Friday must be my day of fear for Mac back up solutions for Mac users.
If it’s not the slick new Drobo, it’s Time Machine and SuperDuper! The latest tool is Apple’s own Time Capsule. For better backup, why not send Time Capsule to Las Vegas?
As strange as that may sound, it may be a very affordable, dependable solution to using Time Machine on your Mac, but keeping the backed up data somewhere else besides your home or office.
If your Mac’s files are valuable, then having a mere extra hard drive at home doesn’t do much in case of a catastrophic disaster such as a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, or rampant mother-in-law anger. Hey, it happens.
A company in Las Vegas that runs a 24/7 data center started Mac mini Colocation almost as soon as the Mac mini hit the streets. Colocation means you send them your Mac mini, and they plug it into their data center, and you can access it remotely.
It’s like owning your own mini server, either Leopard or Leopard Server, whichever you choose. Isn’t it nice to have so many choices these days?
Your little Mac mini sits there securely in a remote data center, plugged into the internet, always accessible to you for file back ups, web server, email, whatever you want it to be, from about $35 a month, which isn’t a bad price considering that even a Mac mini is a pretty fast machine.
What does that have to do with Time Machine and Time Capsule, you ask? Everything. Time Capsule is about the size of a Mac mini. It holds either a 500 gig hard drive or a 1,000 gig hard drive, so you can back up your Mac wirelessly, or using Gigabit ethernet.
Hmmm. There’s that little overlooked trick. Gigabit ethernet. Your Mac can find Time Capsule in your home or office network, and Time Machine can do its back up magic. But there’s still that catastrophic back up insurance that’s missing.
So, move a Time Capsule to Mac mini Colocation and use Time Machine to backup files over the internet, from your Mac at home, to the Time Capsule sitting in a data center in Las Vegas.
Colocation means that a data center simply hooks up your Mac mini or Time Capsule in a big computer rack, fully powered, back up powered, air conditioned, and in a secure building staffed by people who usually know what they’re doing.
Then, simply point your Mac’s Time Machine to the static IP address for your very own Time Capsule, and what stores in Vegas, stays in Vegas. You’re backed up over the internet. Set up is straightforward, but comes with the requirement of a few clicks in Time Capsule.
Obviously, you won’t be using the Wireless capability of Time Capsule. After all, Las Vegas is far away from wherever you are unless you’re in Las Vegas. That’s how God wants it to be.
You can control your Las Vegas based Time Capsule by using a web interface to recycle power, or simply by using the Apple Airport Utility in Mac OS X.
It may take awhile for that first online back up to finish, depending on the speed of your internet connection. After that, it’s all Time Machine and those hourly, incremental back ups. From your place to Las Vegas.
It even works in reverse, so you can use your Las Vegas-based Time Capsule to restore your back in the event that something on your home Mac died.
This kind of remote back up system has benefits. It’s yet another way to store your data somewhere else besides on your Mac or at home. Yet, it works perfectly with your Mac because that’s what Time Machine and Time Capsule do.
And it brings up another question for another article. Is it time for online back ups to go mainstream? There’s Amazon’s inexpensive AWS service, BackJack, and Mozy? Are these back up systems ready for mainstream, prime time for the rest of us?
Share your experience and concerns in the Comments section below.