Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
Almost all backup applications support push and pull network
backups, but with varying degrees of success. Time Machine does a
very good job with push backups, since it's integrated so tightly into
Mac OS X. Other applications may be less robust, especially if they run
only on a fixed schedule and are unable to mount the remote volume
over the network when it's time for a backup to run. Push and pull
backups are often less secure than client-server backups, and in some
cases can be quite slow.
Client-server and peer-to-peer architectures are designed with network
backup in mind, so they are more likely to work robustly in a network
environment, and can implement better network security. For
example, the only four backup programs I know of that currently
support making bootable duplicates over a network—Carbon Copy
Cloner, ChronoSync, Retrospect, and Synk—are able to do so only
because they operate in a client-server fashion, with the server portion
authorized as an administrative user.
Often, client-server and peer-to-peer backup software packages also
support multiple platforms. If you need to back up Windows or Linux
computers in addition to Macs, you'll appreciate being able to install
a single backup server with client software for each platform.
You may, of course, choose a hybrid approach that combines local and
network elements—for example, versioned backups for all your Macs
stored on a Time Capsule or network server, but local drives attached
to each Mac for bootable duplicates (since they must be hooked up
locally to boot from them, should the need arise). Or you could do the
reverse—use individual local hard drives for versioned backups (giving
you greater speed with less network traffic) but have all bootable
duplicates stored on one or more drives connected to a central Mac.
Special Considerations
Besides selecting the right software, several other matters require your
attention when planning a network backup system:
Media: Network backups require storage devices that are always
available. In other words, as with individual Macs, hard drives—or
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