Time Machine – Offsite Solutions

The first thing I thought about when I saw Time Machine in Apple’s upcoming OS Leopard,was my posts about online backup solutions. I was reading Pete’s blog about a backup solution for a company he is working for, and started to think about a way to use Time Machine offsite again.

The Apple site shows that you can use an external drive or an OS X Server for backups. If you could use a program like Jungle Disk or Interarchy to map a “disk” to your mac, you can link it to Amazon’s S3 service.

Amazon’s service seems to one of the cheapest out there for backup needs, as they only charge for what you use at 15 cents per GB of storage monthly and 20 cents per GB of data transferred.

Now the main reason I was thinking about this, is my main mac is my MacBook, and I don’t want to have to plug it into an external HD simply to backup every night, when Time Machine is supposed to be so seamless.

Are there any developers out there that know if a solution like this would work? What would be the estimated cost? Would it allow instant access to recover files? Also, are there going to be solutions from companies offering online storage of your Time Machine files or will it be a part of .Mac (unlikely since Apple says use an OS X Server)? (digg this)
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One thought on “Time Machine – Offsite Solutions

  1. The next version of Interarchy (8.2) which is due for release in a few weeks will have a new feature that allows transparent encoding/decoding of files using one of our encoders or one you write yourself. One of the encoders we’ll have is a Backup encoder that flattens all the meta data (by which, I mean all, including ACLs, BSD flags, HFS attributes, etc) into a flat file with a documented format.

    While slightly tricky to set up (you need to configure per-host preferences since you probably do not want *all* your files encoded, just the ones going to your backup site, you’ll be able to set it up so that any folder you choose (eg, your home folder, or your Documents folder) can be mirrored to Amazon S3 (or anywhere with any protocol Interarchy supports) and transparently Backup-encoded.

    Of course, a true backup solution has much more than just this, it has versioning and snap shots and bootable disks and such, but as a secondary backup system or as an emergency backup system, or as your first backup system if you have no other, it should certainly be useful.

    I’ll have more details on our blog about exactly how to do it after we release Interarchy 8.2 .

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