Backup Systems

This is a discussion on Backup Systems within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm in the market for a new computer these days, and at the same time I am also looking into ...

  1. #1
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Backup Systems

    I'm in the market for a new computer these days, and at the same time I am also looking into different methods to back up my data.

    Right now I have a fairly primitive way of doing things: I manually copy over files that I consider to be important to my external hard drive.

    I would ideally like to buy a set of 2 new external hard drives, set them up in a RAID-1 configuration (for data redundancy), and then have some kind of application on my computer that does an automatic backup to the RAID every once in awhile.

    I've heard the moniker that "RAID is not back-up!" several times, but I openly defy that statement here, as for any normal user RAID can very effectively be used as backup. Most of us don't need nor want slow tape drives.

    Anyways, back to the topic at hand: I'd like some software that could then backup the files which I specify that I want to back up to the RAID. Incremental back-ups aren't necessarily necessary, but hey, if that features comes with the software, why not?

    I took did a quick search on google looking for "open source backup software", and I found the following options:

    BackupPC
    Amanda Open Source Backup

    I was wondering if any of you have any experience with these software packages or any other software packages that are good for backups, and what yalls experience has been with backups.
    My Website

    "Circular logic is good because it is."

  2. #2
    and the hat of sweating
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    I use Symantec Ghost and it works great.
    The only advice I have is -- DON'T use the Windows backup! It backs up just fine, but it sure doesn't restore that's for sure.
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

    "the internet is a scary place to be thats why i dont use it much." - billet, 03/17/2010

  3. #3
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Tell that to a friend of mine, who meticulously "backed up" his vital business data on multiple media types, including a large RAID array, DVDs, some stuff was even on floppies.

    He lost it all when his barn burned down.

    I also use two large external drives, but the way I use them is this. Drive A holds a backup from not more than three months ago, and is located off-site. Drive B maintains nightly backups for three months. Every three months, Drive B is taken off-site, swapped with Drive A, and the process repeats.

    If my property burns, I will only lose three months, max.

    As far as source code, my entire tree is version controlled and lives on a well-maintained server somewhere in Dallas. They do their own backups, but again, I keep the "whole building burns to the ground" scenario in mind, and take snapshots of it on a regular basis.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidP View Post
    I've heard the moniker that "RAID is not back-up!" several times, but I openly defy that statement here, as for any normal user RAID can very effectively be used as backup. Most of us don't need nor want slow tape drives.
    Not meaning to beat a dead horse, but there's only 2 levels that can offer you any sort of a quasi-backup strategy. 1 and 6.

    1 is your less expensive and more obvious bet. But then you will be unintentionally backing up your entire system at real time. If you think that is a Backup then you never accidentally deleted a file or, worst, an entire project in your life. I commend you ;D

    Meaning, if you can't produce a static backup of your data, that is not a backup. And that's precisely what RAID is not.

    Anyways, back to the topic at hand:
    What system DavidP? Can't recall your poison. Linux, Windows or Mac?
    My one backup software is, and will probably keep being for a long while, Cobian Backup.

    Once in a along while when the moon is just right I may make a disk clone to a few DVDs, that I always end up regretting doing for the waste of otherwise perfectly good mp3 storage media.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Mario,

    That Cobian backup program looks great. I downloaded it, and it appears to have a lot of great features. I will test it out as soon as I can.

    Currently I am running Windows XP, although when I soon buy a new laptop I will upgrade to Windows 7 with a possible dual boot of Ubuntu. I have considered Mac very heavily, but so far have decided against it based solely on price.
    My Website

    "Circular logic is good because it is."

  6. #6
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    1 is your less expensive and more obvious bet. But then you will be unintentionally backing up your entire system at real time. If you think that is a Backup then you never accidentally deleted a file or, worst, an entire project in your life. I commend you ;D
    This actually happened to a major blogging company whose name I forget at the moment. They thought their RAID was a backup strategy. Until somebody accidentally issued a "DROP DATABASE" on the main DB. The RAID array faithfully replicated this to all the drives.

    They went out of business over night.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  7. #7
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    Whether RAID counts as backup or not depends on your definition of backup.

    Backups (in my definition) is to protect against 2 things - hardware malfunctions and user errors (including malware).

    RAID only protects you against the first.

    I personally run RAID-5 of 3 drives on a Linux server to protect against hardware failures. Also doing snapshot backups everyday, every week, and every month (separately) to protect against user errors.

  8. #8
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    Whether RAID counts as backup or not depends on your definition of backup.

    Backups (in my definition) is to protect against 2 things - hardware malfunctions and user errors (including malware).

    RAID only protects you against the first.

    I personally run RAID-5 of 3 drives on a Linux server to protect against hardware failures. Also doing snapshot backups everyday, every week, and every month (separately) to protect against user errors.

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