C9. Is Time Machine Suited to Back Up the Server?

Apple launched its backup software Time Machine with Mac OS X 10.5. It is integrated in the operating system of every Apple computer. We advise not to use Time Machine on your server for the following reasons:

  • Time Machine does not allow setting a timeframe for backups. The software may start backing up data when every user is logged in and the system is running at full capacity. This could slow down the server.
  • Time Machine only saves data sets. The criteria for saving data is whether it has been changed since the last backup. The 4D Server saves data in one big file which is changing all the time. Time Machine will therefore keep trying to back up this file.
  • Furthermore Time Machine will not succeed in backing up the database because it cannot be backed up while it is in use. Users are continuously using and changing the data that Time Machine is trying to back up. In addition the cache is storing data which has not yet been transmitted to the hard disk.

It is mandatory to back up the 4D database with the 4D backup function. This ensures a complete copy of the files. Please configure the 4D backup function so that it starts every night, e.g. at 2 am. It is unlikely that users will be logged in at that time and the system will have enough capacity. This backup is your primary backup and it is saved on the same machine (but preferably on another hard drive) as your productive database.

The backup file should then be copied to another hard drive which should be located outside the law office. This copy can be made using tools like Carbon Copy Cloner. It is important that you check this secondary backup regularly and that it is located outside your offices.