Remote Copy Of Time Machine Backups


jonnymaserati
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Can't believe I'm the first person trying to do this, but can't find any previous threads.

 

I want to make a remote copy of my Time Machine backups (if I have a fire at home then I'll likely loose my computer and the backup machine, so I want a copy in a completely different location). But, when I try to add my Time Machine backup folder I get a message saying that I don't have write permission.

 

Can anyone help?

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When you add a folder to Sync it creates a hidden sub-folder to store deleted files and other data. You probably don't have write access to your Time Machine backups folder, because OS X wants to prevent you from accidentally making destructive changes. You could change the ownership of your Time Machine backups folder, but I wouldn't recommend it. The way Time Machine keeps the storage requirements of your backups under control is by using hard links, which allow a file to appear in multiple folders even though it's only stored once. As far as I know, Sync isn't going to recognize that, and it will try to send a full copy of every new backup - literally a full copy of your entire system. Unless you have an amazingly fast internet connection and absurdly cheap cloud storage, it simply isn't going to work.

 

If you want offsite backup, I think you're better off using something designed for offsite backup, e.g. BackBlaze (that's my affiliate link), CrashPlan or Arq. Of these solutions, I like BackBlaze for its simplicity, CrashPlan for its feature set, and Arq

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When you add a folder to Sync it creates a hidden sub-folder to store deleted files and other data. You probably don't have write access to your Time Machine backups folder, because OS X wants to prevent you from accidentally making destructive changes. You could change the ownership of your Time Machine backups folder, but I wouldn't recommend it. The way Time Machine keeps the storage requirements of your backups under control is by using hard links to avoid storing multiple copies of everything. As far as I know, Sync isn't going to recognize that, and it will try to send a full copy of every new backup - literally a full copy of your entire system for every Time Machine backup. Unless you have an amazingly fast internet connection, it simply isn't going to work. If you read this article and mentally replace each occurrence of "CrashPlan" with "Sync", you'll get the idea.

 

If you want offsite backup, I think you're better off using something designed for offsite backup, e.g. BackBlaze (that's my affiliate link), CrashPlan or Arq. Of these solutions, I like BackBlaze for its simplicity, CrashPlan for its feature set, and Arq for its independence. Arq is the solution that most closely resembles Time Machine in its versioning scheme, but you need a bit more knowledge to set it up.

 

Mods, somehow this post went up twice. Please remove the previous version.

Edited by trevellyan
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Thanks for the response!

I didn't realise that Time Machine can back up to multiple locations, so I'm going to try using http://slinkware.com to connect remotely to my Drobo and select it as a backup drive in Time Machine. I'll probably have to do the initial backup over LAN but hopefully the incremental backups should be relatively small.

The idea is to use my own cloud rather than a commercial one.

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You could have a netatalk share as Time Machine network backup drive and then on that machine have a sync instance running, which backs up your data offsite. In addition you could then set up a VPN allowing you to make ™ backups on the road (given the internet speed is fast enough). With this, you get a nice networked solution, which itself is then synchronised to another server.  This will alleviate your problems with users on the Mac, as you could easily run the btsync instance with the same user that has access rights on the netatalk server

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