Thoughts on backups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    I wanted to start a new thread based on this comment in another thread...

    I could use some advice on my backup strategy.

    Currently I have a 2012 13" MBP with a 1TB HDD, also have CCC.

    When I bought CCC earlier this year, I was excited about being able to clone my HDD, but I became discouraged with it because it was taking 7 hours to do one backup - I use the Checksum option.

    Because of this and my work, commute, travel schedule, it was nearly impossible for me to do backups. How do you do a 7 hour clone at night when you only get 6 hours to sleep?

    Then a few weeks ago the HDD cable on my aging MBP died and it corrupted my HDD. Fortunately Iw as able to recover all of my data, but right now I have to work of an external HDD, and all of my data is fragmented across 2 HDDs.

    I can't wait to get my new 13" Retina MBP with 1TB SSD to get all of my data merged back on this new machine.

    This leads me to some questions...

    1.) How can I do daily backups when it takes CCC so long to do them?

    2.) I dont like TimeMachine because you can't access files directly from the image or boot from it. I assume CCC is much better.

    3.) I am starting a small business, and I gues I do need daily backups, because losing even a day of work would hurt. Currently I am living off of my clone from June while I get this MBP issue resolved!!

    What is a better strategy moving forward?
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #2
    1. A clone needs a full system backup at first and then bless that drive ability to boot. It then will just add/replacement files that have changed!

    2. Time Machine is a basic service for DAS drives only! Try it for other NAS devices might work at first but will require many days of tweeting in the future.

    3. One clone and one Time Machine would be the best way to go. Plus with Floods or Fires you should look at Online Storage for your documents, just in case.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    https://bombich.com/kb/ccc3/advanced-settings

    1. Your problem is you are using that checksum option and that takes forever. Turn that off and just do a normal clone, then updates to that clone afterward and it will be very quick. If you are that worried about file corruption, you can run the checksum routine once a week or once a month or so to verify file integrity. I never ever run it though, since I have multiple backups.

    Also, if you are concerned about security, you might want to look into encrypting the CCC clone/backup also. That is what I am doing.

    2. You are correct, that you cannot boot to and run the system from a TM backup, but you can attach the TM backup disk to any Mac and unlock the disk then read the files.

    3. If you are that concerned about losing work, you should have some sort of online backup method.

    Here is what I am doing. I have a local USB disk attached that runs TM backups (encrypted) hourly. I have a second USB disk I use for a CCC clone/backup (also encrypted) that I run every few days or of I make a big system change. Then I backup my users folder online to Amazon's S3 servers using the app Arq.
     
  4. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I only used the Time-Machine backup once, to restore all data to my new MacMini.
    I understand you want to be able to "see" individual files but I guess that's the price of it (I never checked if you can actually see the individual files on the backup medium, TBH)

    As for booting. Again, it's not made for that (a sentence you're most likely accustomed to, as an Apple customer). If you buy a very fast USB-stick and your backup medium is fast, too, you can get back to a useable system in a very short time.

    Well over a decade ago, when I dabbled with my own small business, I had an old SUN Ultra 10, bought a DLT tape drive on eBay (for a couple hundred bucks, I think) and used Solaris's ufsdump-utility to dump my files on it that I synced onto the Ultra with unison.
    Never had to recover files from those tapes, luckily. Would have been a total PITA.

    These days, it's all a bit easier. Though, for large amounts of data, tape is still the way to go.

    If you are paranoid about online-services, you might want to look at tarsnap, which stores encrypted copies of files on Amazon S3.

    The more stuff you encrypt, the more you will have to think about a strategy to protect the various keys and passphrases.

    If you lose them, it's game over.
     
  5. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #5
    Normal CCC clones with checksum off are not quick. Even when I did that you are looking at 4-5 hours for a backup with maybe 50-100GB of changed data. That makes weekly backups a pain, and daily backups impossible.


    I run FileVault2 on my MBP and have it set up on the external HHDs I use CCC on.


    But I think TM is just one like image file, so there is no way to ever cherry pick things. If the TM image is corrupt or incomplete or whatever, you have nothing! At least with CCC, you can access every file, so if my clone on my 1TB HDD failed 5% in, I would at least have those first files which I think is way better.


    A USB thumbdrive?

    Can you explain how that works?


    What size is your HDD?

    How long does it take you to do a CCC backup on that size drive?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    My experience with CCC is it is only limited by the drive speed. I think you will find this is the same with about any backup solution you choose.

    Nope... a local TM backup is not one image file like you are thinking. In Finder you can double click the Backups.backupdb file and inside that pick your date/time then from there just navigate to whatever you want and drag it off to the Desktop or wherever.

    Like I mentioned, I like using both TM and CCC. If one gets messed up, I still have the other. Then my personal (user) files are also backed up online.

    No... I am just using a USB3 external hard drive for TM backups. I leave this attached all the time so it backs up hourly.

    For the weekly or so CCC clones/backups I use a 256GB SSD in an USB3 enclosure. It is very quick. I just did an CCC update and here is the result.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 5.56.24 AM.png
     
  7. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #7
    Okay, on my old clunky MBP I have USB 2, so maybe that is part of the problem.

    How much faster will USB 3 be on the new MBP I am ordering?

    Also, what exactly is the difference in a USB 2 vs USB 3 external enclosure?

    When my current MBP crashed a few weeks ago, I ran over to Fry's and bought two aluminum USB 2 external enclosures.

    I guess I thought the speed would be a function of the circuitry in your laptop and not the external case - since it just has this tiny connector that physically plugs into the HDD. Is that not correct?


    Can you help me understand the difference between a TM backup and a CCC backup/clone? My understanding is that CCC copies every single file from your HDD onto a backup HDD, so that you have an identical copy of your main HDD should it ever crash.

    When I hear people use the term "backup" - as opposed to "clone" - I think they mean copies all of their personal work files to another disk, but really the OS and such.

    So what exactly is different about TM versus something like CCC?

    And what advantages does TM have over CCC?

    (I love CCC so far, my only gripe is that it is way too slow currently. I hope once I get my new MBP with SSD things will go faster?)


    Wow, that leaves you pretty covered!

    Wow again! Under 3 minutes works for me! :)
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Ugh.... yeah that USB2 is killing you. The USB3 interface is capable of ten times the speed. I just did a test copy of my 1.5GB Documents folder. First to an external USB3 hard drive, then to the same drive over a USB2 connection. The USB3 connection copied the folder over in 16 seconds and the USB2 connection took two minutes and 21 seconds.... so you can see there is a huge difference.

    No matter what enclosure you buy, on your Mac you will be limited by that USB2 port speed. That said, they only cost a bit more, so I would buy USB3 enclosures. They are backwards compatible, so will work with your existing USB2 connection plus any new USB3 machine you buy later.

    Both CCC and TM essentially clone the drive. Both copy every file (except some cache files) to the external drive. TM is better at keeping "versions" of files, so if you want you can look back and retrieve a three week old version of maybe a spreadsheet you were working on. CCC can be setup to do that, but the interface is not very use friendly. CCC is more geared toward just making a copy (clone) of your drive.

    The advantage of CCC is if your internal drive dies, you can option key boot right to the CCC drive and actually operate the computer from that drive (although with your USB2 that would be dog slow). TM cannot be booted to directly. A TM backup would need to be restored back to a new drive before you could use your computer again.

    I don't think CCC is your issue here, I think it is your USB2 connection slowing you down.
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #9
    Oops!

    Wow.


    I think the new MBP I am going to buy also comes with a Thunderbolt 2 port?

    Is that something that would help me out doing clones/backups to an external drive?

    Which is faster - Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3?

    And if Thunderbolt 2 is faster, could I get an external enclosure for that instead?

    If USB 3 is truly 10 times faster than that is probably enough of an improvement to do what I need, but I figured I would ask about the Thunderbolt port also.


    Oh, okay. I can see advantages to that.


    Since my internal HDD cable is bad, that is exactly what I am doing now to use my old MBP.

    Ironically, I don't really notice any difference between my external USB 2 HDD and when it was internal, but I do know that CCC backups - even with checksum off - HURT with my current set up!!!


    Let's hope you are right, because after nearly losing two months or irreplaceable work, I need a more practical backup plan!!!
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    In theory TB is a little faster, but in actual practice USB3 and TB are very close. Look at this test.

    For backups, I would just stick with USB3. Make sure you buy enclosures that list UASP support for the best speeds.
     
  11. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #11
    I know we already talked about buying a MBP with an Apple SSD as being the better choice, but what about something like this for doing backups...


    OWC Envoy Pro EX
    1.0TB Portable, Bus-Powered USB 3.0
    Storage Solution with OWC Aura SSD


    Would that help speed up my CCC backups - without using checksum - even more than an external USB 3.0 HHD?
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    You mean on your current USB2 Mac? I don't think that external SSD will help at all with your current setup. I really think the holdup is mostly the USB2 connection.

    But yeah.... on a new Mac with USB3 that would be a fast setup and faster than an external HDD. I'm not a big fan of OWC though, since they tend to be way overpriced. They want $159 for that drive. I am using this enclosure with this SSD that totals $105.
     
  13. chscag macrumors 68020

    chscag

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    #13
    That really does make a difference. I just compared my backup speed with yours... I'm using a Toshiba USB3 drive and I backed up around 3 GB with CCC and it took 9 minutes. You're backing up data with CCC at about 2 1/2 times faster than I am!
     
  14. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #14
    No, I meant for my new MBP.


    Well, my new MBP will have a 1TB SSD, so I need a 1TB drive for backups.

    The 1TB OWC SSD is $468, and the combo you suggested above would be $324.

    I am a bit confused... For a 2015 MBP to upgrade the internal drive, I guess my choices would be Apple or OWC currently. But apparently if I want to use a SSD in an external enclosure purely for backups, then I could use other manufacturers like Samsung, right?

    How does the Samsung 850 EVO compare to an Apple SSD or the OWC SSD in terms of quality and speed?

    Also, what are your thoughts on spending the extra money for an external SSD for backups? Is that money well spent or not?
     
  15. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Have you considered adding cloud backups to your strategy? After the initial backup is complete, cloud backups provide an additional set-and-forget backup for your protection. Backblaze works extremely well. This may not be a solution to you CCC issue but it can add one more layer to your backup strategy.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    Ah gotcha... yes on the new machine you should see the same CCC speeds I am.

    Yes, any SSD in a USB3 UASP enclosure will do the trick.

    As far as quality... not much of any difference, however the Apple internal flash blade will always be much faster than the others mentioned because of the much faster internal connection type it uses.

    There is nothing really wrong with the OWC external SSD, it is just that they are usually very overpriced. In your example, it is $144 more for no real benefit.

    As far as the extra money for the SSD being worth it, I guess only you can decide if the shorter wait times for the quick CCC clones are worth it. For me it is. You can also use that CCC clone on the SSD as the source for a Migration Assistant import to a new Mac and that would be very fast also.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #17
    tt wrote:
    "Okay, on my old clunky MBP I have USB 2, so maybe that is part of the problem.
    How much faster will USB 3 be on the new MBP I am ordering?"


    It will make a WORLD of difference.

    Don't give up yet on CCC. It's one of the best pieces of Mac software out there.

    Return the usb2 enclosures if you can,
    You absolutely want usb3 (which is backward-compatible with usb2)

    I could be wrong, but i'm thinking the new mbpro's will ship with usb3.1, which is even faster than 3.0.
     
  18. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #18
    Hell no! The last thing I want is to put my personal and business data on the Internet. I don't care what anyone says, that is not a secure strategy.
     
  19. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I'm with your sentiment here but if in the future I do find the cloud a necessity, from the research I've done to date, @Weaselboy's suggestion is the most attractive I've found.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    The online solution I mentioned using Arq encrypts your data before it leaves your machine, so even if Amazon (in my example) were to access the data on the remote folders, they would have no idea what it is since it is encrypted.
     
  21. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    As @Weaselboy said, it's encrypted before it leaves your machine. In the internet age, if your machine is connected to the internet, then it is susceptible to invasion, even on the more secure macOS. FileVault is encryption for the disk to stop physical snooping if you lose your Mac. If your Mac is turned on and logged in, the OS is constantly decrypting your files as you access them, so if you're connected to the internet there is a chance that your data can be stolen. If you're truly worried about security the only safe way to work is without an internet connection. However, that usually isn't possible for most people in the modern world.

    Of course, there's a slim chance of any of this happening. I just wanted you to realize that FileVault, no matter how secure physically, and macOS's firewall aren't the end-all, be-all to security. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, and it's getting more complex every day.
     
  22. Texas_Toast, Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016

    Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #22
    Correct. FileVault2 secures data at rest. And if my laptop is running, then the data is unencrypted. And if I am online with unencrypted data, it could get compromised.

    I supposed if the data that @Weaselboy mentions is encrypted before it leaves your computer, it should in theory be safe. However, my first rule is that I know there are lots of people smarter than I who can hack things that I think are secure but which aren't really.

    Putting my whole personal and business life on the Internet - even if it seems like it is encrypted - doesn't seem like a good first choice.

    Google thought it's data transmissions were safe, and yet they got hacked by the NSA. If they aren't smart enough to keep data safe, how could I ever accomplish that?

    I get that my data is at risk when my computer is running and I am online, but personally that is still way safer than uploading it onto the Internet even if it is encrypted.

    Encryption is only as secure as the keys, and I would suspect that there are ways to get your encryption keys using the cloud storage thing mentioned above.

    Added:
    ------------
    Also, if you upload an encrypted file, it could stay on the cloud forever, and eventually the current encryption strategy will be able to be cracked, so if Amazon or whoever had an old version lying around,and you didn't update it to a more secure version, it could conceivably get brute forced.

    Once you upload something, you really lose control of it regardless of what companies profess.
    ------------

    I totally respect @Weaselboy and lots of other's advice on here, but I prefer to hang with the paranoid group! :D
     
  23. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    No worries, I totally agree. It's hard to know exactly how secure we are in the world we live in now :)
     
  24. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #24
    I have been humbled so many times with computers that I try to not get too cocky - especially with security.
     
  25. thewap macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #25
    doesn't the 13" MBP 2012 have 2x USB3 ports? (not USB2)
     

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