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Recommendations for Backup Hardware?

Looking for a backup solution for my website



12:59 am on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I am looking for a solution to backup everything on my website. I have read about off-site backups, tapes, external/internal hard drives. Since, my website is still very very young and does not hold very sensitive data I believe using an internal hard drive in an enclosure is the cheapest and best solution for me.

Now, I am shopping around for such a hard drive and enclosure. Any ideas on which ones are more reliable or better for website backups? How about those one-touch backup hard drives? Do they work well?

Thanks in advance.


1:45 am on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

a 1 GB USB memory stick goes a long way for most websites, plus you should burn it onto a separate CD or dvd.

A mechanical hard drive as backup? not my favourite idea


1:54 am on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Is 1GB enough?
I was shocked to see my backups were only a few megabytes large, however I thought to myself it will become much much bigger as there is no content on my website yet, plus it's not fully developed yet.


2:38 pm on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

probabbly not

say you have 10,000 pages @ say a hefty and excessive 100 kb/page
then you would have 1 GB, and would need more than a 1 GB stick

Perhaps a 4 GB stick, with 4.4 GB DVD backups

Of course by then , things might have changed so completely, that all this would be irrelevant



7:20 pm on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are there 4GB drives on the market?
I think I will just buy an external hard drive...


7:39 pm on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Man, one reason that people avoid using hard drives for backups is that hard drive break down is one of the main reasons for backing up

Moving parts you see, they can snap at any time, get a lttle rusty, drop the drive, an the pin might scratch the magnetic surfaces, or some ,,,

Fairly static backups like good old tape or disks, dvds, memory sticks(0.125gb, .256gb, .5gb, 1,2,4 gb ) are my favourite, very few moving parts, just don sit on them, hold em near powerful magnets, burn them,,,,,

You like external hard drives, well thats your choice,


6:56 am on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Man, one reason that people avoid using hard drives for backups is that hard drive break down is one of the main reasons for backing up

USB drives aren't ideal for much other than portable/disposable data. I would never rely on a USB drive for mission critical data, and never a backup. It's simply too easy to misplace, lose, or break a USB drive.

An extra HDD doesn't have to be in an enclosure. If you have space in your desktop you can add a separate disk there.

Another option would be to take an old PC, throw a Linux distro on it and make a Samba server for your network.


6:36 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The linux server with samba approach works fine for my backups.
I have linux software raid setup.
This sits quietly on the network accepting files from all our pcs and even pulls files using rsync over ssh to back-up our webserver.
Very cheap and effective solution.


6:41 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just 1 thing guys

One of the reasons we back up, and have offsite backup is, disaster planning.

I have heard some really sad stories about backups that were in the same location as the main set.

Multiple back ups, off site an on site are priceless

Infact, writing this comments reminds me of the number of times I have had to restore from a backup, an it is really chilling

Good luck all


7:14 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Downloading his website from his hosting provider and burning to cd/dvd would be a really simple off-site backup.

Personally, I've been in the industry long enough to know you can't trust any storage with moving parts. I prefer a tiered approach for all my data. NAS drives with mirrored copy on removable drives that can be taken out of the office. You could also download sites or backup data to small inexpensive RAID with occasional DVD backups put in a fireproof box and another copy in a safety deposit box.

Your solution depends on how many websites and how much data you are dealing with. With small websites I've seen everything from rsync local copies automatically burned to cd-rw/dvd-rw to mirrored copies of the site on a couple cheap hosting providers.

Sidenote: Those one-touch backup drives usually have mediocre hardware and really lousy (slow) software. Whichever one you choose, make darn sure it has some sort of fan for a cooling system. Many of the external drive cases in use today were designed for 40GB 7200rpm and smaller drives. Larger, faster drives run much hotter and need better air circulation to prevent failure.

I think another important addition to this thread would be suggestions for secondary nameservers on a different host. If your current host is your only DNS host and suffers a major failure, you would also lose the ability to quickly move your site to another host. I like using DYNDNS, others might have some great additional suggestions.

How important are your web projects?
How long can you stand to be offline?
What are you willing to pay to reduce the affects of downtime?

Whatever you decide on, keep backing up your data and always test restoring files from your backups. Never trust your hosting provider to preserve any of your data on their servers.

[edited by: TXGodzilla at 7:15 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2007]


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