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Old 04-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
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Did you back up your data today?


As somebody who works in IT, as well as somebody who's been "that guy" before who lost everything when I placed an "all-in" bet on hoping my hard drive wouldn't fail on me, I've become quite religious about doing backups. But that doesn't mean I sit there and watch the clock and run some magical scripts at specific times. I just set up certain applications to do the job for me.

At my parent's house, I set up an old computer with a large hard drive to act as a backup server running Linux. Thanks to some backup software (Syncback Free Edition on Windows, and Deja Dup along with rsync for Linux), I was able to accomplish that task rather easily. Every day at 7 PM their personal data gets synchronized to the backup server. You could make it easy and let the server run all day, but I wanted to be a little greener and/or more complicated, so I set it up with a surge strip with a timed outlet. After all, it's only needed 1 hour of the day and serves no purpose for the other 23 hours, why use the energy?

Outlet Operation:
6:50 PM - Surge strip kicks on port which turns on the server thanks to a BIOS setting that allows the computer to turn on when power is active.
7:00 PM - All clients back up automatically with no user input.
8:00 PM - Server is set to shut down on its own.
11:59 PM - Power to the port is cut off, which gives me time to remote in, lift the 8 PM shutoff for that day and update it with no power interruptions.

At home here with my fiance, it's the exact same scenario, except my server runs 247 because I use it for far more than simply backups. All of our systems back up to it daily.

Now, don't go thinking you need to invest in some sort of a backup server like I did. I just used old computers that I had sitting around to fill in that gap. But I'd like to be a squeaky wheel and remind everybody, back your stuff up, somehow. If your family pictures are worth a damn to you, pop in a blank DVD or plug in an external hard drive and get that data replicated somewhere else for redundancy. I just wanted a continual worry-free solution, and the backup server filled that exact gap.

Happy Backups!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
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Did you back up your data today?


roasted
Thanks for some useful info; and, a timely "reminder"!

rossfingal

(I get very, tired of telling everyone I know - BACK-UP!!)
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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Did you back up your data today?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rossfingal View Post
(I get very, tired of telling everyone I know - BACK-UP!!)
I hear ya... that's why I went the automated route. I like not having to worry about things like that. I just like it to... do. Every now and then I'll SSH into the backup server at my parent's house and run a command to check the date stamps on any data that changed. So far, I've had no issues with it. I could probably set up email notification so if it fails, I get notified, but meh... so far it's been pretty bulletproof.

My fiance's system uses SyncBack Free Edition right now, but she's had some continued issues with XP on her laptop, so we'll be converting her to Ubuntu tonight, at which point I'll likely use Deja Dup. Since my server runs all of the time, Deja Dup is nice since it runs whenever it wants, as long as it's at least once a day/week/month/whatever you set it to. I wasn't able to utilize Deja Dup at my parent's because of only wanting the backup server to be up 1 hour a day, which is why I just went the rsync route and cron'd it to run at 7 PM every day. But hey, there again, no issues. Deja Dup is based on Duplicity, which is based on rsync, so I knew the program using rsync as a foundation was a solid way to go. The differences between the two were about scheduling, which I had to choose accordingly for what I was after in each scenario.

Instead of the server route, one could also get an external hard drive that's network based. Those things are crazy nice for basic home networking backups. I do far more from my "backup server" than just house backups. I also run ZoneMinder (home security surveillance) along with web hosting, etc., so I needed the full blown sha-bang. But if I just needed something to run backups, a network based external hard drive would undoubtedly be awesome. A lot of routers these days also come with a USB port, which would be super nice to plug in a regular USB drive and run that as the backup location as well. Tons of options out there.

For you Windows users out there, if you want a crazy simple utility that doesn't support scheduling but just requires you to open the program and hit "go" (after it's set up, of course) SyncToy is a pretty neat little utility for that.

Different tools for different situations... just have to pick accordingly!

Last edited by roasted; 04-30-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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Did you back up your data today?


Good info!
Thanks!
"RF"
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