Home Backup Project - Part 2: Plan!
The next step in this project was to visualize the future case - where should my data reside in working form and in archive form. Then, I had to figure out what's feasible now and what's feasible down the line. I can't just go out and buy a 4 TB NAS, though that thought has crossed my mind several times, and really, that still leaves something I have to go grab in the case of a fire.1
Another thought is that I might want a hard backup available at a secure, physical location - A bank's safety deposit box, or a family member's house, perhaps. If I had a blu-ray or HD-DVD burner, and could afford to have a stack of said media lying around, or if I felt like dropping money on a REV drive and its media, then perhaps that would be an easy solution. As it stands, my only option would be to burn 2-3 Dual-Layer DVDs (or one Blu-Ray) every 3-4 months and mail it to someone's house. Maybe there's another one out there, but that will require some investigation. I do not want to buy a set of external drives and ship them around. On the other hand, I do have two 60 Gb IDE drives sitting in the basement doing absolutely nothing, so maybe that's not a bad option.
This is what I came up with:
|Documents (10g)||HDD, External HDD (manual)||HDD, Online Backup, External HDD (automatic)||Add Offsite HDD, NAS ||
|Digital Photos (16g)||HDD, External HDD (manual)||HDD, Online Backup, External HDD (automatic)||Add Offsite HDD, NAS ||
|Music (200g)||External HDD, Limited DVD backup||External HDD, rsync'd HDD at work||Add NAS ||
|Digital Video (2Tb+)||DVD||DVD||Add NAS ||
|Application Installers (8g)||Local SVN Repository||Local SVN Repository, Offsite SVN Mirror||Add NAS svn export ||
|Installation Media (??g)||DVD and CD media||DVD/CD -> DMG/ISO -> Local SVN Repository, Offsite SVN Mirror||Add NAS svn export ||
To get to Initial Result, the following should be accomplished:
- Evaluate online backup options, which seem to be:
- Install a large SATA drive (>= 300gb) for my workstation (at work) for my music and possible offsite SVN mirror.
- Investigate other offsite SVN mirror locations (family? cheap web hosting?)
- Get my local SVN repository in order. It's in pretty good shape but it can't hurt to re-think the structure a tad. Add a tree for installation media disk images.
- Convert all DVD and CD media to their respective disk image formats and checked into the SVN repository.
- Set up the HDD at work and rsync my data over.2
- Set up the offsite SVN repository and mirror my repository at home. Create a cron job to do it automatically every night.3
- Scan all of my really important, hard-copy files into PDFs and add them to the Documents tree in my backups.
To get there, I needed to purchase:
- A subscription to the online service of my choice:
- mozy.com is about $54 per year, though if I sign up for 2 years, I get 3 months free.
- The JungleDisk client is $20, and Amazon's S3 service is use-based, which also should translate to about $5/month.
- A large SATA drive. (TigerDirect FTW!)
Overall, what I came up with is not too bad. Some of the tasks, as they are planned now, looked to take a lot of time, but in the end, what they will save me in stress, anguish, annoyance and time spend re-building everything is invaluable.
After even more thinking about this, that last task of scanning important documents seemed a bit out of scope for this project, and I'll pick it up some other time. Suffice it to say that would take a LOT more time than anything else, and I also have a job and a wife.