Monday, 23 April 2018

back up the backup

I've used Acronis True Image to backup PCs for years and will continue to do so.

It's akin to a Mac-style Time Capsule backup, simple to implement, incremental and occasionally creating a fresh full copy.

I've recently tried it for the secondary backups of my Mac servers. The theory has been good, but the execution isn't. I already use Chronosync to make copies of everything to a first line backup, so the Acronis copies are supposedly another level of safety, replacing a set of Chronosync 'batch' jobs.

When the Acronis works, it's fine, even adding some compression to the files.

But, if it goes wrong then there's no easy way to put things back together. It's simplicity defeats it.

As an example, I had a circa 3 Tb backup file in Acronis. I want to add increments to it, but the backed-up entry isn't showing in the left hand pane of the Acronis system. I can still mount the image as a .tib folder to copy things out of it, but I will otherwise have to run the full backup again to get back to where this one is, but in a form that allows the increments to work properly. That's a few hours.

Separately I've some backups which started, but then stopped and restarted. They now show as Incremental, but there isn't a Full baseline copy anywhere. Can I trust these if I ever needed to use them, or would I be better to start again? That's another few terabytes to rebackup. Another few hours.

I think I'll revert to Chronosync for all of the non-cloud backup.

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