People who work in the IT department of most companies that have such a department work diligently to create a network and server system without a ‘single point of failure.’ Yes, that’s a thing, and it’s important to IT departments, corporations diverse computer systems, and even to Mac users.
Unfortunately, most of the Mac users I know don’t have a backup. The Mac is the single point of failure and if the Mac dies, their photos, music, videos, files, documents, and everything else that resides on the Mac disappears pretty much forever, infinity and beyond.
What about iCloud? Certain data can be saved from a Mac to iCloud, so, in this scenario, let’s say a Mac user saves absolutely everything on the Mac to iCloud. Ditto for iPhone and iPad. Now there is not a single point of failure. There are two points of potential failure. The Mac. And iCloud.
See how valuable a good backup plan is?
Now, add to that, at least for Mac users, an external disk drive which clones everything on the Mac. Multiple points of failure reduce the chances of a catastrophic data failure. If someone steals your Mac, the data remains backed up on the disk drive, and backed up on iCloud.
The trend going forward is not so good. For now, we can back up our iPhones and iPads to the Mac, and, ostensibly, those copies get backed up to the Mac’s cloned external disk drive. Multiple points of potential failure.
Here’s the problem. I just noticed that I have not backed up my iPhone or iPad to the Mac in about two months; actually, since the iPhone X arrived back in November. That means iPhone X’s only backup is iCloud.
iCloud has become a notable and potential point of failure for perhaps a billion of Apple’s customers who rely on iCloud Backup as their only means of retrieval from a catastrophic failure– you lose your iPhone.
iCloud makes it almost drop dead easy to restore an iPhone or iPad (the Mac, not so much) to a new device, but you see the problem, right? iCloud is a single point of failure for a backup. Without a backup, or without iCloud, the device itself– Mac, iPhone, iPad, or whatever device you use– is a single point of failure.
That’s how to look at backups. The potential of your Mac, iPhone, or iPad getting lost or stolen means all the files it contains– documents, photos, music, movies, etc.– are lost forever without a backup. iCloud has become a decent backup system and restores devices quite well, but it becomes a single point of failure for a backup itself, hence the need for other methods that work in concert and parallel to ensure you never lose a file.
Look at your Mac. Is it the single point of failure?