Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Data Backups

I'm a bit obsessive about backups, I suppose ever since I did FORMAT C: instead of FORMAT A: when I was in work about 10 years ago. My C Drive at the time was only 2GB but I always have backups of my data now.

In work we use SourceSafe and I also backup my important directories (about 10 of them) to someone else's PC at 1.15PM every day. This is a scheduled task, and I'm normally at lunch at that time. I use ROBOCOPY which is a Microsoft command line tool which is similar to XCOPY but it has many more features and is more reliable. I use the /MIR which copies all files and subdirectorys and /R:0 which skips any files which are open.
We also have a tape backup which runs nightly and backs up SQL, Sourcesafe and any network folders so I'm pretty much covered for backups in work.

At home I have:
1. Approx. 300MB of personal files, documents etc. It's held on an encrypted partition using TrueCrypt. This is backed up using mozy.com, the free edition which allows 2GB of data. This backup is run on an ad-hoc basis - normally every 1-2 days.
2. Approx 40GB of music, video and pictures - this is held on a USB Hard Drive. Every month I bring the drive to work and copy it's contents to a PC in work.

This works for me but it isn't ideal for the following reasons:
a. Everything isn't automatically backed up. For 1. I can't do scheduled backups in case the TrueCrpyt parition isn't mounted because if it isn't Mozy thinks I've deleted my data and also deletes the backup too. For 2. the worst I can lose is a months worth of new data.
b. Version Control/Deleted Files. For 1. if files are deleted they'll also be deleted from the backup, and if a file is modified the original will be lost. For 2. any deleted files will be lost once I update the backup at work.

I did try Dropbox. but all it does is synchronizes a folder to the online version and the folder path is hard-coded. Good for some things but not for me.

A guy in work is using Cucku Backup which keeps copies at other locations, i.e. all my home data can be copied to work in real time. The backup is encrypted too so. I'll try this soon I think.

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