As hard drive capacities outstripped CDs and DVDs, hard-drive based backups became necessary. (I know y’all tape backup fans are still out there. You may have your cumbersome, slow, unwieldy, mechanically clunky tape backups with their even slower, more cumbersome restores. Kthxbye). For my clients I am very diligent and make sure they are well-protected. But for me- well, you know how it goes.
I set up my customers on nice SATA RAID boxes with automated rsync network backups. Users have access to their own data so they don’t have to pester hardworking admins when they want to recover files. Fling Samba into the brew for an EZ cross-platform backup server.
For my home network I have not been so diligent. My home LAN is constantly in a state of chaos, because it’s both my work and test lab. I’m trying out new distributions, new applications, new hardware, and new ways of doing old things. So obviously good backups are more important. I didn’t want to set up a backup server like I do for customers because I’m short on space. So I’ve been limping along with a random assortment of backups to DVD and USB sticks, and remote backups to a friend’s server.
Well you know the saying- too soon old, too late smart. I was surfing on Newegg.com and had a blinding revelation- standalone backup drives. Duhh!!! I says, whacking my forehead painfully. So I got a nice deal on a SATA enclosure and a 250-gig SATA hard drive. I can plug it in to a USB port or use the SATA connector. Nice!
So it was all of ten minute’s work to partition and format the drive, and get a nice rsync server going. It performs nightly backups, then I have cron jobs to shut down everything that doesn’t need to be running. No point in being a watt-waster.
I still make hard copies of important documents, and have offsite network backups. So even if some redneck meth-head (of which there are many out here in the sticks) (but fortunately it’s OK to greet them with loaded firearms) rips me off I’ll still have my data. I make Mondo operating system images to DVD every so often in case I need to perform a bare-metal restore.
So $110 and ten minutes’ labor saves space, my data, and my time. Not a bad deal. Fast, cheap, and good- see, you can have all three!