Backup strategy with Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FreakinEurekan, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #1
    I'm hoping someone here has a similar config to what I'm trying to accomplish.

    Currently my backup strategy (basically) involves two 3TB hard disks in a USB dock. Time Machine is set up to back up to both disks "Time Machine A" and "Time Machine B". Once a week I switch the disks, so it backs up to "A" for a week and then to "B" for a week.

    While I could theoretically keep "A" offsite while "B" is running, it's a logistical inconvenience. I'd like to have an offsite solution that's not timing-dependent (i.e. where I don't have to first retrieve the old offsite disk in order to swap it out). Also I don't like the interrupted archive, where I have daily archives for only every other week at any one time.

    What I'm thinking of doing is getting a 3TB Time Capsule and setting my Time Machine to back up only to that. I'd then plug my USB dock into the Time Capsule, and my current 3TB disks would become rotating offsite backups. What I'd like to do is use the Archive function in the AirPort Utility from time to time to back up everything on my TC to one of the 3TB disks, take that disk offsite, and then bring home the alternate disk to use for the next trip.

    I can't find much on how long it takes to make an archive either, and I know the TC must be offline for that to happen. Not a big deal if it's 10 hours (I'll just run it overnight when no new data is being generated) but if it takes 2-3 days to create the archive that's a problem since nothing will be backed up during that time.

    Anyone doing something similar?
     
  2. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #2
    You wouldn't want to disconnect a drive from the Time Capsule without shutting the TC down. So, this approach (hot-plugging a USB drive for offsite backup) isn't the best solution.

    What works for me: Two or more USB drives connected to the TC via a powered hub, forming duplicative/rotating backups for all my family's Macs. (Currently we have four drives attached, plus the internal one.) Then, the mission-critical ones (mine, for starters) also have BackBlaze running. That forms a tertiary redundant backup offsite, just-in-case. A bonus is that I can access my backed-up files remotely, for example with an app on my iPhone. And I can restore remotely without having to physically retrieve the offsite-drive. (BackBlaze will send you a USB drive with your stuff on it for a reasonable fee, too.) And the remote backup is always current rather than only as recent as the last backup on the drive you've sent across town.

    It works very well and is reasonably priced. On the occasions when I've had a question, the BackBlaze people have been super-responsive, too. And it runs totally unattended and without perceptible impact on your machine's speed. Recommended.

    The first backup to any remote service will take a good long while, though. Set the bandwidth setting as high as your LAN can tolerate, and be sure its default settings are what you want.

    Gotta say, the Time Capsule is a wonderful product. Folks pale at the price compared to other routers, but it's so much more.
     
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #3
    In OS 10.8, the OS will alternate TM backups to multiple drives automatically. Most of my household macs rotate between the internal TC drive and an USB drive attached, one time to one drive, next time to the other. So you basically have two copies of your backup automatically and seamlessly.

    For my editing station, I use both the TC drive and a redundant raid in a USB3 enclosure attached to the computer and set TM to alternate between them.

    For off site, inexpensive services like crashplan are great for small amounts of data, but choke when hit with 5-6 GB files.

    I FTP all my videos and photos to a commercial server. These are items that never change, just get added to. Otherwise I store a drive at the neighbors and retrieve it once in awhile and have CCC clone/backup the essentials.
     
  4. FreakinEurekan thread starter macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    Thanks for the ideas. An online backup service is definitely something to consider. I somewhat over-simplified my description in that there will actually be 4 Macs backing up to the TC, which could get pricey if I wanted to do all of those on CrashPlan or BackBlaze or the like. I visit my mom at least once a week so was hoping to just take a backup copy of the TC there each week.

    I'll experiment with it once I get the TC in a couple of weeks, but will also look into online backup services.
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    I back up 8 machines to Crashplan Central. The largest single backup is 1.5 TB. A single machine costs $4/month. Up to 10 machines is $9/month. All are unlimited backup. In the long run... it is cheaper than buying USB drives.

    /Jim
     
  6. FreakinEurekan thread starter macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
    I was just looking at that pricing, CrashPlan's bulk/family pricing is pretty reasonable. Looks like this could be a winner. Thanks!
     
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #7
    Just interested... How do you rebuild a drive with crash plan if it fails? Its off-site right? Can you download a spars bundle or something similar to load onto a drive? Or is it simply like Dropbox where you can access only specific files? If the latter is the case then it is not quite the same as Time Machine, CC, SuperDuper!, etc. It looks good but I am wondering how it all works when it hits the fan.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Crashplan+ only backs up your data... not OSX or your applications. Typical usage would be to instal OSX, and applications... and then download your user files. Alternately, they can Fed-Ex you (for a fee) a HDD with your encrypted backup set on the HDD... and restore your files locally.

    I personally use CP+ as the offsite disaster recovery option of my backup strategy.

    I use:

    TM/TC locally
    CP+ Offsite.

    I also clone my personal media whenever this is significant updates to my databases... and rotate them on a pair of HDDs... the most recent of which is stored offsite in my office.

    /Jim
     

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