How many backups is too many backups ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mpovolo, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. mpovolo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    #1
    Been thinking on my backup solutions. Currently I use Time capsule and works great. Then I thought I want a backup of it so got an external USB and use the archive feature. Then I thought scrap that and get a dual drive NAS with a raid mirror. To be honest, I a thinking one backup is enough. Really what are the odds of the main machine and a backup to get screwed up. What do you do?
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    depends, how sensitive, irreplaceable, and important to you is the data?

    perfect backup is multiple copies in multiple locations, if you have a back up at your house, and someone breaks in and steals your computer and the backup drive, or there's a fire, you've lost everything.

    irreplaceable stuff like family photos might go into a safety deposit box where you swap the drive once a month. or if it's small enough files, something offsite like amazon's S3 or mobile me.

    or just keeping a drive at grandma's of the photos that you update from time to time.
     
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    I like two backups... one local, and one offsite. If I was only to have one... it would be offsite. However, TimeMachine is quite good and very inexpensive, so there is little reason not to use it as a secondary backup.

    I do not want any backup solution that is not 100% automatic with no human intervention.

    I use crashplan.com for cloud backup... and Time Machine (to a Time Capsule) as a local backup. Time machine backs me up every hour. Crashplan backs up every 15 minutes. Both keep unlimited versions.

    /Jim
     
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    I like having 2 backups onsite, one TM and one clone of my data drive. the problem with TM is that you have to restore the data before you can continue. with a clone (or a mirror), you just switch to the other drive and keep going.
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    The second local backup can have limited value as you say. The problem with cloning is that it often requires some manual intervention.

    For the past 2 years, I have switched to SSDs which are expensive to keep as spares. For laptops, my wife and I have retired our MBP's... and we both use MBA's so we cannot easily swap drives even if we wanted to.

    In any case... any local backup is not as important as having an offsite automatic backup solution. I like both Mozy, and Crashplan... but I have switched to Crashplan because it is the only cloud solution that I have found that is both affordable, and offers unlimited versioning. I like knowing I can recreate any version of any file that I have ever created.

    /Jim
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    SuperDuper can clone on a schedule. I imagine other backup/cloning software can do the same. or, if you have multiple drives, you just do a mirror RAID.

    and how long is the downtime to get all your data onto another drive? with a clone, it's right there. with TM, you restore to a new drive via USB or FW or eSATA. all of those are much faster than an internet transfer. if you just need a few files, sure, but if you need several large ones, why wait for an internet download.

    I also think a hardware failure is more likely than your computer and storage being stolen from your home or lost in a catastrophe.
     
  7. flynz4, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Which is exactly why I prefer a dual backup. Primary is to the cloud for disaster recovery and enterprise class data storage. Secondary is local for speed and ease of recovery.

    Recovery from TM is pretty fast in my opinion... but obviously not as fast as from a cloned drive. It is a 2 step process: 1) install the OS from the recovery media, and 2) Restore the machine via TM. The user interface of TM is hard to beat for simplicity.

    If you are in a production environment, where very fast recovery is critical, then a cloned drive makes a lot of sense. You should also choose a computer that supports fast replacement of drives (such as a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro). The biggest downside of cloned drives for most people would be a lack of version control, vs TM which gives you hourly backups and hence, hourly versions. Hence... I would not recommend relying just on cloning... since the data is only as good as the most recent backup. I think it is impractical to clone more often than once daily (typically at night)... vs Crashplan+ which can perform continuous background incremental backups. (I have mine set to 15 minutes).

    Since recovering from TM is fast enough for my needs, I do not need to clone. Plus, both our iMac and two MBAs are not easy to replace drives. The MBA's can be rebuilt in minutes. The iMac would take overnight to restore about 1TB of data. If I needed the fast recovery option provided by cloning... it would be my third backup.

    In summary, my recommendation would be (in priority order):

    1) Cloud based backup with unlimited versioning (ex: Crashplan+)
    2) Local backup with versioning (ex: Time Machine)
    3) Cloned backup (ex: superduper or CCC) if your needs require very fast recovery... and you have a machine that easily supports drive replacement.

    One last thought: Even though Crashplan+ will do both cloud and local backup... I prefer to have both (or all 3 if necessary) backup solutions to use different programs. That is a safety net in case of error in the backup algorithm or setting user controls. Hence, I use Crashplan+ for cloud, and TM/TC for local backups.

    /Jim
     
  8. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #8
    I have a Time Capsule backup and an extra external HD. I figure if those two, plus my regular HD dies, I might as well just give up on computers entirely.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    However, if they are in the same physical location, then a thief could steal your computer _and_ your two backup drives.
     
  10. mcx, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010

    mcx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    #10
    I think for a normal user its sufficient to create a backup on a external hdd or a network storage.
    If there are sensitive data for example busyness data a raid 1 with 2 hdd is recommended.
    I actually use a single hdd on my mac pro to backup my macbook pro.

    Imho a nas server with a backup from the backup via raid 1 is the way the be sure that your data are save. It is really unlikely that 3 hdd crash at the same time.

    Edit:

    If you are scared about thief blackblaze might the right thing for you.

    http://www.backblaze.com/
     
  11. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #11
    Easy solution to that problem-- I'll just activate my Time Machine and prevent the thief from even being born.
     
  12. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #12
    I like the 3 2 1 rule.
    3 copies
    2 types of media
    1 copy stored offsite
     
  13. ggpike macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    #13
    My setup is a portable external drive and cloud for current working files, NAS for near line, and 2 copies of DVD-R's in separate physical locations for far line backup.
     
  14. mcx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    #14
    Complete backup or only a special part for example itunes lib?
     

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