Backup Solutions - Old/Newer Macs, iPad and iPhone

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Zothecula, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Zothecula macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    I hope this is the correct forum to place this question. I have a client who is in need of a backup option for several devices which include old school macs and a newer mac laptop, iphone 4 and ipad.

    I have a couple solutions in mind but would like to find out if there might be other solutions that are less costly for the client and a lot easier for her to get a grip on.

    Client has an old Mac desktop (Power Tower or G4), an old Mac laptop
    from 2008, a new Mac Book Pro, an iPhone 4 and iPad.

    I do not have Mac versions of OS from Client (awaiting callback on the versions). But she does graphic design and needs to backup all her files from all of her devices to one solution. Was considering through newer mac os x on laptop to external drive and then everything up to Carbonite.

    All of the devices have a lot of information stored on them, mostly
    photos; the 2008 laptop's capacity is full, and the iPhone and iPad are
    nearing capacity.

    Customer uses her computer for a lot of graphic designing for her

    Suggestions or then routing most through the newer mac laptop and onto an external drive?
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    As long as the PowerPC Mac has Leopard, she can use Time Machine for all the Macs. Or alternately, Carbon Copy Cloner can make a total backup on a set schedule, but without versioning.
  3. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    How much storage does each Mac have?

    I think blevins321 has a good idea about using Time Machine. It's simple, reliable, and pretty fool-proof to set up and operate. Another advantage to the client (although not so much for you) is that support for it is easy to get; certainly any Mac-knowledgeable consultant would know how to deal with it. I.e., it's not some special home-brew setup that only you understand.

    Also, I'd think with a client of this sort you'd want versioning, and TM's ability to relatively easily retrieve older versions of a file could be valuable to her.

    I don't have any iOS devices -- don't they get backed up by syncing with iTunes like my iPod does? As long as the iTunes files are backed up, wouldn't that count as a good iPhone and iPad backup?

    If you went with TM, you'd have to decide where the backup disk(s) should be located and served to the network:

    1) Directly-attach (USB or Firewire) an external drive to each Mac. Simple, cheap. But not good if the portable ones are ever moved, which I assume they are. Too much error and hassle in plugging/unplugging the drives.

    2) Directly-attach one or more external drive(s) to one Mac, and share the drive(s) to the other Macs. Then let each TM back up over the local network. You'd probably want the "drive hosting" machine to be never-off (always either on or in sleep mode) so that the drives are always available to the other Macs when their TM kicks in.

    I would try to use the old desktop Mac as the "drive hosting" machine, because the other two are portables. However, if you were quite confident that the new MacBook Pro was going to be stationary, perhaps the overhead of serving the disks to the network would be less noticable on the more powerful machine. Honestly, though I think even the old PPC Mac could handle it without trouble, but I'm just guessing really.

    3) If you don't want a Mac never-off, or if the old desktop can't handle the drive-hosting duties, buy a Time Capsule. If 3TB isn't enough storage, but a USB2 hub and as many external USB drives as you want, and each machine could be backed up to a separate drive.

    One of the big limitations of TM is that the backup destination cannot span volumes. It can only be as large as the largest disk drive you've got available. This can be a problem if you've got a machine with 6GB of direct-attached storage! However, since you didn't mention any external storage on any of the Macs, I don't think this will be a problem for you. Using 4GB drives, you'd be limited to each Mac having up to 4GB of storage.
  4. Zothecula thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    I now have the versions:

    Mac Mini running Lion

    Mac G4 Tower running 10.4.11

    2008 Macbook Pro running 10.5.8

    Newer Macbook Pro running 10.7.5

    My guess is still that if she backed up her iphone and ipod to her newer macbook pro then backed up all of the other solutions to a time machine drive or any other external drive she could easily backup everything with unlimited data storage to Carbonite for only $99 a year.

    But, still open to other suggestions :)

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