The Making of, Part 8: Backup Strategy

Apart from some minor owncloud glitches is running pretty smoothly right now. It’s doing a great job, both as my server and my Desktop replacement. But I can’t guarantee that it will stay that way. Neither can I expect the hard disk drives (HDD) to last forever nor can I guarantee that some idiots won’t burn down the apartment building by setting their Christmas tree on fire. (Don’t laugh, it has happened to my sister)

Burning_Logitech_12 Used under CC BY-SA 3.0, originally by Diether

So a backup strategy is in inevitable. Now for the first scenario (a dying HDD) people have come up with a solution known as RAID. However that is not what I am doing. For simplicity, I just copy most of my important stuff from one HDD to another once a day. – Actually the server does this automatically via a cron job file /etc/cron.d/cSBackupLocal

12 4    * * *    root    /usr/local/bin/;

which executes a simple rsync script /usr/local/bin/ that does

# Backup data from first hard drive (me1) to second hard drive (me2)

# GIT - My life and stuff
rsync -a --delete /media/me1/git/   /media/me2/Backup/git

# Music - My other life support
rsync -a --delete /media/me1/Music/ /media/me2/Backup/Music

# owncloud
rsync -a --delete /media/me1/ocdata/ /media/me2/Backup/ocdata

The second scenario (house burning down) can not be dealt with that easily. E.g., with the two HDDs that do the mirroring once a day at the same location, a fire would destroy both. So you have to have a copy at some other place.

My most important things (about 20 megs) I have in an encrypted archive that is synced to Dropbox. Things like my Keepass file and Scans of important documents. – You are right, they might give that file to the NSA or something, but as it is encrypted they’ll chew on it for a while.

The only viable solution for my more extended remote backup is to have an external hard drive, that I bring for doing a backup every now and then. When it is not plugged into my server for backup it is stored away safely somewhere else. – As in not within a 5 km range of my apartment. Obviously this system has flaws, like if there is a fire the day I do the external backup, I am still screwed. – But I guess that is as safe as it gets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *