Disk Dock

After having a couple of hard disks do slightly wobbly things recently, I’ve been thinking about backups again, and have just treated myself to a Drobo – a wonderful, if somewhat pricey gadget. Storage Supplies had the best UK pricing I could find for the Firewire version, if anyone else is considering one…

This device looks like an interesting option for making backups to be taken offsite, though:

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….and how do you backup (or mirror) your Drobo?

A good question!

Well, in fact, I’m less worried about backing up the Drobo because it’s much less likely to fail than a standard drive. In addition, the old Drobos, at least, were remarkable for everything but speed, so I’ve been thinking that I might use this more as a time-machine archival backup of my other drives than as a normal day-to-day working drive.

However, I do still need to think about fire, theft, or accidental erasure of the contents, which is why taking a terabyte or so off-site from time to time might be a good policy. The other option is to make sure my backups are somewhere close enough that I can update them over a reasonably fast network but far enough away that in the case of one of the above disasters, the backup is unlikely to be stolen or reduced to ashes. For me, that may mean running power and ethernet to my garden shed!

I’m still thinking about this one 🙂

No don’t laugh, but a very good machine for backup (including Macs?) is a Windows Home Server machine. They can be purchased for around the same price as a Drobo and similarly protect your data across multiple volumes. Coupled with block based online backup via Jungle Disk it makes a good solution. I am about to install one at the factory. I think I paid approx £375 for a low-power Fujitsu Scaleo including 2 x 500Gb disks.

> For me, that may mean running power and ethernet to my garden shed!

Heh, I already keep DVD backups of my photo collection in my shed (90 feet from my house). The shed has power already; perhaps I should add ethernet? In future years this will become easier with SSDs, when they reach 500GB or more. You could have RAIDed SSDs running on a silent backup server not much larger than a pack of cards.

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser