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Because backing up is hard to do...
They say that backin' up is hard to do.
Now I know, I know that it's true.
Don't say that this is the end.
Instead of backin' up,
I wish that we were bootin' up again.
With the appropriate apologies...
Some years ago I started implementing a backup scheme (I wrote about it over on DonationCoder.com in the review of my Synology NAS). The good news is that that methodology has worked pretty well over the years (and even saved my bacon a couple of times).
Now everyone knows that backing up on site is only part of the story; or at least they should... I've always known that I needed to implement an appropriate off-site backup; in the meantime I ftp'd my essential financial files to my web-space, but that was just a short term measure.
So, what is my insurance against disaster?
Disaster recovery is about ensuring that you have your data back even if everything disappears at your site. This means all your backup disks, CD/DVD's, etc.
I've been a little concerned about disaster recovery for a little while, and recently have actually done something about it! I was backing up some of our essential information to an off-site location, but there were a lot of files that wasn't.
The two new additions to my backup scheme are:
- Online Backups
- Off-site storage of local backup data
Pictorially, it can be represented thus:
How this works:
Off Site Storage is written to one of the LaCie Rikiki 1Tb USB3.0 External HardDrives, which are rotated monthly to an off site location (my office desk drawer). I also purchased a LaCie Cozy to transport it from home to work and back again, but by all reports the Rikiki is well suited to careful transportation.
I use USBDLM to ensure that my two external drives always have the same Drive Letter, which means that the backup scripts always work. An added bonus of using USBDLM (there are probably heaps, but I've just started digging) is that I can set the empty slots on my card readers not to show in Explorer!
The Synology 207+ NAS (it's not a current model anymore) has two SeaGate 1Tb drives configured as a RAID1, which store all our photos, music and local backups; this includes the SpiderOak local copies.
Weekly disk images are saved to the LaCie Rikiki drive, which are rotated monthly, so that one is always stored off site. This means that the oldest age of any data in the images is one month. Paragon got a great review which is why I chose the product and it's been working flawlessly.
SpiderOak backs up selected data files to an On Line account: these files will be used to refresh the image data. As well as knowing that the most current versions are safe on SpiderOak, all the previous versions are safe there as well! SpiderOak also keeps a local copy of all the data blocks it uploads, and will use the local data during restores if they are the newest. The local SpiderOak copies are saved on the NAS.
BvckUp is used to synchronize the SpiderOak local copy and the Music files from the NAS to the Rikiki. BvckUp is a great little programme and extremely powerful: I'm mainly using it to synchronize non-backed-up data to my off-site storage.
Picasa is used (as required) to back up the photos from the NAS to the Rikiki drives. Picasa tends to store its data in a couple of various spots and their forums suggest it is easiest to use the programme to do the backups. Unfortunately this is the only step that can not be scheduled or scripted.
Want to try yourself?
There are lots of online backup providers: Backup Review does a great Annual Review. Although SpiderOak came in at #13 on their list, it was the one I decided to use (at least initially).
SpiderOak offer an online 2GB account for free! If you respond to an existing member's referral you get an extra 1GB; I'm a member and if you'd like to get an extra 1GB (I'll get one too), use this link at right.
I did try CrashPlan before SpiderOak (CrashPlan didn't make BR's Window's list but did come in #6 on the Mac list). I was very impressed with CrashPlan, but they didn't offer the ability to share online content or access my content over the web: These were the main reasons that made SpiderOak far more usable in my situation.
BvckUp is in beta at the moment and free to try.
Backup & Recovery 2010 Free Advanced is free.
USB drive letter manager (USBDLM) is free for personal use.
You'll need to make your own decisions on your hardware, but I can highly recommend both:
- I love mySynology 207+, although it's way out of date now; but it's still working perfectly (and the software updates keep coming!). But these days there are lots of options for a NAS these days.
- I was very impressed with the LaCie products as well, and my biggest decision was between the super rugged drive or the normal portables .