The conversion to Network Storage and automatic data duplication continues. For a while now, Jenn and I have been (manually) backing up our computers to an external hard drive using a movable SATA plug in. Two of these HDDs have been our playground with one being kept in an off-site location for security against fires or water damage. The downsides to that was that it requires us to do it; it’s not an automatic solution. Therefore, the network drive.
My plan: automatic backups over the network to the network drives. These will not be used for storage per se1 but merely as a duplicate receptacle for what’s on our computers. Then I will weekly do a drive image of the network drives, which will be our “backups”2. Anything truly critical will be occasionally burned to DVD which will also be kept off site.
Why are we going through all this effort? Well, we’ve got a lot of data that would be impossible to replace. Jenn is an academic and has been writing papers and gathering information since 1997. I’m an amateur photographer and podcaster so I’ve got a bunch of irreplaceable images and audio files. Plus 18 years of accumulated writing and legacy data. Can’t say I’d miss everything if I lost it, but there have been things I’ve gone looking for (and found), making my life easier. This is also a step toward doing away with the majority of my filing cabinet once I get a reliable scanner for monthly bills and other such paper documents that arrive via snailmail.3
1: I’m toying with the idea of putting our music and videos and whatnot on the network drive so we can access it from all computers and eventually a centralized entertainment system. Haven’t decided to take that plunge yet.
2: It’s not a backup by the strict definitions of “backup” because if the computer hdd gets corrupted, it will write the corrupted file to the backup drive. However, I’m not going to go in for the time and money investment to have continuous running tape backups.
3: “Aha!” I hear you say, “Why don’t you get all your bills electronically delivered?” I’ve tried that. It’s not effective for my workflow. I depend on having a spot that all the bills and receipts and crap accumulate in and no matter how many bills I can get through email, there will always be some I can’t, therefore I’ll just stick with the paper system for now.