Backup strategy (2007)Edit

First lines of defense (pre-backup)

Software RAID

Journaled filesystem

Apple currently (with Mac OS X Tiger) provides a journaled filesystem in the form of HFS+, but I have had multiple catastrophic failures of HFS+ volumes, both when used independently and when configured as a software RAID, so I cannot recommend HFS+ for use with any data that you aren’t prepared to throw away. HFS+ is effectively a "throwaway filesystem".

In Leopard Apple will support ZFS which is a revolutionary filesystem developed by Sun. It supports journaling, advanced RAID, and unparalleled data integrity verification and self-repair. Apple has publicly stated that ZFS support will be read-only at first, but we can definitely hope for and look forward to read/write access and bootability from ZFS in the future.

Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)

Daily backup of home directory to DVD+RW

Four-times-daily backup of home directory to external volume

Nightly backup of startup disk to external FireWire volume

I use SuperDuper! to perform a daily, bootable backup of my entire startup volume to an external FireWire volume.

Failure scenarios

Damage to specific files or folders

Primary drive failure

Backup drive failure

DVD corruption

Failure of primary and backup drives



Fire, flood or other disaster

See also

Backup products

Apple command line documentation

Other people’s backup strategies

Local links

See also