Time Machine to network share

Discussion in 'macOS' started by REBELinBLUE, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. REBELinBLUE macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've searched and couldn't find anything related to my issue so forgive me if someone else has already asked.

    It is my understanding that Time Machine can use a network share provided the host is a Leopard machine?

    I have a firewire hard drive connected to my iMac which I use for time machine, when I mount the share on my MacBook I can select it in the time machine options and it creates the backup.

    However, the backup is very different to that created by my iMac.

    My iMac created

    /Backups.backupdb/iMac/

    if I connect the drive to the Macbook it does the same (obviously with Macbook instead of iMac). However over the network it just created

    /MacBook_0017f22c7de0.sparsebundle

    If I open that disk image, it contains the correct structure (/Backups.backupdb/Macbook/)

    Have I done something wrong or is it suppose to do that?
     
  2. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    Leeds, UK
    #2
    I believe Time Machine makes extensive use of hard links when it creates backups. I doubt any network protocol supports the creation of hard links. So the only way to backup over the network is for Time Machine to create a disk image on the network storage so as to be able to create those hard links.
     
  3. CavemanUK macrumors 6502

    CavemanUK

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    #3
    Yep this has been my experience too.. the local machine uses a folder structure and remote shares use a sparseimage. Which begs the question... "WHY CANT IT DO THIS WITH ANY MOUNTABLE SHARE???!" surely this is just the same as using an SMB share? the hardlinks etc would be inside the sparseimage.

    So now i have to leave a machine on to allow the other 2 machines to backup when ive got a perfectly fine HUGE NAS box sitting around feeling sorry for itself!
     
  4. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I suppose one reason might be that it's just not feasible to mount a sparseimage of over 60GB on a network connection. A better solution, although most likely a non-trivial solution would be to update AFP to support the creation of hard links.
     
  5. REBELinBLUE thread starter macrumors regular

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  6. CybrMike macrumors member

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    #6
    Uhm, I mount shares of 200GB all the time from my ReadyNAS NV+ box.
     
  7. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Mounting shares themselves is not an issue. What might be an issue is mounting extremely large sparseimages that reside on shares. Are you saying that you regularly mount sparseimages of 200GB?
     
  8. CavemanUK macrumors 6502

    CavemanUK

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    #8
    As said above, Apple themselves do this when connecting to a leopard machine with Time Machine..

    To Clarify...

    My iMac has USB HD connected and Time Machine on the iMac creates a backup folder structure for this machine..

    My MacbookPro sees the AFP share for the USB HD via the iMac and Time Machine on the MBP sees it fine.. When it creates and updates the backup it does so with a sparseimage.

    It also does the same for the other Mac connected via the network.. So if its local, its a directory structure.. if its a network, its sparseimage.. This is Apples own implementation and they advertise it as a feature..

    So I dont get why it couldnt be another NAS if it just mounts sparseimages when running Time Machine over a network
     
  9. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    To be more accurate, it's a feature that they no longer advertise. They pulled it for an unknown reason and I was postulating that they pulled it due to potential performance issues of mounting large sparseimages over a network.

    Are you saying that there are no performance issues? What is the size of your sparseimage?
     
  10. REBELinBLUE thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10

    Yes they do still advertise it

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/timemachine.html

     
  11. nermal0 macrumors regular

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    May 31, 2006
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    Germany
    #11
    This means it will only backup to shares provided by other Leopards? I cannot back up to an XServe running Panther or Tiger Server? Bummer.

    I generally don't like Time Machine much so far. It's slow, handles the backup space inefficiently, creates non-browsable (unless using TM) and non-bootable backups. And it always fails backing up to my external USB 2.0 drive.
     
  12. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Actually, I think it might be possible. As far as I can see, the only difference between a share provided by Leopard and one provided by Tiger, Panther or XServe is the fact that Leopard dumps a .com.apple.timemachine.supported file in your share. So, I suspect that if you were to create that file manually on a non Leopard share, then Time Machine would work.

    My experience is that Time Machine, using a disk shared by an AEBSn, is practically unusable. I believe this is largely down to the fact that read/write speeds on the AEBSn are very slow. I had Time Machine running for over 4 hours last night, and it only managed to backup 20GB out of 41GB. This morning, it's supposed to pick up from where it left off and so far it's been in a 'preparing' state for the past hour.

    However, using a USB drive as a Time Machine backup location is a completely different experience. It took a little over an hour to backup my Macbook. The hourly backups take a few minutes to perform. And the backup files *are* indeed browsable. As for it handling space inefficiently, I don't see a better solution than using hard links, this means that only the files that have changed are written to a backup disk.
     
  13. CavemanUK macrumors 6502

    CavemanUK

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    #13
    As said above by others, Apple do still advertise backup over a network.. just not via Airport.

    Ive had no unexpected performance problems. Obviously backing up via a network is slower than connecting to a USB/FW drive but it works. I backed up 40Gb from a Macbook Pro in around 1hr 30mins or so.. after that its just tiny little updates.
     
  14. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Wow, that's pretty damn fast compared to my experience mentioned above.

    Seems like the performance of the AEBSn is the reason they pulled support for backing up to non-mac attached storage.
     
  15. rayguy75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #15
    Any experience with usb drive/leopard mac with mac on AEBSn

    I have a AEBSn and I plan to place a leopard mini on the wireless network.

    I was hoping to use Time machine for my Macbook by creating the first backup
    with hard wire (maybe firewire macbook to mini?) and then doing the incremental backups over the network.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  16. TPALTony macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #16
    Unfortunately you can't do this. When you do that initial backup over the firewire connection, it will create a directory structure.

    If you then take that disk, stick it on your mini and change your laptop to back up to the SAME DISK but VIA THE NETWORK, it will ignore the filesystem and create a sparse image file and backup into that instead. I tried it, and boy was I not a happy camper when it backed it all up again!

    Granted, you might be able to create the files on the disk and then stuff them in a sparse image, but it's really not worth it. Just connect it over your network and set it off before you go to bed. I backed up 80GB overnight and it was just fine.

    Right now it's chugging along doing an incremental backup of 4GB of pictures we took at the weekend while we were away. :)

    Now I wonder, if I get back to my mac working properly, will it backup over that share to my network share. :) How cool would that be!

    be well

    t
     
  17. rayguy75 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #17
    Thanks TPAL....how does the "live" incrementals perform?

    Thanks for the info Tony.

    How do the real time incremental backups work with the networked leopard passing to the disc?

    Would a user of the hosting machine notice if a user of a wireless networked mac was using Time machine through their host computer to an attached drive?

    Thanks.

    R
     
  18. whenders0n macrumors member

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    Jan 8, 2004
    #18
    Couldn't you use firewire to create a network connection to the machine and do the first backup over that? It's not quite as fast as a direct mount, but its still pretty fast...
     
  19. confirmed macrumors regular

    confirmed

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    Dec 30, 2001
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #19
    i've been searching everywhere for a way to do the initial backup locally and do the following backups over the network. you just may have answered my question!

    i'm gonna give it a try.. will report back as soon as it's done. (even over firewire, not very soon, but quicker than the 18 hours it would've taken over 802.11g)
     

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