What backup strategies do UFO-making folks use?

  • My current approach for backing up my work is fairly simple:

    • Git + GitHub for projects that involve UFOs or code (web or Python)
    • DropBox syncing for Zip-compressed achives of UFOs, plus photos & other design files (e.g. Sketch, Illustrator, InDesign, etc)
    • Time Machine with basic Seagate external hard drives for general computer backup

    However, I feel like this could probably be better. Questions I have:

    • BackBlaze. UFOs seem to crush the syncing system of DropBox, so I keep them away from synced folders. Does the service BackBlaze do better with UFOs, or does it suffer from the same issues of ultra-slow or hanging uploads?
    • Fancy RAID drives. Are these worth it?
    • Non-Time Machine backup software. Is it worth it to use something other than Time Machine? I've heard people complain that Time Machine isn't a very good solution, and I'd rather not find out that it doesn't work at the hypothetical future moment I really need it to work. However, I don't understand why Time Machine isn't ideal, or what might be better.

    If anyone has any insights or comments on backing up work, I'd be really appreciative to learn about how others are handling this! Thanks so much.

  • admin

    • BlackBlaze
    • time machine on network HD

    Git is used as a version control system, not really a backup

  • Amazing replies here – thank you so much for the helpful info, everyone!

  • I have been using BackBlaze for several years. Once the initial backup is complete it eats UFOs like it's nothing. 👍

    This is to be taken with a grain of salt though, while Dropbox is definitely a lot worse at handling UFOs, I never had the nightmarish hang ups some people describes on my set up (SSDs help I suppose)

  • Instead of TimeMachine, a while ago I moved to Carbon Copy Cloner. Back then it seemed more "transparent". I am not sure if it's still the case, but I am quite comfortable using it.

  • I tweetstorm'd ThunderNixon's tweet about this, but I'll copy it here for the benefit of all:

    As the guy who handles all of H&Co's backups, some thoughts:

    RAID drives are worth the money (we employ a 4-drive QNAP for our main network filesystem). Second, consider S3 or BackBlaze's B2 paired with Arq, a fantastic Mac backup app. It'll chug on the initial backup but will eventually back everything up, and keep it synced. If you can afford it, I also recommend a dedicated machine to do the backups. We have an old-ish Mac Mini that I rsync everything to before backing it up via Arq. If you're keeping track, that's

    1. RAID
    2. Mac Mini backup server
    3. B2/S3 via Arq

    In addition to all of that, users use Git for their daily work and they all have time machine backups. So that's 2 backups in addition to the data itself, plus user backups and git.

    One more thing: We used to use a Pegasus 4-drive thunderbolt RAID and I eventually moved to QNAP. There's a bit of a learning curve using a NAS vs. machine-connected storage, but the nice thing is that if your machine is portable, or off, your RAID still hums. I would not recommend the onboard backup tools with the QNAP, however. They choke on the UFO's. Arq for the Mac is the only reliable thing I've found.

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