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Old 02-21-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
ChambersMonroe
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Lightbulb Post your data backup strategy

I just recently revised my backup plan and I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm always looking to improve it. So I figured I'd see what you guys are doing.

-What do you backup?
-How often?
-What backup software do you use (if any)?
-Any other important info you want to add

Here's mine:
#1 - I am using Cobian Backup 11 for backing up EVERYTHING on my data partition. (Weekly differential + 1 Full every 3 months)

#2 - I use Seagate DiscWizard to make an image of my OS partition (I do this rarely, usually immediately after a fresh OS + essential apps install).

#3 - Daily incremental backup of My Documents + 1 full backup per month (this also gets backed up redundantly in #1)

All of this is backed up to an external HDD and then around every 6 months I duplicate it onto another HDD that is kept offsite. Thats pretty much it!
I'm not really into cloud storage, but I do use dropbox for temporary stuff.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Everything important is automatically copied to my server via the built in windows backup utility on a regular basis. Every few months I take the stuff I *really* dont want to lose (old tax docs, legal papers, etc) and toss them on a thumb drive that gets dumped into my safe deposit box at the bank.

But I don't really have much that I truly can't live without if a drive craps out
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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I backup all my important stuff (about 25GB) to Amazon S3 once a week (automated) with custom software I wrote.

I don't keep image backups of any of my machines.. I can reinstall everything in a couple hours so it isn't worth it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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Windows home server. done and done.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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I'm not sold on, nor do I really trust, cloud-based storage. To that end, I use a 3-way backup system...

1) Back up to internal HDD using Acronis backup (full method, not incremental) every 3 days;
2) Back up to external portable HDD using Acronis backup (full method) every 3 days, roatating between 2 different HDDs with the 'off' disk in the fire safe;
3) Individual files backed up on 2 different USB drives, 'off' disk in safe;
4) Individual files also placed on backup laptop.

Foolproof? Probably not in every instance, but I think workable in most 'emergency' applications (fire, theft, electrical surge, failed drive.) I plan to add a 3rd portable HDD and USB drive that I will rotate into a safe deposit box every 3rd cycle.

My primary purpose is to safeguard my personal data files (photos, video, documents, email) and my business files (photos, QuickBooks, documents, email.)
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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I have W7 backup my files to another internal drive that is specifically for that weekly. I also copy stuff to an external drive about once a month. And I have it all duplicated to my laptop.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
yinan
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1. Use Windows backup to backup to a network share that is a VM.
2. Backup VM using VEEAM to another storage array.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
Trey22
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Backup to a 1TB external drive.

1. Complete Acronis image of c: the first of every month.
2. Copy of d: (data drive, docs/pics/vids/downloads) the first of every month.

I really need to pickup another external drive that I can store offsite.

Last edited by Trey22; 02-26-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #9
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SSD array imaged to external SSD manually every once in a while, files synched to thumb drive as I feel necessary. Images on external SSD mirrored to a old external dino drive (a 120 MB/s 7200 USB 3.0 2.5" GoFlex Pro).

Full partition backup or restore takes less than 2 minutes limited by the sequential speed of the single SSD on USB 3.0.

Last edited by exdeath; 02-21-2013 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
Emulex
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Windows 7 backup (windows 8) full image daily over network.
Crashplan (for now).

Problem is last two failures were catastrophic with no smart warning. Intel X25-M's no less. I must be the only person on the planet to have 4 die on my own machines (work/home). Everyone else in the office has has superb luck lol. Damn Nargles.

So when all your junk is busted, the primary two points are ability to restore to a known good point quickly, and reliably.

BESR 2010(business) and its norton counterpart are superior to acronis. I run 60+ backups full encyrpted every night 7 days a week. always restored in less than an hour over network (!!). Norton version just ditches AES-256 and some other fancy stuff like ftp a second copy and split it up. Home version of BESR2010.

for VM's, speak no more than Veeam. It is effin solid man. I've had to restore a very large VM and it was just one click.

I am not a big fan of replication, i prefer Disk to disk to (usb) disk for offsite rotation.

Just remember on the last hop, the usb disk, use 7zip rar and split it up then, use PAR2 and make parity so if you get a bad sector you can work around it. Big external drives are meant to be scrubbed, not sit around powerless. They will bit rot unlike LTO tapes if you archive them.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #11
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WHS nightly.
Few scattered cloud things, but not enough.

Need to work on a decent offsite plan.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:32 PM   #12
John Connor
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-What do you backup? The entire hard drive
-How often? 4-6 months
-What backup software do you use (if any)? Macrium Reflect


-Any other important info you want to add


I backup the entire drive via a clone to another drive that I don't plug in often. Then I back up to an external drive. Then I make copies of important data with DVD -R disks. Soon to be BlueRay.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:04 AM   #13
lambchops511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbits View Post
I backup all my important stuff (about 25GB) to Amazon S3 once a week (automated) with custom software I wrote.

I don't keep image backups of any of my machines.. I can reinstall everything in a couple hours so it isn't worth it.
How can you afford the bandwidth? Wouldn't that take several days to upload? Or do you live in Japan or something...
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambchops511 View Post
How can you afford the bandwidth? Wouldn't that take several days to upload? Or do you live in Japan or something...
Afford bandwidth? That is not much data to upload. Microupdates don't make it as hard, it does not update already updated files. Its not like its 25gigs of new data.

Most people in the USA don't have caps
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:17 AM   #15
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I make sure I have at least 2 copies of data that I care about on separate hard drives, and separate geographical locations if possible. Right now I have my data in 3 places, but 2 of them are thousands of miles away so the longer I'm away the more out of sync the data will be. In my immediate geographical location I have portable 2.5" drives with duplicate copies of my data. To be extra safe, I back up my most important data onto BD-Rs every few months just in case sunspots or something destroy all magnetic storage on the planet.

I use batch files containing multiple robocopy /mir commands to sync my data, always after I change anything. Since I'm so OCD about it, it serves me well. For the BD-Rs, I just assign the files manually in imgburn.

Last edited by JonathanYoung; 02-22-2013 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:19 AM   #16
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Basically all my stuff isn't that important. Yes it sucks writing your CV from scratch, loosing old tax data and so forth but it's not like I would lose money or so. Pictures are probably the most important things I have.

- CV and other relatively important docs-> online in email storage

- Backup of data to USB Hardrive with SyncToy every now and then (weeks-month)

- OS backup with acronis every now and then (weeks-month)

That's it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:08 AM   #17
ChambersMonroe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginner99 View Post
Basically all my stuff isn't that important. Yes it sucks writing your CV from scratch, loosing old tax data and so forth but it's not like I would lose money or so. Pictures are probably the most important things I have.

- CV and other relatively important docs-> online in email storage

- Backup of data to USB Hardrive with SyncToy every now and then (weeks-month)

- OS backup with acronis every now and then (weeks-month)

That's it.
Fairly minimal, but still safer than the average person.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:29 AM   #18
JAG87
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-What do you backup?
My Backup folder, which contains everything that needs to stay safe plus whatever I need to re-build system from scratch. I probably should do images of C to save myself the grief of re-installing from scratch, but I am too lazy. SSD failures are too rare to bother (in my experience at least) and other things like malware infections are not an issue if you run a LUA. There is also some important stuff on SkyDrive, which I don't bother to put in the Backup folder.

-How often?
Daily delta copy.

-What backup software do you use (if any)?
Synkron

-Any other important info you want to add
Backup folder is on D drive, and is backed up to E (which is an external drive)
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #19
corkyg
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I have in effect, 3 computers, one being a laptop. Each one has duplicate OS drives and a data drive. The data drives are all sync'd by LAN. That means there are three copies of each. The boot/OS drives are switched weekly. Each machine has a complete reserve boot drive ready to go at any sign of trouble.

The duplicate drives were created by Acronis TI's clone function. I call all of this "planned redundancy." My drive changeover day is usually Tuesday.

I have followed this scheme for over 6 years.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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once a month system image with macrium alternating between onsite and offsite drives(4 pc's). once a week flash drive for important files and folders, imaged with macrium. dump to the cloud as a temporary store as needed.

hot swap tray, the cloud and macrium=easy

Last edited by readymix; 02-22-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #21
sequoia464
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I have 4 drives -

C (raided SSD's) for Windows gets backed up via windows backup weekly to G: which is an external HDD
I keep Office on here as well as a few other programs

D (raided SSD's) is where I keep My work programs and all of my output and documents
I Copy this three times Daily to my K drive (raided SSD's)
This is also copied at the end of each day to the external HDD

I use Nova Backup - got tired of Acronis screwing with my system.

I like Charlie98's method of keeping a spare drive rotated weekly into a safe - looking in to implementing that also.

Last edited by sequoia464; 02-22-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #22
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None of my stuff is absolutely essential, but obviously I'd rather be able to easily recover than not. Thus, mine is very simple.

Windows 7 backup once a week to an internal 500gb HDD. I create a system image of my c drive and a backup of my media drive
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #23
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Currently have a few computer that do the following.

Every 5 minutes a snapshot is taken, incremental, to backup server.

Backup Server pushes to offsite every night. Offsite keeps daily backups for 1 month, weekly for 2 month and then monthly for pretty much forever.

I use Doyenz.

Happy with them so far as everything is automated and once its set up I don't have to worry about it. They monitor it and let me know if a backup is missed.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:26 PM   #24
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I don't do system level backup.

Instead, I have burned downloaded content to DVDs, content which would waste a lot of bandwidth to re-download. Same for files / content I have created myself, except these I have copied to a USB flash drive in addition to a DVD. I verify the integrity of DVD drives every couple months.

As for the rest of the system (including programs), I simply do not care. When my HDD dies, I will simply install Xubuntu on a new disk, copy the files from DVDs and carry on. Business as usual. I do not have to worry about programs and license activation nonsense that can sometimes occur with Windows since all programs i use are open source and can be installed anytime with Synaptic Package Manager.

Yes, I realize this is not an optimal backup practice for many users, let alone SOHO / business scenarios. But everyone has their own threshold and needs for these type of things.

Last edited by meloz; 02-22-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #25
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All my data is stored on my main server which makes it central. i have various rsync bash scripts to backup some folders to another location on the raid array. Some jobs are simple copys, others are rotations so I can go back so many days. Depends on importance. I also have similar scripts that grab data off servers (mostly system file related stuff). I have an online server which is also backed up to this server.

I also have an offsite job that backs stuff up to my online server, since I have slow upload I have to be very specific on the files to backup. Most of them consist of compressed SQL databases, word documents, and other stuff that does not take much space. 1GB total. Takes a couple days to run the job from scratch.

On top of these backups, I also have a removable drive dock with multiple 1TB drives. The drives contain a "job" pointer as I have different jobs and a couple drives per job. I pop the drive in, run a script on the server, and it runs the appropriate job for that drive, and sends me a summary by email. i have a spreadsheet where I keep track of which one was run when. I need to make this better and automate it though. Basically have the system tell me what drive to put in, and handle retention etc.

Some of these drives are also stored in a lockbox at the post office.

Oh and I also have an IBM SAN I fire up once in a while and do a full file backup to it as well. I don't have enough UPS power to protect it though, so I only turn it on to run the job, then turn it off after. I treat this as "extra" though. The drives are proprietary and as they fail, they cannot be replaced with standard drives.

I eventually want to improve my setup and make it easier to manage though. Probably a custom web based app or something.

For system level, when I setup an OS I usually image it and then back that up. Basically if my OS drive fails on any of my systems I can restore that image, then restore any file backups.
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