Author Topic: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system  (Read 16129 times)

Offline ladieu

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Digital Prepping 101:

Lesson 1: Making backups.

By: Nick LaDieu
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I'm guessing that you know someone who has suffered through a digital disaster such as loss of precious family photos or important tax documents and other files.  Just like you prepare for other disasters n the physical word you need to be digitally prepared. The first step towards digital preparedness is creating a good backup scheme for your important files.

I have a good friend who recently had all of her interior design business' documents on a laptop. I didn't know this was the case until it was to late. In her case she didn't drop it in a puddle or experience hard drive failure. On new year's eve this past year her house was broken into while she was away and the laptop was stolen.

Laptop lo-jack and encryption of sensitive information is a topic for another thread. Those issues aside, she experienced the loss of many digital assets including quick-books financial records and irreplaceable photos which were both business and personal in nature.  This is not a threat on the level with a physical threat to your safety but I assure you it is a real threat and if you go through it you will highly regret not being prepared.  People regularly pay upwards of $5000 for hard drive recovery services to retrieve family photos, make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Please don't comment about how silly it was to put all of this on her laptop with no backup, you can be assured that she is painfully aware of that.  I just wanted to illustrate how tied we are to our PCs and how important digital prepping is.

The number one rule of digital preparedness that you should be aware of is this:

All hard drives fail, it is not IF it is WHEN

How can you protect your precious memories? As the above story illustrates, our preps need to go beyond hard drive failure. We achieve this by following the steps I have outlined to create a highly redundant backup system.  We all know how important it is to have redundancy in our preps so digital prepping is no exception. I have put these in the order I feel you should undertake them. Start with simple DVDs and work your way up from there.

#1 - Backup all of your photos and other precious documents regularly to DVD.

Get yourself a decent DVD/CD organizer such as this one

After you burn your DVD test it to make sure it isn't a "coaster." Most DVD burning programs have the ability to preform an integrity check after the burn. This obviously takes more time, but how important are these files to you?

I use infrarecorder which is a free open source burning software for the windows PC: http://infrarecorder.org/

I once used to own a DVD burner that claimed to be 8X, however it would always create coasters about 1 of 4 times, lowering my speed to 4X produced 100% success rate. My new DVD burner works fine at the max speed, however it is something to keep in mind if you experience a similar issue.

Label your DVDs clearly with the contents and a code.  The code I use is a prefix and an incremented number. The prefix is a short code which describes the category, such as "photos".  I then  mark the code into a spreadsheet along with a verbose description. I personally use Google docs and recommend that, however you could just use excel.

#2 - backup all of your HD camcorder video to blu-ray disc. Blu-ray burners aren't very expensive right now. I have seen ones for close to $100.

Please know that if you have the option to create a DVD from your HD camcorders video you will lose over 1/2 of the quality of image due to compression. You must back these up to HD media, which currently is blu-ray disc. DVD's are not HD (a common misconception)

#3 - get yourself a firebox and/or safe

Store your backups in a fire/water proof safe or firebox, or better yet a firebox inside of a safe! I don't yet own a decent large safe, but it is on my list. I currently have everything in a Sentry brand fire box I picked up at Walmart for about $50

#4 - Use an external hard drive or NAS for backups.

If you paid attention you will know the first rule of hard drives is that they fail. If all you can afford is a cheap hard drive then you should definitely be using that, however what you really want is a RAID device. These devices are sometimes known as NAS or Network Attached Storage.   There are many types of RAID, but for our purposes we will get what is known as a RAID 1. A RAID 1 is a mirror. What this means is that there are 2 hard drives, each hard drive is a complete copy, or mirror, of the other hard drive.  If you copy a file to the device it will actually be copied to both hard drives.

If one hard drive fails you will have a redundancy built in with the additional hard-drive.

This is the one I personally use: Buffalo Linkstation Pro Duo

Here is an important aspect to look at when you are looking at RAID backup devices. Whatever storage is quoted you have to chop in half to determine what the usable space will be. So for example the device I have linked to above can contain two 1 terabyte drives, however after I have set it up I will only see 1 terabyte of usable space. This is due to the mirroring I mentioned.  So if you purchased a 1 terabyte link-station you would have only 500 gigs free to use.  I feel that 1 terabyte (1000 gigs) is a decent size for home use so you should look for a NAS with a 2 terabyte capacity and RAID 1 capability (such as the buffalo drive)

#5 - Automated backup software:

I'm not always really on the ball with keeping up with my DVDs, so I use automated backup software to backup the computers on my network.

For the windows PC I can't recommend highly enough http://www.shadowprotect.com/   It is simply awesome! I know that there are free solutions out there that you can hack together, however if you are ever in the unfortunate position of having to use this software I will vouch that it is painless and easy.

What is important to know about this software is that is creates what is called a "disc image" of your computer.  Why is this important? It captures everything about your computer: all of your settings, your installed programs, 100% of your files, all of your email if you store email on your computer, etc.

So here is a true story: A co-worker of mine installed the 30 day free trial of the software and started backing up files from his laptop to an external hard drive, not one week later his hard drive failed in his laptop. He would have lost years of photos that were not backed up to DVD, including all the pictures from his honeymoon!

To restore

* he replaced his laptops hard drive
* put in the Shadow Protect boot disc
* pointed shadow protect to the location of the backups

In under one hour he had his laptop back 100% the same as it was before the crash, no need to spend all day reinstalling programs, etc.

You can do a granular restore also if you only want some of the files from the backup and do not wish to do a full image restore.

It's worth noting that I have no affiliation with Shadow Protect other than being a happy customer, after hearing my co-workers story I installed it myself the following week and have been using it ever since.

Listen, you don't have to use Shadow protect, however get something and make sure it is automated! There are 100s of different software backup programs.

Mac Users
You mac people can use a piece of software called "time machine", I am sure if you Google that you will find lots of info, sorry I don't have a Mac.


#6 - Automated Off-site (online) backup:

The "Off-site" is the key here. Getting the files somewhere outside of where you live or work in case a local or regional disaster hits you.
There are many ways to tackle off-site backups and I am sure many will be suggested as follow-ups to this thread, however I am focusing on user-friendly and reliable backup services for the purposes of this guide.

You can be assured that the backup providers have distributed and redundant systems already in place.

My wife has her laptop between home and school and it isn't always hooked up to our network or even powered on when my backup jobs run. There are 2 really good online services that do online backups and work on both mac and PC

http://www.carbonite.com/
http://mozy.com/home

I personally have Carbonite because a discount was offered through my credit union.

Both of these essentially work the same way. You install a program on your computer and then you select directories on your computer which you wish to have backed up. The initial backup process could take days, in my case it took over 2 weeks! (I backed up everything because why not?)

Backups that occur after that are known as "incremental backups" meaning they are small because they only include files which you have changed.   For my wife this is important because when she has her laptop on at school all day her documents/etc are being backed up to Carbonite and she doesn't have to fuss with it, it just works. Each file in a backed up directory has a color coded icon which indicates whether or not it has been backed up yet.

In a totally devastating event such as a fire or flood (You do have the most important files in a fire safe right!?) you can access your files via the internet. Once you put your life back together they will be waiting for you.

Here is why you can't rely on these services 100%
- they will only backup what is currently on your hard drive, they will not backup any network shares or external storage devices.
- If you remove a file from your hard-drive it will eventually be removed from the online backup service.

These services are purely an emergency backup and are not appropriate for long term archival storage.

If you're like me you take a lot of HD video and take lots of 10MP pictures with your camera. These files add up and eventually need to be moved off my computer onto DVDs and Blu-ray discs, once they are off my computer they will eventually be removed from carbonite.

Note 2: if you concerned about your tax documents, for example, being out in "the cloud" you can easily deselect them from being backed up. You can individually choose which directories are included.

#7 - get yourself a UPS

This will help avoid undo damage and wear and tear on your devices in the event of power surges and power blackouts. At the most basic level they will give you the opportunity to save any open documents and properly shut down your computer in the event of a power failure, at the best case they could prevent your computer from being completely destroyed by a weather event. UPS means "Uninterruptible power supply" I have this one Cyberpower CP685AVR UPS  I'll say I have a mixed review of that unit. I have had to replace the battery after only less than one year of use. I am sure you can do some research and find a good option.  

If you have a laptop you do have a battery backup built in obviously, so you can customize this advice to your specific needs (as always) good surge protection is a must though.




« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:30:14 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline CyborgX

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 10:24:37 AM »
That's all really good advice!

Myself, I keep all my important documents stored internally on an encrypted, mirrored RAID array, and backed up regularly onto an encrypted external HDD which is then stored in a firesafe.

My laptop has no sensitive information on it, and it's not valuable enough to steal. Nobody wants something that runs a 933MHz Celeron..

Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 10:37:46 AM »
We have seen a rash of bike thieves doing "snatch and grabs" on busy streets within my mountain bike club. The reason I mention this is because one snatch and grab took a cheap single speed bike that a guy put together himself out of recycled bike parts, the other victim I know had a $7000 totally "blinged" out bike stolen from his jeep on a street in a trendy town.

I mention this because for thieves aren't taking the time to spec out your wares to determine if it is worth their time or not, it's all about opportunity grabs.

Having said that, it sounds like you are highly aware of how to take care of yourself digitally. Per normal I analyze the situation to it's logical extreme.

:D

-Nick

Offline CyborgX

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 11:40:20 AM »
Yeah, I suppose that's a good point. Thieves aren't always terribly discerning about what they take.

That said, I'm very protective of my things. My laptop, as pathetic as it is, it's all I've got that fills the purpose of a portable computer. So I take good care not to let it fall into the wrong hands. In the event that it did get taken, I'm not reliant on it for anything in particular. It just makes long train rides slightly more entertaining, since I keep a lot of comics and movies on it's secondary EXT3 partition. It's nothing I don't have copies of elsewhere, so..

However, once I get my netbook, I think I'll be investing in a cable lock and a bag that I can lock shut. Like my laptop, it get's carried in a bag that doesn't look like something that would carry a laptop.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 02:03:31 PM »
Ladieu, great post.  One of the things I like to add is automated Synconization software (I use Syncbackup) I run an image quarterly (Or imediatley after an install and config of new software) to an NAS box.  Then each machine is running syncback freeware edition.  (I have it scheduled to run at 1 hour increments).  Any files that get modified, or added in the last hour get backed up every hour, without the need for a full system image (which can take a while).  Most of the time, the backup only takes a few seconds). 

I prefer the commercial software (I use backup execs (now Symantec) desktop/laptop option at work) which backs up and does versioning as soon as a file is saved.  WELL worth the cost.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 02:12:06 PM »
Cool setup! Good point about the incremental backups. I didn't mention it, however Shadow Protect does in fact do incremental backups. You can do a "bare metal" restore from any of the incremental backups, it builds them up from the base image.
http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow_protect_desktop.php
You can schedule them as often as you would like.

I agree about the commercial software. It is worth the investment to me. I have $$ into the computers, NAS, UPS, etc... why skimp when it comes to making it work properly?

Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 02:34:50 PM »
OK I am starting to sound like a shadow protect commercial, however I wanted to point out the shadow protect supports encrypted backups and also backup compression.

-Nick

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 02:43:28 PM »
At $80 bucks a pop for license it is a bit steep (but the automation really makes it worthwhile over the freebie products).  I use some free programs to do my images periodically, but its a manual process.  (Hence the reason I only do it quarterly :))

Great pointer to some really nice software.  I'll have to pull the demo and play a bit.

Thanks


Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 02:58:23 PM »
@Docwatmo

I agree it is a bit steep! I wanted to setup something free for some people I know who are crawling out of consumer debt holes. Any advice you have on putting together a free solution is well taken.

I set up a friend using robocopy and just doing a nightly uncompressed backup of key files to a hard drive. Certainly better than nothing, but if I could get him going with disc images for free it would be helpful for him as he wants to commit 100% of funds to his credit cards. 

Burning DVDs is of course super cheap and anyone with digital photos should have this as a baseline.

-Nick

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 03:05:17 PM »
I hate burning CD/DVD's, just too time consuming and resource intensive. (Then you end up with either wasted disks, or if you'r like me and don't label them well, a bunch of unknowns LOL)

I've got some free programs that I use.  (in fact I have an entire CD of freebie programs that I pass out to people that covers AV, Firewall, Backups, Synchronization, Anti malware, (Open Office and PDF viewers, and other useful applications also) that are all freeware programs.  I need to update it since I dropped AVG recently for an AV solution. (And the FTP and several programs have been updated since I built the disk the last time). 

I'll put together a list with instructions and my own version of best practices and post it on this thread later in the week when I get a little more time.


Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2010, 03:12:35 PM »
Cool thanks for the follow up. I don't burn everything to disc. Just my video, tax/business docs/digital photos

If you start burning blu-ray discs you will find the job a lot less taxing when you can plow 20+ gigs at a time onto a disc. Or in my case marry a highly organized wife  ;D

The "free" backup I setup for a friend was based on this... it is simple to setup a quick bat file and put it in windows scheduler
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/window-on-windows/?p=777

Not the most robust however they have a mirror of their computer, in the event of failure they have the files.



-Nick

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 07:19:00 PM »
Ladieu, great post.  One of the things I like to add is automated Synconization software (I use Syncbackup) I run an image quarterly (Or imediatley after an install and config of new software) to an NAS box.  Then each machine is running syncback freeware edition.  (I have it scheduled to run at 1 hour increments).  Any files that get modified, or added in the last hour get backed up every hour, without the need for a full system image (which can take a while).  Most of the time, the backup only takes a few seconds). 

I prefer the commercial software (I use backup execs (now Symantec) desktop/laptop option at work) which backs up and does versioning as soon as a file is saved.  WELL worth the cost.


Know of anything like that for linux? I'm about to put together a cluster of workstations between my bedroom, attic, and garage shop, along with a dedicated file server so I can toss schematics out to the garage or forge/foundry shop wirelessly. It'd be nice to be able to set it and forget it.

Does SubVersion do that? IIRC, it was originally built for distributed/collaborative code development, but sounds like a similar feature set.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 07:39:18 PM »
I haven't worked with any backup products for Linux (Still just getting my feet wet playing on some VM's with various distros and the Puppy project) but I think a distributed file system would be your best bet in that instance.  Either that or a simpler server/client setup with just system images running at set intervals and scheduled file backups (From the share directories) back and forth between the machines.

I once set up a horse stable/vets office like this with windows.  They had 5 computers.  I just added an Hard Drive to each computer, and then did a round robin share backup where A backed up to B, B to C, C to D, D to E and E to A.  Then there was a single share directory that a batch file kicked off by the A machine using some freebe scheduler program, would copy file updates from the main share (Which was only licensed to software on the A machine) to the other machines (For reading xray Jpegs and other static documents).  It was the first "Real" consulting job I did.  The whole project cost them 3 hours of my time (cheap at $35 an hour) and 5 $40 hard drives.  That was 7 or 8 years ago and they ran that system up until last year when they upgraded some of the software to a multi licensed Client/Server version and went ahead and spent the money to put in a real server.




Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 07:44:57 PM »
The server geeks set this up for some servers at work http://www.opennet.ru/dev/fsbackup/index_eng.shtml

might be worth checking out

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 07:50:18 PM »
Ohhhhh I like that.  I use FBACKUP for free server backup and it works pretty slick but lacks some of the synchronization features i'm looking for.  I'll have to download and play with this.

Thanks


Offline CyborgX

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 06:39:00 AM »
I forgot to mention the other day that I also back up some of my data online, through Ubuntu One. "Ubuntu One is your personal cloud. You can use it to back up, store, sync and share your data with other Ubuntu One users." It comes in pretty handy, and I can access my files without being inside of Ubuntu.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 08:16:59 AM »
I'm probably a little paranoid, but I just don't like storing my files online.  I'm lucky that I have 10 Meg high speed connections at home and at work with a an SSL VPN.  I back up my most critical home files off the NAS device to a SAN at work. (Which also gets duped to a backup SAN at another offsite location). 

Kind of my own personal cloud network LOL,  I may lose programs and have to reinstall, but I will not lose critical files and data.  (I'm working on a Terminal Service project with a server at home (Hopefully have it done int he next couple of months) so that all applications run from a single install (Simplify imaging since i'd only need to image the server) and distribute the storage on the server and on the NAS for redundancy, and still back it up to my SAN at work.  Using VNC connections from cheap Linux terminals to access data and its all good.  Only problem is my love of Microsoft Office applications.  I'm slowly weening myself off to open source, but I have so much knowledge embedded in it and so many people still use it that I have to keep on top of it to survive in the wild.

I just don't play games enough any more to need a dedicated videocard in a workstation for running games.  Only thing I'd still need a real machine for is video editing and re-encoding.  My Dell M6400 Covet handles that fairly well for a portable workstation/Laptop, but I may still keep 1 high end machine around strictly for video.

Offline CyborgX

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 08:34:07 AM »
I haven't gotten to the point where I trust online storage with my sensitive documents, but I do use it to store files that I like to keep in common with all of my computers, such as my wallpaper collection, as well as my collection of scanned comics of The Tick. There are a few other things in there, but nothing terribly important.

I'd like to get a dedicated server to host all of my music and video files. None of those are sensitive in any way, but I do wish to have an additional backup of them since it's taken a long time to amass a collection such as the one I have.

Offline archer

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 10:25:25 AM »
for between linux servers, I'd use rsync. I use rsync to backup key files/databases at work. Rsync can work over a ssh shell so it can copy files between servers over the 'net. Rsync can also be used to copy between 2 local directories/disks.

Offline mckeyes

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2010, 11:47:29 AM »
Don't rely too heavily on DVD/CD discs for backups. They do have a lifespan. I lost many files that were burned onto a CD. After about 5 years the disc was blank and it was not human error of mixing up discs with a blank one.

There are many online storage places that are free. Using Google Docs you can now upload any file for storage and probably has the largest free storage space. Dropbox is free up to 2 GB.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2010, 12:10:26 PM »
Don't rely too heavily on DVD/CD discs for backups. They do have a lifespan. I lost many files that were burned onto a CD. After about 5 years the disc was blank and it was not human error of mixing up discs with a blank one.

There are many online storage places that are free. Using Google Docs you can now upload any file for storage and probably has the largest free storage space. Dropbox is free up to 2 GB.



* It is very important that you store your disks in a 100% dark environment such as the firesafe I recommend.
* Store your disks upright or book style. You should use an organization system such as the one I linked to. NEVER store discs lying down.
* don't buy the cheapest DVDs!! this is probably the most important. http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm




2GB is like one vacation for me in digital photos and especially HD video, so paid options are pretty much the only option.

For $5 a month you could use a service like http://www.elephantdrive.com/

I might sign up and give it a try... if I do I'll report back
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 12:13:13 PM by ladieu »

Offline idelphic

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2010, 07:05:38 PM »
for the last few years, I have been using Cobian Backup.  It will password the zip file, then blowfish or AES encrypt it.. It's a off site back up, and I ship my files to my hosted web site.  I don't back up much,..  but it's been good so far.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2010, 07:22:19 PM »
I use syncback myself for daily backups.   What is a decent, cheap, imaging software?  What kind of compression do these provide?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2010, 08:01:00 PM »
http://download.cnet.com/DriveImage-XML/3000-2242_4-10443230.html

Driveimage XML is what I have been playing with latley,  Pretty full featured.

I also love that it works as a windows PE image so you can kind of make your own windows image and restore boot CD.


Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »
@Rayh059  - i'm not sure what you consider cheap. The software I recommend is shadowprotect. It offers encryption and compression and is $80. What type of compression? I'm not really sure as I don't use it but I will try to find out.

Offline CyborgX

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2010, 06:36:32 AM »
http://download.cnet.com/DriveImage-XML/3000-2242_4-10443230.html

Driveimage XML is what I have been playing with latley,  Pretty full featured.

I also love that it works as a windows PE image so you can kind of make your own windows image and restore boot CD.


Ooh, yes! I've been looking for something like this recently.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2010, 07:33:35 PM »
This, and the bootable USB thread, are the two most drool-inducing threads I've read in a while.

+1.

I totally need to reformat and reinstall windows and linux on this laptop before it augers in. When I do that, I'll be imaging it.


Offline ShadowPeo

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2010, 09:43:35 PM »
+1 For ShadowProtect I use it all the time at work and it has saved more clients that I care to remember and all servers we implement now along with critical workstations all come with ShadowProtect if the client does not want it they are welcome to take it out however with it we guarantee restore times. We use rsync for linux also. Also on the topic of online backup, I personally and several clients all use backblaze.com.

Offline ladieu

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2010, 01:14:28 PM »
Hello followers of this thread... I just wanted to point something out which my wife found today

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/technology/personaltech/11pogue-email.html?8cir&emc=cira1

I'll be setting this up for her to share information with her netbook and laptop... also another backup source and free if you are using windows!

-Nick

Offline evilphish

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Re: Digital Prepping: - How to create a highly redundant backup system
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2010, 01:42:41 PM »
my network "core" consists of a super micro server with sata drives in a raid 5 giving me about 3terrabytes of storage

Ups is a Triplight 1500kva, cant remember the model.

backup media are 5 external usb drives that are rotated daily.  one always kept off site in my office safe.  I'm running backup exec as my backup software, fulls go off every weekend, with daily diffs.

I also have an external Dat72 I use acronis to take monthly images of all my machines system drives and those tapes are taken to my saftey deposit box (damn you iron mountain for being to expensive)

This server provides AD, runs the trend officescan console, exchange, vmware server and network file storage

 it also has an extra nic hooked to a port mirrored switch port, I run wireshark on that constantly.

and another nic dedicated to a vmware net-top vm

Wireless is provided by a dlink DWl-3200AP, two SSID's a "guest" which is broadcasted and only has access to the internet, and the internal for the lappies that is not broadcast,

and yes I have no life.