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Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 03, 2023 01:52PM
I use CCC and Time Machine as my main home data backup and archival system. Nearly all primary data is also in iCloud, but that's a secondary backup approach.

I have the final Apple Time Capsule, and it still does serve me (has an internal 8TB spinny disk). Right now, I need it to back up two laptops and a Mac mini.

I was wondering if there was an easy way to use it for faster Time Machine setup and backups. Maybe adding an external SSD drive?

Open to other considerations, just need it to be 'set up and forget it' when possible.

TIA!
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2023 02:03PM
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 03, 2023 02:19PM
Quote
mattkime
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?

These machines are connected via a modern wireless network, which has ~300Mbps connectivity.

They can take days for an initial time machine backup, and a 4 day gap in backing up takes ~6hours to complete the next time machine backup.

I was thinking the bottleneck was in read/write of the spinny disk (as the wireless connection is excellent).
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 03, 2023 02:41PM
How much data?

Not quiet teh same, since Im wired... I had a similar issue with CCC, backups every hour took 20+ minutes to run. No clue as to why exactly. Internal Boot drive has only 500 GB (NVMe SSD), and "working" drive, was a Tbot drive, maybe 1.5TB full, both going to a 6 TB RAID 0 spinner in an OWC 10 GB/s case, so not "slow".

Since I didn't need a lot of storage, pulled the spinny drives and replaced with 2.5" SSDs.

Night and day.

I don't use CCC anymore, just TM, but TM takes no more than a few minutes now.

I have pretty much stopped recommending spinny drives to all of my clients... unless they need more than 4 TB of storage or backup.

Several dual bay 2.5" SSD and NVMe cases are available, as little as $30. two 2TB NVMes @ $80-90 + 30 case = 4TB for $200... not "cheap", but fast.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2023 02:45PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
mattkime
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?

These machines are connected via a modern wireless network, which has ~300Mbps connectivity.

They can take days for an initial time machine backup, and a 4 day gap in backing up takes ~6hours to complete the next time machine backup.

I was thinking the bottleneck was in read/write of the spinny disk (as the wireless connection is excellent).

I'd try connecting via ethernet when the machines aren't in use. Hopefully you have gigabit ethernet between all devices.

I'm sure an SSD would be faster, just seems like an expensive fix.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 03, 2023 03:26PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
sekker
Quote
mattkime
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?

These machines are connected via a modern wireless network, which has ~300Mbps connectivity.

They can take days for an initial time machine backup, and a 4 day gap in backing up takes ~6hours to complete the next time machine backup.

I was thinking the bottleneck was in read/write of the spinny disk (as the wireless connection is excellent).

I'd try connecting via ethernet when the machines aren't in use. Hopefully you have gigabit ethernet between all devices.

I'm sure an SSD would be faster, just seems like an expensive fix.

Connecting via ethernet is not so convenient.

And not sure SSD is a major increase in cost, I've had two external spinny disk drives fail in the last 2 years as Time Machine backup extras. $50/TB; can afford $200 to add 4TB via SSD if it would make this 'just work.'
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 03, 2023 05:00PM
Fwiw, what has been shared with me before in regards to backups is that Its about the sequential R/W speeds.

2.5" SSDs are triple (or more) than a spinny, and NVMes are 10 x that. so like 100 MB/s, then 400 MB/s then NVMe is 2000.

Here are sqe RWs on my backup (2.5 SSDs in a RAID 0) and my working drive (2 NVME in a RAID 0) thunderbolt case







Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 03, 2023 05:17PM
Quote
jdc
Fwiw, what has been shared with me before in regards to backups is that Its about the sequential R/W speeds.

2.5" SSDs are triple (or more) than a spinny, and NVMes are 10 x that. so like 100 MB/s, then 400 MB/s then NVMe is 2000.

Here are sqe RWs on my backup (2.5 SSDs in a RAID 0) and my working drive (2 NVME in a RAID 0) thunderbolt case


Hmm, good point. Any external hard drive is a USB2 connection to the Time Capsule.

So maybe adding an external SSD is not going to solve my speed issue.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 03, 2023 05:27PM
This is an interesting article.

[tidbits.com]
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2023 05:45PM
eh, time machine backups are a loooong ways from maxing hard drive speed.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 03, 2023 05:59PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
mattkime
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?

These machines are connected via a modern wireless network, which has ~300Mbps connectivity.

Modern wireless networks easily exceed 1.2Gbps.

A few problems here, among them the speed of your wireless network and the fact that you're backing up to a slow spinner that's probably about to die from old age. The USB port is 2.0, even on the 802.11ac Time Capsule so you're not going to boost speed by hooking up a backup drive to the Time Capsule's USB port.

If you have a desktop Mac not doing anything, hook up a SSD to it and set it up as a network Time Machine server. See if it's faster. If it's not faster then at least it's likely to outlast the drive on the Time Capsule.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 04, 2023 02:29PM
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
sekker
Quote
mattkime
Why is speed an issue? How long is it taking? How do you connect your macs to the network?

These machines are connected via a modern wireless network, which has ~300Mbps connectivity.

Modern wireless networks easily exceed 1.2Gbps.

A few problems here, among them the speed of your wireless network and the fact that you're backing up to a slow spinner that's probably about to die from old age. The USB port is 2.0, even on the 802.11ac Time Capsule so you're not going to boost speed by hooking up a backup drive to the Time Capsule's USB port.

If you have a desktop Mac not doing anything, hook up a SSD to it and set it up as a network Time Machine server. See if it's faster. If it's not faster then at least it's likely to outlast the drive on the Time Capsule.

300Mbps is limited by the fiber speed I am paying.

This Time Capsule has a replacement 8TB internal drive that is ~3 years old so I would not think it's past its normal age of use. But maybe I should assume a likely failure.

I like the idea of testing using an older desktop Mac. I brought 2 with me in this move, just need to find them!
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 04, 2023 05:41PM
Quote
sekker
300Mbps is limited by the fiber speed I am paying.

That's Internet speed, not network speed.

If you're using Apple's Airport 802.11ac for WiFi, you actually max out around 250Mbps (~30MB/s) on 5GHz.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 04, 2023 06:55PM
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
sekker
300Mbps is limited by the fiber speed I am paying.

That's Internet speed, not network speed.

If you're using Apple's Airport 802.11ac for WiFi, you actually max out around 250Mbps (~30MB/s) on 5GHz.

No, I’m using an AT&T fiber gateway. The number I gave was Internet speed, which is a conservative / minimal speed of the LAN speed I’m getting. The low speed of my Time Machine backups was much slower than the 300Mbps number I quoted.

I wonder what folk are using here on MRF. I do not think we are especially complicated use-cases, and clearly Time Capsules are last gen tech.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 04, 2023 07:57PM
Quote
sekker
I wonder what folk are using here on MRF. I do not think we are especially complicated use-cases, and clearly Time Capsules are last gen tech.

Time Capsules, old macs, I'm running a raspberry pi.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 04, 2023 09:41PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
sekker
300Mbps is limited by the fiber speed I am paying.

That's Internet speed, not network speed.

If you're using Apple's Airport 802.11ac for WiFi, you actually max out around 250Mbps (~30MB/s) on 5GHz.

No, I’m using an AT&T fiber gateway. The number I gave was Internet speed, which is a conservative / minimal speed of the LAN speed I’m getting. The low speed of my Time Machine backups was much slower than the 300Mbps number I quoted.

I wonder what folk are using here on MRF. I do not think we are especially complicated use-cases, and clearly Time Capsules are last gen tech.

Time Machine is always going to be way slower than the speed of your drive and network appear to warrant. It's NEVER fast... But it can often be tweaked to be a little faster than the baseline.

What I do for Time Machine backups: One of my Macs hosts an external Time Machine backup drive for network backups from my other Macs.

I also use Carbon Copy Cloner to back up the data volume from each Mac.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 04, 2023 10:01PM
I think most people who think about backing up just use iCloud



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 04, 2023 10:42PM
Quote
mattkime
I think most people who think about backing up just use iCloud

iCloud is not a backup.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 05, 2023 07:45AM
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
mattkime
I think most people who think about backing up just use iCloud

iCloud is not a backup.

why not?



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 05, 2023 07:52AM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
mattkime
I think most people who think about backing up just use iCloud

iCloud is not a backup.

why not?

Because it's functionally a sync service for certain folders, not a backup service for all of your documents/data, it's not at all transparent how it determines what/when to sync and when it deletes from your computer, and it's volatile to the point where it's utterly insane to rely on it.



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 05, 2023 09:16AM
We use iCloud as one of our two backup options. Not archive, which is different of course.

I've not had any of the issues Tiangou has with iCloud, and I've been bouncing between ~10 different Macs in the last 2+ years. Hoping to be stable with hardware now, so working on a reliable backup situation.

Right now, the main successful options for me are CCC for local backup and iCloud for remote. I was using Time Machine as the archive function, as it used to be pretty reliable until I had a hardware failure. It's been far less reliable this last year.

I might go to CCC with Snapshots if I cannot get Time Machine to work reliably.
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: davemchine
Date: December 05, 2023 01:40PM
I use Timemachine and it is so slow...

I've found periodic disk repair helps but takes a very long time. Formatting and starting over helps but kind of negates the whole incremental backup idea for a little while. Switching to an SSD might help. Maybe I'll give it a go.



Ukulele music I couldn't find anywhere else.
[colquhoun.info]
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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: December 05, 2023 04:36PM
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Tiangou
Quote
mattkime
I think most people who think about backing up just use iCloud

iCloud is not a backup.

why not?

Because it's functionally a sync service for certain folders, not a backup service for all of your documents/data, it's not at all transparent how it determines what/when to sync and when it deletes from your computer, and it's volatile to the point where it's utterly insane to rely on it.

Quote
sekker
We use iCloud as one of our two backup options. Not archive, which is different of course.

I've not had any of the issues Tiangou has with iCloud, and I've been bouncing between ~10 different Macs in the last 2+ years. Hoping to be stable with hardware now, so working on a reliable backup situation.

Right now, the main successful options for me are CCC for local backup and iCloud for remote. I was using Time Machine as the archive function, as it used to be pretty reliable until I had a hardware failure. It's been far less reliable this last year.

I might go to CCC with Snapshots if I cannot get Time Machine to work reliably.

iCloud is a Syncing Service, Not a Backup Service

Don’t Get Trapped in iCloud

Why you shouldn’t rely on iCloud Drive as your only backup

3-2-1 backup strategy, what is it?

...Note that when the OS removes documents from your internal drive and stores the only copy on Apple's iCloud servers, this will break your backups. (It leaves empty placeholder files with cloud-icon indicators when it deletes files.) Dropbox, Box and OneDrive can be configured to do something similar. Making sure that you have local backups of everything important can be challenging in these conditions. (Never said that a good backup strategy was always easily implemented.)



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Re: Want to speed up Time Machine backups
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 05, 2023 05:57PM
Tiangou - the Backblaze link is quite biased. My experience is that Backblaze can be quite a poor backup option, especially if you are adding and removing more than a few MBs of files each day. My former institution tried to force me to use it, and it was taking weeks to get the first sync finished, and days to keep synced. I do more than email and office docs, so it was just not a good match.

No cloud service is perfect, either, which is appropriate to note.

As I've noted here all along, my goal is to have a cloud dataset and a physical.

Thanks for all the comments, I will do some experiments and see what I discover.
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