Storing and backing-up large amounts of data while travelling - online Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by alexjholland, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. alexjholland macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    Hey, I am off travelling in early 2017 and therefore will be selling my iMac i7 with a 1TB SSD and 3TB disc drive, to replace it with a Macbook Pro, when the new ones come out, later this year.

    I need to slim my hard-drive setup and make it as light/low-footprint as possible, while backing myself up against data loss and theft.

    I produce music heavily and make videos of adventures lightly, plus I take/edit photos.

    Currently, my hard drive status is.

    Internal 1TB SSD (main)
    Only 50Gb spare, due to 200GB+ iTunes library, a couple of hundred gigs of audio samples/expansion packs, 40Gb of photos in OSX photos and tonnes of audio/video applications.

    All documents except the iTunes library and system files are in Dropbox too, which I have a 1TB subscription for, which provides some backup capability.

    Removing 40Gb of .DMG files from local storage (I can download them individually from Dropbox when required) can free me up to 90GB and I'm also planning to slim down my app and music collections soon. Hopeful the new OSX features for slimming data will help me too.

    Internal 3TB spinner (video files)
    Dedicated to storing GoPro footage and my Final Cut Pro X library, around 400Gb used so far.

    External 2TB disc (movies)
    Nearly full, with HD-quality films.

    External 4Tb disc (time machine)
    Time Machine for the internal SSD and internal disc of video files

    ---

    I'm thinking of a three-tier solution

    1TB internal SSD for essential files
    The internal hard drive situation seems likely to remain at a maximum of a single 1TB SSD drive in the new Macbooks due to space constraints and the cost of 2TB SSD drives being high at present, so no change likely here.

    Providing I can keep my internal requirements below 1Tb, which should be possible by slimming down somewhat and placing .DMG files into the cloud, I should be OK on that front. Concerned about how many photos I take, but I'll have to keep it under 1TB, so that's that.

    2-4TB external disc drive (maybe thunderbolt) for video files and perhaps some less regularly used files from the internal SSD
    The majority of my video editing is short, sub-one minute videos for Instagram, which I can do in the free space on my SSD. However, I can easily shoot 100 Gb of video in a one-week snowboard trip, which requires storage before editing; so a large external disc is required. Probably disc-based, for cost reasons, although Thunderbolt.

    Online storage or NAS for backing up internal SSD and the external disc drive
    My documents all being kept in Dropbox is helpful, but a lot of data (applications and installed expansion packs) are in system files, so in the even of a theft, I want to be able to load a carbon copy of my Mac straight onto a replacement, from Time Machine. Additionally, I want to backup my external disc drive too, so I don't lose any video footage if it crashes.

    Carrying around a second large disc drive for Time Machine seems a little short-sighted, given that one of the main concerns when travelling is theft.

    Ideally I'd buy an Apple Mini and setup a server in my apartment for while I'm travelling, but that's pretty expensive. A NAS is another option. However, could I use rent an online solution? Some kind of service I pay monthly, so I can update a Time Machine backup once or twice a week from a high-speed internet connection?

    ---

    I'm not so fussed about my 2Tb of movies for now.. I could upload them to a server online, or just leave them in the UK for a year or so, until i can afford to build a huge Mac-powered NAS server in my UK apartment, which is probably my end goal.

    So for now, does this make sense?

    And any recommendations for online, Time Machine enabled storage solutions?

    Cheers
     
  2. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #2
    Online, LAN: FreeNAS. You can do this yourself at very little cost.

    Online, WAN: I'm not aware of any service provider offering a service that conforms to Apple's Time Machine Network Interface Specification (TMNIS).
     
  3. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #3
    So if online is impossible and taking a hard drive with me would be both impractical and undermine the idea of having backup safely elsewhere, then the only remaining option is to setup a system in my apartment in the UK, which I'll be renting out while away?

    Do I need to buy a Mac Mini? That's attractive, but costly.
     
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #4
    I am not sure how practical online storage would be while traveling. Will you have a fast enough internet connection? Even fast wifi is usually much slower (often by a factor of 10) uploading than downloading. How long will it take to upload your files? You might try doing some calculations based on anticipated upload speeds.
     
  5. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #5
    I'll be in Sydney for quite a while and anticipate having fast broadband wherever I go; if not everywhere I travel, at least anywhere I'm renting.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2016 ---
    Am I correct in understanding I could buy one of these for a shade over £100, rip out the 2Tb and 4Tb drives currently in Toshiba enclosures and place them inside and I'm done?

    http://www.verybasics.com/synology-ds216se-synology-ds216se-2-bay-desktop-enc.html
     
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #6
    Well, try online storage at home first to see if it is practical. I suspect you may find that it takes much longer to upload than you anticipate. In any case, if you are going to use online storage, you will want to have the bulk of it uploaded before you go so that on the road you only need incremental backups.
     
  7. jgelin macrumors 6502a

    jgelin

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Location:
    St Petersburg, FL
    #7
    Possibly this could help: https://www.backblaze.com/
    *Never used this service myself, but from people online that have and those who have told me they did they really liked it.
     
  8. grahamperrin, Jun 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016

    grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #9
    If you defocus from Time Machine (it's ill-suited to WAN use) there are many options.

    I suggest aiming for a service that allows deltas; a small change to a previously backed up massive file need not require the entire mass to be backed up. Backblaze is well known and very appealing but when I last checked (maybe a year or so ago) I think it lacked the integrity that I required. If I can find the relevant post, I'll add a link to this post.

    October 2013: https://twitter.com/grahamperrin/status/414778493830836224
     
  9. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #10
    I like the look of backblaze. We have two iMacs to back up, so is that $100 US or? Also do backblaze use amazon cloud servers do you know? or their own servers?
    Also anyone else recommend backblaze?
    thanks
     
  10. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #11
    Yeah.. I'm leaning towards Backblaze too!
     
  11. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #12
    It does look good - as long as they stay solvent....
    We use dropbox at the moment for about 80 UK pounds 1TB, but I do like the unlimited data of backblaze.
     
  12. gyrf macrumors newbie

    gyrf

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    #13
    backblaze has their own data warehouse using in-house designs for their Storage Pods and an in-house backup manager. they have all the gory details on their site.

    https://www.backblaze.com/b2/storage-pod.html

    another plus is that their client is a native OS X app, not Java like some other services' clients.

    I've been using them for a few months, very happy with the service.
     
  13. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #14
    Yep, very impressed so far with backblaze - the software seems to scan the hard drive for changes every 1 to 2 hours.
    It a solution to a problem we've been looking for 20 years.
     
  14. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #15


    Has the service gained support for extended attributes?

    Maybe the easiest way to test:
    1. allow backup of a file with a custom tag
    2. elsewhere (maybe at a different Mac) restore that file
    3. tell whether the restored file has that custom tag.
     
  15. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #16
    Hi
    I use parallels with backblaze on W7.
    I don't think backblaze installed on macOS with parallels is ideal with the virtual machine's .pvm large file constantly changing.
    (I copy and paste the .pvm weekly to a Time Capsule folder.)
    cheers
     
  16. Muttznuttz macrumors newbie

    Muttznuttz

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Location:
    London
    #17
    I use iDrive, got a great deal for the first year subscription. It can be configured to only backup changed files. You can also access your saved data in a browser from anywhere.
     

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