Posted by: sbarrett | 2008.01.10

Data Integrity Part II

Here is the 2nd part of my data post.  In part I I listed how I got my images to my computer.  This one describes how I try to ensure that my images (and other files) aren’t lost.

I have two systems in the house right now, my desktop and a server machine in my basement.  This server is an old system with 300GB of hard drive space.  It is running FreeNAS, an open source network attached storage OS, based on FreeBSD.  This thing runs headless in my basement and once the basic stuff is setup, like, it boots, the ip config, and the network card selected, it just sits there and the whole thing runs from a web interface I can access anywhere.  The drives in it are just shares on my  Windows machine so I can get tho them easily.  Works real nice.

To start the backup process I have the main desktop computer BIOS set to start the machine each day at 6:30am.  Once the machine is running, about 6:40 is scheduled a program called Syncback to compare and synchronize files between my desktop and my server.  I have multiple profiles created for things like pictures, music, data files, etc.  and they all run on different days.  The initial load of all the data to the server took a while, however now I can buzz thru files in about 10-15 minutes.  Syncback also lets me throttle the bandwidth it uses (hey, its an old box, what can I say) to no more than 25%.  I have had problems overloading that old beast.  Right now it is running like a champ, and basically I just don’t worry about the files or the server.  Once and I while I poke at the web interface to make sure all is running well.

There is a freeware version of the Syncback software, but it can’t do some of the advanced features.  The full version is only $30, so it is not expensive, and besides, how much is a backup worth?

In addition to this online backup, I also make a set of DVDs of the files.  Since they are in date based organization, I have DVDs made of each year (1st few  years are actually on 1 disk, and with a 10mp SLR, last year took over 3 DVDs).  I keep one copy of these in my desk drawer and another in our safe deposit box.  I figure their vault is built to handle an accident better than my drawer or my basement is, so I’ll keep a copy in there too.  As a suppliment to this, I make a quarterly copy of the current years images and put that away as well. The current files seem to change more often than the older ones do.

Well, that is about it.  If anyone has questions on this, or other ideas to be more secure, please let me know.

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