Automating Time Machine Backups -- Is it Possible?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by TaliesinSoft, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I powered down one of the drives and was still able to access things via Time
    Machine. The downside was that the unplugged drive was "hosed" and has to be
    restored from scratch, an action that can be undertaken via Disk Utility.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 6, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. TaliesinSoft

    Randy Howard Guest

    Right. When you break a mirror, no updates are being done to the
    missing drive. With RAID 5 solutions (note OS X doesn't support
    software raid 5), you can rebuild an array when a faulty (or missing)
    drive is replaced. There are tradeoffs with all of the various RAID
    Randy Howard, Feb 7, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    As things currently stand three of my external drives are at the "office" and
    three are at "home", the distance between the two being about ten miles.
    Given that I would assume that "home" is offsite for "office" and "office" is
    offsite for "home".
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  4. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  5. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    But I am backing up my internal drive in a very "tried and true" way, using
    SuperDuper! to once each day, on schedule, create a "smart" clone, usually
    once a day on a drive at the office and usually once a day on a drive at
    home. And, I fail to see how using a mirrored RAID approach for Time Machine,
    again on one set of drives when at the office and another set when at home is
    a "clever new way". And, as I have stated, I currently have six hard drives
    devoted exclusively to backup, three in each of two locations.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  6. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    There is no need to keep things synced as the computer itself is a MacBook
    Pro which is carried from home to office to home to office.........
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  7. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I can have...

    a) two hard drives in a RAID mirror configuration dedicated to Time Machine,
    allowing two copies of the Time Machine backup to be made concurrently

    b) two drives receiving independent Time Machine backups directly from Time
    Machine, the backups differing as they will have been made at different

    c) two drives one receiving the Time Machine backup directly from Time
    Machine and one receiving a clone via such as SuperDuper!

    In all three instances I do have the opportunity of going backward to such as
    yesterday or last week to retrieve a file. And in all three cases I have a
    fairly good degree of protection against hardware failure. So the question
    boils down to which of the three is the easiest to undertake, and my gut
    feeling is the first of the three.

    And, as I've mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I am currently using six
    separate hard drives for purposes of backups of my MacBook Pro which travels
    between here and the office, three at home and three at the office, one in
    each location dedicated to being the recipient of a SuperDuper! smart backup,
    and two in each location to being recipients of Time Machine backups.
    At this very moment only the home system is using the RAID method for the
    Time Machine backups, the office is using SuperDuper! to clone the backup
    made by Time Machine itself.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  8. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    [responding to Howard Brazee having stated in the preceding posting in this
    Many have been the times when I'll momentarily stop working on something in
    order to take a minute or so to invoke a Time Machine backup, just so I have
    the comfort of knowing I can step backward if need be. Prior to Time Machine
    I would make a copy of the folder containing the project.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  9. That was my solution. Last week I got a Thecus N2100 with 2 500GB disks,
    configured in RAID 1. The fan is a little too noisy, but it can be
    regulated as function of the temperature, so unless your are driving the
    disks hard it will run at half speed, which is acceptable.

    Waiting for my Leopard, I tried simple backup utilities. Thecus provides
    one, and I got iBackup ( The problem
    is that data transfer is awfully slow. When I do simple copy of files,
    it is reasonable. But with the backup utilities the data rate drops to
    something like 2 kB/s, so 2GB would take some two weeks! (I am backing
    up a PowerBook G4: wireless or wired makes no difference).

    What are typical transfer rates for the first Time Machine backup?

    I must be doing something wrong, next week-end I'll do more tests.

    Xavier Llobet, Feb 7, 2008
  10. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    My initial Time Machine backup took about an hour and fifteen minutes to
    backup about a hundred and twenty gigabytes of stuff. Subsequent Time Machine
    backups usually take a matter of seconds, or at worst around a minute.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  11. TaliesinSoft

    Randy Howard Guest

    The transfer rates will depend upon the drive an interface being used.

    USB1/2 would be slowest typically, Firewire 400 faster,firewire 800
    faster still, and eSATA probably fastest, assuming single drive storage
    hardware (not RAID) and a fixed file system size to measure against.
    Things like using 7200rpm drives in one enclosure and 5400 in another,
    etc. muck up the works as well.
    Randy Howard, Feb 7, 2008
  12. TaliesinSoft

    Randy Howard Guest

    A wired network (100mbit or gigE) or 802.11n wireless are likely to be
    faster than the sustained write speed of a typical low-cost external
    backup drive on a home network, so local/remote shouldn't matter much,
    and even then only be a real factor on the initial backup.
    Randy Howard, Feb 7, 2008
  13. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I should have mentioned that the drives which receive the Time Machine
    backups are all using Firewire 800 connections.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  14. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    Admittedly there is a possibility that such could happen, but that will be
    true whenever one maintains duplicate backups, whether they be via Time
    Machine or via such as SuperDuper!

    I have no memory of being at the office and blurting out "Damn, the backup I
    want is at home!" And, the same goes for when I was home. I suppose the
    absolute worst that could happen in that case is a small round trip with the
    laptop to extract the wanted file from the backup.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 7, 2008
  15. TaliesinSoft

    Eric Lindsay Guest

    My Powerbook G4 with 60 GB occupied took about 2 hours for the first
    backup. The rate was very slow at first, but must have speed up later.

    My iMac G5 ALS with 240 GB occupied took almost an hour for the first 10
    GB, but must have completed (overnight) around 5-6 hours later. I should
    also mention that it redlined all the fans, and the CPU, during the
    first hour (I went to bed after that).

    Both these TimeMachine backup drives are connected via Firewire, not
    USB. I remain less than impressed with the performance of USB for drives
    when doing large transfers.
    Eric Lindsay, Feb 7, 2008
  16. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    The above is how I started this thread a couple days ago and as a result of
    the many postings which now comprise the thread I made some fundamental but
    important changes in my backup strategies for both SuperDuper! and Time

    As I elaborated in the ongoing discussions I have a single computer, a
    MacBook Pro which is used in two locations which I referred to as "home" and
    "office". The MacBook Pro has a 160 GB internal drive.

    As things currently stand I have added two additional hard drives to both my
    "home" and "office" configurations, each now having five external drives,
    four of which are 320 GB FireWire 800 drives and one of which is a 160 GB
    FireWire 400 drive.

    The 320 GB drives on each system are configured to give me two 320 GB RAID
    mirrored drives. At each location one of the RAID sets is for SuperDuper!
    backups and the other is used for Time Machine backups.

    The 160 GB FireWire external drives are currently spares just in case an
    unusual need arises.

    This configuration gives me the comfort of knowing that I have, as it seems
    to me, the best of both worlds, an easily bootable clone via SuperDuper! and
    the advantage of recovering prior versions of files via Time Machine. And
    furthermore, I have the advantage of duplication, both by having systems in
    two separate locations and having a significant amount of protection at each
    location from hardware failure.

    What is interesting is that what I finally did is somewhat of a departure
    from the direction I was intending to take and which was the motivation for
    my original posting which I have repeated above.
    TaliesinSoft, Feb 8, 2008
  17. TaliesinSoft

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    To clarify, when I change locations and then connect to either the home or
    office drives I have to open Time Machine preferences and re-designate the
    target drive.
    I have my SuperDuper! schedules set up so at home the backups occur every
    night in the wee hours and at the office the backups occur during the middle
    of each workday. But I'm creating a clone and not a disk image. My
    understanding is that the disk image is not bootable.
    TaliesinSoft, Mar 1, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.