Time Machine in the cloud?

brosme

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
4
4
Hey! I'm working for a software company, and we are building an app to run Time Machine in the cloud. We are all Mac users, and we need a smooth way to use Time Machine without NAS, external hard drives, etc. The app will automatically set everything up (with just a few clicks). The data will be stored in two European data centers (in different countries), all under the regulations of GDPR.

We are building this app to solve this issue for ourselves. But my question to the community is: Are anyone else interested?

If we where to build this as a commercial product, it would be for a monthly fee for the app and cloud storage (I'm not sure about the price point yet - feel free to tell me what you think is a fair monthly price).

Please let me know what you think!

Thanks!
 

Robertjan88

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2018
153
18
Hey! I'm working for a software company, and we are building an app to run Time Machine in the cloud. We are all Mac users, and we need a smooth way to use Time Machine without NAS, external hard drives, etc. The app will automatically set everything up (with just a few clicks). The data will be stored in two European data centers (in different countries), all under the regulations of GDPR.

We are building this app to solve this issue for ourselves. But my question to the community is: Are anyone else interested?

If we where to build this as a commercial product, it would be for a monthly fee for the app and cloud storage (I'm not sure about the price point yet - feel free to tell me what you think is a fair monthly price).

Please let me know what you think!

Thanks!
Not using Time Machine myself, but what would be the benefit over other cloud back up solutions?
Nothing negative from my side, just curiosity. :)
 
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gilby101

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2010
234
91
Tasmania
You would be competing with the likes of Arq. Why would your solution be better?

Price: you would need to looking at around US$5 to 7 pm with 1TB storage. You could only charge more if providing a higher level of support and/or aiming for the enterprise market.
 
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komatsu

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2010
500
40
You would be competing with the likes of Arq. Why would your solution be better?

Price: you would need to looking at around US$5 to 7 pm with 1TB storage. You could only charge more if providing a higher level of support and/or aiming for the enterprise market.
Arq seem to be offering a general backup service.

There will always be business sectors or organisations out there which have very specific backup requirements. This is where the OP could get traction with his backup service by diving deep into specific niches.
 
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MandiMac

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2012
954
486
Same here: Around 3 to 5,- a month would be great - just wondering if you would release this on the App Store because you're basically replicating the function of Apple software...
 
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revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,671
1,370
USA
Hey! I'm working for a software company, and we are building an app to run Time Machine in the cloud. We are all Mac users, and we need a smooth way to use Time Machine without NAS, external hard drives, etc. The app will automatically set everything up (with just a few clicks). The data will be stored in two European data centers (in different countries), all under the regulations of GDPR.

We are building this app to solve this issue for ourselves. But my question to the community is: Are anyone else interested?

If we where to build this as a commercial product, it would be for a monthly fee for the app and cloud storage (I'm not sure about the price point yet - feel free to tell me what you think is a fair monthly price).

Please let me know what you think!

Thanks!
I would be interested. But, my main question is: Who is going to pay for the upkeep of the server farm that will eventually hold Time Machine snapshots? If you think about the number of Mac users in the world, this project could get really big. If the project gets big then the price/fees could likely inflate to match.
 
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brosme

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
4
4
Thank you very much for the replies! 🙏🙏🙏

Not using Time Machine myself, but what would be the benefit over other cloud back up solutions?
Nothing negative from my side, just curiosity. :)
Thanks for the question, Robert! As we are a software/developer company we depend on our Macs at Our solution is made specifically for Time Machine, so you can get a total recovery/restore with all your settings, apps and so on. We are aiming to make this as smooth and simple as possible. The day your Mac dies, you simply download the TM backup and are good to go, without spending time configuring (or trying to remember) all the small tweaks you have made - or losing billing hours.


You would be competing with the likes of Arq. Why would your solution be better?

Price: you would need to looking at around US$5 to 7 pm with 1TB storage. You could only charge more if providing a higher level of support and/or aiming for the enterprise market.
Thanks forthe comment! Yes, there are many cloud/backup services out there. But this is made specifically for Time Machine and Macs. We have some thoughts on support/higher level service as well. But basically we just want to make it as easy as possible to get a full restore of your Mac whenever you need it, through Time Machine. Just push a button, and never think about again!

Same here: Around 3 to 5,- a month would be great - just wondering if you would release this on the App Store because you're basically replicating the function of Apple software...
Thanks MandiMac! Yes,the app will probably be available on the App Store. We´re not replicating the function of Apple software. We are just makling it easier to set up Time Machine in the cloud. I dont know any service that does this (and I don´t think it it possible through Arq), please let me know if you know any service that does this!

I would be interested. But, my main question is: Who is going to pay for the upkeep of the server farm that will eventually hold Time Machine snapshots? If you think about the number of Mac users in the world, this project could get really big. If the project gets big then the price/fees could likely inflate to match.
Thank you for the questions revmacian! For now we have a deal with a big/recognized company for the server part of the product/infrastructure. We´ll have to see how we solve this in the future, if we are lucky we will run into the problem you describe. :) But we have some solutions on the drawing board.

Again, thank you for all the comments and questions and feel free to ask, critique or comment! I´m very interested in your opinions.

We also have a web site (stay tuned for more content/information) where you can sign up. We are not ready for release quite yet, but we´ll let you know as soon as we are! :)

 

Manzana

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2004
608
9
Orange County, CA
I think this could be a very nice app, but one thing to think about...

How would this be different from using iCloud Drive for everything? so you will pay for iCloud storage anyway so instead of using Time Machine, if all documents are stored in iCloud Drive then that makes Time Machine redundant.

The one use case scenario is that with Time Machine you would have access to document modifications. Again, depending on application you could use Word to track organizational changes to documents (as one example).
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,877
6,072
California
Biggest thing for me would be encryption with my own key for true encryption. My Mac has tons of personal data on it so I'd want to be certain that no one can get access to it. My time machine drive is encrypted and Arq encrypts data. My CCC clone was encrypted as well - but I've opted just for a Data partition CCC encrypted backup these days.

I'd be curious how this works and integrates with Time Machine to make it "seamless" - especially the restore part.

While I already pay for BackBlaze ($6/mo) - I'd be interested in a TM backup because of the versioning and constant backing up. But that has to be super expensive from a business standpoint - constantly having that data uploading.

Worth noting that I have my own encryption key with Backblaze.

My 300GB used storage 2017 MBP is using half a tarabyte of disk space on my TM disk. Every time it does a backup it does 200-400MB - if I don't connect it for a few days, it's in the gigs easy.


Both my wife and I, with Default Backblaze backup settings, each have 40GB backed up (100k files+) to Backblaze Unlimited.

I'm willing to pay more than $6/mo especially if it is seamless, constantly backing up as I work, and provides security (my own key, or something near as good).
 
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brosme

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
4
4
I think this could be a very nice app, but one thing to think about...

How would this be different from using iCloud Drive for everything? so you will pay for iCloud storage anyway so instead of using Time Machine, if all documents are stored in iCloud Drive then that makes Time Machine redundant.

The one use case scenario is that with Time Machine you would have access to document modifications. Again, depending on application you could use Word to track organizational changes to documents (as one example).
Thanks for the question Manzana! If you have a Time Machine backup you are able to do a full restore. So if your mac suddenly breaks down or get stolen, you'll have both all your files (like iCloud) and also all your apps, settings, programs, plug-ins, tweaks and configs. We are an IT-company, and all of our Macs are tuned and configured to very specific needs. So we just want to back up all the files AND all the configs in a smooth and seamless way to minimize down time and lost billing hours.

Biggest thing for me would be encryption with my own key for true encryption. My Mac has tons of personal data on it so I'd want to be certain that no one can get access to it. My time machine drive is encrypted and Arq encrypts data. My CCC clone was encrypted as well - but I've opted just for a Data partition CCC encrypted backup these days.

I'm willing to pay more than $6/mo especially if it is seamless, constantly backing up as I work, and provides security (my own key, or something near as good).
Thanks a lot for your feedback BigMcGuire! This is a very good point, and we have discussions about how to figure this one out: We have to be able to verify the backup and at the same time offer encryption. I am not sure if we will be able to offer a user defined encryption key, but I'll pass this on to the development team. Security and encryption is obviously an important part of this product, and it will have to be secure and safe for us to use it as well. Thanks again for your feedback and for pointing this out!
 
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RobbieTT

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2010
312
208
United Kingdom
We use TM for all the Macs so yes, this would interest us a great deal especially with client side TM encryption. I have been amazed that Apple Services have yet to offer such a solution.

Two risks additional risk to add to those mentioned above:

First is that TM cloud was such an yawning gap that many of us found an alternative path. In our case a NAS acts as the TM host for multiple clients and the NAS then farms these bundles out to additional on-site storage and off-site cloud providers. Breaking into this would need a competitively priced offering.

Second would be the risk that Apple could wreck your business model on a whim, either by blocking it or by offering an Apple product akin to iCloud backups for iOS devices.
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,889
1,411
Thanks for the question Manzana! If you have a Time Machine backup you are able to do a full restore.
My only question is how someone would be able to achieve this without additional devices or external storage, which defeats the purpose somewhat.
 

brosme

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2020
4
4
We use TM for all the Macs so yes, this would interest us a great deal especially with client side TM encryption. I have been amazed that Apple Services have yet to offer such a solution.

Two risks additional risk to add to those mentioned above:

First is that TM cloud was such an yawning gap that many of us found an alternative path. In our case a NAS acts as the TM host for multiple clients and the NAS then farms these bundles out to additional on-site storage and off-site cloud providers. Breaking into this would need a competitively priced offering.

Second would be the risk that Apple could wreck your business model on a whim, either by blocking it or by offering an Apple product akin to iCloud backups for iOS devices.
Thanks for the reply Robbie, and for describing your solution. A NAS and additional on-site storage comes with a cost. And we are aiming to make this as easy and cost effective as possible. We are also aware that there is risks here, and that Apple could easily make something similar or do something else that could affect the app. But at this time they are not offering anything like this, and my guess is that Time Machine will be around for a while. I don't know of any similar product that have been banned by apple, please let me know if you have any examples. Would be nice to know.

My only question is how someone would be able to achieve this without additional devices or external storage, which defeats the purpose somewhat.
Thanks Nicho! The app will configure everything and the idea is to get rid of the need of any additional or external device to do a TM backup.
 
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nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
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1,411
Thanks Nicho! The app will configure everything and the idea is to get rid of the need of any additional or external device to do a TM backup.
This does not, unfortunately, answer my question.

How will they achieve a restore (see the post i quoted) without any additional or external device?

An inaccessible backup is not a backup.
 

RobbieTT

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2010
312
208
United Kingdom
Thanks for the reply Robbie, and for describing your solution. A NAS and additional on-site storage comes with a cost.

Thanks Nicho! The app will configure everything and the idea is to get rid of the need of any additional or external device to do a TM backup.
Yes, the NAS does add cost if you don't happen to have one already. But the NAS forms an essential part of TimeMachine - a Bonjour advertised TimeMachine target to point to when restoring from scratch.

How will you point at the cloud from a clean macOS install?
 
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