In Podcast 196 we covered a response from Bertrand Grichting regarding our recent video on creating a clean OSX System Install. Bertrand says...
After watching the video on how to create a bootable drive with a clean OSX, I thought you might take things further into the direction of a real DRP (Disaster Recovery Planning) concept. As a longtime IT-professional in the server domain having a system up and running as quickly as possible after disaster strikes is vital. I got the impression that the bootable clean OS X was kinda "sold" as a valuable quick solution in case the main HD crashed you could then use this to boot into a clean OSX. If I am in the middle of a project and my hard drive goes boom, I want is the ability to quickly get on with my work in order to meet the deadline. A clean OS at that time is not a big help because there are no applications, plugins etc. on it and it takes a long, long time to get all the stuff running that you need to continue working. [Editor: Sorry Bertrand, as we said on the podcast, this was never our intention, Mike]
I would suggest the following procedure which I have done with my setup, and I do it regularly in order to be protected.
- Make a bootable Installation media as shown in the video. I use a USB thumb drive with Yosemite on it that i can just pop in and start from.
- Install OSX on a new disk, run updates as shown in the video.
- Install all your Applications, tools, plugins and authorisations in order to get a production system running. I've installed PT 12. Logic Pro X, iLok, Waves Licensing centre, Plugins (UA, Slate, Waves, Toontrack, Melodyne etc.) and some other audio applications like Snapper and DSP Quattro. Make sure everything is working.
- NOW make a bootable copy on a separate disk with Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper. My full system took about 12 Minutes to finish (USB3).
- Boot into the copy by holding Option and make sure everything works OK. I opened some sessions in Pro Tools and Logic, instantiated some plugins etc.
- Remove the copy and store it in a safe place outside your studio, or better, off premises.
In my testing I only had some issues with Waves plugins maybe because of copy protection, because I had them authorised to disk instead of a USB-drive. If licenses are stored on USB drive that should work ok. Other than that I now have a second production system running that i can boot up and continue working in minutes should something crash. Sessions and Libraries are of course on separate drives. I make it a habit to make a new bootable copy of my current system every 3 or 4 months or so because backup systems like that should not get too outdated over time. I could even do incremental copies with CCC, but i prefer to wipe the drive and do a full copy instead and, most important, test it every time!
The actual installation of Yosemite took me only 48 minutes, and that’s on a 7 year old HDD and a USB 2 thumb drive. If I have to rebuild a system that's the smallest part of it and with USB3 and SSD you have a new system installed in no time. The most time consuming part is the installation of Apps, plugins, tools, Authorisations and so on so why not include them in a bootable Rescue system that allows you to get going immediately? Studio owners that rely on their system for making money should really have some basic know-how of IT Best practises regarding Business Continuity, like having proper backups, UPS, a recovery plan etc. After all they depend on a working system. I'm glad that PTE is also covering topics like this frequently and make users aware of it. Thanks for your work.
Bertrand, thank you for taking the time to outline your disaster recovery strategy. I have SuperDuper updating the clone of my boot drive every day, so I have a fully up to date drive to turn to immediately. I completely agree about testing it and I do check my back up drive every so often to make sure it is all good.
So there is Bertrand's disaster resource strategy. What do you do? How do you make sure that downtime is kept to a minimum? Do share your tips, tricks and ideas.