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Importance of "off-site" backup
Authored by: rotaiv on Sep 21, '04 04:47:33PM

I have two hard drives in my Windows desktop. Each night, data is synced from one hard drive to the other (including a bootable version of the OS). The theory was that if one drive died, I could boot and retrieve data from the second. This has served me well for many years. That is until I accidentally wiped (using DoD standards) BOTH drives on my desktop. Please, don't ask ;)

Fortunately, I had a backup on my PowerBook of most of the important files. Much of the "archival" data was already saved to DVD / CD. What really saved me was my "daily email" where I compress/encrypt my super-important files each night and email them to myself. That email, combined with my other backups meant I did not lose very much.

Today, I still back up to my second hard drive and email my self each day. However, I have a brand new 250 GB FW800 drive attached to my PowerBook that backs up my XP/Linux/Mac machines at work and my XP/Linux/Mac at home. I used psync to backup my PowerBook and rsync via SSH to backup my XP and Linux machines (both at work and at home).

The psync and rsync commands are all scripted so I type one command 2-3 times a week and just sit back and watch. Access to remote hosts is possible via SSH public/private key authentication.

Once the backup is down, I dismount, disconnect and unplug the FW drive from my PowerBook to prevent any future "accidents" ;)

The question I ask people with regards to backups and off-site backups is imagine your home/office burns down to the ground. How much data will you lose? While I never said, "That will never happen to me", I did say, "I really should do something else with my back-ups one of these days". Now I do ;)

All this is to say, regardless of what you backup scheme/frequency is, make sure you also back-up "off-site" in case of stupid accidents, random acts of nature or any other catastrophic event.

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