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In Reply to: RE: Now I feel inadequate nt posted by G Squared on March 07, 2017 at 13:30:57
I was the IT director for a company back in the 80s and 90s. Since preserving lots of work from lots of folks was my responsibility, I maintained ten rolling sets of backup tapes. Along with keeping monthly and yearly copies.
I started out buying a 500 MB USB drive cheaply on a Black Friday years ago. Then I kept buying them. When 1 TB drives were the sweet spot, I ended up with two of those to copy all my music, video and stuff.
I also make daily backups via cheap USB flash drives of my Quicken personal finances along with copies of tax and other statements and a master spreadsheet I maintain that contains all manner of important data to me. For those, I keep seven sets.
I guess I suffer a bit of OCD when it comes to important data retention. Better than hoarding gear!
And don't forget off-site storage...... I have a NAS with RAID Backup... But also backup weekly to offsite storage.
realized there was no real value to be found. Unlike business servers where transactions change data on a minute-by-minute basis, music servers are relatively static. It really doesn't make much sense to spin (and wear) multiple spindles for data that doesn't change that often.
I decided to use the extra drive as offline storage that runs just frequently enough to include new content.
Result? Quieter and more efficient environment with far greater overall MTBF.
For business applications, however, my company recommends the use of RAID 10 for optimum performance and redundancy.
Well you are correct, but disk is so cheap nowadays..... I figured why not.... For the last 30 years, any catastrophe that I have had personally would have been solved by my current Raid system.
As far as quietness goes, I have my NAS system tucked into a far corner of the basement where it cannot be heard.
I don't maintain multiple computer systems or storage devices.
I use my desktop server for responding to this post as well as serving both music and video content. While my main music system is on another floor of the house, I do plan to replace the 3.5" 2 TB data drive with a quieter 2.5" drive. The OS runs on an SSD.
The NAS that I put in last year, was one of the best things I've done Computer Wise......No spinning drives within earshot of anywhere.
I am currently in the Bahamas and spend the winter there (3 months) and have access to all my files back in Minneapolis.... I can even play my music stored back in Minneapolis here in the Bahamas.
My wife and I each have a couple Laptops, Phones and we have a Main Desktop System (Although now it is a mini with a SSD Drive).... All of our Computers, Phones have access to our files.
You can get a NAS for around $250 or so..... Cheap. If one fails, swap it out.... 6TB of data...
RAID is unnecessary for static data.
Some folks have a false sense of security with mirrored disks in the computer and an external RAID/NAS. There's no substitute for multiple backup strategies... and RAID is not a "backup".
A RAID may save one from a disk failure but if the RAID system itself goes belly up having a row of good disks in the RAID chassis is of no use. In a typical consumer RAID there are several single points of failure, the most obvious being the RAID controller and power supply. If I had a small RAID system in my home, I would still need to back it up. It's much easier IMHO to just maintain a few different backups w/o the RAID.
Mirrored boot disks in the computer are fine but if you use those mirrored disks for anything else other than the OS, and human error or other corruption occurs, all you've done is made another copy of the problem on the 2nd disk. ;-)
I maintain a few different backups to external USB disks using different methods including Carbon Copy Cloner for fully bootable backups. If my internal Mac disk dies, I just boot up from the external disk and carry on until I fix/replace the internal disk. I do this on my music server as well as my work laptop.
Time Machine makes incremental backups with the ability to recover data from different points in time like an hour ago, a few hours ago, yesterday, a few days ago, a week ago, etc. etc. If I mistakenly make a change to a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, I can count on Time Machine to take be back to a version before my changes were made.
I also sync all the folders on my desktop to an external USB disk that is formatted with the MS-DOS FAT filesystem. If my work Mac dies completely, I can attach this USB disk to another Mac or even a (gasp!) Windows PC and have instant access to my latest and most important work related activities.
And if that's not enough, my work laptop has a backup agent running on it which backs it up over the internet to two separate servers at "corporate" whenever I'm on the company network via VPN.
Additionally, we have iCloud backups for all of our iPhones, iPads, and certain Apps and data that cross over to our Macs including Calendar entries, Contacts, Reminders, spread sheets, presentations, etc. If I break or lose my iPhone, the provisioning of a new one would include fully restoring all of that data to the new iPhone.... seamlessly over wifi or the cellular data network. A lot of this data is also accessible to me via a web browser on any computer. None of my music is in iCloud... I have too much so I just use my USB disks.
The point is to have multiple backup and recovery methods. I have several that 'overlap'. And as you know, a RAID/NAS is not a backup. Much of the above is automated to "minimize complexity".
Good post, Abe.
For someone who isn't making real backups at all now, a simple first step would be to buy two USB hard drives. Each drive should have enough capacity to store all the data.
Make a full backup to each drive. Store one drive offsite (at a friend's house or the office.) Keep the other drive onsite and run incremental backups at intervals frequent enough that the loss of data since the last backup is acceptable in case of a problem. At an appropriate interval, swap the onsite and offsite backup drives.
There are lots of usable backup programs. I just use batch files that start robocopy. The batch files are scheduled to run daily automatically.
Like you, Abe, I had always avoided using a NAS at home. Last year I finally got one to facilitate sharing photo and music files with my wife. I incorporated the NAS into the backup process. At 8pm, the files on my PC are backed up to the NAS. At 9pm, the files on my wife's PC are backed up to the NAS. At ~11pm, the NAS backs up everything on the NAS to a 6 TB USB drive.
I also have Windows 10 recovery drives on USB thumb drives for each of our PCs and image backups. This makes recovery faster and less fiddly in case a boot drive fails.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/
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