Backup crazy - OCD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Marty62, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    = Obsessive copying disorder ??

    After a major 2x drive loss last year I decided to "up the stakes" or perhaps
    lower them, with a very extensive backup strategy.

    Here's what I have, tell me I didn't go TOO far :)

    Mac Pro system :

    1x Complete system drive clone.
    2x Samples/data drive clone
    1x Audio/project drive clone
    1x TM backup of all three across 2 x 3tb drives ( 2 x TM copies )

    MBP system :
    1x CCC of system drive
    1x TM backup of system drive
    1x Mac Install ESD on 16gb thumb drive
    1x original apple 750gb Lion system ( outdated but also bootable )

    Clones I will update when new programs / data added, once a month.
    TM backups end of every day on both systems.

    How's that sounding ??

  2. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
  3. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    depends on what the data is i suppose..

    i mean really, how much of what you're backing up are you going to revisit -- ever?

    backing up data is one thing.. hoarding it is another.
  4. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    Well i think that's not too bad..
    here my backup strategy!

    Mac mini server (TM)

    OS files (on separate drives) get backed up to TM.
    all other files get copied to 3 different external drives (one Raid 5 box) (some hourly some daily) and one off cite drive which is updated monthly!.

    so in total there are 5 copies of all important files (work, music, photos, etc) and 2 copies of OS (as i can reinstall os and apps in no time i don't care for more than one copy.

    IMHO OCD is not a bad thing.... especially with drives so cheap now... and CCC make managing all of this pretty easy!
  5. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Not hoarding, it's current music production / Film music and song writing sessions.
    The rest is of course emails / iPhoto library reference libraries etc.
    The furthest back this backup goes is 2010..... things do get revisited and reworked.
    I have archives of everything before that on DVD/CD.

    I did lose some important data last year so I'm making sure it won't happen again.

  6. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hows that strategy sound?


    I'm also doing audio work with my MP and have an approach very similar to yours. In my case, all working data is on SSDs, with the daily backups on internal HD, and hourly TM on two external HDs rotated on and off site. I keep only one backup copy of sample data (and exclude sample drives from TM), because I also have the original media that data was delivered on.
  7. matoch macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Where is your offsite backup? If it's all in one place it's not particularly useful.
  8. crispys macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2014
    Hi Marty,

    I think you ought to rethink your whole backup strategy.

    A hard drive failure in any of those and you are pretty much toasted. Why? Because those are single drives devices. A failure at each of those point will be total data loss for that device.

    If you are serious about keeping your data safe, you ought to consider getting something like RAID-5. The lower configurations usually run in a 4 disk configurations You can use three disks for data and the fourth one as a (hot) spare hard drive that will kick in to rebuild your array as soon as one of the three drives failed. Or you can use all four drives, when any drive in that array failed, the Raid controller will attempt to stop writing to the disk to preserve the data. Then you can just swap a healthy drive for the bad one. The array will rebuild and you are as good as new.

    Personally I have my data on a Promise Pegasus 2 running Raid 5 and a Synology DS412+ running Raid 5 with four drives as a gigantic Time Machine backing up the Mac Pro and the Pegasus 2. Honestly, I should get a third Time Machine hard drive as second back up (as well as off site backup for the most important files). I use the machine for work so it's important my files are safe.

    BTW you didn't say anything so I'm not sure you already thought of this. You ought to invest in a solid UPS (uninterruptible power supply) as well. Power fluctuations/surge/loss can kill hard drives.
  9. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    OP....are you carrying backup devices offsite? If not then that's the only problem I see with it.
  10. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    well, yeah.. in that case, it sounds good to have the backup.. idk, i was thinking more along the lines of the digital photographer who has multiple backups of all their raw files ever shot.. even though 99%+ of them are crap ;)
    in which case, it's editing (keep or delete) skills that are needed -- not backup strategy.
  11. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    Presumably, these drives are all in one location, so if you have a fire or other disaster, all your data is gone anyway.

    Use the cloud. CrashPlan or Backblaze.
  12. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Good point, I need an "off site" copy of at least the REALLY important and
    personal stuff.... will do that pronto.

    I don't see any advantage with Raid - 3 x copies at least of everything should
    be fine and I will rotate that and also make some Blu-ray hard copies.
    Raid is not a backup !

    ( I have an Icybox Raid but just using it JBOD with 2 x 3tb TM backups )

    Thanks for all the tips :)

  13. chrisn123 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2011
    A couple of other reasons to consider a RAID solution are that, by pooling more of your drives and having them work together, you'd get more performance AND more capacity, AND (with RAID6, for example) a level of fault tolerance that most people would consider to be equal to or better than your current approach. In addition, even though swapping out a clone drive is pretty fast, consider that "recovery time" for a failed drive in a RAID6 configuration is effectively instant (never stops working). No interruption to your workflow, etc., etc.

    I would use a single drive (or, if you need more than 4TB) a JBOD enclosure in striped array as your offsite disaster recovery (fire/theft) solution.
  14. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Anytime I make a significant change to my setup, I'll make a clone. I hang onto this for quick recovery. A lot of my files are on a 100GB Dropbox share so I can move between devices easily.

    Aside from that, I have a local time machine backup. I also have both local and offsite CrashPlan backups. The time machine bit is mostly for convenience, to grab a file I deleted or whatever.
  15. matoch macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Nope. It may cover off the case where a single drive fails but the raid approach does nothing for user error, or malicious intent resulting in wiping out existing files. The point of a backup strategy would be to restore the files after such an event occurs.

    Raid 5/6 is nice and it has it's uses but it's not better then his current strategy. The only thing really missing in the current strategy is storing the data offsite and making sure the offsite data is kept up to date regularly.
  16. stjames70 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2009
    Offsite backup to your own systems

    If you are trying to back up office stuff to your home, let me suggest you use Slink so you can mount whatever drive you want to clone from your office, and then use CCC to back up that mounted drive to your physical drive.

    Slink opens a SSH tunnel so that you can mount the drive you want to copy onto the offsite computer and Carbon Copy Cloner can be tasked to automate backups on a periodic basis. I have it set so that this occurs once a day.

    This a great set up so you can have your back ups more readily available in front of you (literally) rather than depending on dropbox, google drive or one drive (BTW, I actually use all of the three services I just mentioned, but I can see that trying to recover the data back would literally take days because of the internet connection -- that is why I just consider these services to be catastrophic insurance -- not really all that practical).

    By backing up to my own systems, I can also verify the integrity of the data by restoring the backups on a weekly basis.

    And yes, I have multiple RAID arrays. I am much more OCD about back ups then the author of this thread.
  17. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Thanks everyone for your input - all good stuff :)

    I will get an off-site copy done of both systems important data and keep that

    Will investigate the "Raid" ideas but I'm confident that going from "one or none"
    to "multiple" backups is very much an improvement !!

  18. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I think the emphasis is going to the wrong place... It's not the number of backups you're doing but where you are backing up that counts more.

    I'd only use Time Machine, but make sure it's being backed up elsewhere. I've seen both a Mac Mini Server and RAID suggested, and that sounds much better.

    The Carbon Copy Cloner backups sound useless, especially in since they are only once a month. And if you're backing up an entirely external RAID disk, the likelihood that your data and your backup will go out at the same time is very slim, making a third back up totally unnecessary.

    Not sure why you have a copy of Lion with the MBP. The ESD or target disk mode to your other machine should be entirely sufficient.

    In general, your strategy needs more smart and less quantity. :) More complexity means more that could go wrong.
  19. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Doesn't sound OCD, but a bit of a hodge hodge.

    I do the following ...

    • TimeMachine backups on all systems
    • All data is on a Synology 5 disk system with 2 disk redundancy
    • Nightly delta preserving backup to a Synology 5 disk "boxcar" with 2 disk redundancy
    • Weekly backup to DROBO 5 disk system (to utilize a different technology) with 2 disk redundancy
    • Monthly backup to a alternated offsite JBOD (two sets, so one is always offsite while being rotated)
    • Yearly snapshots made and never touched offsite
    • Amazon Glacier for critical data (photographs/documents)

    About 6TB of data growing by about 1TB/year.
  20. k-hawinkler macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2011
    What software are folks using to make a bit for bit comparison between multiple copies to ensure the data is still as written and some bits didn't go bad because of media problems? TIA.
  21. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    I'm not quite following the thread of your issue.

    Both system drives ( cMP & MBP ) have "clone" drives - so I can "swop and go" should I have
    a purely system drive major failure. CCC clones.
    The "once a month" is an estimate, I will "re-clone" when any new app is installed or major
    change occurs - not so often as I won't save much data to the system drive and I don't
    constantly install stuff.

    MBP also has a regular TM backup, daily or every other day is fine for me.

    cMP has second copies of my "Audio" drive and my "Samples/data" drive.

    Also I have a double TM backup of all three of the cMP drives - system/audio/data
    across 2 x new 3tb drives in an ICYBOX Raid enclosure USB3.0 in JBOD mode.
    This will be updated after every work day, small edits / additions so fairly quick.

    The "Lion" 2.5 drive is what was removed from my MBP when I fitted the SSD, I thought
    it would be useful to keep if ever the MBP needs to go back for surgery etc at Apple.
    ( it's the original 5400rpm Apple drive )

    I will take extra individual drive copies to a good friends place as an "off site" backup.
    ( I have some 1tb HGST 2.5 drives for this purpose now )
    I will need to redo these fairly regularly but as a last chance "emergency" backup, I would be happy
    if they just have the very important work & personal data plus my installers etc.
    I don't need this to be an "every day" or hourly backup, I'm not working for "Cold Play" :)

    Again, coming from years of perhaps 1 single backup copy and no strategy, this is worlds
    better !

  22. slater-k macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Wow! That is better than Backblaze! I work from home, but I could perhaps install a Mac mini at a neighbours with an attached drive to enable this ...

    And i guess using something like Logmein would allow me to do any work that needs doing on the remote mac mini without having to go round to the remote location - that's an up to date, large, automatic backup system, with no need to go leave your main computer! Brilliant!

    Are there any downsides?!
  23. stjames70 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2009
    None so far, and it has been up for the last year or so. Sometimes the connection will drop, but that has most to do with auto-updates which require the computer to restart. I think there is an option to auto-reconnect if the link falls, but I didn't check it since the connection falls so infrequently. Eh, you probably don't want to put your target or control computers to sleep if you are going to keep that link open all the time.

    Power consumption is least in my mind -- all I really care about is a solid, stable, link, and Slink provides that with little cost in system resources. Try it for free, then buy it if you like it. For us, it is a great solution. It allows me not only to mount drives and manage the target computer (through screen sharing), but also any computers within the same network, provided you have the user name and password in order to access the other computers.

    And it is a one time purchase fee. You don't have to pay on a monthly basis like LogMeIn, but you will be able to access, mount drives, and control your target computers. You will have to install a Slink Agent in your target computer which will generate a key so you can access the specific target computer from your remote location, but once the link is established, the key does not have to be re-entered.

    Good luck, and give it a try.
  24. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yeah, I'm not really understanding the logic here...

    Because the drives are out of date, you're going to have to do a Time Machine restore anyway once you boot back up off the CCC clone.

    You might as well just restore from Time Machine with the USB key you made and ignore the CCC volume. Time Machine can restore the OS installation AND your data, so you don't need to keep around another OS installation.
  25. stjames70 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2009
    Be careful with Time Machine

    I have tried restoring from a supposedly clean TM copy, and a lot of applications did not function well after the restoration. CCC is much more exact, and you get applications and system drives that work right off the bat.

    TM was so slow, I totally gave up on it. But that is just me.

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