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Should I get a 2nd internal hard drive and use that, or at least a partition on it, for backups?
Should I go with a RAID 1 set-up? It seems like that would serve as a good backup system, although I read on the Dell site that RAID 1 mirroring is not really for backup purposes. Why is that?
Should I get one of these external "OneTouch" backup hard drives? I'd probably prefer not to have another piece of hardware sitting around, but this is obviously another option as it's made for backups.
Finally, there is a tape drive backup system which is offered with the system I'm looking at. I don't have any experience with tape drives, but this is specifically made for backups so it might be another good option.
I don't need the extra capacity of a 2nd hard drive for regular storage purposes, as I'll get an 80 gig main drive, partition it into 2 40 gig partitions, and this is plenty for what I do. So this is purely for backup purposes. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I also use ibackup to backup critical files 'off site' once each day.
With hard drive space so cheap these days I wouldn't be bothered with tape. To expensive and slow, plus very time consuming to retrieve your backup data.
I recommend backing up to an external, removable, hard drive or ZIP type device. If you get a virus and your backup drive is inaccessable at the time, the external device will not be corrupted.
Just out of curiosity, why do you recommend the external?
With an external drive you can easily restore files to another computer should something more than just the hard drive fail. With Drive Image you can automate the process and make a complete image of the drive in minutes. On my external 80 gig USB2/Firewire hard drive ($89) I can back up 3 partitions which total maybe 60 gigs of data on my work computer in no time. Compressed takes up about 35 gigs. Using Drive Image you can also break it down to small image sizes so you can burn them to disk etc. I always make backups and burn to CD's as soon as I reformat and install all my apps on a new computer.
Restoration is also very fast with my 20 gig C: partition taking about 15-20 minutes.
Hard drive failure - a second harddrive will surfice and get you back up and running in a few hours.
Computer Stolen - you have your data but what do you have to run that data? How long will it take you get another PC? If you have to claim on insurance, good luck!
A virus - is your data infected as well? Can you be sure? Can you go back to a version of your data that is 100% safe? i.e. do you have a data backup history?
A fire - is your back up in the same building? Then you may have lost your data (hence why someone recommended off site as well).
Look at the risks and determine how these will impact your business. How long can your business survive without having that data? That will indicate how much you need to spend on a back up solution.
I will have a RAID 1 setup, with the drive(s) having several partitions - one of which is a backup partition. I will use DriveImage, TrueImage, etc. to make an image of the entire drive and/or certain partitions every night. Then I will do a weekly backup of extremely important files onto a CD that I keep in a fireproof safe since offsite is not really a practical option (I work from home, and would never trust an online backup system with my personal data).
What do you think? I figure if I'm going to get a 2nd drive I might as well put it to use in a RAID 1 configuration as well. That way in the event of a drive failure, I will lose absolutely nothing. In the event of a serious system crash or corruption I can revert to my backup image on the backup partition, and in the rare case my house burns down my crucial files will be OK in the fireproof safe. Any holes in my plan?
I backup my Inetpub directory, my email file and my Quicken file. Everything else is just software that I can re-install.
I've drilled a hole through the back of one of my desk drawers for the power and connection cords and I keep the external drive locked in this drawer. Looking at my workspace you can not tell this is how things are setup unless you crawl under the desk and start tracing cords.
I've done this in the event of a home invasion. Hopefully they won't take the time to bust into the locked drawer.
I also keep copies of all the Inetpub data up on each clients webspace. This includes any source files. And I also keep copy of my email and Quicken files out on my server. (Don't worry, I've encrypted them with Steganos...)
This way, even if the external hard drive is damaged or stolen I have a second backup.
The great thing is that all of this is automated through the QuickSync software and FTP software...
I just zip up certain directories on a daily basis using Abakt [xs4all.nl]. Its a free tool and you can add into Task Scheduler since it can be automated through the command line.
Main office server runs Raid 5 and we do nightly backups to a hard drive on a second server located in the same office (that also acts as our MP3 server!).
We also do differential backups nightly to tape.
Each week we take the old differential tapes and store them in the same building in a fireproof safe and start the next weeks differential with fresh set of tapes.
Monthly I send a tape backup (and critical files that will be needed immediately also on a CD) offsite to a backup location a distance away.
We always have at least 3 months previous work on tape onsites and at least 1 complete set of tapes offsite along with burnt CD's.
It may seem like a bit over the top, but I've had so many HD failures, corrupt raid drivers, bad tape backups etc over the last few years I'd rather be overcautious than lose everything.
My advice would be definitely backup to a seperate machine on site, get a fireproof safe, and keep at least reasonably up to date copy offsite somewher you trust in case of theft or a large fire (most fireproof safes will only protect your data for an hour or 2). Also don't rely on backups restoring properly all the time, check them regularly and make sure you can restore data successfully, particularly from tape.
p.s. limitup - offsite backup doesn't have to be online, as a couple of others have mentioned a PO box or even a safe deposit box at a local bank could be good locations for offsite important data, as could a safe at a family members house.