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DTMark

Backing Up Stuff

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Just finished rebuilding my computer. I use it for work as I'm self employed (web developer/consultant/SEO stuff)

I label each project with a number e.g. 0724 - Client Name - Project Name

Everything on my PC is backed up nightly to an external HDD.

Periodically I move old projects to an archive folder so the "Projects" folder tends to only have the last twenty or so projects.

That archive folder is about 650GB now. It is backed up, so I have a second copy (the backup drive is bigger than all the PC partitions). Space isn't the issue but this is hardly efficient. Two copies of archived stuff. I do want to keep it, and have fast access to it, but this will run out of space in the end.

In the past, projects would be smaller in file size. I'd put each one on a separate DVD so as to have a hard copy. I have about a hundred DVDs like this.

DVDs aren't failsafe by any means, but the likelihood of me needing something from a backup DVD from years ago is fairly low. So this was fine.

I then think about cloud storage. We use EE 4G as our ISP - 50 Meg down, 50 Meg up. It's really quick, but each 10GB costs £30. So I hold back on "sync to the cloud" settings. That said, the counter that measures usage breaks regularly. The last time it broke, I copied all my media files - 33GB - to the cloud. Took less than two hours. The speed is there, but it's not an ongoing option.

But then I don't want to rely on a third party and endlessly gathering stuff in the cloud with ever increasing charges. I can't be bothered with opening endless "free" accounts.

I'd like a big fat DVD that stores lots of data but that doesn't exist.

What do you do - collect endless hard disk drives and put them in a drawer somewhere?

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Encrypt to a USB drive and leave off-site (friend's house) as well as local clones. Amazon S3/Glacier storage is so cheap I would not flinch at just paying for cloud storage too.

I've been through this thought process recently too and optical storage just didn't seem worth it even using a Bluray writer with 50Gb discs.

You do need some redundancy.

There are some big USB sticks now too. 128Gb, 256Gb. Not cheap but may be practical.

You could get some kind of NAS RAID array if you need tons of space. Would be fine under drive failure but you'd still need some effective backup too. Consider if compression can be used depending on the data you have. It might help a lot.

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At work I believe we now use big capacity memory sticks duplicated across two different makes of memory stick.

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I've got a 4 disk NAS box for important stuff.

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If you're backing up to the cloud it should't need to be a full backup but just an incremental backup of the files that have changed so I wouldn't use that as a reason not to go cloud based. With google apps for business you can get 1Tb for £6.60 per month and there's so much competition that if anything prices are going down.

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As above either HDD or google which has the storage providing you are happy for the NSA to review your work.

However if this is your work do you have an off-site back up facility? What happens in the worse case scenario that the house burns down? If all the data is in the house you are screwed.

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Also NAS user, it syncs to another NAS at my sisters house. Backups are incremental and automatic. NAS itself has mirrored 4tb storage.

This sounds good. What mirroring software do you use? I believe there's a bit torrent multi site data duplication product available...

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Guest eight

As a domestic user I just use Dropbox which is about £6/month for 1TB and appears to work, although I've never actually had to rely on it.....

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I have similar requirements to you. My solution:

  • Simple raid NAS box is my working copy.
  • Local copy on my main working computers (different computers for different projects (currently 3) - overkill, but it makes it easier to avoid contamination). This kind of acts as my working backup (note backwards from 'normal' arrangement).
  • On-line off-site backup of NAS (actually in my house - main NAS at the office). I think this is probably unnecessary, given:
  • At each project close backup onto physical hard disk, not too many projects per disk, lots of disks. In fireproof safe (fireproof is the important bit, not the safe).

I'm a bit uneasy regarding complete reliance on network connected devices - I see a risk of some kind of internet-based infection that crawls through all my connected computers and screws up everything. This is probably paranoia.

I'm also very cautious regarding consumer grade NAS being connected to the internet - I can't see how you can have confidence in these things being secure (plenty of evidence out there about this). I use a normal server (hp microserver) running linux, connecting through sftp.

Important note about checking backup quality above ... (I think the rules go - if you ever read the backup (as part of normal operations), it isn't a backup. If you haven't tested the data-recovery bit at least once, it isn't a backup).

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Synology NAS has it built in, TimeBackup. As with all automated backup solutions, do a 'dry run' and check that you are actually backing up enough data to get your business running again. I've seen many small businesses who thought they were backing up, only to find out the hard way that it had never been checked......

A

Too true

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Synology NAS device with HDDs in a RAID setup?

I've got a 4 bay Synology NAS (https://www.synology.com/en-global/products/DS414j) which I use for home computer backup and also to store all the kids movies and my movies on.

Bung in a 2TB western digital Red drive (around £100 each) (specifically for NAS 24/7 operation) per bay and you've got a shed load of space.

Can also use the NAS as a download server, it can be really locked down too as others have said.

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Thanks for all the replies. With regard to off-site:

As 95% of my stuff is website development, the source, and the deployed solution, are one and the same. So if everything here was burned to a crisp, I could pull down copies - in effect the live websites are another backup. Though I don't think of it 'that way around'.

That's not the case for e.g. services/libraries/EXEs/Windows app that I occasionally build - I have the source for those backed up to the MS One Drive account. That was a recent development after Visual Studio crashed destroying the files I was working on which weren't in the GIT repository. Nice. Thanks for that.

Hosting - most of it is on a couple of servers that I lease. These have local (data centre) backups and also off site backups (Jungle Disk). I did actually sign up for Amazon cloud storage directly, which I think that uses, but I honestly couldn't be arsed to spend the time working it out. It's like eBay - does lots of stuff, really over-complicated, but I don't care for that. I just wanted backup space. I gave up looking at it in the end. I have a short attention span. Jungle Disk "wraps" that and provides some software.

I tend to "draw a line" between what is local and what's in the data centres, it's critical that if we had to do a bare metal restore of one of the servers, we can do that quickly and that's taken care of.

I'd thought about a local NAS setup in the past..

At a slight tangent - we do have a stack of DVDs and Blu-Rays, but I've never thought about copying those to a drive and streaming them. It isn't much effort just to go and grab the disc off the shelf and put it in the machine. Music is vinyl for hi-fi in the living room or digital on my PC late nights with headphones, the two never meet - I wouldn't want to stream CD quality digital (I don't think much of CDs) or worse in the living room through the speakers. Though I was looking at a Linn high resolution player (192/24) recently which might work with that if I had high resolution audio files on the network.

A NAS box it sounds like the ideal backup solution for what I need.

What I do ideally need, is the ability to set that up, then physically take it somewhere and load the backups to a cloud service to get it 'started'. It would simply cost too much to upload them. Though I don't think that exists. We can have ADSL but that's only 1 Meg upstream and would be going forever, we're due to get VDSL but that's only going to be about 4 Meg upstream at best (1.3km line from cabinet) so will stick with 4G. It's fast but it costs. It's that initial upload that kills. The data counter is working again properly now, which is a shame. I shall watch for when it next fails and we get unlimited usage for weeks on end.

And I shall have a dig around at the NAS solutions.

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If you fancy a more flexible solution then the HP microservers are on cashback offer again (till the end of the month) - works out as about £120 for a diskless chassis. So for about the same price as a cheap NAS you can have a more flexible solution. Or install something like freenas (still works out as being cost-effective). You'd have to factor in the faffing-about time, but if you already have the IT skills it doesn't take much time at all.

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Hurrah. EE 4G is free again for a while. So I have nearly 1TB of data on its way up to the cloud to establish the initial backups. That's going to be running for a little while. A couple of days, I suspect. Fingers crossed.

If EE weren't so utterly cack at customer support and their top up portal wasn't broken so often meaning you can't actually pay to use it, I'd feel more guilty. Indeed that's probably why it's free for now - the top up system is broken yet again so nobody can pay. That's when we flick over to Vodafone 4G for a while.

EE is blasting along at 49Mbps up but only 37Mbps down, thought I'd take live server backups > local (even though we have offsite) and downloading/installing Office 365, it comes with OneDrive - had to upgrade the account for the extra storage. The installer has the nerve to say "It looks like you're on a slow connection so this might take a while". For where we live, that's as fast as it gets. Though even these speeds aren't great for modern use. 100Meg symmetrical would be more like it.

I did check out the NAS and HP options and will be going for one of those for here, thanks.

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EE is blasting along at 49Mbps up but only 37Mbps down, thought I'd take live server backups > local (even though we have offsite) and downloading/installing Office 365, it comes with OneDrive - had to upgrade the account for the extra storage. The installer has the nerve to say "It looks like you're on a slow connection so this might take a while". For where we live, that's as fast as it gets. Though even these speeds aren't great for modern use. 100Meg symmetrical would be more like it.

Meanwhile the rest of Hampshire is wondering why their Facebook feed is slow to update. :)

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Meanwhile the rest of Hampshire is wondering why their Facebook feed is slow to update. :)

;)

They're the buggers using up the other ~ 15Mbps downstream * with irrelevant crap.

* It never goes above 52Mbps down.

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I use projectlocker and tortoise to backup my websites.

The free allocation prejectlocker gives you seems more than enough.

Never had any problems.

One client's website has 26,000 products with between 1 and 3 images each. These used to compress hideously for slow connections in days gone by, but now they're 1000 x 1000 max size full quality.

Another site has a seemingly infinite number of Flash videos. No, it's not porn.

Normally when debugging locally, I just see broken image links as I can't be arsed to drag them all down just to make it look prettier.

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I struggle with backing up solutions too, but on a much more basic level.... family photos and videos.

After 2 family hard-drive failures couple of years ago, in quick succession (IDE and SATA) - I'm cautious. Lost files on one; including batch of family photos - but retrieved everything from the other - but thought everything lost for quite some time, and didn't like that anxiety (I had critical files backed up on USB memory thankfully, but still a few I was sad to think lost).

At work I believe we now use big capacity memory sticks duplicated across two different makes of memory stick.

On Saturday we backed up photos (and a few videos) from 2011-2015 across 3 different brand 16GB USB memory sticks. 2 in their possession (and stored/labelled in a multiple compartment jewellers clear plastic organiser box), 1 in mine.

Need to get 3 more USB memory sticks for next year. Maybe higher capacity with more babies in wider family. Can't find any source to determine best brand / quality / quality-control / likely life-expectancy of these usb memory sticks. So many different brands with varied reviews including failures / data loss, on a well know retailer store.

I'm probably going about it wrong and inefficiently, but no way I'm trusting all files to one high-capacity external hard-drive, and I'm not keen on cloud based storage either, despite having a few files there.

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