I have been mulling over the ‘best’ backup strategy now that we have Time Machine and really cheap storage to hand. I have a sneaky feeling that a lot of people will have thought that Time Machine would be the answer to all their problems, and on the surface I can see how that would be the case. It would certainly be attractive if that were so!
So far I have experienced the good and the bad of Time Machine. Having backed the Mac Pro up the first time I ran Time Machine and when I had to do a fresh install of Leopard I used Time Machine to restore the data and it was perfect. On the other hand having set Time Machine to back up my 250GB System drive, I found that it ran out of space very quickly.
So far this is where I have got to with my latest ‘plan’.
My Mac Pro has four drives in it:
- 250GB System drive for all my applications and documents and music
- 500GB drive for all my recorded Films
- 500GB drive for all my Photos
- 500GB drive for all my home made Video
Now don’t get me wrong – in no way are the Photos and Video drives anywhere near full, but the Film one is getting close and I have films stored on both the iMac and Mac mini (more on that later). The set up above is very much one for the future as I anticipate creating a lot of digital data with Almerimar Life and my photography.
I have said before that I wouldn’t be bothering to back up recorded films as anything that I really wanted to keep I would have on a DVD and I am not really changing that theory, although I am modifying it a bit as I now have so much storage – did I mention I had just bought a 1TB drive ? – that I sort of can to some extent without wasting too much space.
Basically I am spliiting my back up stratgey into two elements:
– Time Machine
– Super Duper.
That is right. I have been a big fan of Super Duper for a long time now, and I see no reason to discard it now. My intention is to partition the 1TB into the following:
- System BackUp 250GB
- Video BackUp 500GB
- Films BackUp 500GB
- Photo BackUp 500GB
- Temporary Space 250GB
First off I am going to ensure that all the Films that I want to ensure that I don’t lose are on the 500GB drive on the Mac Pro. This will entail some movement from the iMac and the Mac mini, but that is a one off task, so long as I leave enough room on the 500GB drive for future ‘must save’ Films.
I am then going to use Super Duper as I currently do i.e. twice a week, for the System, Film, Movies and Photo drives – a big task initially but then smart update is a breeze. I will set these to be scheduled backups so that I don’t have to think about them.
With Time Machine I will just back uo the documents and files off the System drive onto a separate 300GB drive, so that I can forget about that for a while before having to create more space on the drive.
The Mac mini I wont bother with as it only stores Films on either its hard drive or the 300GB LaCie drive.
The iMac I will pretty much do the same as the Mac Pro. It has a 250GB drive connected to a 280GB external, so I will partition the external into 150GB and 80GB. The 150GB I will use to back up via Super Duper twice a week, the 150GB System drive, and the 80GB I will use for Time Machine. The 100GB partition is just for Films and as they are all ones that I don’t mind if we lose I am not backing them up.
The ‘spare’ 250GB on the 1TB I will use to back up the Mac Book before I travel etc, and as a large WIP drive.
One final thing – all my RAW photo files get copied to DVD before I do any editing on them or delete them off the SD card (or I make a second temporary back up to hard drive if I don’t have enough to fill a DVD) as well so I always have a secondary back up of them.
So that is my plan. Really Time Machine is only an addition to a pretty comprehensive strategy that I already had, not a replacement.
So, how could I improve on this? What do you guys do?