Baaaaackup a Mac to the Cloud

dollydrive

I'm taking a look at a cloud-based enhancement to the Time Machine backup feature in Mac OS X. It's called Dolly Drive, a nod to the sheep that made headlines fifteen years ago by being the first mammal cloned somatic cell nuclear transfer.

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Dolly Drive, from Cirrus Thinking, offers backup plans that provide up to 2TB of online storage; it's not terribly complicated, and based on a cursory kick of the tires, looks secure enough for everyday use. The software also allows users to make a local clone of their hard drive as a sort of belt-and-suspenders backup scheme.

Dolly Drive plans start at $5 per month for 50GB of space, and with every month on continuous subscription, 5GB are added to one's storage allotment without a raise in the subscription charge; the 2TB plan, at $55 per month, may be worthwhile for someone who sloshes a lot of media around.

The company's also considered the problem of how to get past the hurdle of the initial backup, and has introduced a "Seeding" program. Users who wish to take advantage of this program are sent an external drive to which a complete system backup is then performed; the drive is then returned to a Cirrus Thinking data center, where the data is transferred to the Dolly Drive service.

I thought about testing the seeded backup method, but decided that, with a long weekend ahead, there should be enough time to back up the roughly 200GB of data that I have sitting on a MacBook Pro in the lab. I'm going to fire it up on Friday afternoon before I leave, and see how it's doing when I come in on Tuesday.