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FLOSS Friday: SilverKeeper

January 22nd, 2010

This time I’m going to visit the Mac side of the house and recommend a backup utility for Mac OSX.  The tool is freely available from LaCie and is called SilverKeeper.  As with much of the software for Mac OS X, you download a DMG file, double click the DMG to mount it, and then a window appears that directs you to drage the application to the Application Folder.  Once you do this, you’re ready to go.  On the first execution, the software scans all attached storage to determine file and space counts, makes a list of system users, and then identifies the current user running.  All of these are used to create default profiles.  The profiles allow you to specify an entire drive, all user home directories, or your current user’s home directory for the backup.  When you’re ready to make a backup, simply identify the destination disk (backups must be somewhere other than the device you’re backing up), and away it goes.

We all know the importance of backups, and LaCie’s free utility makes it so easy that you no longer have excuses to not have redundant data ever again.

SilverKeeper is freely available, but is not, strictly speaking, Free Software.  Nevertheless, it can be a valuable addition to your Mac’s set of tools and applications.

It wouldn’t be FLOSS Friday without a screen shot, so here’s the application screen shot of the week:

SilverKeeper for Mac OS X Main Window

SilverKeeper for Mac OS X Main Window

Mac OS X, Software , ,

  1. Mike Dixon
    January 23rd, 2010 at 18:34 | #1

    Hi Tony,

    What about Time Machine, back-up software that comes with any Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard? It’s an Apple product, and automatically backs up everything without hassle to an external drive. Why recommend a backup program to Mac users who already have one on their system? You could recommend this to Mac users running Tiger or something earlier, but this wasn’t noted in your post. I can’t give this much of a rating.

  2. Kara Ousley
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:35 | #2

    I recommended the software based on my experience in field support for ECU.

    Time Machine is an almost all or nothing setup. Yes, its great for external hard drive backup. But, keep in mind that you will need to prevent physical access to that ext drive which is one of the highest reasons for stolen data. Don’t leave it on your desk out in the open or someone can just walk by and walla! walk away with your precious data.

    I’m not saying external hard drives are completely out but they’re not completely safe either. A more optimum scenario would be to back up to the piratedrive or a protected server. But, space is often limited on either one so you probably can’t backup your entire hard drive. That’s where Time Machine is kludgy at best because you can’t just select one folder to backup. It uses the process of elimination meaning you have to remove folders one at a time in the options window in order to select just one. And, you have to be sure to remove the hidden files/folders so they, too, don’t get backed up. Apple doesn’t recommend using Time Machine to backup to a server, either, although it can be done with some command line interference. I’ve also found that it doesn’t keep up with Exchange passwords very well and often has to be reset every 90 days which is a pain for the client and for ITCS. I don’t recommend it for piratedrive backups.

    SilverKeeper’s automation is quick and easy. You can do several different backups at different times for different folders. You don’t have to select the entire hard drive either. And, it works wonderfully with a protected server.

    With SilverKeeper, which is free, you can just back up to the piratedrive or another secure server and be fairly sure no one else can get into your data on your server. If your computer is stolen, you have a good copy on the server.

    Last, SilverKeeper is available for all versions of the Mac OS so that Tiger users don’t get left out. So, Time Machine is a great product but you’ve got to remember that being totally Apple-manic might keep you out of the loop for better products.

  3. Kara Ousley
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:39 | #3

    See my comment. @Mike Dixon

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