Changes to Backups

Back in Rethinking Backups I spoke at length about some plans I had for backing up the machines we have in our house.

Well, over a year later, it is time to both rethink the system and finally implement the entire thing.

 What’s Changing

I’ve been backing up to a FreeNAS box for the past few months and then making a single clone to a 250 GB hard drive periodically. However, a couple of things have changed since then.

  1. My wife has started taking photos for clients again, which is awesome. What that means is that we are keeping GBs of client photos on her laptop at the moment and I want to make sure that nothing happens to those photos.
  2. I want to start integrating AirPlay speaker systems into the house, which requires rethinking the networking infrastructure a little bit.

So I’m ditching the FreeNAS box for a Time Capsule and moving on from there.

What Is It Going to Be

It is a three-tier system that will be used on the most sensitive device: my wife’s MacBook.

  1. Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule.
  2. CrashPlan backups to “The Cloud”.
  3. Two rotating external hard drives for bootable clones which will be triggered by two events:
    1. One week since last backup.
    2. Client photos loaded onto laptop.

That hard drive will then be taken off-site and stored for emergencies (probably at the farm). That’s in case everything else fails or the house burns down. Neither of which I want to happen.

For my own machine, it will be much more subdued. I already backup the important documents to Dropbox (since I’m not dealing with image files), and any important code is on GitHub or Dropbox as well. This leaves mainly some less important documents, my few images, and any customization I’ve made to my machine.

I’ll be using CrashPlan and a single external hard drive for a period clone to handle that part.

I’ve been burned once before by losing data, I’m doing what I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

4 replies on “Changes to Backups”

Cost, mainly. At $10/month, that’s $120/year for 100 GB … and I wouldn’t be able to put everything in there so it makes more sense to put the vital stuff in Dropbox and then go ahead and use other means (like CrashPlan Family Unlimited) to handle just backing up.

That’s the main thing.

That’s cool, glad that works for you. There are so many options available now, which is great for everything. Hopefully it means I won’t have as many tearful college students at my desk during the week when they lose their information.

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