Backup strategies & Sync Plugin

I’m a long time DT user but I didn’t understand the best practices for safe backups of DT databases. I have two main DB (work 15 GB and personal 6GB) and I regularly backup with time machine. What are the best practices? First: to have a safe backup in timemachine should I close databases before starting TM backup? Second: I have enough space in DropBox to backup my Db but is it safe? And how can I back them up? I mean I can simply move dbs in the dropbox folder as, being huge db, every backup would take a lot of time. Third: when I saw the new sync plug in I thought this could be the answer but in the read me file I read that “Do not use Sync as a backup solution. Sync is intended only to be a convenient way of syncing databases between multiple machines.” What does it mean? That if my, let’s say, work database breaks or get corrupted, I can’t use his dropbox copy?
Thanks in advance for every suggestion :unamused:

  1. TimeMachine is the best option in terms of bang-for-your-buck (especially considering it’s free). You don’t need to close your databases if you don’t want to. TimeMachine is not trying to keep up with your changes. It has the changes it needs to backup when it starts its process so it’s kind of ignoring you as you work.

  2. In DEVONthink’s Preferences > Backup I would set at least one internal backup (bearing in mind that there’s a relationship to the size of the database you’re working with. BIG database = BIG internal backup) and a interval at your discretion. (I have two backups on a daily cycle - but I also tend to have smaller, focused databases. My largest is still less than 1GB.)

  3. DropBox (1) is not a backup solution. It is a sync utility to keep multiple machines synced with the same data. (2) DropBox is not built to sync a live database (and I’d question it on an archived one too but that’s me.) It’s a good product but a DT database is not the same thing as a Photoshop file, etc.

I’d add to Jim’s comments: regardless of how and where you backup, be sure to regularly restore a backup to a test location, make sure it is correct, and the process is working. The time to discover your backup solution was not a solution is when you’re testing it, not when your livelihood depends on it.

Thanks Bluefrog and Korm!

@Bluefrog: internal backups contain only metadata isn’t it? So this backups are useful just in the case the database gets damaged but not in the -unlucky- situation of a broken drive, am I right?

@Korm, you said:

What kind of backups are you talking about (internal, time machine)? Could you give me a step by step process of how you achieve this? I mean: you take a database backed up in T M you copy it to, let’s say an external drive and see if it works? Or, what?

Thanks a lot

Doesn’t matter. Never trust your data are safely backed up … verify.

Depends on where you backed up and the software you used. If you’re not sure how to restore data from a location, then check the instructions for the software you used to create the backup. As you mentioned, you can attempt to restore a database from Time Machine to another location or drive. Be sure you close the original working copy of your database before opening the clone or restored copy.

Yes, this is a metadata backup. If you have data loss from some other source, this is not going to resurrect that data. That’s the purpose of the general backups as korm has noted.