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Thread: Backup Media.

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    Lightbulb Backup Media.

    Backup Media, must be reliable cheap and effective and let us not forget that data is not getting smaller. Thanks to the new Terabyte HDD we have more data on our systems than ever before. Now if this Terabyte HDD where to fail then you will lose a hell of a lot!

    Now you will say that no matter we have Blue-Ray aka “Blu-Ray” that gives you up to 50GB of backup capacity and we will soon see even bigger disks! However the cost of maintaining a Blue-Ray is not cheap and I am questioning its sustainability. Right now we use external HDD and DVD to backup Data.

    However DVD’s can be easily corrupted and HDD can crash so the best bet is to Keep two HDD going with a DVD as a redundancy backup. This way you can recover data.

    Also thanks to servers and RAID makes data bit harder to lose and thanks to active-directory you are safe. However all has its limitations and even a powerful Raid Server can fail...

    So the key to any good backup system is redundancy. N-as aka “Network-attached storage” is also not bad but your network needs to be able to support it properly.

    Now I am interested in your backup systems. What do you use? And why do you think it is safe?

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    Dave A (24-Apr-09)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I don't think this is safe, but here's what we do anyway.

    All financial data is backed up to my laptop daily and to a stick once a week. This gives me off-site backup coverage with financial files on three separate devices.

    The balance of backing up is essentially across machines on the network. A total loss of machines in one shot would be... pretty painful.

    The easiest way for me to improve would be to set up the server hard drive pair so one is ghost-writing the other (not what we've got at the moment. One holds all the programs, the other holds all the data and all backups from the other machines).

    Then perhaps a removable or external HDD copy of the ghost drive to cover off-site...

    We've had losses/crashes from time to time and we've always managed to recover from the disaster pretty quickly no matter where it's happened - 48 hours max. Not necessarily with all data recovered, but certainly all critical data.

    Frankly, some fluff I'm quite happy to see gone on these occasions.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    That is a bit primitive but so is my suggestion but it works: Setup a Data sever and make sure that all work is saved on it via the network, then you can backup all from your server to a Read only Media “this will stop people from tampering with delectate data and also you can do a backup via removable HHD. But the Read only Media is robust “within reason” and no one can change the data on the disk once it is written.

    But you must think about setting up a domain controller. It will give you a permission active environment and with active-directory running you will always be able to recover stuff like work and e-mail. All you do is if a computer goes bust is get a new PC plug it in connect it to the network and all the user must do is type in the user name and password and if the active directory is set up correctly it will restore everything to the point where she or he can just start working again.

    The MS OS have a handy build in backup program on its sever OS. All you need to do is run the backup if the server goes bust you will be able to restore everything as it was before server crash on a new totally deferent server “as long as the server OS is compatible with the backup you can restore and resume function. Simple and really robust... Also you can ghost the server with an external HDD. And you can still do a backup on Read only Media. Like I said Blue-Ray can support up to 50 GB and a normal DVD up to 8 GB not bad... Also I bet you a breath of fresh air that your total backup is no more ten 12GB in total?

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    I've often wondered how the banks back up their stuff - it would have to be huge and fast and ultra reliable. There was a time when Hard Drive A would copy to Hard Drive B which would copy to Hard Drive C...........but that was years ago; I bet it's pretty slick now.

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    Well the banks. They do use a beefed up version of N-as. See the little server you see at your bank is actually just a terminal linked up to the mainframe and they are big! No I am talking science-fiction stile mainframes hidden in a building in South Africa. That’s why the software they use, use nimble code normally HEX to accommodate encryption headers that eats half of the total data frame... that was seven years ago... I have no clue what they use today...

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    What about tape back up devices that can store many Terabytes of data on tapes?
    If you need any Accounting, Tax or even Financial Management advice, PM me and I'll try help and keep your information confidential.

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    I stand to be corrected on this but I think it is 13.8TB That is big. But again costly. I was told however that N-as will be solid-state soon and then it will be stable to the point where they just will not give in that easily. Yet it has been my personal experience that you don’t want to much stuff one a single storage device. See if a 13Tb backup goes then it is 13Tb of corrupted data. I can imagine bigger companies investing in both N-as and perhaps tape backup systems “they are big” but for the smaller company a little N-as with Blue-Ray or standard DVD might be just as effective. However everything has the hidden potential to get corrupted so don’t just look at backup also make sure that you do backup everything once a day. The more backups there are the less change there will be for total data loss.

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    Make sure you backup the backup
    If you need any Accounting, Tax or even Financial Management advice, PM me and I'll try help and keep your information confidential.

    Visit my Android ZA website - a website dedicated to Google Android in South Africa - www.androidza.co.za

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    Remember the times that we still have a PDC and a BDC synchronized with all the HDD drives duplicated, numbered and stored in a safe. Once a month you use the BDC to re-duplicate the complete RAID while the PDC was just doing its thing. Then the type drive would just do its thing overnight every night. I recall that not one of those networks had any trouble and you could get the server going with little trouble. All the desktop computers where the same model and make so only a single ghost were required. All the profiles would sit on a hidden password protected Drive on the network and you could just copy it all back via your network... It was a simple system yet so robust and effective. I remember those Nice HP servers just running proudly in perfect harmony. Desktop systems was clustered, numbered and ordered armed with permission sensitive profiles. This was the true principle of IT and Administration was done with absolute simplicity.

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