Backup Simplified

A simplified approach to backup for the SMB/Home Office

Background

I have approximately 4 TB of data that I feel I need to protect. This is made up of professional and personal files. Those files are videos (ripped from the family collection of DVDs and music and photos from the last decade and a half of digital photography.  There’s also a large volume of Visio, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Cad, ISO, JPEG, etc.

Some time ago I had to put my backup plan to a live test. A hard drive failed and took with it all my personal photos. Not to worry I was backing up with a cloud service. Since the amount of data was large, they overnighted a USB hard drive to better enable the restore.  Since then, my DLP has changed to enable a quicker recovery and faster backup of the data. I’ve adopted the mindset that my data isn’t really backed up unless it is fully replicated in two places.

Here’s how I currently do things:

Primary Store and Local Store

I store everything in OneDrive.  OneDrive offers massive amounts of cloud based storage for relatively little amounts of dollars.  And since I’ve drank the Microsoft cool aid and utilize their ecosystem, it works for me across all my devices (phone, iPad, PCs, laptops, etc.).  My personal files are stored in OneDrive the consumer version where I have unlimited storage.  The work data is stored in OneDrive for business.  While this is the primary location for the data, I do keep all the data offline on my primary computer in my home office.

First Backup

For the primary backup I use Crashplan, which is a cloud service.  The first time this backup was made it took quite a bit of time.  Now only file changes are synchronized and they are done nearly instantly.  I find that Crashplan is fully capable of handling my needs.  It encrypts data during transport and at rest on their servers.  It also enables you to backup your data to a local drive from the same application.  I use this to make my second backup.

Second Backup

I don’t consider myself fully backed up unless I have my data in two locations.  I again use Crashplan to make this encrypted backup to a local USB drive. Currently this drive is external, but as drives are known to fail, I tend to move this around on roughly an annual basis.

Closing

Because storage media (hard disk, flash, SSD) is so cheap and that losing any or your personal or professional data could be a catastrophic event, I’ve found that the few extra dollars could save me from losing an important work document or a precious family photo.  Take the time to do protect yourself.

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