Data backup afterthoughts


drive_image.jpgSpent two weekends to finally sort out my personal and work data. I had data backup regularly for more than 2 years already, but had always been doing it half heartedly. Instead of looking at the exact data I need to backup and archive, I usually take the easy way out by backing up the entire folder without having second look at the documents that reside in the folder.

Plus, I have used Fotki as a secondary digital media backup since subscribing to Fotki in 2003 and they offer unlimited digital image storage. Overtimes, again due to lack of discipline process, I always ended up uploading photos into Fotki without making a primary backup onto my home NAS. Lately, we have been taking alot of video as well, and because Fotki is essentially a photo gallery (unlike flickr or photobucket), most of these video media files reside in my own laptop. Result? Massive work required to synchronise the sources, a diaster waiting to happen should my laptop crashes (or touch wood, get stolen again)

As I spent my weekends sorting out my personal data (emails, photos, videos) and office data (emails, slides, documents, etc) I realised there are easily multiple copies of same data in different folders for reasons I could only attribute to laziness and “kiasuism”. It also sends a cold shiver down my spine, as I started thinking how this lack of discipline would mean in 5 years or 10 years down the road. Hundreds of gigabytes (and possibly terrabytes) of data build up that could be thrown (or rather deleted) away in the first place. Storing them in a secondary storage such as NAS is one thing, making sure that you have data redundancy is another.

Right now I have a 320G NAS, and a couple of portable hard disks to address all these backup issues. Am pretty sure in the long run, some form of raid and mirror services would be needed for me, but for sure, I won’t want to mirror crap data from one NAS to another. Apart from having the right backup mindset, I am pretty sure there must be a better total backup and storage solution for email, media and documents, with the appropiate data redundancies that are once only heard in corporate world, but slowly getting important in home usage as well.

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