Disaster Recovery

Why does everyone use TimeMachine? There is this odd interface and the major lack of control. For backups I need to control what is in it. And a backup needs to have the most simple format as possible - that is a simple clone of a harddisk. Of course, I have a cloud backup, too, for the most important files.

Absolutely, GitHub is part of my cloud solution for storing code (to my shame, only since XDC), as is Dropbox for important docs.

I use it as it’s all out the box, backups everything, provides bootable backups as well as giving me access to older versions of individual files. Interface notwithstanding :slight_smile:

I’ve learnt some lessons from this

  • I don’t want to rely on the OS telling me aout the state of the backup media, I want to test them myself
  • Getting a 2nd external drive to Time Machine to two locations and store one offsite
  • Make more use of cloud storage

Not sure I understand why. What if someone breaks in and steals your machine AND the time machine? Or you have a fire? Nothing wrong with using a local backup, but you need to stick in the Cloud as well to be totally safe. I use two cloud-based backup plans, Wuala and CrashPlan. Wuala is easier to use IMO, you just tell it what directories you want backed up and how often. It does all three types of backups: bidirectional syncs, one way backups, and raw storage. Wuala is not cheap. On the plus side, no one can get at your data in Wuala, it is encrypted before it leaves your computer. CrashPlan, I’m not crazy about the interface, but it handles local backups to my external drive and to the Cloud all in one interface. Dropbox gets old having to move your stuff to the DropBox directory. No thanks, I want to leave my stuff where it is and have the software go get it, and not that other way around.

For Source Control I use Mercurial / TortoiseHg. Resist the temptation to use the backup service as your source control. Yeah, you can get the data from some point in the past, but it is not built for that and doing diffs is a lot more trouble when you try to use it for that.

On Windows I use Shadowprotect on my source volume with 15min incremental backups of the entire volume replicated off-site.

Yep and that’s one thing I need to sort. Since Lion, Time Machine allows you to backup to more than one device simultaneously so I’m looking into whether I can store a drive offsite and connect to it.

I’m happy with my combination of Time Machine and Dropbox but I do want to make more use of the Cloud.

Also, I’ve been offline for a couple of days which I can’t really afford so also thinking of a Mac Mini as backup, can always find a use for another machine :wink:

Just trying to lose my complacency and investigating my options at this stage so all this info is Gold. :slight_smile:

I use Backblaze.com which backs it all up somewhere in a similar fashion to Crashplan. I remember researching both and don’t recall why I chose it over Crashplan. It seems to take minimal resources.

Backblaze is handy in that, for a fee, they’ll ship you a hard drive containing all of you GBs of data even to Europe. When it’s an emergency, you don’t want to wait to download 800GB of data.

If your plan doesn’t include what happens when your house floods or someone steals your computer AND backup drive, you don’t really have a plan.

That said, I do local backup too.

No, CCC does incremental backups. You can also have it keep the changes so you can roll back to an older backup.

Bill, incremental backups just means that doesn’t have to copy all files again. What I was talking about is how it finds out what has changed: It does need to scan the entire disk directory to learn what has changed, and that’s fairly inefficient and I think there are better apps for accomplishing this therefore. But if it doesn’t bother you how CCC takes so long for every scan, then it’s fine. I’m just making a comment about it not being the best solution out there any more as it was about 10 years or so ago. Unless, of course, I’m behind on the development of CCC and it does now use a resident program that watches with FSevents to learn of changes, so that the entire backup procedure including scanning for changes takes only seconds if nothing has changed?

“What if someone steals your computer and timemachine”

Do what I do… not perfect… but normally a burglar will break into your house and grab items of opportunity (computers, jewelry etc)… but rarely will they also break into your garage as well. My Nas sits on a self in the garage on the end of an ethernet cable… behind a can of paint :slight_smile:

I’ve been using ARQ ( http://www.haystacksoftware.com/arq/index.php ) which has these features:

  • written by a small indie mac developer (which has pros & cons - he answers emails, but he’s a one-man shop)
  • data is encrypted on your machine before upload
  • data is uploaded to Amazon S3
  • mac filesystem metadata is preserved
  • there’s an open-source command line tool for recovering data.

My technique includes : ARQ, Time Machine, plus the occasional SuperDuper bootable backup, plus SVN storage on an ISP outside my office. Not foolproof, but I sleep well at night :slight_smile:

Ah, I’d misunderstood what you meant. No, it still scans through the entire disk but I just set it to run at night so it doesn’t bug me. Although even when I use the computer while it’s scanning I don’t notice a slowdown. As for how long it takes, I have 400GB of stuff to back up and it takes somewhere less than an hour and a half (it starts at 10 and I happened to look at 11:30 last night and it was done, I have no idea when it actually finished). For a nightly thing that doesn’t bother me.

That’s why I initially switched to SugarSync. But I’ve had various problems with SugarSync, the worst of which is that it locks the file that it’s backing up. In Xojo, if I debug-run a project, then go back and make a quick change and try to run it again, I’ll get an error because SugarSync is still uploading the temporary debug version so Xojo can’t delete/recreate it. And SugarSync doesn’t have a wildcard exclusion option, though many users have been begging for it. So now I use SpiderOak. Not only is it cheaper, but it works more reliably, has wildcard exclusion, and has a zero-knowledge privacy policy - they couldn’t “hand over” your unencrypted data to anyone even if they wanted to.

Nice! I haven’t heard of this one. Taking it for a spin now. But one drawback I have already found is there’s no Android app.

You lucky bastard! Last year alone, I had 3 HDD fail (Two were Samsung POS and one was a Hitachi).

Like Marc, I backup to various locations. I have a 64GB USB stick which gets all my projects backed up and RS and has a 10.8 installer on it. I do this backup every day, and maybe several times a day. The key is (ha) that I have a copy of my work with me all the time, worst case scenario, I can buy/rent/borrow a Mac and carry on working.

I also use TM, I have two drives. One at my house and one at my in-laws (which is closer than my folks home). As we visit my in-laws fairly regularly I back up there when we do.

I also burn 8GB DVDs regularly (in case of EMP…)

I used to use online backups, until someone cracked my account and had access to all my source code. Very worrying moment there, as our software business is our only source of income.

I did have a botched TM backup once, that I couldn’t restore a machine from. While it wasn’t the end of the world because all my apps and docs were there, so I just needed to re-install the OS and copy it across, I made a partition the same size as my internal disk and use Carbon Copy Cloner to make sure I have an exact clone on the disk also.

Yeah, I tried SugarSync as well, had several problems finally gave up. I demo’d Spider Oak, but that interface is brutal – and just about every review I read mentioned that as well. I liked DropBox and would have stuck with them if they didn’t expect you to drag everything to the DropBox folder, just not workable for programmers in my opinion.

On Wuala, you can set the backup settings individually for each directory Backup you have setup, to exclude certain files or certain types of files such as *.exe; *.obj; *.dat etc… You can set it to continuously backup, but I have it set for once an hour with different folders being checked / backed up at various points around the hour. Really well thought out in my opinion. And it doesn’t matter to me, I am in the U.S., but this may mean something to the Europeans, they are based in Switzerland and are really adamant about your data being encrypted on the user’s computer and sits encrypted on their servers. CrashPlan I just have it running in the background as a fail safe. But Wuala is the service I use most of the time. They are on the expensive side, higher than most, but not ridiculously high, cheaper than most “business plans” I ran across. I waited until they had a 20% off special which they run about 3 times a year and then jumped in.

Just curious, was this because of a weak password on your part or because of some problem on their end, like a vulnerability and/or poor security practices (non-salted passwords or unencrypted data storage). That’s what I like about SpiderOak and some others that have been mentioned: your data is encrypted before leaving your computer, and the vendor doesn’t save or know your password or encryption key.

Yes, the interface was bad, but it has improved (or maybe I’ve just gotten used to it).

Suppose this is my biggest concern with all the automated cloud backup providers and why I haven’t used one (yet!) - justified or not. Like all of us, I have files I have files I’m reticent to put into the cloud for security reasons.

For better or worse …
Google Drive with Google Sync. I am pretty disciplined with version management - and all of that gets backed up as well.

I have been looking at the Google Drive/Sync service, how do you find it compared to Dropbox.

I’m all set to use Google Apps for business and have been 1/2 considering moving my stuff to it but can’t quite convince myself to make the move. That’s a whole other subject though!

I have had no problems with Google Sync. My sister has had problems with Dropbox. If you look at the corporate differences between Google and Dropbox, you may conclude that Google is a better bet to store your precious stuff.

For my other profession I use Box.com - very well tested in the corporation, and that works really well also - but this is more oriented around collaboration.

Cheers for the feedback…