Overly Paranoid - Want more backup protection.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Scrib, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Scrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #1
    Hey all ---

    Not sure if this is the right place for this or not. But here goes.

    I have three Macs; iMac, MacBook Pro and a MacMini. The house is wired with Cat 5e and the iMac and MacMini talk between 1000mbit switches. The MBP is wireless.

    I have two FW800 drives that are connected to the macmini and it essentially serves files; music, photos, etc. One of the two FW drives serves as the Time machine disk and is the backup for all three machines.

    My sister had a hard drive failure in their MBP over the holiday. Fortunately, they had a time machine backup. But it got me thinking. It would be nice to have a backup of a backup. I'm most concerned about the iPhoto library, which has grown to the point where DVD backup just isn't workable.

    I was thinking of adding another disk, perhaps a NAS solution and perhaps have Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper simply dump the time machine images to that NAS disk on a daily basis? But not sure that is possible or the best option?

    Or am I simply nuts, should enjoy what I have and forget about it?
     
  2. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #2
    You need to think offsite. Much more added local protection wont help significantly, because a single local incident (theft, fire, flood) may nuke all of it. Jungle Disk (Amazon) and Mozy are the two I know offhand, there are many others, some reviewed here.

    I use TM, a CCC once a week total backup, and a once a week offsite Jungle backup. The initial offsite backup takes absolutely ages, mine took 12 days IIRC, (there is one off site backup co who will let you send in the initial backup on DVDs I think?), but after that unless you are backing up huge videos or similar, it should be fine.

    p.s I also am paranoid and I don't think copying the Time Machine backup is a good idea. Better to copy the original files directly. Imagine if there is a bug that means you cant restore from Time Machine when you need to? Now, although you have your Time Machine backup on different media, there is still a single point of failure, Time Machine itself.
     
  3. Scrib thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #3
    All good points.

    I'll certainly consider an offsite location. And never really considered if TM fails, then what. Given it's just a sparse bundle, I suppose it could get corrupted. Then I'd be hosed. :eek:


     
  4. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #4
    Sparse bundles are just folders FYI. The issue is when time machine deletes stuff. If the file was not modified in 6 months and it was still on there when you ran out of space, it gets deleted if it deletes stuff older than 5 months. I really want my raid 1 server with 2x 1 TB hard drives in it.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #5
    It might be nice to have a better backup, but two backups don't make a lot of sense.

    Think about it - if your files are stored on two different machines (not just two different drives; two different items, like a computer and an external drive), then each one is the other's backup. Your chances of losing both simultaneously are about the same as your house burning down.

    If you have an off-site backup, you're pretty well covered. Two backups, especially if you keep them in the same house/building, is pretty much a waste of time.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    The rule of thumb using in industry is that if you care about the data you need a backup system that follows these rules. Lots of systems can work


    1) The data must always exist on at least three different physical media
    2) The data must always exist in at least two different geographical locations

    The word "always" in important. This means that if you backup program erases a previous copy then then you need four copies so that you have three during the backup operation, should the backup fail. And YES during a backup is the most likely time for a failure, few things home users do are more stressful to the hardware. In rile #2 "always" means you deliver to new backup to the off site location before yo bring the old one back to be re-sync'd.

    You should think about the most common ways data are lost. In order of likeyhood they are 1) Operator error, 2) Theft of the equipment, 3) software problems cuasing data coorruption, 4) equipment failure "disk crash".

    Time Machine is quite good at handling the #1 problem but quite bad at #2. But a total system can cover everything.

    Things like fire are important think about too. I know, you never had that problem before. But everyone who had a fire said that before the fire.

    I use Time Machine. I always use my largest disk drive for TM. Then Every year or so I buy a bigger TM drive and the old TM drive is used for my set of rotating backups. Every so oten I sync the disk that I have in my fire safe and then take it to work. Then bring home the drive at work and place it in the fire safe. Evey year when I buy the new drive I retire my oldest one. This way none of by backups are on drives that are more than 3 or so years old.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    No, other things are more likely. Theft of the computer equipment is the number one way to loose data. It is very common much more common than fires
     
  8. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #8
    The problem is that online storage is just too expensive for huge collection of data and they may not also provide you 100% uptime, they can go down and you may not have access to those files for a while. Second thing you must remember is to use encryption in case anything get stolen and so on.

    You might want to consider putting all of your personal and extremely sensitive files in an encrypted file (sometime like TrueCrypt which is cross platform and allow you to decrypt the file on any platform that's supported) and upload those to Dropbox, Amazon, or Mozy. Then use a sync application to backup those to two external drives and ship one to a secondary location like your parent's house just in case your house does burn down (the encryption will allow the security in case somebody tries to steal the external drive or your parent tries to load it and see if they can find anything). Time Machine is awful way of backing up because of lack of encryption. I can steal anybody's time machine and just hook it up to my mac and still use it as if it was never theirs.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #9
    So you just rule that out without knowing what the OP's amount of data is, or how much he considers "too expensive"? maybe he doesn't have a 'huge collection' of data. Or will backup "not huge" data offline, and "too huge" goes on a another disk?

    He has also got a TM backup, and possibly a CCC backup as well !! Maybe he should have a backup on the moon in case an asteroid destroys the offsite location and his house at the same time?


    Agreed though make sure to keep the encryption key in at least two places, or the chances you lose the key and cant get your data back are 100's x higher than someone trawling through your backup data.


    Well, in that case, they could just steal your mac in the first place! And I though I was paranoid :eek:
     
  10. Skuman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    #10
    Something to consider is what happens if some file gets corrupted (or gets poorly edited) and you only find out months (or years...) later? That's why I have multiple copies of the same files backed up, I can always go back to a previous backup months or years earlier. I always cringe when I see someone having one backup and when they backup again, they delete the original backup. Yes, it takes up more space, but I don't include all types, I skip music, home videos and other video files (ie I have 3 backups in 2 locations of these, but I don't have seven copies scattered on a single hard drive).

    As said earlier, the most likely cause of data loss is human error.
     
  11. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #11
    I didn't rule anything out, I gave a single con of using an off-site online storage which somebody else mentioned. The point of the thread is to give more options and more information about each solution.

    Again, look at the title of this thread. I gave him other options that people haven't mentioned yet.


    I used to do IT Forensics, I just know all the possibilities that can happen and yes that have made me paranoid more than other people in general but that's not a bad thing. People should be educated about other methods of protecting their data instead of relying on Time Machine and off-site locations. It is up to them to decide what they want to do.

    Your attitude is the reason why many people have lost data, they assume just a single copy of backup is enough and yet when hearing about other options of doing so, they shug it off as if it is too much to do. Believe me, I get an earful of people bitching as if nobody ever told them about different methods of backing up and how their backup or time machine data was corrupted and nobody told them to check.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #12
    A third copy still doesn't help you in that case. One copy on-site and one copy off is plenty for anything but enterprise-grade data.
     
  13. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #14
    Errrm, where in what I wrote did I even vaguely hint a single copy was sufficient ?

    You'll find I suggested TM (multiple copies there obviously), CCC (one copy) and offsite (potentially multiple depending how you configure, FWIW I store 3).
     
  14. montycat macrumors 6502

    montycat

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #15
    I keep identical files of my Documents, iTunes, iPhoto etc. on both my Macs. I also keep DVD backups in my safety deposit box. I use MobileMe to store my most important files. My iPhoto files is what Im most paranoid about. I have multiple backups of these kept at various places (family & work). MC
     

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