My Backup Strategy (2021 Update)

This post by David Sparks reminded me that I haven’t written about my backup strategy in some time.

The basic tools I use are unchanged from the last time I wrote about the topic.

Time Machine is still my first line of defense, with Carbon Copy Cloner and Backblaze handling off-site backups.

However, the Drobo outlined in that 2018 post has been decommissioned, with its files now residing on my Mac Pro.

Thanks to the tower’s expandability, I’ve been able to add an internal clone, which updates nightly via Carbon Copy Cloner as well. That clone, the Time Machine drive and the Archives volume are all internal to the tower:

Mac Pro Backups - 2021

As far as my notebook, nothing has changed. I have a Time Machine drive that gets plugged in pretty often, and it’s also backed up to Backblaze and an off-site drive:

MacBook Pro Backups - 2021

Every time I write an update about this, I share my thoughts on backups in general:

  1. Be redundant. Having a single backup is good, but what happens if it gets killed by the same power outage that cooks your computer.
  2. Be easy to manage. Time Machine is popular because it’s easy to setup and doesn’t need on-going care. Anything past the built-in backup will take more work, but it’s good to minimize it.
  3. Be testable. Every once in a while, restore data from a backup to make sure everything’s going well. This doesn’t have to be some big, drawn out thing. For me, a small recovery can put my mind at ease every quarter or so.