iCloud Time Machine

With the announcement of new iCloud storage tiers this past Wednesday, it has got me thinking about an idea that worked in theory but not in practice until now. The idea of Apple creating a mechanism of cloud backup for the Mac. On the iOS side we have iCloud backup and it works great! Bringing this kind of simple and effective backup to the Mac would be a great benefit to Mac users, especially those users who tend to not backup their data. The current Time Machine is easy to use but still requires extra hardware and I think that could be a barrier to a lot of users, because of cost or perceived complexity. If iCloud Time Machine existed, your data would be backed up from the first time you turned on your computer, with no interaction, and automatically going forward. I use Backblaze and love it, but this kind of service still requires you to make the first move and that is an issue for some. If I could use the same 1TB iCloud storage bucket that I already have, I would definitely like that.

This kind of system is going to be somewhat more difficult on a Mac than it is on iOS due to third party data, but I think this problem is easily overcome. Much like the transition to using iCloud Drive for synching rather than other solutions like Dropbox or WebDAV.

I obviously have no idea if this would be an area that Apple would be interested in entering, but I think everything is in place to make it happen for sure. I look forward to seeing what is coming for us in the apple community as iCloud becomes more of a viable solution.

How Do I Backup My Stuff?

I have been a backup junky for quite a while. I have lost my fair share of data in the past due to poor backup practices, and that just sucks. Backup is generally not on the top of everyone’s mind, but it really should be. Keeping a solid backup of your data is easier than ever, and the cost is trivial in comparison to what your personal data is worth. I was thinking about how all my stuff is getting managed and eventually sent to some kind of backup, and thought it may be helpful for some to see what I am doing to keep my stuff safe. This setup is kind of elaborate, and won’t fit your needs 100%, but parts of it I am sure can, at the very least, give you ideas of better ways to protect your data. Below is an overview of how various devices are moving data around to protect it, and then you will see a nice visual diagram of how all the parts are interconnected.

I would love to hear about cool ways you are backing stuff up and keeping it safe, or perhaps you have suggestions on ways to improve my system. Either way, let me know!

 iPhone– Nightly iCloud backup- Weekly encrypted backup to iMac with iTunes

iPad– Nightly iCloud backup- Weekly encrypted backup to iMac with iTunes

iMac Internal Drive– Locally connected Time Machine drive- Network mounted Time Machine (Mac Mini Server connected to 4 Bay Drobo)- Weekly image backup to external drive with SuperDuperArq backup of Home Folder to Amazon S3

iMac External 4TB Thunderbolt DriveChronosync mirror to Mac Mini Drobo

Mac Mini Server w/ 4 bay 8TB Drobo– Internal Mac Mini drive weekly image backup to Drobo- Drobo real time backup to Crashplan

 

 

How do I backup - October 2014 Click Image To View Larger

 

Photography Workflow

Just wanted to document my photography workflow in case any one was interested. Everyone should always backup, no matter how “important” they think their files are. You can be the judge of how detailed and fault tolerant your backup scheme is going to be, but please do something when it comes to the backup of your digital life.

I shoot all my photos in RAW (with the exception of shots taken with my iPhone).
1. RAW Files are imported into Apple Photos for processing.
2. Final selection of photos are exported as full res .jpg.
3. Full res .jpg copies are uploaded to Flickr for my web albums.
4. Full res .jpg copies are copied to a Drobo for local backup, and iCloud Photo Library automatically.
6. Entire Photos Library stored on Drobo for local backup.
7. Entire Drobo is copied to Backblaze for offsite backup.

Here is a workflow diagram of how things are moving around. *Updated 10/08/15*