Author Topic: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat  (Read 7752 times)

xairbusdriver

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2016, 05:04:23 PM »
I happened onto a Seagate FireWire "dock/adaptor" for their Flex (I think) series. It's really nothing more than a base unit (housing the FireWire chip set) and the SATA female plugs. There are some tabs that hold the Flex drives a bit, but any 3.5" SATA drive fits vertically on the adaptor. I have some Basswood shims and some duct tape (to match the room décor) and a metal piece out of an old enclosure fastened to the drive to help with heat dissipation. I got the "design" from <Red Green>. May have to find some more duct tape, I don't think Seegate makes this adaptor any more...

Blicj11

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2016, 08:51:06 PM »
Steve, DFW and all BackerUppers:

I am interested in how you backup other computers in your home? We've got two iMacs and a MacBook Air. Obviously they are all backed up with Time Machine onto the same drive external drive, but those of you that are using Carbon Copy Cloner (or something similar), are you sharing a networked external drive with other machines or are you using  separate drives for each computer so it is bootable for that specific machine?
Blick


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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2016, 11:39:06 PM »
Steve, DFW and all BackerUppers:

I am interested in how you backup other computers in your home? We've got two iMacs and a MacBook Air. Obviously they are all backed up with Time Machine onto the same drive external drive, but those of you that are using Carbon Copy Cloner (or something similar), are you sharing a networked external drive with other machines or are you using  separate drives for each computer so it is bootable for that specific machine?

I do a separate monthly backup in addition to the automatic Time Machine backup. I use SuperDuper to make a bootable backup of my computer onto a pocket-sized external hard drive like the WD My Passport. I have three of these drives that I only use for the SuperDuper backup and rotate them monthly.

Steve

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2016, 01:35:36 AM »
Steve, DFW and all BackerUppers:

I am interested in how you backup other computers in your home? We've got two iMacs and a MacBook Air. Obviously they are all backed up with Time Machine onto the same drive external drive, but those of you that are using Carbon Copy Cloner (or something similar), are you sharing a networked external drive with other machines or are you using  separate drives for each computer so it is bootable for that specific machine?

Our two MBPs get backed up to the same 3 TB Time Capsule, and when our daughter is home from college, hers is too. The same two MBPs get backed up to CCC daily, sharing two partitions on a 2 TB external drive. These are not bootable, just copied files. Also, my MBP sorta clones itself with much of my iMac's files via Cubby. Whichever device writes to a file last becomes the Cubby backup. Usually, that's the iMac.

While at college, my daughter's MacBook gets backed up to four 64 GB USB sticks we bought before she went. Once a week, she copies her latest documents folders over to one of the sticks and rotates through three of them. The fourth has most of the rest of the files. She really should be rotating through them every day, but ya can't tell a kid anything. Just wait until she loses a big assignment... ;)
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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xairbusdriver

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2016, 01:44:03 AM »
Quote
ya can't tell a kid anything
Sometimes it's the 'old goats' that won't listen! [lol]

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2016, 09:55:54 AM »
Combination of Time Machine backing up multiple networked Macs (including the Mini which runs WeatherCat) to a single large RAID 1 drive coupled with SuperDuper making a once/night bootable backup of the most critical computer in the house (a Pro -- financials, business, photos, etc.) to a separate drive.

Then once a month or so to provide some measure of protection against the house burning down or other catastrophic loss, I copy all the applicable User files from each computer onto a set of three rotating portable drives which are stored offsite in my bank lockbox.

I'll be performing that task today based upon the following WeatherUnderground advisory: "A Winter storm is increasingly likely to develop into a major snowstorm across parts of the East later this week and weekend. In addition to snow, ice and strong winds may lead to power outages and treacherous travel, while coastal flooding could impact some of the shoreline. If that wasn’t enough, some or all of the largest cities in the Northeast - Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston - could be significantly impacted by this storm with heavy snow and strong winds, bringing travel to a grinding halt, between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning."

The day of reckoning is nearly upon us...months ago the Farmer's Almanac pontificated that our region would see one of the five largest recorded snowstorms on record this winter while the local "professional" meteorologists pooh-poohed that forecast and said it wouldn't be cold enough for snow; rather, we'd see rain. Well, we had single digit temps yesterday morning and the daytime highs through the weekend are not expected to climb above freezing. Now if I didn't have to clear snow from the sidewalks and a long driveway, I'd be rooting for the Farmer's Almanac prediction.

dfw_pilot

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Mac Network Backup
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2016, 04:50:27 AM »
Steve, DFW and all BackerUppers:
Are you sharing a networked external drive with other machines or are you using  separate drives for each computer so it is bootable for that specific machine?

The answer is neither. Multiple backup drives, i.e. one for each Mac gets messy, hard to determine the most recent backup, hard to rotate out new drives, and gets to be enough of a chore to stay on top of, that they never get rotated or managed properly. My motto is "automatic and easy" or it won't get accomplished regularly and long term. Secondly, networked drives, when used with any backup software, including CCC, are not bootable. OS X requires a direct attached storage for a backup to be bootable. This is the major Achilles heel in using Time Machine as the only backup. When a hard drive or ssd fails, I don't want to be back up and running 15 hours after a Time Machine restore, I want to boot from the good backup and be back up and running in 2 minutes. In the next two minutes I'll be looking to install the cold spare drive I have in my desk drawer (one for the computer and one for the RAID).

So the answer is explained in the CCC article here. It looks daunting, but takes just a few minutes to set up if you are familiar with networking. Essentially, you CAN get a bootable backup via a networked Mac by using remote login instead of a "networked" shared volume. CCC is smart enough to log into the remote Mac, make its backup (bootable) and then log out. This is the best way I've seen to properly backup multiple Macs, and, get offsite backups, all done automatically. When things are easy and automatically done, they are out of sight, out of mind, and most importantly, they get done. An e-mail will alert you if a backup ever fails.

One other distinction: Volume vs Drive. A drive is the physical disk. A volume is a partition. Bootable backups need to be on a single volume whereas data backups can simply be in folders. A best practice is to keep your system files on one volume (OS X) and your data on a second volume. That way, when you install a new version of OS X and it all goes pear-shaped, you haven't a worry about your data being corrupted. An example from my own system is to have a small, internal 120gig SSD that OS X is installed on, and my 16 terabyte Thunderbolt Raid holds all my data. The two never come in contact, and for good reason: updates, installs, and reinstalls are done without worry of OS X trying to mess up my data files (photos, documents, etc).

To back up a family of Macs, for example, two iMacs and two MacBooks, grab a $35 Voyager dock and plug it into one of the Macs, preferably your "master" or server station in your office. After assessing how much data you have on all the Macs, buy a suitably large bare hard drive, remembering to size your data, not your hard drive total capacity. If, for example, you have a terabyte of data between all the Macs in the house, buy three(3) two-terabyte drives. Three because you need to rotate and or have one off-site. For rotating backups, it's very wise for the drives and volumes on them to be identical so swapping out doesn't cause problems.

Maybe your main workstation iMac has the OS and data separated and the other three computers are for homework and play, meaning you would need five backup volumes (Main iMac: one volume for the OS and one volume for the data; iMac two, and MacBook three and four each getting one volume for backup). Therefore, take all three backup disks and create five volumes on them: iMac1OS | iMac1Data | iMac2 | MacBook1 | MacBook2, in sizes you think are best. Use the steps in the linked CCC article above to setup CCC on each computer to backup to the Volumes you just created. I set my machines to wake at 2:00 am and run each night. Once all three 2-terabyte drives are the same, with backups on each, put one in your desk drawer, leave one in the Voyager, and take one off-site, to a safe-deposit box, or a friend or neighbor's place. For extra credit, you can get a second Voyager and connect it and your third drive to a Mac at your friend or relative's house and the remote backup will happen over the internet, saving you the hassle of needing to rotate the drive to their location. I envision a situation where Steve's daughter could easily backup to his home backup disk even when she is at school. You could send your backups anywhere on the internet . . .

Finally (whew!) once a week, take the drive out of your desk and plug it in, and put the hot backup into your desk. That way, incase of drive failure, you aren't too far out of backup. This whole process sounds complicated, but really, in less than the thirty minutes it took me to type this (I type so slowly I have to speed up to stop) you could have setup CCC to do all of this. I used to be a SuperDuper! fan until I realized CCC would do all the remote login stuff that just blows SuperDuper! away. I hope this helps!

All the best,

dfw

P.S. For even more extra credit, read everything Lloyd Chambers has to say on the subject of CCC, Raid, backup strategies, and overall best practices.
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dfw_pilot

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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2016, 05:48:26 AM »
For some dang reason, this forum only alerts me of new replies about 50% of the time, even though "Notify me of replies" is always checked.

Oh well. Sorry I'm late in my response. Or, depending on how one looks at it: sorry, I saw there was a new post here and had to make a looong post :)
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Steve

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2016, 03:39:08 PM »
Wow @DFW_pilot That was extremely useful and helpful information. Thank you so much!  I'm going to read through the articles and re-read your post and see what I can do to improve my backup options.

I've long read to just put the OS on one volume and data on another, but have never put this into practice. With your setup, all of your data is on external drives. I have USB2 and Firewire 800 external drives, and always assumed they would be slow to respond compared to the internal drive.

And being able have my daughter log in to remotely backup is something I'll set up soon!

Thanks again,
Steve

[EDIT] Just a quick scan, and I see a problem for remote access; I don't have a fixed IP address... I know there are methods for getting around this, but my limited understanding of networking doesn't allow this to sink into my addled head.
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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xairbusdriver

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2016, 03:47:21 PM »
Quote
For some dang reason, this forum only alerts me of new replies about 50% of the time, even though "Notify me of replies" is always checked.
I think that's because it doesn't use CCC. :P

dfw_pilot

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Remote Access
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2016, 05:15:20 PM »
Just a quick scan, and I see a problem for remote access; I don't have a fixed IP address... I know there are methods for getting around this, but my limited understanding of networking doesn't allow this to sink into my addled head.

Remote access to non-static IP addresses is another topic, but is very simple.

Most IP's don't really change that often; either on cable modem restart (mine doesn't) or every few weeks, however there are always exceptions. The easiest solution is to use a service for a few bucks a year. I use NoIP because it's cheaper than Dyn, but either way, there are lots of affordable and even free options for services. Once you have an account, install their daemon that runs in the background and updates the DNS servers with your IP changes. I own my own domain name for this so I pay a bit more, but there are free options, like weather-geek.noip.com as an example. Once the dynamic updater and daemon are installed on your mac and the remote mac and they are both signed into your account, setup is finished.

Now, your home router address is the domain you chose, for screen sharing, viewing your IP cameras remotely, web hosting (careful!), logging into your DVR, access to your smart sprinkler controller, SFTP'ing into your WXCat web files with Transmit, hosting your own "cloud" file sharing, and using a home server, is all now a piece of cake. Now that I think about it, because I travel so much, I'd be lost if I couldn't connect to my home computer while away. I view my toddlers with LiveCamsPro with our IP Cameras while I travel and couldn't think of ever being without remote access again. Here's the thing: many of these services are available at a cost, like "gotomypc" or web cams that can be viewed remotely. However, if you add up all the costs of all those services, it will be way more than the costs of getting a static IP name and having access to all your various services.

Port forwarding is necessary too, but that's probably something you all are familiar with. Just one word of caution/advice: don't use the standard ports. There isn't much security though obscurity, but every little bit helps. To remote login, the port is 22. I don't remote into my computers via port 22 because all sorts of evil is trolling the internet looking for open port 22's to try an hack into. (Everyone is using Diceware | 1Password style passwords for all your accounts, right?) Forward a random port to port 22 via Port Forwarding to limit the amount of external login attempts. Ex: mydomain.com:2552 forwards to port 22. I don't use 5900 for screen sharing, I forward a higher port like 5999 down to 5900 so my screensharing would look like: vnc.mydomain.com:5999 and my router points that to 5900. You can easily tell CCC to use a different port than 22 if you have forwarded a higher port like I have.

Finally, with your computer and a remote computer, they need different addresses. For example, when my dad died, I setup screen sharing with my mom's computer. With her computer using the same NoIP account, it can't also be accessed via: www.mydomain.com:5999 because that's my computer's address. So for the remote, you add an A Record in your updating service, like NoIP. I called mine: mom. I screen share with her computer with: mom.mydomain.com:5999 because the www is my house. So, to sum all this up, to send my backups to her remote computer where I have a backup drive connected, CCC uses: mom.mydomain.com:2555 with her router set to forward port 2555 to port 22 on her network. Just make sure every device on the network has a static LAN IP, done via the router, so that each device has its own, unchanging internal IP address, otherwise your port forwarding won't work. I'm so pedantic, even our iPhones receive static IP's when on our home network!

Again, this all sounds so complex, but it doesn't take long to get setup and if you mess up, you can usually figure out your mistake pretty quickly. DNS changes do take a while though.  WeatherCat is moving up the list, fast, but the apps I just can't I just can't live without while traveling are: LiveCamsPro, Transmit, Transmit iOS, and OS X Screen Sharing.

P.S. Back on the backup topic, I have an amateur tip: I keep all my custom web files on my Dropbox folder and point WXCat there. That way, I have a very robust backup of those files, plus Time Machine and CCC, plus Dropbox's 30 day file retrieval, plus even easier remote access to them anywhere in the world.

All the best,

dfw
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dfw_pilot

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Firewire and Thunderbolt
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2016, 05:24:57 PM »
I've long read to just put the OS on one volume and data on another, but have never put this into practice. With your setup, all of your data is on external drives. I have USB2 and Firewire 800 external drives, and always assumed they would be slow to respond compared to the internal drive.

With the OS on an internal SSD, most of the lag of having data externally connected via FW 800 isn't too noticeable. I used to have a FW800 Raid that had some lag, but it wasn't so bad that I wished all my data was internal. I don't recommend USB2 for external data storage, but once you go to USB3 or TB, it will be so fast you won't be able to tell.

BTW, you can always get a 1 TB SSD and partition it into two volumes, a 100 gb volume for the OS and an 900 gb volume for your data and you'd be in a really good place. The only difference is that your risk of drive failure isn't spread over multiple drives, like with an external raid.
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Steve

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Re: Question about how you backup your Mac running WeatherCat
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2016, 05:54:37 PM »
Thanks again, @DFW_Pilot

I have a mid-2011 iMac, so USB2 and FW800 is as fast as I have available. And there's no way I'm gonna try to open it up to swap in an SSB. That would guarantee something would break! :)

I do have a no-ip account that is attached to my two networked web cameras. Each have their own managed host connecting directly to them per the very detailed camera instructions for using them via an Apple Airport. That's why I got this particular camera, because I certainly didn't understand most of what I was doing. :)

So I'll read and re-read your above post and see what I can glean from it. Thank you very much for the very detailed information and instructions!
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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dfw_pilot

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Mid 2011 iMac
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2016, 06:02:36 PM »
That's strange ... I have a mid-2011 iMac and it has Thunderbolt. I also watched a few of these videos and made the change to SSD in about an hour. I agree that its not for the faint of heart by any stretch. I was nervous! Save the SSD PCIe stuff for the next Mac and you'll be all set.

Sorry for all the MacSales links. I don't work there, I promise! It's just that as a Mac owner, they are one of the few I trust completely. Go off the reservation on "cheaper" stuff and you are on your own.

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Steve

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Re: Mid 2011 iMac
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2016, 08:25:01 PM »
That's strange ... I have a mid-2011 iMac and it has Thunderbolt. I also watched a few of these videos and made the change to SSD in about an hour. I agree that its not for the faint of heart by any stretch. I was nervous! Save the SSD PCIe stuff for the next Mac and you'll be all set.

Sorry for all the MacSales links. I don't work there, I promise! It's just that as a Mac owner, they are one of the few I trust completely. Go off the reservation on "cheaper" stuff and you are on your own.

With a NoIP account, you are 90% on your way!

Well, whadda ya know!



The mind's a terrible thing to waste. In the five years since I bought it, I guess I forgot what was back there. Seeing as all I had in the way of external drives at the time were FW 400 and FW 800, I conveniently forgot I had anything faster. I haven't needed to buy a new drive since. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks to X-air for the link to the Apple data page. Mine is a 27", so it has two of those ports I thought I didn't have...

And no problem on the MacSales link. When we find good reliable vendors, we like to share.

Maybe if I try to fix mine, I can break it and get a 27" 5K Retina machine! ::evilgrin::
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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