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As I understand, with Time Machine I need to provide a drive to back data on to.

Is there also an option to use a server managed by Apple to back up on to?

Either using Time Machine or another program.

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Possibly related, though storage managed by Amazon, not Apple: superuser.com/questions/6977/time-machine-backup-on-s3 –  AJ. Mar 29 '12 at 0:12
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4 Answers 4

This is all conjecture:

You may choose to create a virtual device or partition on a remote server and mount it on your Mac either using sshfs or MacFuse. Essentially, as long as Time Machine was able to read/write to the partition, it could perform the necessary functions in order to start your backups.

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The Apple Time Capsule is a network router and network storage server with a 2TB or 3TB hard drive.

When you said, "server" do you mean something you can own and run in your home, or something that exists at a remote location, managed by a storage company, that you access over the Internet?

Internet storage is not suitable for backing up your entire Mac, because moving that many files of that size through your Internet connection is far too slow and inefficient.

You need a local physical hard drive in your home or business to regularly back up your entire Mac using Time Machine. You can supplement this with an Internet storage service like Mozy or Carbonite, but that should only be used for a critical subset of your documents and data, because of the time required to back up the data, and the high cost.

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"Internet storage is not suitable for backing up your entire Mac, because moving that many files of that size through your Internet connection is far too slow and inefficient.". Well, there are services like Backblaze or Carbonite that do just that. Runs you about 50 USD a year, and yes, it takes a lot of time (weeks) for the initial upload. After that just diffs. –  Thilo Mar 29 '12 at 1:41
    
Yes, but if your Mac's internal hard drive failed totally, how would you restore the whole image from a Backblaze or Carbonite backup? You would be helpless in that situation. However, if you also had a local hard drive with Time Machine, you could restore your system image to a new hard drive installed in your Mac in a matter of a few minutes. –  Wheat Williams Mar 29 '12 at 2:17
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Yes, it would not take a matter of minutes, it would take a day or two (and some more money) for them to ship you a new disk with your data. On the other hand, you can selectively access some of your files from anywhere in the world, and the backup will still be there after your house burned down taking Time Machine with it. For a real backup strategy, I think you need both: Time Machine to multiple disks (some of which you take to a secure location and rotate every once in a while), and some kind of cloud backup. –  Thilo Mar 29 '12 at 2:26
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A lot of third party NAS solutions provide support for Time Machine such as the Buffalo Linkstation, the Drobo, et al

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At this point, iCloud only supports backups of iOS devices (though it will keep documents, in those applications which support iCloud document storage). However, other solutions such as Backblaze and Mozy are available (though not free).

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