Recently the group that I work in was given the opportunity to move from Dell laptops to MacBook Pros. Score! Since the business infrastructure has been 100% percent PC to date, we had to develop something of a business plan for how to deal with having Macs in the workplace. Chief among our concerns was how to keep them backed up to protect all of our hard work. Probably not unlike many businesses, we have a NAS that everyone’s machine backs up to, and surprisingly, this is where we [temporarily] came to a bit of a sticking point with our Mac migration.
Some of the more obvious choices (at least to this author) were Apple’s own Time Machine (free with OS X), SuperDuper! ($27.95), and Carbon Copy Cloner (free). It came as a surprise, however, that none of these options seemed to allow for targeting a Samba mounted shared server. Some Googling showed that Time Machine could manage it with a hack, but we were unsuccessful in making this solution work. So the search was on — what could we use as a backup solution to target a password authenticated Samba share?
We tried nearly everything. We Googled until we were blue in the face, but to no avail, which was surprising, as this can’t be an isolated need for Mac business users. So I raided my Applications folder (a mess of apps that I’ve toyed with over the years and never deleted) to see if I couldn’t find something. Luckily, I came across Econ Technologies’ ChronoSync, just lying in wait, right there in my own apps directory!
Chronosync offers the typical options for backing up or synchronizing anything on your Mac. Its superior flexibility of different source and target folders was ultimately what made it the go-to for our scenario at work. One of my favorite features is the ability to do a trial sync, which shows you what files will be copied and how, before committing a full-fledged backup operation. Add to this a myriad of settings for defining rules about what’s synchronized, when, and how, and this is one of the most powerful backup solutions I’ve seen for OS X.
If you’re in the market for a seriously capable and configurable backup solution on your Macintosh — and especially if you’re a business Mac user — I suggest you give Chronosync a try. The demo version limits the number of files that can be synced, but you’ll get a better idea of whether it’s worth you $40 for a single license or not.