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Backups (Part 1: Local)

21. August 2018 — Jim Neumann

If there’s one difficult question to ask in Support, it’s: “Do you have current local backups of your DEVONthink databases?” Too often, the answer is, “No” or “I’ve been thinking about starting backups, but I need to restore my data now!” This is a heartbreaking response to hear, and one we want to hear less and less.

Here’s a sticky post on our forums, from the late, and brilliant, colleague of ours, Bill DeVille: 11 Stupid Backup Strategies​. We strongly advocate proper primary backups using Time Machine (or similar application) and local external drives. Related to that, you should be checking the health of your databases. See this blog post on that subject: Routine maintenance for your databases.

For local backups, external hard drives or networked attached storage (NAS) devices can be successfully used.

An NAS is more expensive but are often capable of adding more than one drive or replacing the drive with one of higher capacity. They remain connected to your network, ie. they’re not portable, but some allow access by WebDAV. Check with the manufacturer.

On the other hand, external drives are available in high capacities and often very low cost. It’s common to see 2TB drives around the US $100 range. External drives are often small, very portable, handy for keeping your backups current when you’re on-the-go. They are often bus-powered, too, eliminating the need to carry a power adapter.

With these options, there’s no reason not to keep current in your backups!