient drives? Would the interface stay the same?


Have you considered a Drobo? Data Robotics, who make Drobo devices, are certified by Apple, and their website states that both their direct-connected (Firewire) devices and their networked devices work with Time Machine.

I assume you're aware of how Time Machine works with FileVaults, as well? Essentially it'll backup the whole home-folder as a single file, hence you'll use up space on your Time Machine drive a lot faster. It can also only backup your home folder when you're logged out, as you probably know.

It's not exactly cheap, but you say you have money to spend.

  • Not true. Starting with 10.5 home directories are sparse-bundles, comprised of 8MB "stripes". Only the changed ones are backed up.
    – Daniel Beck
    Nov 12 '10 at 10:06

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