Help me figure out my backup situation!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RJSAudio, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. RJSAudio macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi everybody,

    I am looking for an online backup service that will fit my needs. Essentially, the way I do it now is I backup all my external drives, my iMac, and my MacBook to a big 4TB external drive via Carbon Copy Cloner. All that exists on that drive is a sparse bundle disk image for each computer and drive. And all I'm looking for is a service that will back up the drive that stores all of these backups to the cloud - nothing else. Any ideas?

    I contacted Carbonite today and they told me that they didn't have anything that would help my situation, and it seems that most of the other big backup services are equally useless. I know most of them don't back up system files or applications, essentially just media and other smaller items. I need a service that will backup sparse bundle disk images on an external drive (preferably without having to backup anything else with it).

    I also have a Time Capsule that I am looking to get rid of. I used to use my Time Capsule for all the backups, but it's just so much slower than using an external drive that I switched. However, if anyone knows of a way to back up the Time Capsule to the cloud, that would be something I'm interested in. Still I've found that most of the services that backup NAS drives are somehow unable to backup a Time Capsule.

    I'm a bit stuck, I'd love the extra security of the cloud but don't know if anything out there works for me. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

    - Ryan
  2. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    Just a few thoughts...

    First, I wouldn't want my backed up files in any sparse bundle.
    I would want them in POFF (plain old finder format).
    The reason is -- if you have need to be accessing your backups, it's probably due to an emergency because you can't get to the files otherwise. And in such a situation, if the files -aren't- "easy to reach" (as they would be in POFF) -- you may not even be able to open your backups at all. Not a good position to find yourself in.

    CCC is the best way to backup -- but if you're backing up more than one volume, either partition the target drive (so that each partition represents one of the backup volumes), or use separate drives.

    I tend to think that "separate drives" is the better option. The logic is simple: don't keep all your data "in one basket" (just like the eggs of old).

    If you're backing up a LOT of data (I sense this because it sounds like you do music production), the cloud probably won't work too well. It will be slow, and probably expensive.

    Just wondering -- have you priced out the cost of a safe deposit box at your bank? The cost might be comparable to low-end "cloud backup". Of course you'll have to make an occassional trip to the bank to "swap drives" in your box, but you'll have full control of the drives otherwise, and the stuff ought to be fairly secure in a bank vault.

    For backup hardware, I'd suggest a USB3/SATA docking station (go to amazon and enter "usb3 sata dock" in the search box), and several "bare drives". The dock makes it VERY easy to swap drives around, and if you have 2 drives representing each volume to be backed up, you will always be able to have one of those drives "in the vault", so to speak.
  3. RJSAudio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the response! I don't really see the issue with sparse bundle disk images, however. I've never found them to be slow or inconvenient in any way, and I find that having the entire backup confined with a single file is really nice. It just takes a second to open up, and after that it's all in finder format as you like.

    Yes, I do have a lot of data. After I fill up 4TB I plan on deleting old recording sessions, but I will probably be at that point by the end of 2014. The only reason I'd consider the cloud is because I see that so many of them are offering unlimited backup size these days, but it looks like that's because they don't backup everything, specifically not the kind of backups I need. I agree, it looks like a USB hub and a pair of bare drives might make the most sense, and then I can just swap them once a month and store the other at a fellow engineer's apartment, or get a bank vault if I feel like getting fancy. ;)

    Nonetheless, anyone have any ideas on an online backup service that would fit my needs?

    Finally, I think I might give the Time Capsule one more try. I found that Time Machine was finicky with backing up external drives - I tried it once before and sometimes it would take forever for no reason I was aware of. But if I can smooth this issue out and be able to backup both my machines and my externals to my Time Capsule, and then simply clone the time Capsule via CCC and store the clone off-site, that should be pretty secure. I have been extremely pleased with the backup speeds now that all my devices are 802.11ac, even if the drive in the Time Capsule is still insanely slow...

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