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Old Jan 3, 2013, 08:08 PM   #1
JoelBC
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Backup Strategy...Integrating CCC and TimeMachine...

I am 20+ year Windows user who has recently made the jump from Windows to OS X.

I am at the final stages of the "changeover process" and am trying to finalize my backup strategy.

In my Windows system I i) create a system image every night on my NAS drive and ii) create a copy of my "home folder" every night on a USB drive. Both of these backups are automated.

In trying to figure the best approach in OS X I recognize that the available backup tools are different:
1. Carbon Copy Cloner which seems to be a backup tool of choice has the capability of i) backing up specific folders and files and ii) backing up a bootable clone [very cool]. The latter needs a direct attached backup drive which means either a Thunderbolt drive or a USB drive but not a NAS drive.
2. Time Machine which seems to take slices / snapshots of the hard drive on a regular basis.
What I need help with is determining the best approach / strategy for integrating Carbon Copy Cloner and Time Machine . While I am sure that there is a better strategy the best approach that I have been able to come up is the following:
1. Invest in a 1 TB or 2 TB Thunderbolt or USB 3 drive which I will partition into 3 pieces -- 1 for Carbon Copy bootable clone backups, 1 for Carbon Copy specific folders and file backups and 1 for Time Machine backups. As an aside, any suggestions as to drives.
2. Create a Carbon Copy bootable clone backup every night at say 11:00 PM.
3. Create a Carbon Copy backup of specific folders and files every night at say 1:00 AM.
4. Create a TimeMachine backups at its self-determined automated / regular intervals.
This strategy will enable me at any point in time to i) rebuild my system fairly quickly and simply by installing the most recent Carbon Copy bootable dive and then the most recent TimeMachine backup of my Home Folder and ii) access directly my Home Folder via my Carbon Copy backup of the specific folders and files I selected.

With the above background, please assist me in finalizing and fine tuning my backup strategy.

With much thanks,


Joel

PS. I have offsite storage covered as I i) regularly rotate my USB drives and ii) regularly copy the material from my NAS to USB drives and store them offsite.

Last edited by JoelBC; Jan 3, 2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:50 PM   #2
glenthompson
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A partitioned drive is only one backup. If the drive fails, gets lost or stolen, or other failure then you have no backup.

Better solution:

NAS for time machine and/or CCC copies. A mirrored or raid unit is good.
Separate drives for offsite clones and TM backups.

I copy my critical files to my Mac mini server (automated) and have TM backups to an external drive on the server. The server drives are mirrored and copied daily to another Mac mini. I also make bootable CCCclones of our machines and keep them in a fireproof safe. A small subset of files are kept on Dropbox. I also run TM against a USB drive at least once a month. This is met separate from the other drives.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 05:21 AM   #3
JoelBC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenthompson View Post
A partitioned drive is only one backup. If the drive fails, gets lost or stolen, or other failure then you have no backup.

Better solution:

NAS for time machine and/or CCC copies. A mirrored or raid unit is good.
Separate drives for offsite clones and TM backups.

I copy my critical files to my Mac mini server (automated) and have TM backups to an external drive on the server. The server drives are mirrored and copied daily to another Mac mini. I also make bootable CCCclones of our machines and keep them in a fireproof safe. A small subset of files are kept on Dropbox. I also run TM against a USB drive at least once a month. This is met separate from the other drives.
Greatly appreciate the response but can we please walk before we run in that i) first, can we please discuss what files should be backed up with what software (i.e. CCC versus TimeMachine) and ii) second, can we please discuss where (i.e. Thunderbolt/USB, NAS, etc.).

Though the point is taken / valid regarding redundancy please note:

1. Current NAS is configured as RAID 5.

2. Walk then run principle applies here as well in that let's get a basic strategy up and running and then let's augment it with multiple storage devices, etc.

With much thanks,


Joel
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 05:57 AM   #4
maflynn
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I think your solution appears overkill in needing to run CCC multiple times since you have TM running. Also its not a good idea to maintain two backup methodologies on the same drive.

I use the following methodology.
Time Machine to my NAS, occurs hourly
Once a week (or there abouts) I run a CCC backup to an external drive (not my NAS) and I take that off site.

It doesn't matter if you're running a RAID 5 or not, having two different backups on the same physical drive is not as safe as the two separate drives. If you're going to invest in an expensive 3 TB thunderbolt RAID 5 external drive, I'd go with two less expensive products or break the RAID up so you're on two external drives.

You still run the risk of an issue with the NAS failing and being unable to access your backups. What happens if you had a power surge that cooked your computer and NAS - having two backups on the NAS won't help you.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:27 AM   #5
JoelBC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
I think your solution appears overkill in needing to run CCC multiple times since you have TM running.
I thought that I would build in some redundancy as I have heard that TimeMachine is not necessarily 100% reliable..


Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Also its not a good idea to maintain two backup methodologies on the same drive.
Agreed which is why for my Windows system I use both a NAS and a USB drive....the issue I am struggling with is that my current NAS is NOT exactly MAC friendly..

Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
I use the following methodology.

-Time Machine to my NAS, occurs hourly

-Once a week (or there abouts) I run a CCC backup to an external drive (not my NAS) and I take that off site.
This methodology makes some sense to me but could you please expand on how you would rebuild your machine as it is possible that your CCC bootable backup is nearly 1 week old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
It doesn't matter if you're running a RAID 5 or not, having two different backups on the same physical drive is not as safe as the two separate drives.
Agreed, see above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
If you're going to invest in an expensive 3 TB thunderbolt RAID 5 external drive, I'd go with two less expensive products or break the RAID up so you're on two external drives.
I am not going to invest in such a device as the cost is prohibitive...I am prepared to invest in:

1. A new NAS drive that is MAC friendly [any suggestions]; or

2. One or more new Thunderbolt or USB drive that is between 1 TB to 2 TB is size [ant suggestions]; or

3. A combination of 1 and 2.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
You still run the risk of an issue with the NAS failing and being unable to access your backups. What happens if you had a power surge that cooked your computer and NAS - having two backups on the NAS won't help you.
Agreed, I do have a whole home surge protector at my electrical so hopefully this wont happen but your point is well taken....this is also the raeson why perhaps it makes to:

1. CCC backups on an external drive [i.e. Thunderbolt or USB] of weekly system clones and daily Hooem Folder; and

2. TimeMachien backups on a NAS.

Thoughts...


***

Appreciate the input greatly...


Joel
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:35 AM   #6
maflynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelBC View Post
This methodology makes some sense to me but could you please expand on how you would rebuild your machine as it is possible that your CCC bootable backup is nearly 1 week old.
I have two options
1. Do a full system restore from Time Machine. This works well and I've done this in the past though its quite slow.

2. Do a restore from my CCC backup and then pull back my data from Time Machine. This is the most expedient but requires that I restore my document folder (and any other folder from TM).

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelBC View Post
1. A new NAS drive that is MAC friendly [any suggestions]
If you're looking at new a new NAS then check out the offerings from Synology (the most popular here) or QNAP (I have this and its a good unit though I think at this point Synology may be superior)
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