In the last post we had looked at Time Machine and Time Capsule – the inbuilt Mac OS Back-up and Disaster Recovery options and at the advantages as well as several challenges with those solutions. There are quite a few options available for users to be used in combination with Time Machine or other Mac backup applications to address specific issues. Some of these are :
- CCC: Carbon Copy Cloner
Approximate Cost – $40
- Incremental bootable copies
- Encrypted backups to/from network shares
- Selective backups of folders
- Fast, block level disk-disk clone, can be used
Approximate Cost – $ 28
- Easy to use interface
- Option to backup incremental changes
- Works on file level
- Not bootable
- Allows application settings backups, itunes, iphoto etc more than 250 plugins to chose from
- Can plug into own cloud based storage
Approximate Cost – $15
- Clone backup with bootable cloning
- Incremental backups
- Multiple sources to one destination, either external drive or network share
- Flexibility to choose from among versions of files to restore.
- No inbuilt scheduler, so iCal or other automator script need to be configured.
A Wish List for a New Mac Backup Solution
All the available options offer some advantages and some challenges – to our mind a new Mac Backup and disaster recovery solution should definitely focus on the following features :
- Block level backups that can be user scheduled – this would be a significant advance over the file level backup in the Time Machine. Block level backups will be much faster.
- Backups to internal or external storage like USB drives or Network storage
- Compression and de-duplication on the block level
- Provide UI based restore with file level granularity
- Merge the incremental block level changes to previous full backup and make the drive bootable. In our view this would be an extremely worthwhile advance over the Time Machine.
- Merging backups coupled with Pruning older ones to improve storage space management.
This is a rapidly evolving space – chances are we will see more new products and solutions rolling out in the months to come. What do you think they should cover apart from what we have covered ?
About the Author: Mandar Shukla is an avid tech enthusiast, working across multiple domains of Backup, Archiving & Storage, Enterprise software performance, Visual computing, Cloud Lifecycle Management. He is a QA professional since 2006 and follows emerging trends in technology to derive inspiration and imagination required for his QA activities.