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Is there any possibility to use Amazon S3 for Mac OS X time machine backups?

Or in other words: Use S3 rather an external hard disk for time machine backups?

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For any online backup solution: what if you need to restore? How would you restore your system into a working state? And even when just restoring your documents and email: how much time would it take to download all? Or how much time would it take Time Machine to even only display the star field galaxy thingy? See also Best choice for a personal “online backup” in Europe for references to some test results on that. –  Arjan Aug 19 '09 at 16:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've used arq for years and love it. It is not timemachine (bummer) but does do automatic backups to either Amazon's S3 or Glacier.

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As I mentioned in another comment, I also used arq finally. Unfortunately if you have a lot of data (as I do with my photos and videos) then S3 gets expensive quite quickly. I'm now using Backblaze backblaze.com. –  Marc Aug 28 '13 at 9:31
You can set ARQ to use reduced redundancy storage, set a monthly budget, and for even better cost effectiveness, if your data is purely for back up, use Amazon Glacier via Arq to have storage for a fraction of the cost of s3. –  Nielsen Digital Sep 16 '13 at 20:48

Haven't tried it myself, but Dolly Drive is designed to create a Time Machine volume that exists "in the cloud"

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I didn't try it out as well, but this looks like the correct answer to my question. I'm now using "Arq" (www.haystacksoftware.com/arq) for my backups to S3. –  Marc Feb 25 '11 at 10:35
Looks interesting - you should post it as an answer to your own question instead of a comment and then accept if it is what you are using ;) –  Josh Newman Feb 26 '11 at 22:21

Automatically backup your Mac to Amazon S3 *

There are some great tools already in existence that can do most of the heavy lifting for you. The primary tool for doing remote directory syncs is called s3sync which is a script written in Ruby. Lucky for us OS X comes with Ruby pre-installed so there isn’t much work to get it working.

Here is my step-by-step guide to getting your machine setup to do automatic daily backups to Amazon. I developed these steps on my MacBook Air running Leopard however they should work for previous versions of OS X as well.

Continue Reading...

* I cannot confirm the success of this method

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Short answer: No.

Although Time Machine cannot use Amazon S3 as a backup medium, you could set a cron job to rsync your files and folders that you wish to backup OR you could use a GUI program that manages the backups for you, such as Jungle Disk (which is cross platform).

For an even better (and slightly more complicated), you could combine the two and use rsync and Jungle Disk together to backup your data to S3. Check out this gudie for instructions.

Here is a list of backup programs that take advantage of Amazon S3

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