Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 76 Replies Latest reply: Oct 20, 2013 10:44 AM by PlotinusVeritas Go to original post
  • AceNeerav Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    hands4 wrote:

     

    In regards to offloading your photos and other large files:

     

    If you have enough internal storage, and if you have good backups, then it is easier to manage using and backing up that data by keeping it on the internal drive.

     

    I underestimated my requirements and bought a lower capacity SSD (120 GB) to save on cost.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    Then you definatly need to offload.  So you will have one external drive for you live files.  Time Machine will backup your internal and external drives onto one Time Machine restore volume, assuminig it is larger than the total space you are USING on your internal and external live storage.  So if you have a 1 TB external data drive, a 1 TB Time Machine backup drive is likely to be big enough, assuming you fill the live 1 TB drive to only about 80% of capacity.

     

    You will want a second extenral disk (or two) of the same size to occationally make a clone backup of that external disk.  A second clone disk would be for an offsite copy if you care to protect your data that much. 

     

    Few people manage onsite backups well now or even have any currrent backups.  When they do have a backup it is often one copy of a Time Machine backup.  So if you have a Time Machine backup and an occasionally clonded backup you will be ahead of the game.  I do suggest offsite backups, if that will work for you, but to each their own.

     

    Be safe.  Be cloned.  Enjoy!

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    Ideal philosophy and security of your valuable data

     

     

     

    Immediate backup (OS), and active archive vs. static archive

     

    Immediate backup (your Mac OS) as idealized by Time Machine

    Your immediate backup comprises your operating system, its preferences, bookmarks, personalizations, changes or additions in applications, and general personalized structure of your desktop, Itunes, and other daily changing files, software updates to the OS and other applications. Time Machine is an ever-morphing copy of your internal HD contents. What is ideally needed additionally is a ‘frozen’ clone of your internal HD, and a dual archive at the very least of your data hub.

     

    This is what Time Machine is built for, as changes and updates are stored (can be set for) hourly or as you deem fit. However in case of a crash, Time Machine cannot be booted from, and great forethought says that having a clone of your internal HD is the quickest manner to recover from a crash or be back up and running in a matter of seconds or minutes.

     

    Active archives as idealized by autonomous quick access HD storage

    Working documents, files, development work, texts, and anything that is both vitally important that you have much time and effort invested into and which is also ever changing as pertains it being updated, expanded, worked on or otherwise. These types of files would be stored on your HD archive data hub, which is kept out, and close by for constant updating to this autonomous archive for these active files.

     

    It has been studied that the internal HD of consumers typically contain 80% static data which should be offloaded onto external archives, not only for sake of storage preservation of your data, but for clearing space on the fluid hard drive of your computer system.

     

    Many consumers hold the false conviction that their computer and their data is one entity, mostly due to the fact that both are hardware based, or hardware-centric, and this is something professionals both do not enjoin and cringe at the thought of. Great consideration should be given to this fact by anyone who would retrospectively grieve over the loss of data that took a long time and effort to collect or create! Further still data which could never be replaced at any cost.

     

    Compartmentalizing both in mind and lastly in actuality, your computer as one entity and your data as wholly another entity is likely the most important consideration computer users in general should make and bring to bear in safeguarding what is most important. As in the case of a disaster where people take shelter it is said, “things can be replaced but people cannot be”; while data is certainly not people, it is very similar that any computer can be replaced in case of a crash or theft, or disaster, but your data often times cannot be.


     

    Static archives as idealized by archival DVD or HD storage

    Static archives come under the definition of anything that cannot or does not need to be changed or updated, is important to save and keep safe at all costs. Such examples being pictures, music, video, and other general data you know needs no modification or updating. Static archives should be idealized as very long-term and best directed to archival quality DVD blanks if at all possible; preferably those rated for 60+ years guaranteed storage life, since optimally best stored hard drives will begin failing past the point of recovery under ideal conditions at 3-8 years. If however the collection of static data is too large, then an array of conventional hard drives.

     

    Given the second law of thermodynamics, any and all current mfg. HD will, under perfect storage conditions tend themselves to depolarization and a point will be reached, even if the HD mechanism is perfect, that the ferromagnetic read/write surface of the platter inside the HD will entropy to the point of no return for data extraction.

     

    HD life varies, but barring mechanical failure, 3-8 years typically. Unlike the case of a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm to protect yourself from a potential fire that “could” happen but probably wont happen; a HD failure is a ‘fire’ that is 100% guaranteed to happen within 3-8 years. This makes multiple archives an unmitigated necessity. To think multiple archives are ‘paranoia’ as some have approached this view would only be true in the analogy of a house fire. But imagine if you were told “you have 100% chance of a disastrous house fire in 3-8 years”. Prudence therefore must be very high.

     

    Computer Hub System – System (OS) Hub – Data Hub

     

    Computer Hub System

    Logic board, CPU, GPU, battery, ports, monitor, RAM, optical drive, cables. Any and all hardware related to the operation, integrity and display of your data as meant either processing or transferring of OS and data files, other than the HD/SSD and its contents.

     

    System (OS) Hub

    Your HD/SSD contents, meaning your computers OS, its applications, bookmarks, desktop personalization, history and systems preference settings etc. Though stored on physical hardware, either HD or SSD, your system hub should be considered autonomous to the computer and its processing hardware whose sole task is moving around your system data OS and your personal stored data files. A system hub is always active.

     

    Data Hub

    Your HD/SSD (or externally stored) data. If you saved it, made it, collected it, worked on it, regardless of what ‘it’ is, that should be part of your data hub archive. Important files, passwords, financial information, in essence anything you don’t dare lose and/or you have invested any or a great deal of time in getting, creating, or working on.


    Though stored on physical hardware, either HD or SSD, your data hub should be considered autonomous to the computers hardware, and additionally autonomous to the system hub backup (on TM or HD clone).  A data hub (if large) is mostly passive, and partially active.

     

    Your data hub needs to be compartmentalized and separate from your system hub (OS) for primarily two reasons.

     

    A: You need at the very least 2 copies (preferably a 3rd offsite & online) of your vital data you’ve spent years collecting and working on.

     

    B: A HD clone of your internal drive is not large enough in most instances, nor is it reasonable to try, to keep both your entire OS and its applications in addition to your large and growing data collection on any single clone to use in case of a crash of your internal drive.

     

    In compartmentalizing as separate, your computer hub, your system (OS) hub, and your data hub, you can fully recovery from a total failure of either your HD, or your computer and HD faster than anyone, faster than you dare hope for; removing stress, data loss, confusion, and needless waste of time and effort almost completely!

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    Time Machine is about as good as backup systems get........(CDs and DVDs were once touted as ideal for this, but real world experience has revealed optical discs deteriorate much faster than previously thought

     

     

    Its actually IMPOSSIBLE to agree with something less than those two statements.

     

     

    Firstly, Time Machine is a revolving backup, ....the best immediate backup is a HD clone (a boot archive), not a time machine 'backup'.   Archive is always more secure than any single backup.

     

    Time Machine is a system  backup, not a data archive nexus.


    Important data you “don’t dare lose” should not be considered ultimately safe, or ideally stored (at the very least not as sole copy of same) on your Time Machine backup. Hourly and daily fluctuations of your system OS, applications, and software updates is the perfect focus for the simple user to conduct ‘click it and forget it’ backups of the entire system and files on the Macbook HD.


     

    Secondly,

    You need to research century professional archival disks rated for 100+ years. You seem to have never heard of same.

     

    Given the second law of thermodynamics, any and all current mfg. HD will, under perfect storage conditions tend themselves to depolarization and a point will be reached, even if the HD mechanism is perfect, that the ferromagnetic read/write surface of the platter inside the HD will entropy to the point of no return for data extraction.

     

    HD life varies, but barring mechanical failure, 3-8 years typically.

     

     

    ALL HD are subject to depolarization entropy "beyond recovery" in average 4-6 years.

     

    metalic-cyanide layer CENTURY DISK professional grade DVD blank media is rated for 100+ years

     

    6 years MAX on the BEST HD.

     

    100+ years MINIMUM on professional grade archival DVD blanks.

     

    Peace

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    PlotinusVeritas wrote:

     

    100+ years MINIMUM on professional grade archival DVD blanks.

    And you think you will find a slot to put them in a hundred years from now?

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

     

    And you think you will find a slot to put them in a hundred years from now?

     

     

    Absolutely yes, studies have been done on same.

     

    Storage experts paid millions big "big business" have all agreed that optical reading mechanisms will be there for "transcended technology" (DVD blanks etc.) for 300+ years and likely inperpetuity.

     

    Huge. corporations are currently spending MILLIONS each year on 3M tape backup for several technical reasons.

     

    You know... those tape storage reels you saw in 1970's films. 

     

    Anyone who thinks they can put a valuable data collection, on say "20 2TB HD" and lock it away in a vault for 6, 10,.....etc. years, is not only making a colossal-level error, .....there are also no storage experts who either advocate or agree with such an illogical position.

     

    One, DVD archival blank alone (not to mention more) will hold a massive amount of documents, texts, word files, PDF, etc. etc


      .....Most vital data to companies is not large media files (pics, video, music), rather documents, files, low KB-level texts.

     

    Yes, 4.7gig is 'small',........however vital data is secure on same for 100+ years. And 470gig of data (100 DVD single layer century blanks) when it comes to documents, texts, word files, PDF, etc. etc., contains a massive amount of data.

     

    470 gig of data on Century disks costs $40 ........  and is not ferromagnetically subject to polarity entropy.....and will last 100+ years.

     

    Name any archival nexus that will store half a Terabyte for 100+ years for anything close to $40 (for that matter, at ANY price).  You cannot

     

    As for archival DVD professional "century disk blank media"  JVC, Verbatim and others cant crank out enough million archival DVD blanks a month to meet demand for storage from people who, intelligently, will not, should not, cannot, will never trust a ferromagnetic plate(s) for critical. data.

     

     

    That being said, I have over a 100 hard drives laying around this house alone,.......but Id be a fool to dare for a milisecond consider any of them long-term archival storage.

     

    And Im not about to lose nearly 25+ years of work.

     

     

    You want a real storage option, there are Platinum Saphire drives currently developed for 1-time write storage estimated to last a MILLION YEARS if stored right.

     

    Platinum platters are written by laser and sandwiched in between synthetic carborundum (saphire).

     

    Each Platinum-Saphire drive apparently costs $30,000

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,625 points)

    As you like, but I'm convinced physical media will be as dead as the Dodo, in the not so distant future.

    The backups most users create will have no need to be preserved so long and will be transferred around to a couple or few HDDs that probably won't fail in the short term, then ultimately wind up in Cloud storage.

  • Donald Morgan Level 6 Level 6 (12,645 points)

    I use time machine and I have a 2 terabite external as well meaning that I have 2 complete backups that are done once a day and I can access either one anytime I need it. If you loose the time machine for whatever the reason I have the 2 terabite USB that is a backup to a backup. so doing this you are double protected.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    then ultimately wind up in Cloud storage.

     

     

    There is NO SUCH THING as "cloud storage" It doesnt exist.

     

    Cloud storage means "1000s of HD in a building"

     

    HD = ferromagnetic storage,

     

    which again:

    6 years MAX on the BEST HD.

     

    100+ years MINIMUM on professional grade archival DVD blanks.

     

     

    the 2 terabite USB that is a backup to a backup.

     

    backup is FINE, but people need to invest in a HD CLONE

     

    You cant BOOT from a TM backup (boot to recovery yes, but NOT boot into desktop).

     

    Nothing exists that is quicker than a CLONED HD boot either from USB or installed.

     

    You can be back up and running in seconds with a USB boot from a cloned HD.

     

    Some advantages of a cloned HD:

    If you do an option key startup at boot you can directly boot to your cloned drive externally and operate from same like normal.


    With a small portable HD clone you can take your ‘computer’ anywhere to most any other current Mac and boot from your HD clone and have your entire system and its data immediately there for use. In case one is across the world and their macbook gets stolen, or damaged, with another Mac you can be up and 100% in the time it takes to boot to the new or borrowed Mac!


    You can clone from your external clone to the internal HD/SSD in case of corruption.


    The best thing that can be said, ideally, when your HD crashes with all its data is “so what, I’ve got a clone right here” and you can return to normal operation within seconds (by booting from the clone) or minutes (by swapping drives).


    In separating out your system hub (OS) and your data hub, and storing them separately, is if you make only periodic clones (every month or so), and have a HD crash, the worst case outcome is that what is lost on your clone are some bookmarks and preferences since your data hub containing your vital files is constantly archived separately as it should be.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    To the OP and others, these are the 2 technical references on same:

     

    amazon.com

    screenshot_363.jpg

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    I agree with PlotinusVeritas' points.  Using durable media (and open standards) is a great idea.  Using prefessional backup techniques is important.  However there are no perfect solutions for long-term archiving of digital media.

     

    There is no way to fight entropy without inserting energy to keep the system intact.  This is unfortunately the physics of archiving.   Also a built-in attribute of high technology is it changes rapidly.  This makes long-term archiving of digital data difficult, very difficult.

     

              Building and Electronic Records Archive at the National Archives and Records Administration

              Recommendations for a Long-Term Strategy

     

    http://books.google.com/books?id=w7DpJrJbxn4C&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=san+diego+superc omputer+center+archiving&source=bl&ots=1aPxt2jcQ0&sig=TEpjw8LSfsu-rDOFItajsyXy42 I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=L89ZUszrIML_4AP0n4DYBA&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=san%20diego%2 0supercomputer%20center%20archiving&f=false

     

    San Diego Supercomputer Center was tasked with how to archive the vast amounts of data in national supercomputer centers and there government centers.  Their conclusion is the only viable method is an active system that reads and re-writes the data periodically (every half decade or so).  They note that even if the media survives long-term storage there is no guarantee future technology will be able to read it.  They also note that storage media continue to increase in density so that it becomes cheaper to copy it over time.  SDSC also strongly emphases the need to include metadata with the data that is being archived.  Even if you can retrieve the data it may be difficult to know what it is without good metadata.

     

    For example in my lifetime we used to backup our PDP-11s on 7 track tapes.  I archived my PDP-11 work from my college days on such a tape.  It is still a great memento but worthless as an archive media.  Try to read a floppy or hard disk from 30 years ago assuming they still physically work.  Can you find a compatible connector much less understand its filesystem and byte and word format (6-bit, 7-bit, 8-bit, 9-bit, 12-bit…)?  Even CDs and DVDs are likely to be obsolete in the next decade, having gone with 8-track tapes, cassettes tapes, and the like.  With cloud music/video services starting to dominate, optical media is already somewhat obsolete.  Even Macs ship without DVD drives.  What do you do with your parent's or grand parents's 8mm movies other than hire a professional to transcribe them onto DVDs?  What will your great grandchildren do with DVDs?  Government projects have tried archiving entire computers and their media in climate-controlled storage so that the media could be read by such computers decades later.  Unfortunately components in the computers had a finite life, even when not used, and were not replaceable.

     

    When I was working on big storage for Cray, a government project was upgrading their older, more-expensive Cray's less-expensive models but there was a hitch.  There was no tape driver for the tape tape drives they used.  To get this one-off project funded I charged them $600,000 for the tape driver as part of a multi-million dollar procurement that would save them $Ms.  They had to move forward with the technology and they had to be able to read the existing tapes and we had to cover the long-term support costs of continuing support of this technology that was going obsolete.  The tape technology was about a decade old.  High-tech does not march on, it runs and outruns.

     

    There are cloud storage services that are more than just disk clouds.  For example, DuraCloud, for there most expensive service ($6,900 for the first TB and $1,700 thereafter), uses a combination of Amazon S3 and SDSC storage.  The reason they use SDSC is because SDSC has the best long-term tape-based active-archive system on the planet and the federal government is not as likely to go out of bushiness a for-profit archival corporation (current events excepted.)

     

    So you can't win and that makes it difficult for consumers to archive digital data.

     

    What are people advising?  Be selective about what you archive or the information will get lost in a sea of data.  Store the data in multiple formats in multiple places.  Use current mass-media such as commonly used and durable DVD formats (for example, single layer DVD+R).  Use cloud-based digital archiving services.  Read and rewrite your personally stored digital data every half decade.  Print important photographs on archival-quality paper and store them in multiple locations.  Include prudent information about what you are archiving (metadata).  Use exFAT as the filesystem as a "portable" filesystem (as if Windows and the Mac OS are going to exist decades from now).  Use industry-standard and open formats, avoiding proprietary ones, such as PDF or iPhoto.

     

    There are no perfect solutions.  DVDs are a solution for this decade.

     

    P.S.  What is the most durable filesystem one should use for archival DVDs?  Is there something better than exFAT?  What is the most standard image format?  What is the most standard audio format?  Would RTF be the most durable document format?

  • AceNeerav Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Hello everyone,

     

    I dont mean to interrupt the flow of information and knowledge over here, but my post was centered around home users and small business users. I have just started with iPhone development so my home is also my small office. I guess my question in the original post was too open ended.

     

    In any case, I think a RAID 1 NAS will serve me good. cause when the hdd wears out, its less likely to be both the hdds at the same time. So I can just start using the second one as primary and put a new one for backup. I hope my understanding about this is right?

     

    Now the question is, If i designate my NAS drive for TM backups, will it still be available to keep files on it like a normal external drive. Cause it is recommended against's doing so for physically connected external TM backup drives. I am essentially buying a 4 tb drive so that I can have backups of TM on say 1 TB and be able to store unimportant and re-downloadable multimedia like music, movies and tv shows on the remaining 3.

     

    One thing I absolutely agree here with one of the posters is that important data needs to be stored in more than one places. And I believe nothing better than the "cloud". I have all my documents on iCloud. But today I just had a thought that what if something goes wrong with iCloud, like it does many times with calendar, notes and other apps. So I want to keep a second cloud backup of stuff as well. I was thinking of Google drive. let me know if its a good idea?

     

    Thanks once again for the info and the reference to the two books.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    cause when the hdd wears out, its less likely to be both the hdds at the same time. my post was centered around home users and small business users. So I can just start using the second one as primary and put a new one for backup. I hope my understanding about this is right?........... If i designate my NAS drive for TM backups, will it still be available to keep files on it like a normal external drive. Cause it is recommended against's doing so for physically connected external TM backup drives. I am essentially buying a 4 tb drive so that I can have backups of TM on say 1 TB and be able to store unimportant and re-downloadable multimedia like music, movies and tv shows on the remaining 3.  One thing I absolutely agree here with one of the posters is that important data needs to be stored in more than one places. And I believe nothing better than the "cloud".

     

     

    Many points there above:

     

    1. The "cloud" is not only not the "best" it is arguably the WORST. Cofounder of Apple Steve Wozniak has recently expressed deep concerns about the cloud for countless valid reasons.  Cloud based storage should not be considered as ANY form of storage/ archive for this due to security concerns, and the transient ephemeral nature of cloud storage which can only be quasi-possessed.

     

    2. Use your NAS for general "large file" storage, pics, vids etc.  Correct on NOT using same for TM backup.

     

    3. Do NOT buy a 4TB drive, they are currently highly plagued with unreliability. The WD 4TB 3.5" drive, as example, currently borders on a failure rate so high, I dare use the words "should be recalled".Stay with 3TB max.

     

    4. Your first sentence implies you are considering the INTERNAL drive a "copy", but that cannot be enjoined, valuable data needs at LEAST 2 copies other than the internal HD which never counts in the "2 copy scheme"

     

    5. You need to take serious consideration into having a HD clone which has countless advantages over that of TM backup.

     

    6.  While possibly "overly complex" at points, the recent posts were meant actually for the "home user", or the serious prosumer

     

     

     

    This is "making it simple":

     

    Compartmentalize your internal HD data contents for simplicity

     

    Keeping all created data on your mac in just a few places

    A very easy methodology used by many is to keep one or two files on the desktop where all their active data, files, and personal pics, documents, and created work is stored rather than it being haphazardly scattered about various folders and subfolders throughout the internal HD. When it comes to quick archiving of your ever-changing data creation and files, dragging one or two folders to an awaiting HD archive or DVD burn is extremely simplex and hunting down valuable data in countless locations on the internal HD is eliminated.

     

    As stated before, professionals and prosumers cannot use Time Machine as a single source backup even if they have autonomous archives, since data is quickly expanded in size well past the internal drive, which likewise, even if the TM backup drive is twice, or three times the size as the internal HD, is also very quickly outpaced to backup the contents of same. The idea of, even if multiple archived copies are made, or the conception of “an entire backup (of everything)” is both unrealistic and ill advised.

    screenshot_366.jpg

    Keeping virtually all of ones data off the internal HD unless immanently necessary simplifies the HD clone premise, and makes data vs. system OS compartmentalization very simplex. Additionally to the clone, this cuts down immensely on an ever-bloating Time Machine backup which should, as ones data is concerned, be centered around active data, and eliminating most if not all static data from being copied or ever directed to Time Machine. Time Machine’s 90% premise is the backup of your system, its updates, new and deleted APPS, and immanent data creation which is either active or very active. 

     

    Those countless many who are using or inclined to view Time Machine as a central (or at the very worse ‘only’) data ‘backup’ are not only putting valuable work in a choke point of failure, but are also creating a ‘growing giant’ where Time Machine can very easily outgrow its HD capacity with the bloat of big data files the likes of which include pics, video, music, PDF and likewise.

     

    Time Machine is best utilized as protection for the ‘traveler’, as meant the system OS and immanent data; the ‘luggage’ or static data archives, large files of little access are best ‘carried’ elsewhere on other HD archives/ storage and/or DVD media.

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,985 points)

    FWIW, I guess I'll chime in here.

     

    Personally, I do not care for Time Machine.  The primary

    reason is that you really never know if it is doing its job

    until you need it.

     

    For whole system backups, I utilize cloning since it is so

    simple to do on a Mac.  Also, you can immediately boot to

    the clone to determine if it was successful. 

     

    As far as data, personally I believe there is no such thing

    as too many backups.  The data that I rely on for work I

    backup daily to an external HDD.  Also, since my work tends

    to be project oriented, I also backup to a USB stick.  In addition,

    I have my current work directories located in a MS SkyDrive

    that does live backups (and syncing to my other Macs) and

    it works very well, especially since I work quite a bit with

    Windows virtual machines.  Personally, SkyDrive is what I

    would have expected to be a feature of iCloud to be for Macs.

    For old archival stuff, I use multiple copies of DVDs.

     

    As for personal items like photos, I maintain an external HDD

    backup, a network storage, and DVDs and/or BDs.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    I apologize for bludgeoning the long-term archiving topic.  It was intended to drive home the issues of archiving, particularly for home archiving.  I am continuing the conversation in a separate thread where I ask practical questions about medium-term archiving onto DVD media:

     

    Archiving on Mac OS Formatted DVD+R Disks

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5442476

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