Technical Tips for Time Machine Backups

For this week’s podcast, Partner Success Technician, Kevin Williams and Technical Trainer, Jackson Camp will walk us through the process of backing up a Time Machine backup to a share point on a Datto device.

Jackson Camp:

Hello and welcome back to the Datto Technical Podcast. My name is Jackson Camp. I'm a technical trainer here at Datto.

Kevin Williams:

I'm Kevin Williams one of the Partner Success Technicians here at Datto.

Jackson Camp:

You stuttered because your name recently changed, huh?

Kevin Williams:

It did.

Jackson Camp:

Now, today we're going to be covering a very specific process for you guys. We have a little bit of background knowledge on the subject. Today we'll be covering how we can backup Time Machine backups to a share that we set up on one of our devices. It's pretty interesting that we can go ahead and do this. Kevin, do you want to give us an overview of the steps needed to go ahead and get this done?

Kevin Williams:

Absolutely. Essentially guys, we're going to have to create a NAS share on one of the devices whether it's SIRIS device, ALTO, Datto NAS. From there once you're configuring your preferences, of either of the devices, you're going to need to point the Time Machine to the actual share so that the Datto device can take over and actually facilitate the backups both locally and offsite. Focusing on the SIRIS device itself, keep in mind that when you're creating data share in the SIRIS, it's got to be private. In addition to that, one of the users that you add you're going to need to save the credentials that you're using for the user that you make for this share simply because when you're trying to gain access to it later through the actual Mac device you're going to need those credentials. Lastly, when you're configuring the share, again, on the SIRIS of ALTO device itself you're going to need to make sure that you've enabled AFP/Time Machine just so it's facilitating that communication properly.

Jackson Camp:

Absolutely. Now, the process for creating a NAS share on a DNAS device isn't all that different. We have the same first couple of steps, making sure that the share is private, that there's at least one user added, and that AFP enabled are all well and good. Additionally, we have a couple of other configuration options here. It's going to ask you to set up something called a snapshotting schedule. There's two points of configuration here. A snapshotting schedule essentially sets up how many times per hour during a given hourly schedule you set you want the device to take a point in time reference of what your NAS share looks like at any given time. What this means is you'll be able to have recoverable instances of your time machine backups at any given point in time you set up. It's a pretty nifty little feature, provides for additional redundancy. After you set up these preferences it's going to ask you for even more redundancy, setting up the ability to offsite these snapshots. So we're really covering you on all fronts there. Finally, it's going to ask you to set up retention. Retention is the process by which we're removing older iterations or older snapshots of the NAS share based on how long they've been there. This is important for saving space. As you can imagine, these snapshots can take up quite a bit especially if you have a considerable amount of incremental data change.

Kevin Williams:

Depending on which device you went ahead and set it up for the whole point is that you're going to need to actually point the Time Machine to the share. On the Mac device just go ahead and use Command + K to actually connect to the server. From there type in afp, colon, forward slash, forward slash, the ip of the data, forward slash, and then the same of the share.

Jackson Camp:

Right. We'll make sure and include all of these specific command sets in the blog post that goes along with this podcast as well as the blurb but we wanted to give you an audio representation of them as well. Once you go ahead and enter that afp, colon, slash, ip of datto, slash, share name like Kevin said, you're going to want to enter the credentials for the user you previously selected to be added to the share. This allows you access. Next you're going to want to navigate to the system preferences for the Mac you're working on and open up the time machine preferences. In this panel you should have a big switch on the left hand side that says on or off. Go ahead and turn it on. The first thing it'll ask you for is which disk would you like Time Machine to back up to? At this point you're going to want to select the name of the share which should pop up as a disk in the list within the box that they present to you. A couple of things that you can do to troubleshoot, for example, if the share does not show up under the Time Machine available disks. You may want to go ahead and open up your terminal and enter the following command. The command is defaults, spelled D-E-F-A-U-L-T-S, space, write, W-R-I-T-E, space, com, dot, apple, dot, system preferences, space ... this part gets a little tricky ... capital T, capital M, capital S, show, capital U, unsupported, capital N, network, capital V, volumes. That's a mouthful. Then space, then the number one. (defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1) What this is going to do is go ahead and turn it on. This is a secret preference Apple has thrown in there when they deemed that AFP is no longer going to be a supported network volume connection type. Once you turn this on go ahead and try reconnecting to the share and you should be good to go. This issue only really arises on newer versions of OS10 but it's a good thing to keep in mind.

Kevin Williams:

Overall, just to recap. We've gone over configuring in NAS share on a SIRIS device, ALTO or DNAS. We've gone ahead and covered pointing the Time Machine to the actual share and possible trouble shooting scenarios if you guys do need to cross that.

Jackson Camp:

As much as I would enjoy pointing to a time share right now it's cold and wintry here in Connecticut. I do believe he was talking about Time Machine. If you guys want to learn more about this or get a play-by-play for this process in a written format we recommend accessing not only our new Academy website that we relaunched recently but also the knowledge base. These are always tried and true methods of getting some information and getting into the nitty-gritty of the process. That about wraps it up for us today. We'll be seeing you in another two weeks here with another great episode. Have a great day, guys.

Kevin Williams:

Have a good one.