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Back Up Solutions for Apple???

by soupgfx / March 23, 2007 10:09 AM PDT

I run a small graphic design business ( for a couple of years now and we have had the hardest time trying to figure out a reliable solution for backing up our files over our internal network. We deal with big files so we need something that can handle gigs of storage. We've tried all kinds of things like Iomega's Rev Drives (not enough space), Buffalo Terastation (cannot handle file names longer than 32 characters or special characters, or mac in general) and of course DVDs. We've tried using EMC's Retrospect but that software just doesn't make much sense and I don't completely trust it.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


(Mac OSX 10.4.9, 4 x 2.5 Ghz PowerPC G5, 2.5 GB RAM)

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So why not Mac?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2007 11:21 AM PDT

Then a set of firewire hard drives to rotate in the usual 112113112 rotation scheme? It also supports to some server and more. Since the "spec" for your backup was fairly light I can only offer this so far.

Apple also showcase Exabyte tape backup in their datacenter offerings. Any Apple 'servers' in the brew? Also Apple has their own line of servers and ... backup at

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SuperDuper does the trick!
by URTido / March 30, 2007 9:49 AM PDT

I use a program called SuperDuper!

It's a shareware program that costs about $25 to unlock the full power of, but once you do it's great. I mostly use it to do full system images of my MacBook on an external hard drive, and with the full version I am able to do smart backups so that only the files that have changed get transferred; which means backing up my computer takes a lot less time than it did before I bought the program.

If you have a networked hard drive, or an old Mac packed with high capacity hard drives, or just an external hard drive directly connected to your Macs then you should be able to do whatever it is that you want to with your backups. And configuring your backup is pretty easy to do as well, although I backup my whole hard drive and not just a single folder. Once it's configured, it's a 1-click (ok, maybe 2 or 3 clicks to say ok) process.

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TAPE was and still is the least expensive, most scable
by msheltra / March 30, 2007 11:02 AM PDT

SDLT ot LTO drives offer scalabilty and cost containment as well as the most flexibility for unattended backup. With shelf lifes nearing 30 years and drive to drive speeds-its the most logical choice. Ultra 320 SCSi and fiberchannel add the absolutes in speed available bar none. Considering this is commercial grade-why go any other way.

Marc Sheltra
SMC, Inc.

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by raymondl / March 31, 2007 12:02 PM PDT

Deja Vu ... it's bundled with Toast or available separately.

Most unobtrusive. Very smooth. Excellent results. Easy to use. Gets the backup done.

I've tried Retrospect (user unfriendly) and Super Duper ... Deja Vu is the best in my opinion.

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try this
by The_Dude7 / March 31, 2007 11:57 PM PDT has some good file backup applications. alot of people do use SuperDuper! and have had great results

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Specific environemental needs?
by MDhaliwal23 / June 7, 2007 3:07 PM PDT

What is the scope of the backup you are looking for? Are you just looking to backup your client data or the client data and your servers? What home directory scheme are you using currently? Do you anticipate running with multiple tiers of storage, such as disk to disk or disk to disk to tape and the like?


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Mac Backup Solution
by soupgfx / June 8, 2007 2:24 AM PDT

I'm looking to backup our client/project files and system files (fonts, music, pictures, etc...). Ideally, I would like to backup all our computers to one single server then backup to tape from there. My problem is that cost is a big factor. As I mentioned before, I thought we could get away with buying a Buffalo Terastation (1TB of storage) but quickly found out that it doesn't work well with Mac. I was thinking about buying a Apple Server but it's too expensive for just to do backups and without getting a RAID setup, I run the risk of disk failure without anykind of protection.

What I would like to do is getting something that has 1TB of storage, acts like a server, and I can hook up a tape backup or smaller external hard drives to offload the back to. So I can take these drives home with me (off-location storage). The Buffalo Terastation would have been perfect but it's not meant to used with the Mac OS (They say it's compatible though).

If I was to run a tape back up system. What would you all recommend? Do I need to buy a whole new computer and stick a tape drive into it? Or can I buy an external drive with USB or Firewire connection and just plug it into my G5? What is your setup like (model numbers and manufacturer's names would be appreciated)?

Currently, we've gone this route and it seems like it's working for us tenatively... (2) Seagate 500GB external harddrives connected individually to each computer. I've decided to try out and use Super Duper backup software. The software is easier to use than Retrospect (by far) but I wouldn't say it's perfect. Still gets a little confusing but I was able to get it to backup regular schedule. It does a straight over copy of the files and doesn't compress them in any way. That's nice if you need to get to the files quick but not good in terms of storage space. My only concern is that we need to offload particular project/client files that we don't use any more but need to keep them on-hand in case the client comes back to us for a new project. We currently store all our files on our drives and back them up to the externals. We need something for long time storage.

I saw that Mac's new OS is coming out with a backup software included. I'm hoping that it's something that we can use for our needs because what is out there now seems to complicated and non-user friendly.


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Backup Software
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 8, 2007 11:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Mac Backup Solution

I think you will be disappointed with what you describe as Backup Software coming with the new OS.
That system is HD based and works for a single machine.
More details here


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Backup Software
by soupgfx / June 11, 2007 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Backup Software

Yeah, I wasn't really counting on it being our final solution. I agree, it doesn't look like something that is meant for a business. Looks like it's more for a home user.

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I used to use Retrospect a lot
by boya84 / June 11, 2007 6:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Backup Software

My requirements have changed (as has my job), so I don't need that much back-up power, anymore... but for industrial strength overkill, Retrospect earned that description a while back.

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My Opinion on Retrospect...
by soupgfx / June 11, 2007 6:33 AM PDT

I have the program. I used it before. And what I've concluded is that I don't like it all. Never felt 100% confident that if I had a total hard drive crash that I could restore what I lost using their software. It always seemed like Retrospect was very particular on how it save (archived) all the files. And if you were missing a particular file, your backup was lost.

I admit maybe I wasn't reading the manual correctly but at the same time, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to setup a schedule to back up files (and recover them).

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We recovered all sorts of files users though was gone.
by boya84 / June 11, 2007 6:48 AM PDT

I agree, it was not the easiest to set up, but it did work and we did get files back - and when it first came out, it was the only back-up app that could use tape and later it was one of the first few to be cross platform... and in that time of my previous life as an IT manager, it was the best available solution.

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Backup Software - Retrospect
by soupgfx / June 11, 2007 8:18 AM PDT

What type of hardware did you use?

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Hardware for what?
by boya84 / June 11, 2007 10:07 AM PDT

End-user machine? Tape drive? This was back in the Mac OS8, OS9 and Windows 3.1 days...

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Backup Hardware
by soupgfx / June 11, 2007 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Hardware for what?

Ahhh... See what I'm looking for is one dedicated machine that can backup all the computers in my office. Have all the computers' drives mounted on the desktop and backup everything to one tape drive or storage unit.

See here's my point. I've been looking all around for somebody that has OSX (mac) and has a relatively simple solution for backing up multiple computers, using one computer, one software. Haven't been able to get one person to give me a solution that isn't using multiple copies of backup software all on the local computers.

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Bob's initial reply
by boya84 / June 11, 2007 10:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Backup Hardware

to you is the right place to start.

You want a dedicated server. All the drives of the client machines mount to it. A single copy of whatever then does the backup of the mounted drives. You are pulling the data - not pushing it. Pushing it means you need individual copies on each machine. Whether you use tape or a hard disc array or whatever needs some investigation.

You are looking for a "simple solution" that IT pros do daily and were trained to do. It sounds like your business has lots of work and that is great. Like it or not, you have a complex environment with lots of data. If it means that much to you then contract an expert and let them set it up for you.

You run a small graphics business. You are expert in that. Cool. The next time I hear an IT guy tell me that logos are easy to design, I'll hit him with a 2x4 and stuff him in your mail slot.

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by soupgfx / June 11, 2007 11:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Bob's initial reply

I think you just hit it on the "head". Happy

I'll look into having someone come in and see if they can work up a solution. Thanks!

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by impala / June 22, 2007 3:59 PM PDT

Retrospect is cool! The windows Retrospect server is more advanced, so I'm considering switching the server to Windows. I never liked the way retrospect for Mac used (abused) the tape drive. Windows does it better, I think. Also, hard drives are so cheap and fast, you may just rotate external hard drives.

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