View Full Version : Backing up a remote computer using SD over AFP connection?

09-29-2005, 10:47 AM
Hi Dave,

I would like to create an updatable backup image of my parent's iMac (which is in Oklahoma) on my FW800 500GB external drive (which is attached to my PowerBook in Illinois). I'm hoping that either SuperDuper or Synk can do the job. I can access their iMac using AFP. In Finder I select Go -> Connect to Server and type in the (DynDNS) URL that I set up to point to the current IP address of the iMac. (I had to play with some of the settings of the router in order to let the AFP traffic through. Hopefully I didn't open their computer up to attack.)

Upon logging in, I am prompted to select the volume I'd like to mount. I can either mount a volume associated with my profile's username, or I can mount a volume that apparently mounts the whole drive (currently it's called "SSP" in the AFP window, although I thought it had a different name before). If I mount the SSP volume and then Get Info on it, "Format:" is listed as "AppleShare" and the size of the drive lised as "Used:" seems about right.

Given this setup, will I be able to use SuperDuper to first create a new image of my parent's iMac on my hard drive? Can I then subsequently run Smart Updates? (If possible, I know I'd need to follow the instructions in the "How to update any image" FAQ post). Btw, both the iMac and the PowerBook are G4 models running 10.4.2.

If all this is possible, can you help me figure out how long it would take to run the initial complete backup? Both computers are connected to the internet via cable modems and the external drive is a FW800 "Lacie 500GB 7200RPM Big Disk Extreme Firewire External Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer".

Finally, would I need to tell my parents not to use the iMac during the backup process? Would I need to have them quit all programs? Or log in holding the Shift button down or anything special like that?

I searched around the Discussion boards using whatever relevant key words I could think of and didn't find the answers. If I missed a thread that has the answers, please point me there.

Thank you!

09-29-2005, 10:53 AM
Given the typical upload speed of a cable modem or DSL line, Erik, I think this would pretty much be unacceptably slow. Even Smart Update will take a long time, because AFP is not terribly bandwidth-efficient, so attempting to check every file over the network will likely take too much time.

In this kind of case, I think you need something that has a server on both sides, and is designed to do operations over very low bandwidth connections: something like rsync (or its derivatives) would likely provide the most acceptable result...

09-29-2005, 11:23 AM
Okay, thanks Dave.
I'll probably use SD for backing up my PB to my external drive (all local) and I'll look into rsync or rsyncx.

09-29-2005, 11:26 AM
I think that's a good idea. SD! works fine over a local network, because you've got enough bandwidth, but across the WAN I really think you'd be unhappy.

Gotta use the right tools for a particular job, and SD! just wasn't designed to be used across a slow network connection.