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Backup plan for Mac, v.infinity

:: Monday, November 26th, 2007 @ 2:09:52 am

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After trying Time Machine (FAILED — wouldn’t even run on my machine) and Apple’s Backup.app (tried on my MacBook pro for critical files — FAILED), here’s what I’m going to attempt next…

1. Continue to use SuperDuper!* regularly

  • Mac Pro system volume (195GB accessible, RAID 1+0) -> sparse image on RAID 5 NAS (scheduled)
  • Mac Pro data volume (2.5TB accessible, RAID 1+0) -> 4 x 500GB RAID 1 on eSata enclosure (manual, weekly or after any real amount of work has been done)
  • MacBook Pro volume -> sparse image on RAID 5 NAS (scheduled)
  • MacBook Pro volume -> external FW800 drive (manual, while traveling)

*Issues: SuperDuper! doesn’t work yet with Leopard, auto-mounting of sparse images often fail, sparse images often show 0 bytes free, requiring a DiskUtility.app repair before showing free space.

2. Use CrashPlan to back up selected files continuously

  • Mac Pro critical documents (no huge files) -> volume on RAID 5 NAS (automated, incremental)
  • MacBook Pro critical documents (no huge files) -> volume on RAID 5 NAS (automated, incremental, works while on the road)

I’m doing a CrashPlan test right now, and have identified 16.6GB of data to copy from my MacBook Pro. Seeding over the local network shouldn’t be too bad, although I’m getting slow transfer speeds because packages and some folders contain so many files. For examply, my Library folder has over 187,000 files in it — I assume it’s because I archive just about every e-mail I get! Anyway, it’s really slow. Gigabit is useless for this sort of thing.

I like the idea of using CrashPlan because when I’m away, it will continue to backup my MacBook Pro to my NAS at home.

So… that’s the plan, anyway. CrashPlan seems to be working fine at the moment; it’s doing the initial seed backup of the MacBook Pro to the NAS box via mounted volume on my Mac Pro. But since I can’t back up my Mac Pro to itself, I’m probably going to have to get an inexpensive, dedicated machine to act as a CrashPlan “server” of sorts.

Once the seed backup is completed, I’m going to monitor CrashPlan closely to see what happens when I start changing files.

The Mac Mini is probably what I’ll end up using as a CrashPlan backup target; I need a new machine to talk to all of my printers and scanners, anyway. Maybe I should leave it at Geoff and Livia’s place on Stanford campus to take advantage of their fast network… ;)

| Oakland, CA | link | trackback | Nov 26, 2007 02:09:52
  • http://psychohistory.wordpress.com Adam Nash

    Eric, try Carbon Copy Cloner. I’m having much more success with it than SuperDuper for sparse image backup. 4 weeks now, no errors or problems with a weekly incremental.

    Adam

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Thanks, Adam. I am giving it a try right now. It’s unclear to me how the “incremental” part of CCC 3 works. I’m doing a full clone right now, but in the future, do I just do a selective clone? Or will it automatically do an incremental backup if I just clone the entire drive again to the same sparse image?

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