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Re: tapes best for backup?

Paul Cartwright wrote:
On Fri January 4 2008, Ron Johnson wrote:
So I wasn't trying to denigrate your 7GB of important data, but to
express that, in today's world, tape would be a radically cost-
inefficient means of storing only 7GB.

so, what would be a good method..
say for instance MY system. my /home is 164 Gb, with 50 Gb free, so I've used 110 Gb. Right now I do the rsync to a 500Gb Mybook USB drive. But I don't keep the drive connected, so I don't do it often enough..

What I think of as "minimum acceptable" backup is two offline volumes to accept backups, used alternately. Anything less leaves you with all copies of your data online and vulnerable at once -- to a power surge, lightning strike, malware, or idiot sysadmin ("rm -rf /"). I've got a nightly cron job that does the rsync; it looks for either of the two volumes (mine are named "wrack" and "ruin") and uses whichever is present, or if both are present has a day-based preference so it would alternate if I just left them connected. I have to swap the cords each day, to put the right one online before I go to bed. Yes, that's not 100% reliable, but getting the reminder message in the morning has helped me remember to do it. I'm going to make a little sign that hangs on the spine of the MyBook (from the perforated top plate) to indicate which one I used last, rather than depending on my memory (though the scheme isn't totally ruined if I mess up the alternation now and then).

Depending on what you use the system for, lower levels of backup can be fine. If you know for sure the only significant work done, and remember to do it, a manual backup whenever you did any significant work would be enough. My server is storing files for the rest of the household too, so I can't count on knowing, and just go ahead and do backups every day.

I'm using rsync to get the files from the server to the backup volume, sounds like you made the same choice. Rsync is pretty cool for this.

You *could* use an X10 computer-controlled power controller and a couple of appliance modules to put the power to the two external drives under computer control. Or you could use an independent external timer (have to have a 48-hour or better timer though to alternate days).

David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b@dd-b.net; http://dd-b.net/
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Dragaera: http://dragaera.info

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