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Backup Speed Cloning 245GB to a Disk Image

Last updated 2013-09-21 - Send Feedback
Related: NAS, backup, Backup, storage, iPhone and iPad

See also How to Safely Transfer Data or Verify Backups and also general backup strategies and how-to.

Cloning volumes as a backup strategy is attractive as a backup strategy, but as discussed on the Cloning to a NAS page, there are some wrinkles (as compared to cloning to a local volume). So one solution is to clone to a disk image, which allows preservation of the full file structure.

Cloning performance to various solutions

This graph shows the relative speeds of making a clone to a disk image.

The fastest possible scenario is cloning from a fast striped RAID of SSDs to another striped RAID of SSDs—nothing is faster than that.

Another scenario is cloning to another Mac sharing its drives via file sharing, either an SSD or a hard drive. Of course access to either must go over the gigabit ethernet link, so that affects performance. Still, a file-shared fast SSD is clearly faster than a file-shared hard drive.

The slowest solution turned out to be the ioSafe NS2 NAS. Which demonstrates that a Mac with file sharing enabled makes a darn good NAS by comparison, and a Mac can use a mirrored hard drive solution for fault tolerance too. But of course a Mac is not firesafe and waterproof and doesn’t have all the workgroup features found in the ioSafe N2.

Bottom line: the ioSafe N2 NAS is no speed demon, but if the goal is protection from fire and water, then one can sleep soundly at night. Also, read speeds tend to be much faster than writing, and this cloning test is dominated by writes.

Time in minutes to finish the clone.

Cloning time in minutes to clone 245GB as a disk image various solutions
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