International Verify Your Backups Day

(Adam Engst) #1

Originally published at:

What better day than Friday the 13th to check that your backups are actually working by restoring some critical files?

(Brian Hendrix) #2

I have tried SO MANY backup products – not just to find out what’s best – but to learn what’s available. What I settled on was as follows:

[1] Scheduled local backup via Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to locally attached USB3 drive (bootable).
[2] Scheduled offline backup via CloudBerry Backup using S3 connection to Wasabi storage.
[3] Manual backups via CloudBerry Backup of critical files (daily usually if used) of PVMs of external SSD drive.

Because I work from home on a national IT team, I often go out to coffee house or alternate locations with good internet and work. I use Macs but my job requires Windows for work environment so I use Parallels PVM of Windows 10. That PVM is backed up manually as needed offline.

I made sure ALL backup products use local encryption before backing up over “wire” to offline location. And I make sure that key is created by me and encrypted data can only be decrypted by my key alone.

I also started using Wasabi storage because it is EXTREMELY inexpensive especially compared to Amazon S3.

(Alan Ralph) #3

I’m pleased to say that my Time Machine backups were in full working order when I needed to restore some data back in January after the purchase of a new iMac due to my old one breaking down. I also have an online backup via Backblaze as added insurance.

(mpainesyd) #4

I do like Time Machine’s ability to alternate between several back-up drives. I try to keep 3 back-up disks up-to-date with Time Machine, with one of them kept in my car for “off site” backup (not perfect I know!). From time to time I have successfully restored files from these backups and even used them to set up a new (replacement) Mac. The last time was the iTunes itl index file after accidentally selecting to merge iCloud Music with my local library and losing all my playlists (music & video).
After major OS updates I also create a CCC backup but have never tested a restore.
Finally for a few very critical files like my email & accounts I backup to 25Gb Bluray disks, which are supposed to last for 20 years - if a Bluray drive is still available from a museum :slight_smile:

(Adam Engst) #5

A good mix! Have you checked to see how easy/fast/reliable it is to restore from each of these methods?

Yeah, cars would seem like a good place, except for the temperature extremes that are possible in many parts of the world. And shock, if you drive on bumpy roads a lot.

(Brian Hendrix) #7

Absolutely, I tested restores and how long they take — especially when you need to restore possibly just a file or two from another device / location with encryption enabled.

Being a Backup Engineer (NetBackup Enterprise) for Ascension, we jump a lot of hoops for testing at our sites.

(Gil Woolley) #8

How about Wednesday the 18th as a poor substitute? Booted to my CCC external drive so that I can do Clean Install on my internal hard drive. Boot was very slow but it got there.

(Adam Engst) #9

There’s never a bad time to test. :slight_smile:

First boots are often slow, but it may be faster on a subsequent one. Though of course external drives are almost always slower than internal drives too.

(Tom Gewecke) #10

My external firewire ssd is so much faster than my iMac internal disk that I now boot from the former and back up to the latter.