TSullivan

How protected is your family data?

11 posts in this topic

I have to admit that a little over a year ago, the only redundancy I have with important family files was by folders copied and pasted to different drives in the same system, and the yearly "merging" of my digital camera folder with my parents. Basically if one drive took a turn for the worse, something else would be there but maybe not up-to-date. About a year ago I turned back to using a server, had RAID1 over two volumes (1TB and 2TB) and had some parity in my home, but didnt really work on the family setup. Well that is until about a month ago.

After getting very intimate with the Synology NAS units, convincing my father to get one, and having one at home and work, I have setup a near disaster-proof backup/mirroring plan. Right now this is the setup we are rolling with, with some *secure* backups coming in place shortly.

My Home NAS > 4 x 2TB RAID5

Parents NAS > 2 x 2TB RAID1

Work NAS > 4 x 1TB RAID5

Each of these units are accessible through the net using DynDNS, all are kept updated so software is matched across each model. Each NAS has one volume, with different stuff in various folders. Main ones are listed below:

Digital Camera Pictures (obvious) ~120GB

Work Stuff (StorageReview pre/post-review images, draft documents, test data, everything vitally important) ~10GB

Home Stuff ( Firefox backups, tax documents, backup of licenses, etc) - 2GB

Family Stuff (Budgets, father's work stuff, Outlook backups, misc crap) - 1GB

Right now we have scheduled backups of each of the folders except my home stuff for now. Using incremental block-level backups, since a lot of the data stays the same each time, just with changes or additions. Backups are set weekly on some stuff, with large items set monthly or manual.

Plan going forward will be a bi-yearly copy of all those folders to a notebook drive that will get placed in a safety deposit box. While not tape backups, I think we are doing pretty good. Data is mirrored across multiple states, four different locations, nothing in flood zones, and all NASes are on battery backups. Now media is mirrored between systems and servers locally, but not across multiple servers. It just falls into the category of not being worth it considering its size, ease of reacquiring, and multiple forms of local backups (the ipod counts!).

So what are you guys doing?

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I used to back up periodically to a truecrypt volume on a 16 GB SSD, but lost the SSD (glad it was encrypted!). Nowadays, I just back up to a different drive on the same system, using 7zip on my documents, a few application data folders, game save files and my pictures. It's a bit of a pain, but I've not got round to doing anything more. Nearly lost 1.5 TB of recorded TV from my HTPC, but the drive struggled on long enough to copy most stuff to a borrowed 1 TB external drive before it gave up the ghost.

I ought to put something more robust in place, but that means buying more storage, and I don't have much of a budget for techie stuff as it is. I might set something up in the next year or two to back up to a 3+ TB external drive, or maybe just copy some stuff from PC to HTPC and HTPC to PC.

I did set up Dropbox, but it doesn't have enough free storage for much stuff, so it doesn't get any pictures or video.

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Me?

Just a Windows Home Server at home with 6,38TB (of actual space) - 2,8TB left free at this point in time.

-> Anything besides the home server would also be too expensive.

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My important stuff is backed up across 4 different physical drives on 3 different PCs (drive #4 is sitting on the kitchen counter).

Its worked good for me over the past 10 years that ive had data important enough to save

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Important files are on SSD as well as on RAID6. Bulk storage (e.g. pictures) is on the RAID6. (can't afford multiple TB of SSD yet :(:P )

That in turns is all backed up to an external drive which is only plugged in for backup.

There is an offsite backup but that is only updated when I can get to it, which means once every few months most of the time. Still, better than risking losing everything...

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Important files are on SSD as well as on RAID6. Bulk storage (e.g. pictures) is on the RAID6. (can't afford multiple TB of SSD yet :(:P )

That in turns is all backed up to an external drive which is only plugged in for backup.

There is an offsite backup but that is only updated when I can get to it, which means once every few months most of the time. Still, better than risking losing everything...

mmm...multiple TBs of SSDs.(insert drool emoticon).

What does your offsite backup look like? Just another computer or something more suited for a fallout shelter :P

My family's pictures are backed up to some enclosures with IDE drives. I have copies on several home computers and SD cards just to make them easier to view.

My stuff:

For assorted media and photos » External HDD of various sizes

MP3s » Skydrive and mp3 player

CDs/DVDS » Make ISOs and put on External HDDs

System images of Desktop » External HDD

System image of Notebook » Acronis Secure Zone partition

Documents » Google docs or Skydrive

Onenote(notes) » Sync between notebook and desktop

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My main machine has everything in RAID5 arrays (10TB total) on an adaptec controller with most stuff backed up to a second machine w/ 8tb. I have a 2TB drive that I rotate about every 4-6 months to my parents house just in case. It has our most critical stuff along with some of my misc. stuff I would rather not lose.

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I back up each PC weekly to a local NAS. The only thing that resides on the PCs are OS, applications and essential files. All other documents are stored directly on the NAS. From there, I have a local 2TB hard drive attached to the NAS which performs daily backups at the block level. I also have a remote NAS at my in-laws that I do a nightly backup of the most critical, rapidly changing files. A weekly backup is also schedule to get other folders like music and videos. On the flip side, my in-laws use the NAS for their storage and I back it up on a nightly schedule to my NAS.

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I too recently had to have stop and think about my data storage habits. Our family has grown and will keep growing. Keeping our photos and documents backed up is critical.

I used to perform monthly backups to an external Seagate drive attached to my PC and that was is it. I recognixed through my reflection that in case of a fire or theft I could lose everything I had, so something had to change. Around this same time I was getting ready to replace my home server with a Synology NAS. I chose a Synology DS212j and paired it with an existing WDC 500GB RE4 WD5003ABYX I had in the home server.

I knew the new strategy needed better backup storage in three places: 1) Within the home network, 2) Offsite web accessible, 3) Offsite secured

The new strategy is:

-Synology DS212j NAS on battery backup equipped with the 500GB RE4 drive for DSM and most recent backup of files (1 copy).

-1TB external HDD connected to NAS for network backup of all PCs at home. The external makes it easier to take offsite and copy those files if need be. This drive houses multiple copies to provide better selection in backup recovery if needed

-Backup to a friend's house to a web accessible home server (3*1TB Seagates in RAID5) on an incremental basis using CrashPlan (great software to make remote backups to another PC for free!)

-Twice a year take a master copy of the most recent data onto a 250GB notebook hard drive, stored in a static bag and foam, and place into a fireproof safe at an offsite location.

With the new strategy in place I feel much more comfortable knowing that even if hardware is damaged, lost, or destroyed at any part of the chain that my data is safe!

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I have been slacking with backing up family data, honestly. As a storage guy, you'd think I'd back up my familys important docs as I do with all of my work files and personal projects. Wow. Glad I saw this post guys! I mean, my wife uses drop box, but as far as a set backup regimen, we don't have one yet!

Getting on that now..

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