Backing up is just one of those necessary actvities that must be done to ensure the safety of your data. That is, should there be any kind of data loss, such as file or folder damage, a backup allows you to restore the lost or damaged file or folder quickly and easily.
If you do just one thing make sure you’re at least doing a time-machine backup. The software is included in OSX 9 Mavericks. In addition, you will need a drive to backup to. You can buy a Backup drive that is not that expensive to do the trick.
However, you might want to consider a Time Capsule. This acts as both your WIFI system and back system. This is a very cost effective way to provide both services. Further, the Time Capsule has been built with the Time Machine in mind.
Two System Backup
In “A Robust Backup Strategy” I outlined a detailed strategy to provision a robust backup system. Integral to that was the idea that you have more than one system and more than one target you’re backing up with and to. At a minimum I felt you need at least two systems operational. Time Machine makes a great versioned system. Then you’ll need a clone system to boot to and continue working till you figure out the primary problem.
Two Systems Simply the Minimum
In a A Robust Backup Strategy though I outlined the need to go beyond two systems in your backup plan. There is a solid reason to have one other versioned piece of software beyond Time Machine and you should have a remote, offsite system such as Crashplan.
Retrospect as the Secondary, Versioned Backup System
Retrospect is not an easy system to understand. It is complicated to learn. However, they have a script available that helps you build a system from the get go and it might be all that you need.
The upside or beauty of Retrospect is it has been around for a long time. Retrospect is a solid, reliable system. Yet, it is valuable to know this system is challenging to learn. Once you learn it though then that’s a whole new ballgame. Once you get Retrospect doing what you want it to do you can pretty well leave it alone. Check that everything works as you expect but from my experience it is solid.
Retrospect Version 11 Introduced with Block Level Backup
Retrospect version 11 has just been introduced and it’s nice. it has a friendlier, Mac oriented interface. It is also the kind of product that’s going to put you miles ahead. Foundationally, it is the same and operates with the same principles as version 10 but version 11 brings some nice new capabilities to the table.
The big benefit or deliverable with Retrospect v11 is block level incremental backup technology for smaller, faster backups. Rather than backing up at the file level, which is what all systems do, Retrospect will back up only what has changed in the file.
If you think about a Parallels VM it is one, big file. If it changes the whole file is changed. In the case of Parallels it is recommended that it is unwise to back it up as it would burn through backup disk space fast.
With the introduction of v11 of Retrospect, this should no longer be an issue. Now you know your VM is protected as well.
In the end, just ensure you backup. Take a look though at “A Robust Backup Strategy” or Joe Kissell’s various works around backup. He writes extremely well and I‘ve found all his books easy to understand.
Retrospect’s version 11 though with block level incremental backup technology for smaller, faster backups makes this already good backup product tremendous. Just remember to backup, backup, backup….