Mac Backup options

A lot of people ask about Mac backup options, here are some of them. First, you may wish to read The Tao of Backup.

Currently I use ShirtPocket Software’s SuperDuper to clone hard drives to external drives, which are kept offsite. Although just this week my backup has failed because the sparse disk image I was backing up to was full, and I haven’t worked out how to expand it past 160Gb yet 🙂

Other options include

  • Retrospect – the Mac version seems to be in ‘maintenance mode’, and I don’t really expect to see any significant updates, so it would be difficult to recommend it anymore.
  • Tolis BRU – Last time I tried installing this I didn’t manage to get it working, but probably a strong candidate to replace Retrospect.
  • Amanda – An open source backup solution originating from the University of Maryland. Another strong Retrospect replacement, but installation seems to currently be a bit of a challenge as IIRC it requires creation of a backup user on each machine.
  • CommVault Galaxy – We use this at work, so probably a good choice if you’re looking for Enterprise level solutions. Java admin client is a bit un-Macish though, but still quite usable.
  • .Mac online backups – I haven’t used this so can’t really comment, but it seems that my machine would generate a lot more data than I could afford to upload every night, but it might be good for the home users (I guess they’ll be using Time Machine once Leopard’s released)
  • Mozy online backups seem to be being talked about by a lot of people. US$4.95/month
  • Bandwagon – only for backup of iTunes

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