Data Backups / Protection and Long Term Storage

Discussion in 'Bat Cave' started by trs96, May 30, 2018.

  1. trs96

    trs96 Moderator

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    May 30, 2018 at 12:47 PM #1
    trs96

    trs96 Moderator

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    This is a very long and detailed discussion of these topics. It targets Mac users but applies to anyone with any operating system.
    Give it a read. I'm sure you'll learn something new from this. Here's one quote from the article:

    Hard drives aren't prone to failure…hard drives are guaranteed to fail (the very same is true of SSD). Hard drives don't die when aged, hard drives die at any age, and peak in death when young and slowly increase in risk as they age.

    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-6031

    Here's a related article about failures of the Sata bridge in external HDDs.
    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-6121

    I guess the old saying "Have a plan or plan to fail" applies to data backup and storage as well as most things in life.

    The one fault I can find is that the author downplays using cloud based storage. I don't really think security is an issue if you are using a service like Google Drive and have complex and secure passwords in place. The redundancy provided by Google cloud backups or "Drive" is second to none. Your data in completely safe even if one or more of their data centers were to be destroyed in a natural or other man made disaster. You get 15 GB of free storage and an unlimited number of Google accounts if you need more for your most important data. Just make sure to create long and complex passwords and store them in a password manager application that has a long and complex password itself. Dashlane or 1Password are two good choices.

    Read the article and comment below on what you think about this topic.

    111.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  2. pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2018 at 1:35 PM #2
    pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    I disagree with the first article's views on Cloud and NAS. The person who wrote that is ridiculously paranoid and must have a ton of drives sitting around all over his/her home.

    I have been using a NAS consisting of a total of 8 drives. I have it set up for dual disk redundancy. This protects my data in the event that up to two drives fail at the same time. As long as I replace failed drives quickly, I'm confident I will not lose any data. The odds that 3 out of the 8 drives fail at the same time are really very high. The only way I see that ever happening is if something physically happens to the drives, i.e. fire or flood, etc.

    That being said, I've survived 9-11 and Hurricane Sandy. I'm close enough that my apartment was shaking when the towers came down and when Hurricane Sandy hit, we were without power for over a week. Still, I lost zero data. When the power returned, the initial jolt killed my UPS but everything behind the UPS was undamaged.

    In my opinion, if you use NAS and Cloud for off site backup, the odds of losing data are next to nil.
     
    trs96 likes this.
  3. UtterDisbelief

    UtterDisbelief

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    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:00 PM #3
    UtterDisbelief

    UtterDisbelief

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    Wow, well that was some reading. Interesting though...

    I'm not an 'expert' on such things but I can't agree with the article's author (same for both articles) on a lot of things. This isn't because I know more, just that I have some useful experience (as I know @pastrychef and @trs96 have too) and don't want to jump just because someone else says jump, without thinking first.

    First up. My first proper external USB HD was a Western Digital MyBook Elements. A 3.5" 250MB model I bought in 2004. No, I don't store anything vital on it now, just an extra backup of videos and music. It still works fine despite having needed many data-rescues using TestDisk due to Windows/Mac corruption over the years. I class these problems as software rather than a fault in any hardware. Mostly avoidable by simply sticking to one OS and not mixing things up. My bad.

    As an aside, believe it or not my first ever hard-disk was a BASF 10MB (!!!) Full-Height 5.25" drive that cost something like $2000 way back when. However I bought it second hand from my employer otherwise such a thing was only a pipe-dream for me. It was slow (made a gentle tinkling sound which was very tuneful), but faster than floppies, reliable enough and needed a power-station of its own to run. It was hot too.

    In comparison modern HDs are cool, frugal with power and superbly reliable. Yes, don't drop them. Always unmount and let them park before moving them. Sense. Agreed.

    As for the SATA-USB 'bridge', I took apart a WD 2.5" external USB HD and the USB circuit is hard-wired to the main board. No obvious bridge unit. Other recent similar drives too (I have about 5). Perhaps this is the more modern way etc., some ULA that incorporates everything needed.

    Rotating backups is a good idea too, but lets not go crazy. TimeMachine and the like can keep track of everything, but personally I only need very regular mirroring of documents and data when changed, not all apps and OS too. This leads to actually very small amounts of transient data needing to be protected. Relatively anyway. We know only too well here frequenting tonymacx86, that installing from scratch takes less than half-an-our in most cases. The only fly in this ointment can be software activations. Data and documents I back-up to rotational memory-sticks.

    I didn't like the idea of storage HDs either. Passive ones I think the author called them. HDs work well and better when data is regularly 'refreshed'. Just leaving magnetic data to sit untouched by read/write heads will allow it to go 'soft' so to speak. Entropy.

    Recent research seems to give non-M-Disk DVDs 5-years static storage life, HDs something like 7 (assuming refreshed every now and then?) and flash-drives 8+. Recently I used two old data DVDs to scare birds off my garden. I tied them to sticks using string and let the wind make them rotate and flash etc. After a month I figured I'd try them back in my PC to see if they were still readable. Nope. They were blank. The sun had wiped them. Being coated with opto-reactive dyes means lasers can read and write to DVD-R but bright light in general can erase them completely.

    To keep this shorter than I feel it could get (!) I'd better wrap up with Cloud storage. My personal way is to encrypt everything before transmission across to servers. I often encrypt a ZIP and send that. Agree with @pastrychef , the data will be as safe as locked in a safe, chained to my house foundations. Safer probably due to servers being all over the world. What's more I can access it from anywhere with Internet access. What's not to like? Well using it indiscriminately or allowing anyone else access - the weakest link is carelessness.

    Not sure I presented a great argument or rebuttal, but I still feel the author's two articles verged on paranoia beyond what was realistic. More of a show-of-force than sensible guidance.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018 at 8:06 PM
  4. pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:19 PM #4
    pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    I think my first hard drive was a CDC (Control Data Corp?) 5.25" full hight. I think it was either a 10MB or 40MB... My memory fails me...

    I'm pretty certain that my second was a Connor.
     
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  5. zipb

    zipb

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    Jun 19, 2018 at 9:20 PM #5
    zipb

    zipb

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    What do you do if your house burns down? Your NAS will go up in flames too. Or if someone breaks in and decides your NAS looks valuable too, and steals hack & NAS?

    I think everyone needs off site copies(drives) of important stuff. Cloud is way too slow and expensive, if you need to restore 6 TB(that's the amount of data I have now) it will take months.

    I use a NAS, and off site hard drives, and the cloud.

    My first hard drive was a 650 MB 19-inch SCSI unit. It costed $6000, I think. People came over to see such a huge drive...
    Floppies and 40/80 MB drives were the norm back then.
     
  6. pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2018 at 9:32 PM #6
    pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    I'd probably burn with the drives. If someone tries to rob me, he/she will have to kill me first.

    Read what I said, "In my opinion, if you use NAS and Cloud for off site backup, the odds of losing data are next to nil."
     
  7. zipb

    zipb

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    Jun 19, 2018 at 9:45 PM #7
    zipb

    zipb

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    Or ransomware... A colleague of mine was waiting for an email, he opened the wrong one, his PC got locked in minutes, plus the the attached small business server with all the companies data took a hit(could have been a NAS), but we were able to restore it because of off site backups...
     
  8. pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    Jun 20, 2018 at 4:32 AM #8
    pastrychef

    pastrychef Moderator

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    While we are conjuring up extremely unlikely doomsday scenarios, let's not forget the possibility of an alien attack on all data centers with photon torpedos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018 at 4:39 AM
  9. UtterDisbelief

    UtterDisbelief

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    Jun 20, 2018 at 8:40 AM #9
    UtterDisbelief

    UtterDisbelief

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    Yes, people forget a Full Height drive was the size of two DVD optical drives, one sitting on top of the other, but as @zipb hints earlier ones were larger still and sat on the floor in a huge case. I got a real kick the other day when I picked-up a 32GB Sandisk wireless memory-stick on sale for $10/£10. Such a lot of useful tech in so small a package. Less likely to be damaged and I can carry so much data with me (if I want to) and access it with just about any device.

    :)
     
  10. zipb

    zipb

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    Jun 20, 2018 at 9:09 AM #10
    zipb

    zipb

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    And easily loose it in the pub. Or strong winds blow it away. The hamster ate it. CF card format is small enough for me.
     

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