When I first read on TUAW about the number of Time Capsules that were dropping dead around the eighteen month mark I was intrigued, but not concerned, as I had already transferred all of my data and Time Machine backups to a ReadyNAS Duo (having identified the Time Capsule as a single point of failure and having made the decision to use it just as a router). When I read a second article reporting that large numbers of TCs were dropping dead at almost exactly the same point in their life cycles and that somebody had even gone to the trouble of setting up a website dedicated to memorializing the fallen, I was less dismissive. I’ve known for a while now that my TC was nearing the danger zone, so when it went nuts earlier today, and by nuts I mean refusing to boot, refusing to allow configuration changes and refusing to fall back to factory defaults, I wasn’t surprised to discover that it was 17 months and 16 days old!
Update: I have managed to resuscitate the TC, it doesn’t seem 100% happy, but it is working. I’m glad Apple decided to update the Airport range this week as I suspect that I will be in the market for an Airport Extreme in the not to distant future!
My Time Capsule has been superseded; I realized that the fact that it contained a single non-user changeable disk didn’t make it the most appropriate backup location. The replacement is a ReadyNAS Duo, which contains a couple of 1TB Samsung Spin Points (HD103UJ) in a RAID1 configuration, and now has four Macs backing up to it. The setup, whilst not quite up to Apple standards was reassuringly simple – Time Machine is fully supported in the most recent firmware (although it could be made to work in older versions). I did look at the Synology DS-209, but it was considerably more expensive for no extra functionality, I also considered getting a Drobo, but the expense coupled with some very worrying reviews put me off, in the end the balance between price and functionality of the Duo and an extremely positive review from a colleague sold me. The biggest decision turned out to be what disks to buy; previously I have always purchased and always recommended Seagate, but they seem to have lost their way at the moment, suffering with some quality issues – hence the reason I passed on the free 500Gb Seagate ‘cuda on offer with my Duo and elected instead for the afore mentioned Samsungs.
My Time Capsule now serves as a rather expensive Airport Extreme.