Posted on Tuesday 11 October 2011
Backup is one of the less glamorous aspects of aspects of computing, and alas one which often goes unconsidered. People keep so much important stuff on computers – photos, documents, videos, address books, accounts, the list goes on and yet many people haven’t figured out what they’ll do when that hard drive dies, or there’s a fire, or their laptop is stolen. At our house we have a number of PCs and laptops which contain a variety of data – some of it important, some less so – and I have some simple scripts which backup once a day to our central server. That means we have at least 2 copies of anything important, as long as it’s not more than a day old, and as long as we don’t lose the original machine and the server at the same time.
That all kind of came into focus a few weeks ago when we were getting ready to evacuate from Hurricane Irene. I realised that the hypothetical total loss was now a real (if remote) possibility – a flood or structural damage could take out the wedding photos, all of our vacation and family pictures, our entire music collection (all 2000 discs) and much more. My best effort at the time was this:
I pulled the backup drives out of the server, put them in waterproof bags, and didn’t let them out of my sight for 3 days. It worked, but not really a practical solution! (more…)