Data Backup Rant...

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Zelandeth
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Data Backup Rant...

Post by Zelandeth »

I don't usually rant publicly about things, but this is something that has been *really* getting my back up lately.

One one of the art sharing websites I'm on I've seen no less than five journals pop up in my inbox with headings along the lines of "computer crashed, have lost everything" or similar in the last few days.

We're talking here about artists for whom a large number treat commission work as either their income or a large chunk of it. Surely anyone with a shred of common sense with such an occupation would keep backups?!? Especially given how cheap storage is these days - last drive I bought was for the NAS side of my server (the web side is still running a 10Gb Seagate with bearings that sound like they're made of gravel because I want to see how long it will last - it's been in there running 24/7 since 2006 so far) about six months ago, and it cost me £45 for a 1TB drive, and that was in PC World so I'm sure I could have got it cheaper if I had shopped around!

Back in 2007 I had a major incident (XP blue-screened on me in the middle of installing a service pack and managed to shred the file allocation table on the hard drive), where I lost about 20% of my documents, photos etc. Back then it was tricky for me to afford enough additional storage to back everything up (it's easy to forget how much the price of storage has come down since then!), but suffice to say I did immediately after that incident and now have a decent backup regime. As it turned out, recovering the data I did involved having to buy a second drive and an expensive bit of data recovery software - then literally months of work.

Now I've got a redundant drive in the PC which has the sole purpose of holding a copy of my home folder (updated weekly using Rsync - There's an equivalent tool built into Windows as well), and an external one for the same purpose which is updated every second week (deliberate gap there to reduce the odds of a virus being copied over or accidental deletion of files etc). The laptop is also effectively an additional backup device as the home directories between it and the desktop are regularly syncronised. It's not a 100% solution, but in a domestic situation it's pretty robust setup I reckon, and if I was in a situation where I was losing data it's probably a situation severe enough that this would be pretty far down the priority list!

I'd probably be augmenting this with some form of off-site storage if I was using this for anything even vaguely business related...

Just gaaaah...seriously, in this day and age there is *no* excuse not to have proper backups.

Okay...rant over...Going to go back to doing something useful now. Well...going back to turning my brain inside-out trying to work out how to work Blender. This seriously has to be the most user-unfriendly piece of software I have ever come across!

Gibbo2286
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Point your friends to this, the free trial is a bit limited but the paid for one is good and the pro even better.

http://freshcrop.com/

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Zelandeth
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by Zelandeth »

There are quite a lot more data recovery tools out there now it seems than there were back when I needed them. In my case I needed something pretty powerful at the time given that I basically had a drive full of garbage without a file allocation table. As it was the tool I used (R-Studio I think it was called) basically did a bit-by-bit scan of the whole drive and then spat out a list of everything it thought was each type of file. Suffice to say, it took a while!

Still fully accept that it was entirely my own fault that I ended up in that situation in the first place though.

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CitroJim
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by CitroJim »

I still back up to tape on a very regular basis...

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myglaren
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by myglaren »

I have a backup drive that is rarely used as I hardly ever have anything worth saving.
I think the backup drive is failing anyway - an old IMB Deathstar, replacement for one of the same that died at three months old.
Was looking on Amazon and external HD's are very reasonably priced.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by Zelandeth »

Just realised that the server doesn't actually have a backup regime as such...Though thinking about it everything on the web bit of the server is just a copy of a local directory on my main machine so is backed up, likewise everything on the NAS is a copy of stuff that's on other machines and is backed up...so it is basically "passively" backed up anyway.

Have never owned a tape drive! One of the few bits of technology that I've never come across so far.

BenC5HDi
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by BenC5HDi »

I back up everything to the mysterious cloud, in various places. Costs v little, accessible from anywhere and if my house burns down I've still got it.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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Zelandeth
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by Zelandeth »

BenC5HDi wrote:I back up everything to the mysterious cloud, in various places. Costs v little, accessible from anywhere and if my house burns down I've still got it.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
That's about the only scenario I'd be out of luck in really. Reason I want to put an additional drive on the server for a backup from my main PC is that the whole setup is hidden so likely would survive a breakin/theft situation, though I'd think the laptop is reasonably safe there given that it lives under the bedside table. Oh...and the very vocal German Shepherd/Husky cross downstairs might be a bit of a theft deterrent as well. Reckon he's far more effective a deterrent than any fancy security system.

I do confess to being somewhat distrustful of cloud storage solutions for my personal documents, but if I was running a business, that would be up there without a doubt.

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CitroJim
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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by CitroJim »

BenC5HDi wrote:I back up everything to the mysterious cloud, in various places. Costs v little, accessible from anywhere and if my house burns down I've still got it.
I use that on Windows as a secondary backup medium... It's good.


Don't trust it as much as my tape regime though...

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Re: Data Backup Rant...

Post by KP »

I don't bother with tape at all as I have a dual bay NAS that I can easily grab in the case of a fire as all two connections on it, power and Ethernet will disconnect with the slightest amount of force so I could grab it in the case of fire and such like but am also installing a second one remotely that will do daily synchs over tinterwebs.

Total cost is probably about £3-400 but I have splashed on enterprise NAS spec drives and been sad and mixed batch numbers as well to spread the risk.

I also push customers towards virtualisation where possible and replication with offsite 3rd stage replication with backups where possible, wan links are always a killer but an initial on site synch before moving the 3rd stage device offsite helps in this respect. It's part of my bread and butter and while tapes still have the odd place the cost of drives and enclosures is so cheap it's comparable to tape and a hell of a lot quicker too.