All of my old rsync scripts still work fine, but have thinking lately about altering our home backup strategy. Backing up just user data is well and good, but restoring a fresh system and applications in the event of a total failure would take half a day.
Hearing good things about SuperDuper! for a while now — a system that puts OS X’s native disk imaging capabilities to full use. When backup starts, a “sparseimage” (a grow-able disk image) is mounted, and any changes to the filesystem since last backup are written into it. Make it a bootable sparseimage and you can move it anywhere and boot from it. A complete restore to any volume can be made from it with Apple’s Disk Utility. Or you can mount the image normally and drag files out of it to restore individual bits.
Creating the initial image took most of the day (which is fine – I was busy grouting and caulking and refinishing a door), but subsequent updates should be relatively quick. The biggest downside I can see is that I’ll lose my rolling 30-day incremental rotation system. But that’s also an upside in disguise, since tracking incrementals consumes gobs of space when a family member uses Entourage, which stores everything in one giant database. Receive a single new message in a week and rsync wants to create another copy of the whole gob. SuperDuper will put an end to that nonsense.
I’m liking this, but not 100% sold on the imaging approach just yet. What are your fave OS X backup solutions?