3-2-2 Backup Solution App

kevlar397

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
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I'm trying to set up a 3-2-2 backup of my Late-2012 Mac Mini. I'm looking for a program that can handle creating local copies of my data to an external drive (I currently use SuperDuper for this) as well as make an offsite backup to my B2 account. Based on research here and on other sites I've tried both Arq and Cloudberry, but neither can provide what I'm looking for. The most difficult thing seems to be making bootable drives like I currently do with SuperDuper and backing those up to my B2 account. A Cloudberry rep told me that their future plans are for their app to be able to make bootable copies, but that this won't be happening any time soon.

Can any of you recommend an app that can perform all of these functions? The popular solutions seem to be to make iterative copies to the cloud similar to Time Machine. I don't mind Time Machine and having it backed up to the cloud, but I would also like the peace of mind of having a complete bootable drive backed up to the cloud.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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I use Arq with B2 to backup my home folder, but i cannot think of any app that will backup a bootable clone like you want.

The only work around I can think of is if you cobbled something together to copy one of your SD clones into a sparse bundle image, then maybe use Arq to back that up to B2.
 

kevlar397

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
15
2
PNW
I use Arq with B2 to backup my home folder, but i cannot think of any app that will backup a bootable clone like you want.

The only work around I can think of is if you cobbled something together to copy one of your SD clones into a sparse bundle image, then maybe use Arq to back that up to B2.
Thanks @Weaselboy I’ve started looking into sparse bundle images as you suggested. I am surprised that what I’m looking for doesn’t exist. How then do people truly back up their data to the cloud without backing up their clones?
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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How then do people truly back up their data to the cloud without backing up their clones?
I think now with newer Macs having Internet recovery, the plan is (say you put in a new drive) to install the OS using Internet recovery then restore your data from the cloud backup.

Even if you did backup the whole drive to the cloud somehow, how would you get it back on the drive. You would need to OS on there to run the restore software so it seems like a bit of a Catch 22.
 

kevlar397

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
15
2
PNW
I think now with newer Macs having Internet recovery, the plan is (say you put in a new drive) to install the OS using Internet recovery then restore your data from the cloud backup.

Even if you did backup the whole drive to the cloud somehow, how would you get it back on the drive. You would need to OS on there to run the restore software so it seems like a bit of a Catch 22.
Thanks. I appreciate your feedback about Internet Recovery. I hadn’t heard of that before. I’ve been making bootable clones since I got my first iBook in 2001. Thankfully I’ve never had to restore from a clone so I’m definitely not an expert in the field, but my periodic research on backup solutions never found any support for not using clones.

I do see how Time Machine can help someone restore their Mac, but doing a brief Google search comparing Internet Recovery with Time Machine to clones and I found a few examples (here’s one: https://gregbenzphotography.com/photography-tips/how-to-restore-macbook-pro-from-time-machine-or-clone-backup) where people have had their hard drive and Time Machine fail at the same time or the Internet Recovery function failed to work. In those cases having a clone backup saved people from losing everything in their computer. In the situation where the Internet Recovery function failed there was still a way to recover only using Time Machine, but it was a lot more complex than simply restoring your computer from a clone.

I definitely will keep backing up with clone and Time Machine as I have for years. Lately I’ve been looking into RAID drives to create even more security around my backups as a backup drive with a clone can fail too.

Researching this topic has led me to purchase an eBook by Joe Kissell called “Taking Control of Backing Up Your Mac”. Kissell has researched, tested, and written about backups for decades. He wrote on the subject for The NY Times’ Wirecutter review site, is a Senior Contributor for Macworld, and a Contributing Editor for TidBITS. I just bought the book so I haven’t dived into it yet, but I’m committed to expanding my backup solution beyond my current single external drive with Time Machine and a clone. I want to follow the system of 3-2-2 where I have 3 copies my data on 2 types of physical media in 2 separate geographical locations.
 
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HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
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I am surprised that what I’m looking for doesn’t exist. How then do people truly back up their data to the cloud without backing up their clones?
The cloud backup services I use explicitly do not back up OS files and applications. There is some logic to that in that the time to do an OS restore from the vendor will likely be faster than downloading or getting the backed up files on a disk. It also reduces the amount of storage they need to backup your files. There is the protection level as well, they can't be liable for a virus or malware if it comes from the vendor.

I do see how Time Machine can help someone restore their Mac, but doing a brief Google search comparing Internet Recovery with Time Machine to clones and I found a few examples (here’s one: https://gregbenzphotography.com/photography-tips/how-to-restore-macbook-pro-from-time-machine-or-clone-backup) where people have had their hard drive and Time Machine fail at the same time or the Internet Recovery function failed to work.
There are a lot of posts about not relying on Time Machine for backups. TM is great for small restores. But TM volumes are subject to corruption, and a large restore can take a long, long time due to the convoluted link structure. Multiple clones (from CCC, superduper, ... ) following your 3-3-3 (or 3-2-2 or ....) backup plan is the way to go.
 
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NoBoMac

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Jul 1, 2014
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Multiple clones (from CCC, superduper, ... ) following your 3-3-3 (or 3-2-2 or ....) backup plan is the way to go.
This.

Short answer, for me, I kinda do this, and works for me.

Two different drives I clone to, alternating, once a month. A thumb drive with latest OS for boot/restore for major issues. Two different Time Machine drives I alternate every two weeks. Once a month, I do a manual zip of the most important files and encrypt that, then, copy it to three different cloud account. Every quarter, copy other miscellaneous files to four other drives, and pics go to a cloud account.

Might miss out on some latest information, but basically, will at worst be a week or two behind (or just days), without any extra software, subscriptions. Never had an issue with Time Machine, so, not too worried about losing important stuff, and can recreate the minor stuff with relatively minor effort.