What's Your Backup Plan?

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
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Folding space
Hi, folks. I just got a 1TB Western Digital My Book Studio FW 800 edition. I have it running in "dummy mode" (Time Machine) but would like a better backup strategy. I would like to dump files into my computer (iPhoto for now, probably Aperture when it is updated) and promptly export them to a backup folder on this drive.

What do you folks do for backup and what (if any) software do you use for this task?

Has anyone partitioned a large drive to run Time Machine and manual backup on the same physical drive?

Note: I shoot RAW and have about five months of dslr experience. I also have a 160 GB Toshiba drive that I could wipe and add to the mix.

Dale
 

NeGRit0

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2008
940
181
Las Vegas, Nv
I would also like to know this as well. I recently picked up a 2TB Time Capsule. It was tough, but got the Time Machine setup. I was more specifically wondering how hard is it to setup the Time Capsule to host my iPhoto, and possibly iTunes, files? I have 41GB of photos, 50GB of Audio, and 135GB of video. Also if i host my iPhoto data on the Time Capsule, would there be any way to access it when im not home, or near my network?
 

OrangeCuse44

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2006
1,484
0
Long Island, NY
I think Time Machine is your best bet being backups are done automatically. You can just exclude everything from your Mac from being backed up except for your iPhoto library. This will give you some history to go back to as well rather than just what you have right now.
 

Roy Hobbs

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
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92
Hi, folks. I just got a 1TB Western Digital My Book Studio FW 800 edition. I have it running in "dummy mode" (Time Machine) but would like a better backup strategy. I would like to dump files into my computer (iPhoto for now, probably Aperture when it is updated) and promptly export them to a backup folder on this drive.

What do you folks do for backup and what (if any) software do you use for this task?

Has anyone partitioned a large drive to run Time Machine and manual backup on the same physical drive?

Note: I shoot RAW and have about five months of dslr experience. I also have a 160 GB Toshiba drive that I could wipe and add to the mix.

Dale
Why do you need a better back up strategy than Time Machine? It backs up your iPhoto/Aperture files as needed and automatically. Why run a manual backup.
 

HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,494
234
SLC
i back up my stuff manually. I even have stuff burned to DVD-RL, just incase.
 

JDDavis

macrumors 65816
Jan 16, 2009
1,242
109
For photos everything revolves around aperture now. All my photos are managed in aperture and then I use the vault feature in aperture to backup the entire library in two seperate vaults on two seperate external hardrives. A third backup is accomplished since time machine (on another external harddrive) also backs up the aperture folder. I also put some of the favorite and family pics on Flikr, Zennfolio, our .Me Gallery, and an iWeb website. I figure at least some of the jpegs will be saved if the worst happens. I know another thing I need to do is backup everything on an external and put that one back up in another location other than our house. It seems a bit much sometimes but I can't imagine loosing all the pics and video in something like a fire. Especially the family stuff.
 

HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,494
234
SLC
^ That is where cloud computing really is going to shine, so to speak. The ability to access your files from anywhere, and they are safely (i would assume) stored.
 

designguy79

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
306
2
Michigan
Definitely don't forget the off-site part -- a fire, theft, flood, etc are very real threats!

I am still working out the best back-up plan for myself, too. I have the advantage of running my own servers, so I can "rsync" up to there as well.

If you pick a cloud/online backup service, make sure they are reputable and have been awhile. I have heard horror stories about a company that went out of business and all of their customer's backups disappeared.

Lastly, remember to test your backups regularly. You want to know how to do the restore, and to make sure nothing is corrupt or missing.
 

JNB

macrumors 604
This is the strategy I use {from another thread on the topic):

The problem with both TM and CCC (or SuperDuper!, which is what I use) along with DVD backup, is that they are typically all local, as in the same physical location as the computer.

My suggestion for the greatest peace of mind (or most OC, depending ;)) is a multiple-layer approach:

Time Machine: Provides substantial look-back capability, perfect when needing to restore a portion of lost, inadvertently trashed, or corrupted files, like iPhoto or iTunes libraries (both have happened to me). It's not bootable, though, so a major casualty may require a new computer/HDD/Restore DVD or what have you.

SuperDuper! (or CarbonCopyCloner): Provides a bootable snapshot of the entire system, but is only accurate as of the last cloning, and has no ability to "correct" to a point prior to that last cloning.

Offsite: Lots of choices here. I use Mozy, $4.99 a month for unlimited backup. Right now, I have 123GB securely stored with incremental updates on a selectable schedule, recoverable anytime, anywhere. I hope I never have to test that. Not bootable (obviously), and the initial backup can take days (or weeks) depending on the available bandwidth, amount stored, etc.
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
0
I use aperture, all files exist in the library on the laptop, and using vaults on two cloned 1TB external drives (in different locations in my apartment) and on a 500GB Time Capsule at my gf's. I have had a number of external hard drives fail on me, never trust just one.
 

Angelo95210

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
972
15
Paris, France
I work on an iMac with a 320GB internal HD + an external 500GB HD.

The internal 320GB is backed up with Time Machine on an external 500 GB + cloned once a month on an other external HD.

The external 500 GB is cloned every month. But I rarely use it this is why I back it up so rarely.
 

OrangeCuse44

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2006
1,484
0
Long Island, NY
I wouldn't mind exploring a cloud backup as well as previously mentioned. If anyone has recommendations lay them on me. External hard drives will eventually fail, I have come to this realization.
 

MattSepeta

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2009
1,255
0
375th St. Y
Storage

At home I use a 1.5 tb external for storage with it being simultaneously backed up via time machine on 1) a 1 tb external, and 2) the computers internal HD.

At work I use a 1.5 tb for storage being backed up by a 500 gb external as well as our company on site server, which is in turn backed up by our off site server.

I think my bases are covered (knock on wood)!
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,967
370
Chicagoland
I have a similar strategy as JNB, except I haven't done the off-site stuff YET!

I use .Mac Backup (yes the old software) to do monthly full backups and weekly incremental to one external drive. I keep at least two full backups before I recycle the space.

Once a month I use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the internal drive (minus a few things I can live without) to a portable external drive. That way I can recover from a disaster fairly quickly be booting from it and restoring the internal drive.

I do use MobileMe iDisk for SOME backups. I haven't used it for large items yet, just because of the upload speed.

I am considering placing the cloned drive plus DVDs of my iPhoto libraries either at a friend's house, or possibly getting a safe deposit box at a local bank.
 

Edge100

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2002
1,557
10
Where am I???
^ That is where cloud computing really is going to shine, so to speak. The ability to access your files from anywhere, and they are safely (i would assume) stored.
True. The only thing that is limiting at the moment is access speeds, particularly upload speeds. I've got a 10Mbps connection at home, which means I can pull files at ~1MB/sec, or about 15-20min for 1GB, which isn't too bad. But I've only got 512kbps upstream, which is woefully inadequate for that amount of data (and 1GB would be the least amount of data I would be uploading from a given session).

There are workarounds, of course (many online backup companies will send you a drive to do an initial backup), but until upload speeds get faster, this will be difficult to implement for large backups.
 

JNB

macrumors 604
True. The only thing that is limiting at the moment is access speeds, particularly upload speeds. I've got a 10Mbps connection at home, which means I can pull files at ~1MB/sec, or about 15-20min for 1GB, which isn't too bad. But I've only got 512kbps upstream, which is woefully inadequate for that amount of data (and 1GB would be the least amount of data I would be uploading from a given session).

There are workarounds, of course (many online backup companies will send you a drive to do an initial backup), but until upload speeds get faster, this will be difficult to implement for large backups.
QFT. My initial Mozy backup took about two weeks (although not 24/7). My best upload speed was 1.6Mbps, and I think that was more on Mozy's part than mine, as it was pretty consistent. Now, the daily updates run at 2:30 am and take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending on the amount of change in the preceding day.
 

Cliff3

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2007
1,518
93
SF Bay Area
What do you folks do for backup and what (if any) software do you use for this task?
I have an HP EX490 server with 6TB of internal drives installed. This device is based on Windows Home Server, and it has a form of redundancy built into it that is similar to RAID 1. I use Intego Personal Backup to regularly sweep my photo library to a share on that server. I don't use Time Machine for this because of limitations in HP's Time Machine support and because of the way my photo library changes over time (write once read many would generally describe that behavior). Periodically, I manually back up the server files to external bare drives via an eSATA drive dock and robocopy, a Windows file copy utility. I store these drives in a secure, fire resistant box in a separate location from the server.

I have a couple of concerns with cloud storage. First is the initial load. I estimate it would take me more than 3 weeks, running 24/7 and saturating my outbound bandwidth (≈4Mb/sec), to transfer a key subset of the data I need to protect to an online server. My 25+ years experience as a software developer tells me that no process runs for more than 3 weeks without failure. I would expect the initial load to be a bit of a nightmare. Second, even though the data might be encrypted, I worry about entrusting the family jewels to some third party and subsequently losing control of it.
 

Edge100

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2002
1,557
10
Where am I???
QFT. My initial Mozy backup took about two weeks (although not 24/7). My best upload speed was 1.6Mbps, and I think that was more on Mozy's part than mine, as it was pretty consistent. Now, the daily updates run at 2:30 am and take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending on the amount of change in the preceding day.
I use Mozy's 2GB free service for my Documents folder, so I'm never uploading more than a few MB per day. This works wonderfully, and it's great to know these files are off-site and easily accessible from anywhere.

I just wish my ISP would quit this ridiculous upload speed cap so I could use Mozy to its full potential.
 

Shuttleworth

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2008
196
0
UK
Currently I have my Aperture Library on a 1TB drive attached to my iMac by FW400. This is backed up to a Vault on a 1TB drive attached via USB. I don't have any offsite storage at the moment, apart from about 8GB of favourite photos on my MobileMe iDisc.

I also have a 1TB Buffalo LinkStation Mini MAS attached directly to my iMac, it is full of my iTunes library

As I'm writing this I'm just setting up a Drobo attached by FW800. It's got 2x1.5TB drives in at the moment, giving me 1.35TB of storage.

(I'm a bit nervous to be honest as I've read mixed reports about the performance of the Drobo, but I need the most simple solution I can get, and this seemed to be just that! Also, the computer is in our bedroom, I need to reduce the number of external hard drives I have under the desk, they are messy and noisy.)

I'm going to convert my Aperture library from Managed to Referenced, as most of what I've read indicates that this will be best for performance.

The Aperture and iTunes libraries will then live on the Drobo. I'll put one of my 1TB drives into the Drobo to increase capacity, and use the other to (weekly) back up my referenced Aperture files using Chronosync or similar, and store that at work. The Aperture library itself will now be a lot smaller and should live on my internal HD ok, and I'll back that up to with a Vault and possibly Time Machine on my Time Capsule.

The Buffalo NAS has a remote access facility, and I'm contemplating setting that up at a mates house to give me instant offsite storage.
 

Ruahrc

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,344
0
Has anyone partitioned a large drive to run Time Machine and manual backup on the same physical drive?
There is really not any point in doing this, as if the drive fails (or gets stolen) it takes with it both backups. The only thing this really protects against is some kind of data/filesystem corruption where one partition might be unreadable but the other one still okay.

Currently I have my Time Capsule back things up. For the really important things (some documents and etc), I back them up onto a portable external drive too (which is included in the TC backup, so really I am getting 4 copies of the same data, 2 in the TC, 1 on the laptop, and 1 on the external HD) using a program called Synk. In addition, I have another old external I used to perodically plug in and back up to using Synk but I have not really done this since moving to the TC setup.

Something I would like to implement in the future is to get a new portable external, and use the one I have now to make mirror copies of the Time Capsule drive (it's a feature in the Airport Configuration Utility). That would give me a 3rd copy of everything that I could run occasionally (like every month) and store that drive in a safe location (i.e. take it to work, or hide it elsewhere in the house). However, I would like to make it so that all the hard disk backup sizes are matching and right now I have a mix of different capacities (500GB TC, 400GB external, etc) so I might wait until prices drop a little more then get a 1 or 2TB 3.5" for the TC, and a 1TB 2.5" for the backup, so that the sizes match.

Ruahrc
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,539
31
with Hamburglar.
Local + Redundant + Triplicative + Off-site

Mac Pro:
• Bay 1: 1TB - System Drive
• Bay 2: 1TB - Aperture Library
• Bay 3: 1.5TB - Aperture Vault 1
• 4GB DroboPro (dual-disk redundancy): Time Machine Backup + Aperture Vault 2
• Online storage: Aperture Vault 3 (unlimited space through Dreamhost)...though it did take 12 days to do a 600GB backup!
 

QuantumLo0p

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2006
986
27
U.S.A.
I perform backups on two external hard drives; one stays at home for ready access and the second drive drive is stored off-site...just in case....
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
99
Folding space
Thanks for all the input. What I have going now is this: I put a Photos Only folder on the WD next to, but not in, the TM folder. I exported the contents of my iPhoto library to this folder. This gives me an automated everything backup in the TM folder and a manual photo backup. I want this single photo source as "one stop shopping" for access to photo backup without having to fish through TM states.

Now that TM backups the stuff I don't really use like old school files, I will blank my Toshiba 160 GB drive and repeat the dedicated photo backup. Then photos will live in four places on three drives.

I knew I'd find some Grand Plans here. Grimace wins the prize.

I'm doing this to protect myself from my own self. I trashed a Processed Files folder with about 100 edited tiffs while cleaning junk off my desktop. I will add that to my backup list as I rebuild it.

Thanks Again

Dale
 

firestarter

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2002
5,496
108
Green and pleasant land
Originally Posted by JNB
<stuff>

Offsite: Lots of choices here. I use Mozy, $4.99 a month for unlimited backup. Right now, I have 123GB securely stored with incremental updates on a selectable schedule, recoverable anytime, anywhere. I hope I never have to test that. Not bootable (obviously), and the initial backup can take days (or weeks) depending on the available bandwidth, amount stored, etc.
JNB - your advice is good, but I have to pick you up on the Mozy bit.

A backup isn't any good unless you've actually tested that you can restore from it. It's a pain, but unless you DO actually test that Mozy data - you could be in for a big disappointment if you need to rely on it.