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Author Topic: Got backups?  (Read 6068 times)

Offline Jonathan

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Got backups?
« on: November 10, 2009, 06:46:42 PM »
I just got an email from a printer who is doing some work for me.  It's a little late so I figured there must be an issue.

Apparently his hard drive failed the other day.  Then a couple of hours later his mirrored RAID drive failed too.

He got the data back but apparently the cost was "eye watering".

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Shall we all talk about backup strategies?


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picsfor

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 07:16:37 PM »
Had the same with some one whom i look after Support wise.

New client, whole brief, the works. She was very sloppy actioning the back up procedure i put in place.
The resulting fee for data recovery was not as cheap as a new laptop and NAS drive with me going over to set it all up!

I've never understood why people in business who depend on a computer to do their work rely on a single point of failure!

It would like booking a photographer to come and shoot your wedding just for them to turn up with 1 camera, 1 lens and a flash gun with a single memory card.

And when one of them goes wrong....

Offline SimonW

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 08:06:22 PM »
I never realy understood mirrored raid. Ok if one drive fails I suppose, but what if the failure is caused by a nasty virus? Won't it very quickly infect and destroy both drives? And also, fire or theft of the machine will loose all the data. What you want is daily copy of any new or changed files to a remote system, and keep the original paper, memory cards or whatever until the remote system has also been backed up.
Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 08:26:47 PM »
I've never understood why people in business who depend on a computer to do their work rely on a single point of failure!

Um, he had two mirrored drives fail within a few hours of each other....
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 08:35:42 PM »
I never realy understood mirrored raid. Ok if one drive fails I suppose, but what if the failure is caused by a nasty virus? Won't it very quickly infect and destroy both drives? And also, fire or theft of the machine will loose all the data. What you want is daily copy of any new or changed files to a remote system, and keep the original paper, memory cards or whatever until the remote system has also been backed up.

Mirror drives were set up in the commercial world, where you have hundreds or thousands of transaction going on all the time. In was used with many CPU's each controlling a different drive. If one CPU or drive went down, then the user wouldn't be aware of it as the mirrored dive, with it's own CPU, would take over. This means the data entered would still be valid and the new drive would it's self be mirrored by another drive and CPU. It's what the Tandem NoneStop system was built on. We had sixteen CPU's and drives and half have been down at one time and the only thing the user notices is the system is a bit slower.  :tup:

picsfor

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 08:58:23 PM »
i appreciate what you're saying about being unlucky - but this is a person in business.

A computer is an essential work tool. Data back up is an essential tool.
Redundancy is mission critical.

Why do you think Canon users envy the D3 dual CF slot option?

I think where we differ is that i would not put all my eggs in a mirrored raid. I played around with RAID and Mirrored RAID when doing my Win 2K MCSE stuff. I didn't like it.

There after back up always consisted of 2 seperate drives with one plugged in and on providing constant back up, with another plugged in but only switched on to back up 'critical' data. I have always (until now with the iMac) had a second computer ready to go with the swap over of the second EHD. Slightly inconvenient i know but better than nothing. Even e-mail is left on the server for 14 days to allow for such failures.

I suppose this was what i was trained to support and provided support for - system redundancy.
Hence my view point!



Hybridphotog

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 08:59:01 AM »
My 'strategy', which has worked for a number of years...
"If the relevant directory/folder is nearing 650MB/4.4GB in capacity, dump the contents to a CD/DVD. Use a cataloging application to catalog the new discs contents."

Why make "backup strategies" complicated?

picsfor

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 09:29:43 AM »
i was unfortunate enough to discover that even the best of CD/ DVD were not infallible.

Too many disks not taking or coming up as read error etc - despite cleaning the lens and the discs with all the correct kit.

By and large the EHD has been my best form of back up - and at a cost that matches those of CD/ DVDs.

But that does not mean your method is wrong - it merely means it does not work for me!

Offline happypaddler

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 10:56:24 AM »
I have 3 methods of back up - I have 2 EHD's which backs up both the laptop and desktop every hour on the hour (those using Time Machine will know how it works). On top of that all my really important files are locked on the cloud service, which syncs with both my machines (which I manually sync every couple of hours - so if one goes down files are on the other machine and the cloud (also works with the many combinations of hardware failure - unless all three go down). On top of that I back up to DVD both EHD's when they get to 70% - then format the drives and start again - as well as once a month I back up the cloud data to a DVD.

It may seem over kill - but I lost 10,000 words of a really complicated paper I was working on a few years ago. I struggled to get my head in gear to re-write it all (I also lost all my notes et al and had to re read many many journal articles, research papers, case law reports etc... and make the notes again). I never want that to happen again!

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 10:58:39 AM »
I keep looking at this.

One day I need to work out how it compares to buying drives which I then back up and the power to run them.  I know it will be more expensive but it looks a lot less hassle.
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Offline happypaddler

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 11:09:00 AM »
I keep looking at this.

One day I need to work out how it compares to buying drives which I then back up and the power to run them.  I know it will be more expensive but it looks a lot less hassle.


A very quick look, it looks a similar idea to mobile me - yeah I'm lazy - that's the cloud I use - but it makes sense as it provided me and the family with good,spam free email addresses, houses the website so that we can upload photos and vids of my 2 year old son, allowing the many family members who live around the globe to see him grow. It just works with iLife for that, and my wife (luddite) has no issues using it! It also syncs my calendars and address books across both computers and phone. But the big plus for me is that I can sync across all machines (inc work windows PC when I can be bothered to use it) and keep my files up to date without any playing around with settings et al.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 11:45:10 AM by happypaddler »

Offline Forseti

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2009, 11:22:16 AM »
Amazing - I never realised there was such a variety of backup methods available and the choices that many people actually employ. Whatever suits ones needs I suppose and, perhaps more importantly, actually works.

At my request, I had the people who built my PC configure it so that Drive C (250GB) was mirrored to an identical drive. This drive contains only applications - no data or plug-ins and the like. Ok, I accept that a virus infecting this drive will be mirrored onto the other drive but I consider that the security measures that I employ that this is the least of my worries. One big advantage to me personally is that in the event of one drive failing I won't then have to reinstall all my applications from scratch.

Drive D - also 250GB contains only data and temporary files such as projects that I am working on. For instance, from Lightroom I export to a project file on Drive D images that I will be using in film/slide presentations using Sony Movie Studio.

EHD 1 (1TB) contains nothing but images files which, using SyncBack, is backed up to a second 2TB EHD. This second EHD is also used (again using SyncBack) to backup the data files etc from Drive D.

Not perhaps the most efficient or easiest method of backing up available but one that I've employed for several years, got used to, and a method that works for me.
Canon 7D,  Canon SX1 IS, EF100 f/2.8 USM Macro, EF70-200 f/4 L IS USM, EF17-40 f/4 L USM, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, Canon Speedlite 580EX MkII

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Offline Trickee

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2009, 11:44:58 AM »
This backing up business is a bit of a worry!. I lost a lot of pics on a failed portable drive :'(, i have also lost data on cd's and dvd's. :'( Does anyone use online storage and how safe and secure is that?

Offline happypaddler

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2009, 11:46:27 AM »
My cloud has never had an issue that I am aware of and I have been using the the online cloud system since 2004 ish.. somewhere around then.

Offline hevans

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Re: Got backups?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 02:18:33 PM »

To me, an effective backup solution has to mitigate against:
    1. medium failure (hard disk crash, DVD loss, etc.)
    2. localised catastrophy (house burns down with the backup media)
    3. mistakes/software errors/malevolent attacks (accidental deletion, viruses, trojans, etc.

For me it is the concept of redundancy that solves the above. But not just a simple mirroring of the disk onto an attached USB disk. That won't cure #3, and given the geography, nor #2.

So, an effective backup system should have:
    1. off site backup storage
    2. include a permanent, indelible medium (DVD, CD)
    3. involve multiple copies.

I have a couple of NAS disks and USB disks and the erratic burning of DVDs. One of the NAS disks is in the shed, away from the house. The USB disks are usually not powered, but a sync is performed about once a week or so (I'm not adding things to it on a daily basis). The NAS disk is running as a mirrored copy of the internal disk in the computer, saving a max. of 2 versions of each file. So if the computer disk or NAS disk fails, I have an immediate backup. If a virus/trojan/child strikes and deletes something, I shouldn't loose much, as in the worst case the unpowered USB disk should survive.

And if the worst comes to the worst, there are always the DVD backups - but loads would have to go wrong  before that.

The biggest threat so far has been from the cat. See here. But I have suffered the odd hard disk failure, but haven't lost anything...yet.

Obviously, this is for a home setup, for a professional system, where others are financially depending on the system, a more robust and systematic system should be used, with automated backups and regular off-site storage transfers.

H.

 

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