How to automatically backup remote users data (OS X)
November 22, 2011 4:37 PM   Subscribe

What is the best method to force my remote users to backup their data. They all use MacBook Airs currently, and I'm looking for a good solution. I need something that they dont have to think about and they will be protected.

I tried sending small external hdd's, flash drives, etc to people and having them use those for TimeMachine backups. Ultimately they would forget to insert the device thus making it not effective.

I'll need admin access within the solution in case I have to retrieve data for restores, etc.
posted by Slackjaw37 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
You probably want something automated and centrally managed, likeBRU or Retrospect, or similar.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:52 PM on November 22, 2011

The non-enterprise solution is time machine over wireless and a VPN connection back to the home office. (They are working over a VPN, right?)

The *nix nerd in me says rsync (or similar tool) over wireless and VPN back to the home office.

This works for a handful of people and costs nothing. But there's no one to point the finger at if something goes wrong.

Anything more and you want an industrial solution that will do de-dupe to save space on your backup server.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:53 PM on November 22, 2011

I use CrashPlan. I back up both to their cloud, but also to a machine that I own. It happens automatically when connected to the network.
posted by procrastination at 4:59 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was just about to post some information on how to freely do this with time machine, cron jobs, and an iDrive account...but Crashplan looks like a much simpler route (if you trust encrypted cloud storage space for this data and the free option has ample room).

What capacities are you working with for backups currently? All in all, I would recommend local and remote backups to ensure you can restore common overwriting mistakes as well as drive failures.
posted by samsara at 5:27 PM on November 22, 2011

Arq backs up to Amazon's S3 and has scheduling options.
posted by ignignokt at 6:20 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Why not just Time Capsule. It does need a one time setup.

Beware of the implications of cloud based backups if you work in the protected data realms - HIPAA, PCI, etc.
posted by eriko at 3:33 AM on November 23, 2011

What is the best method to force my remote users to backup their data.


What you need to do is identify the ones who are worst at this. Then you surreptitiously make a good backup for them by whatever remote control means you have at your disposal; it's important that you know about this backup and they don't. Then you write a script that deletes half the files in their Documents folder, and you trigger it the day before an important meeting or presentation. When they scream, you start to walk them through the process of restoring stuff from their backup drive, and when they tell you they don't have one that's up to date, you just say "Oh." and go silent for a bit until they're begging you for help. Then you have them ship you the laptop for recovery, which costs them time and face. Then you restore it from your surreptitious backup and give it back.

Nobody takes making backups seriously without having been badly bitten by the lack of them. Most people find that experience unpleasant enough to become quite religious about it afterward. It's your duty to help your little flock find the path to enlightenment.
posted by flabdablet at 6:55 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Flabdablet, you are on BOFH, I love you. Thanks for addressing the human issue while we all addressed the technology issue.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:20 AM on November 24, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you everybody. I finally ended up going with CrashPlan ProE. They have an amazing amount of features and flexibility, hitting on everything I needed. so thank you procrastination!

flabdablet, 100% perfect answer. I had a user walk through the rain with their MBA open- everything lost. word got around and I have people BEGGING to be backed up.

Thanks everyone- you all killed it.
posted by Slackjaw37 at 4:23 PM on January 23, 2012

I had a user walk through the rain with their MBA open- everything lost.

Oh, you're good.
posted by flabdablet at 6:46 PM on January 23, 2012

« Older Why is my sleep interrupted by a painful tongue...   |   Please help me choose a SAD lamp. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.