An update from my prior post about CrashPlan:
Code 42’s Matthew Dornquast generously helped me resolve the kinks in my CrashPlan installation. I misunderstood how the consumer edition handled NAS drives. Matthew also explained the firewall changes needed for CrashPlan Pro.
The consumer edition (CrashPlan) can backup to a NAS folder. The folder simply has to be mounted via the Finder, and then selected as a destination. I don’t know why this didn’t work when I first tried it yesterday — PEBKAC strikes again! At any rate, the correct information is: Yes, CrashPlan consumer edition can backup to a folder on a NAS.
So, I could use CrashPlan to backup my two Macs to the NAS. I’d give each one a dedicated destination folder, and run CrashPlan on each. But this has two drawbacks:
- I’d be administering backup applications on two separate Macs. Ick.
- CrashPlan’s scheduling is very simple, to the point of being too simple. It doesn’t do realtime backups. It only lets you schedule backups for one designated time window.
Meanwhile, CrashPlan Pro would let me monitor (but not fully administer) all backups from one machine. And it would let me perform realtime backups on both Macs. But it has two drawbacks:
- It would cost me $350. That’s way too much. The Snow Leopard update will cost only $49 to cover both Macs. Snow Leopard full installs would cost $229, and include iWork ’09 and iLife ’09. An application of this sort shouldn’t cost 1.5x – 7x the cost of the entire operating system plus base applications. (Matthew argued that the pricing is appropriate for businesses, which are CrashPlan Pro’s target audience. That may be. It costs too much for my two-system configuration; YMMV.)
- The network oddity mentioned in my previous post turned out to be real. Ports 4280 and 4282 (and 4285 if you want SSL) need to be opened up on the machine running PROServer. To do that in Leopard requires fiddling with the ipfw firewall. I’ve played with ipfw before, and could do so again. But I just don’t feel like messing with ipfw right now, since the pricing is a deal-breaker.
Except for the pricing (which is perhaps an issue only for small configurations like mine), CrashPlan Pro still beats Retrospect 8 hands-down. The required ipfw hacking is annoying, but outweighed by the fact that CrashPlan Pro runs rings around Retrospect 8.
I’d personally run CrashPlan Pro, if not for the pricing. And although it’s free, CrashPlan is too simple for my needs.
Since I still hate Retrospect 8, and don’t want to shell out $350, I’ll keep looking for a Retrospect 8 replacement.