Backup question

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by News, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. News

    News Guest

    Ive got a 120G harddrive with about 40G worth of files for my photography /
    graphics files. These are very important to me. I use Retrospect to guard
    against problems, but obviously need a backup to another drive or archive on
    CD-ROM.

    I am a student also, so cost per MB is important too.

    Could I get some advice on best way to store a copy of these files...
    external HD, CD-Rom, or other drive? Cost of storage is important, as I
    stated.

    Thanks.
    -David
    News, Jun 28, 2005
    #1
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  2. News

    nemo_outis Guest

    "News" <> wrote in news:d9rkbd$9k7$:

    > Ive got a 120G harddrive with about 40G worth of files for my
    > photography / graphics files. These are very important to me. I use
    > Retrospect to guard against problems, but obviously need a backup to
    > another drive or archive on CD-ROM.
    >
    > I am a student also, so cost per MB is important too.
    >
    > Could I get some advice on best way to store a copy of these files...
    > external HD, CD-Rom, or other drive? Cost of storage is important, as
    > I stated.
    >
    > Thanks.
    > -David
    >


    You must really be hard up for cash :) The most expensive solution, a 40
    Gig hard drive, is worth less than $40. CDs (say a 50-pack plus a few)
    could cost as little as $5 (although I would recommend instead buying top-
    quality rather than no-name generic media at perhaps triple the cost). If
    you already have the burner DVDs might be a better choice (less risk of
    technological obsolescence than CDs).

    In any case I recommend you store the backup offsite (relative, etc.) to
    eliminate risks from fire, flood, etc.

    Regards,
    nemo_outis, Jun 28, 2005
    #2
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  3. News

    Bowgus Guest

    Have a buddy (with a DVD burner) burn them to DVD for you (10 DVDs, $20 cdn
    ???). Or, pick up a burner (about $50 cdn, LG) and 10 DVDs ($20 cdn???) and
    do it yourself.

    > Could I get some advice on best way to store a copy of these files...
    > external HD, CD-Rom, or other drive? Cost of storage is important, as I
    > stated.
    Bowgus, Jun 28, 2005
    #3
  4. News

    Moe Trin Guest

    In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <d9rkbd$9k7$>, News wrote:

    >Ive got a 120G harddrive with about 40G worth of files for my photography /
    >graphics files. These are very important to me.


    "How important are they?" Translation - what is it worth to you? Side
    question, what are you guarding against? Hardware failure? Software failure?
    Theft? Fire/Flood/Earthquake? Fumbling fingers?

    >I use Retrospect to guard against problems, but obviously need a backup
    >to another drive or archive on CD-ROM.


    40 Gigs can't be shoehorned into a CD-ROM. How often do these files change?

    >I am a student also, so cost per MB is important too.


    What are you guarding against? At the least, you would want a removable
    media of sufficient capacity (so that it can be elsewhere when your main
    computer is crushed by stampeding yaks). Thing is, 120 Gig capacity is
    huge, and even 40 Gigs is going to be expensive. Tape drives of suitable
    capacity (DDS/4 mm can do 20 Gigs normal "40 Gigs" compressed - the later
    unlikely if the data is already in a compressed format) are very expensive,
    but we've had good luck with Seagates. DLTs are even more expensive, but
    the media is "comparable" in cost. Avoid Travan drives - reliability.

    For a home user WHO IS SKILLED with hardware, a reasonable solution might
    be to TEMPORARILY install a second hard drive of suitable capacity, and
    copy the files to that drive, then remove it and store it in "a safe place".
    The TWO problems with that is the risk of constant fiddling with the disk
    and guts of the computers, AND the fact that the connectors have a finite
    life (admittedly measured in the hundreds of mate/demate cycles).

    If not skilled with hardware, another solution would be to obtain a small
    cheap computer with that large drive, and Ethernet cards for both the main
    and this backup computer. Bring the backup out of storage, connect it to the
    other computer, do a net copy, then back into safe storage she goes.

    What ever you do, verify that your backup program is actually creating
    backups that you can restore. You wouldn't be the first person who
    _thought_ they had backups.

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Jun 29, 2005
    #4
  5. News

    Phil Guest

    Moe Trin wrote:

    > For a home user WHO IS SKILLED with hardware, a reasonable solution might
    > be to TEMPORARILY install a second hard drive of suitable capacity, and
    > copy the files to that drive, then remove it and store it in "a safe
    > place". The TWO problems with that is the risk of constant fiddling with
    > the disk
    > and guts of the computers, AND the fact that the connectors have a finite
    > life (admittedly measured in the hundreds of mate/demate cycles).


    Actually, a USB or Firewire external hard drive is fairly cheap (per Mb),
    easy to connect when needed (just plug it in - no skills required) and easy
    to replace should *it* go wrong. The chances of both your main drive and
    the external drive failing at the same time is remote (though not
    impossible if caused by, say, a nearby lightning strike - I speak from
    experience). Also, such drives are small enough that you can easily store
    the thing off-site should you want only to do, say, weekly backups.

    I'm currently implementing backup for my Mac (which holds around 50Gb of
    digital photos). My solution is 2 USB hard drives. One stays connected to
    the machine which uses a cron job to copy everything from my home dir to
    the hard drive overnight. Once a week or once a fortnight, this external
    drive gets swapped with one stored at a friend's house just down the road
    (so if we get a flood or earthquake then I'm fucked - but as we live on a
    hill in Normandy, both are unlikely). However, all the original versions of
    my images are also stored on two DVDs.
    Phil, Jun 29, 2005
    #5
  6. In article <> you wrote:
    > In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    > <d9rkbd$9k7$>, News wrote:
    >
    >>Ive got a 120G harddrive with about 40G worth of files for my photography /
    >>graphics files. These are very important to me.

    >
    > "How important are they?" Translation - what is it worth to you? Side
    > question, what are you guarding against? Hardware failure? Software failure?
    > Theft? Fire/Flood/Earthquake? Fumbling fingers?
    >
    >>I use Retrospect to guard against problems, but obviously need a backup
    >>to another drive or archive on CD-ROM.

    >
    > 40 Gigs can't be shoehorned into a CD-ROM. How often do these files change?
    >
    >>I am a student also, so cost per MB is important too.

    >
    > What are you guarding against? At the least, you would want a removable
    > media of sufficient capacity (so that it can be elsewhere when your main
    > computer is crushed by stampeding yaks). Thing is, 120 Gig capacity is
    > huge, and even 40 Gigs is going to be expensive. Tape drives of suitable
    > capacity (DDS/4 mm can do 20 Gigs normal "40 Gigs" compressed - the later
    > unlikely if the data is already in a compressed format) are very expensive,
    > but we've had good luck with Seagates. DLTs are even more expensive, but
    > the media is "comparable" in cost. Avoid Travan drives - reliability.


    I'm going to assume you want reliable offsite storage.

    Tapes are a good solution if you do a *lot* of backups - the cost per GB
    of storage is about as good as you can get .

    If you are willing to buy tape drives from eBay and the like, though,
    prices can be pretty acceptable. Think $ 40 for a SCSI adapter (if you
    do not have it already), $ 70 for a DDS-2 drive (4 GB/tape, '8 GB
    compressed') and something like $5 a tape. Which, according to vendor
    specs, can be reused 100 times [and, if you're willing to take the
    chance, will probably last quite a bit longer]. That's pretty close to $
    0.01 a GB, excluding initial costs, guaranteed to retain data for 10
    years. [If you're willing to shell out more for a tape drive, this cost
    will be even lower, as tapes are pretty much the same cost regardless of
    capacity, up to DLT at least.]

    The initial cost is worth considering, but not too high to be feasible.
    The *other* thing worth considering that backups to tape are most useful
    if you can read the tape somewhere after your main computer has been
    thoroughly destroyed by, for example, stampeding yaks. You should also
    consider getting some tapes with better capacity, as the above solution
    would require about 10 tapes. (Universities may have this capacity; ask
    your local operator. If you're really lucky, they might also be dumping
    tape drives...)

    Burning to CD is easy, but not a good long-term solution - it's
    inconvenient, as it'll take about 15 CD's to do a full backup, and CD-Rs
    are hideously expensive (close to $ 1 a GB, if you're willing to store
    them on a spindle and use no-name media). They are also not likely to
    be readable after ten years, especially if mistreated (as they are wont
    to be, if you're anything like me).
    CD-RW's are less expensive, a couple of $$$ per (re-usable) disk, but
    are not exactly reliable, especially when re-used often. This makes them
    less suitable for backups. [I dislike them, partly for no good reason,
    so do not take this at face value. A lot of people happily back up to
    CD-RW, and presumably those backups remain restorable...]
    CD-writers can be had for about $ 50, and the drive will read CD and DVD
    media at that price.

    Burning to DVD is more convenient, but DVD writers are expensive. The
    initial cost is in the 'tape' ballpark, and the cost in the 'CD-R'
    ballpark. That being said, this isn't too inconvenient and DVD's are
    likely to be readable everywhere.

    External hard drives are another option, but aren't exactly 'removable
    media' - the main effect of which is that, though you *could* place them
    offsite, you likely won't. The cost is a few $$$ a GB; they are
    pretty much infinitely reusable. Reading them should be possible on
    newer machines, after some fiddling.

    The last option, of course, is to get the cheapest computer you can
    find, put a decent 40 or 80 GB drive in it, and synchronize data
    nightly. Place it somewhere it'll not be bothered too much, and be sure
    to use encryption while sending your stuff over the net. You should be
    able to get the computer for free by asking around, so this will just
    cost you a single drive and some time. Be sure to place it with a friend
    or somesuch. You might want to look into rsync, or some rsync-derivative
    that will keep old data around for a while. This is cheap, but data will
    only be kept for a couple of weeks and it'll take you a while to
    assemble a stack of CD's or tapes as large as a computer. Or noisy...

    I have, personally, used CD's for a couple of backups, as that's what
    was available, but cringed at the cost and made far too little backups.
    I own an ancient 1/2 GB /tape tape drive, which I plan to use for
    incrementals (and possibly the full backup as well) as soon as the
    system it's attached to becomes stable (currently being installed). If
    this works out, I intend to purchase a slightly more modern tape drive.
    My personal backups take about 12 GB (after compression) for a full
    backup, and are likely to be 15-20 GB for a full backup plus a month's
    incrementals. A DDS-2 or DDS-3 drive seems reasonable.

    My students' association, for which I manage the computers, has close to
    the same storage requirements, but those are expected to grow. It was
    decided to use DVDs here, as backups should be readable without special
    knowledge or hardware. There are plans to mirror data accross redundant
    servers, which would also take care of part of the backup problem
    (notably, head crashes, which are not unlikely given the quality of
    hardware I'm forced to work with - in fact, we've had one hard drive
    stop functioning already. After it had cooled down, we were able to
    restore the data on the disk in apparently good condition; the system
    portion was restored from backups).

    In both cases, nightly backups are written to an internal disk. Those
    are not intended to guard against disaster, but are quite useful in case
    of an operator error. Yes, I've used them (after 'chown -R root:root /',
    'rm -rf /var/someimportantdir', editing configuration files into
    un-usability, or removing important personal data).

    In all cases, get some decent backup software that will let you do
    incremental backups.

    Joachim
    Joachim Schipper, Jun 29, 2005
    #6
  7. On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 08:46:21 -0500, "News" <> wrote:

    >Ive got a 120G harddrive with about 40G worth of files for my photography /
    >graphics files. These are very important to me. I use Retrospect to guard
    >against problems, but obviously need a backup to another drive or archive on
    >CD-ROM.
    >
    >I am a student also, so cost per MB is important too.
    >
    >Could I get some advice on best way to store a copy of these files...
    >external HD, CD-Rom, or other drive? Cost of storage is important, as I
    >stated.
    >

    I'd go for a hard drive in a removable caddy.
    Caddies can be bought for as little as £10 off ebay - or you could
    splash out on a posh one ( though in my experience they both use the
    same connectors..a modified printer socket..and that's the weakest
    link ).
    A 60Gb hard drive won't cost too much, and would provide spare
    capacity ( for system backups or images via something like Norton
    Ghost ).

    The chief drawback with this system is the relative fragility of hard
    drives - so that means you can't afford to drop the caddy from any
    great height.

    It's a system I've been using for many years now without incident.

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
    Stephen Howard, Jun 29, 2005
    #7
  8. News

    Moe Trin Guest

    In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <42c2755e$0$14024$>, Joachim Schipper wrote:

    >I'm going to assume you want reliable offsite storage.


    Well, "reliable" should be a given - "offsite storage" is desired if
    you want to protect against dangers that might take out the local area,
    whether fire, flood, storm, earthquake, or that rampaging herd of
    rabid yaks.

    >Tapes are a good solution if you do a *lot* of backups - the cost per GB
    >of storage is about as good as you can get .


    and given reasonable care and preventive maintenance, they are fairly
    reliable.

    >If you are willing to buy tape drives from eBay and the like, though,
    >prices can be pretty acceptable. Think $ 40 for a SCSI adapter (if you
    >do not have it already), $ 70 for a DDS-2 drive (4 GB/tape, '8 GB
    >compressed') and something like $5 a tape.


    I'd be more than a little nervous buying discarded drives on eBay. While
    there are people who buy the very latest gizmo because it's the very latest,
    most people replace hardware when it's no longer adequate for their needs
    or when it's starting to get expensive to maintain. That's how I got 3
    Exabyte 8505s. I kept them for 18 months before I couldn't afford to
    repair them.

    >The *other* thing worth considering that backups to tape are most useful
    >if you can read the tape somewhere after your main computer has been
    >thoroughly destroyed by, for example, stampeding yaks.


    Yes - there have been many horror stories like that. Don't forget NASA
    with an enormous tape library, and in some cases, no working tape drives
    left that can read those old data tapes. I ran into that buzz-saw in
    1983.

    >Burning to CD is easy, but not a good long-term solution - it's
    >inconvenient, as it'll take about 15 CD's to do a full backup, and CD-Rs
    >are hideously expensive


    Well, they're better than QIC, but that's not saying much.

    >[I dislike them, partly for no good reason, so do not take this at face
    >value. A lot of people happily back up to CD-RW, and presumably those
    >backups remain restorable...]


    at least over the short time. However, how many people actually verify
    that those backups actually will restore. Horror stories abound!

    >External hard drives are another option, but aren't exactly 'removable
    >media' - the main effect of which is that, though you *could* place them
    >offsite, you likely won't.


    Agreed. They also have the 'connector life' problem. The normal "DB-25"
    style connector (actually MIL-C-24308) has a "required" life of 5,000
    mate/demate cycles, and at one cycle per day, you are talking 13 years of
    use, which should be adequate.

    >The last option, of course, is to get the cheapest computer you can
    >find, put a decent 40 or 80 GB drive


    or larger

    > in it, and synchronize data
    >nightly. Place it somewhere it'll not be bothered too much, and be sure
    >to use encryption while sending your stuff over the net. You should be
    >able to get the computer for free by asking around, so this will just
    >cost you a single drive and some time. Be sure to place it with a friend
    >or somesuch.


    To make the friend more cooperative, install another drive on your
    computer, and offer to be the 'off-site' repository for the friend's data.

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Jun 30, 2005
    #8
  9. News

    Moe Trin Guest

    In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <>, Phil wrote:

    >Actually, a USB or Firewire external hard drive is fairly cheap (per Mb),
    >easy to connect when needed (just plug it in - no skills required) and easy
    >to replace should *it* go wrong.


    Minor disadvantage - only one backup.

    >The chances of both your main drive and the external drive failing at the
    >same time is remote (though not impossible if caused by, say, a nearby
    >lightning strike - I speak from experience).


    Power supplies and perhaps disk controllers can also cause common
    problems. We always back up to a different system just for this reason.
    In the case of tapes, the tape drive is located on a different computer
    to avoid the "common point of failure",

    >Once a week or once a fortnight, this external drive gets swapped with
    >one stored at a friend's house just down the road (so if we get a flood
    >or earthquake then I'm fucked - but as we live on a hill in Normandy, both
    >are unlikely).


    If the hill is high enough and far enough away from the beach, the tidal
    waves won't get you, but watch out for those herds of rabid yaks, and
    the tourist drivers. It's always something.

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Jun 30, 2005
    #9
  10. News

    Winged Guest

    Moe Trin wrote:
    > In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    > <>, Phil wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Actually, a USB or Firewire external hard drive is fairly cheap (per Mb),
    >>easy to connect when needed (just plug it in - no skills required) and easy
    >>to replace should *it* go wrong.

    >
    >
    > Minor disadvantage - only one backup.
    >
    >
    >>The chances of both your main drive and the external drive failing at the
    >>same time is remote (though not impossible if caused by, say, a nearby
    >>lightning strike - I speak from experience).

    >
    >
    > Power supplies and perhaps disk controllers can also cause common
    > problems. We always back up to a different system just for this reason.
    > In the case of tapes, the tape drive is located on a different computer
    > to avoid the "common point of failure",
    >
    >
    >>Once a week or once a fortnight, this external drive gets swapped with
    >>one stored at a friend's house just down the road (so if we get a flood
    >>or earthquake then I'm fucked - but as we live on a hill in Normandy, both
    >>are unlikely).

    >
    >
    > If the hill is high enough and far enough away from the beach, the tidal
    > waves won't get you, but watch out for those herds of rabid yaks, and
    > the tourist drivers. It's always something.
    >
    > Old guy

    Perhaps I don't understand well enough. I have used all of the methods
    described in previous posts at one time or another. Recently I bought a
    200 GB USB drive for backup for an 80 GB drive. I usually do a full
    backup on a separate tape device every 6 months or so that a store in a
    detached shop where I live.

    Even if I were not using VMs I could store at least 3 complete backups
    on the 200 GB Maxtor drive. The drive cost was about $125 on sale.

    Using VMs makes backup chores much simpler for me as I only store the
    base image configured with the VMware (side note I have the VMs on a
    second drive in the box). In this configuration You need only backup
    the base system when you patch then run a cron once a day looking for
    VMs that have changed since last backup then backup the VM only if it
    has changed. (Note: for those concerned about recovery of secretive
    files VMs are a good solution since once the are gone someone "might"
    determine a VM had been there after the free space was over written but
    getting to the data within the VM I believe would be very problematic,
    of course I might be wrong on this)

    In reality I store the previous 2 copies of the VMs because space has
    not been a serious issue (to date)since all but 4 of the VMs are Linux
    flavors. The VM files can be compressed considerably before achieving
    (usually more than 50% depending, my graphics VM do not compress as
    well due to many of the files are already compressed). Currently I the
    backups require about 100MB total for both copies. I store video clips
    on dvd-rws they don't compress and they are huge files.

    Perhaps someday my house and my shop may disappear in a twister, and I
    would most regret losing code and pictures, but at that point I figure
    to have many other higher priority concerns. I guess I will continue to
    knock on wood for continued luck.

    Winged
    Winged, Jun 30, 2005
    #10
  11. News

    Moe Trin Guest

    In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <9f3a5$42c38690$18d6daa6$>, Winged wrote:

    >Perhaps I don't understand well enough. I have used all of the methods
    >described in previous posts at one time or another. Recently I bought a
    >200 GB USB drive for backup for an 80 GB drive. I usually do a full
    >backup on a separate tape device every 6 months or so that a store in a
    >detached shop where I live.


    One assumes that you have looked at the various reasons for making/needing
    backups, and have defined a series of problems that your backups are to
    protect you from. In the paragraph above, you identify "three" locations
    of your data; the original hard drive, the USB drive (which hopefully has
    three _usable_ copies, though the hardware forms a single point of failure)
    and the tapes. First question - do you know that those backups are usable?

    >In this configuration You need only backup the base system when you patch
    >then run a cron once a day looking for VMs that have changed since last
    >backup then backup the VM only if it has changed.


    In the olde days of '/sbin/dump' and '/sbin/restore', those were called
    dump levels - another description being 'full' and 'incremental' backups.
    That makes reasonable sense if the number of backups doesn't grow out of
    hand. For our schedule at work, one day a week we make a 'full' backup
    of this or that filesystem. The rest of the week, they are 'incrementals'
    with Saturday and Sunday going to the same tape as Friday. Thus, a restore
    is never more than five tapes. You can also use the strategy of a monthly
    full, weekly increments of changes over the last seven days, and nightly
    backups of changes since the last weekly. That would make for a maximum
    of 12 tapes (or equal). "Pay your money, take your pick."

    There is also a choice of what to back up and how. All of the operating
    systems here fall into three basic configurations. These don't need to be
    backed up (except for configuration files), as we can always pour a copy
    of the current installation onto a system - from the normal installation
    source on a file server (which is considered data on that host, and is
    backed up), or from any other similar system. Configuration files are
    backed up when we know they change, and monthly. "Data" on the servers
    is on the rigorous backup schedule. Our work stations mount the user's
    files from a central file server, so there is no need to do frequent
    backups of that.

    >In reality I store the previous 2 copies of the VMs because space has
    >not been a serious issue (to date)since all but 4 of the VMs are Linux
    >flavors.


    But as noted above, if those two copies are on the same drive, then there
    is a single failure point - and you _may_ only have one backup.

    >Perhaps someday my house and my shop may disappear in a twister, and I
    >would most regret losing code and pictures, but at that point I figure
    >to have many other higher priority concerns. I guess I will continue to
    >knock on wood for continued luck.


    Yabbut as you may have noticed, you also have to guard against those
    raging herds of rabid yaks (or sex-crazed gerbils or whatever). Depending
    on how important the data may be to you, and the physical size of the
    media, you could consider having verified backups stored in a safe
    deposit box and your bank or similar. For a business of course, that
    would be critical. For a home user - I dunno, maybe those images may
    be the only ones you have of a relative, and where do you put a price
    on that?

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Jul 1, 2005
    #11
  12. News

    Winged Guest

    Moe Trin wrote:
    > In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    > <9f3a5$42c38690$18d6daa6$>, Winged wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Perhaps I don't understand well enough. I have used all of the methods
    >>described in previous posts at one time or another. Recently I bought a
    >>200 GB USB drive for backup for an 80 GB drive. I usually do a full
    >>backup on a separate tape device every 6 months or so that a store in a
    >>detached shop where I live.

    >
    >
    > One assumes that you have looked at the various reasons for making/needing
    > backups, and have defined a series of problems that your backups are to
    > protect you from. In the paragraph above, you identify "three" locations
    > of your data; the original hard drive, the USB drive (which hopefully has
    > three _usable_ copies, though the hardware forms a single point of failure)
    > and the tapes. First question - do you know that those backups are usable?
    >
    >
    >>In this configuration You need only backup the base system when you patch
    >>then run a cron once a day looking for VMs that have changed since last
    >>backup then backup the VM only if it has changed.

    >
    >
    > In the olde days of '/sbin/dump' and '/sbin/restore', those were called
    > dump levels - another description being 'full' and 'incremental' backups.
    > That makes reasonable sense if the number of backups doesn't grow out of
    > hand. For our schedule at work, one day a week we make a 'full' backup
    > of this or that filesystem. The rest of the week, they are 'incrementals'
    > with Saturday and Sunday going to the same tape as Friday. Thus, a restore
    > is never more than five tapes. You can also use the strategy of a monthly
    > full, weekly increments of changes over the last seven days, and nightly
    > backups of changes since the last weekly. That would make for a maximum
    > of 12 tapes (or equal). "Pay your money, take your pick."
    >
    > There is also a choice of what to back up and how. All of the operating
    > systems here fall into three basic configurations. These don't need to be
    > backed up (except for configuration files), as we can always pour a copy
    > of the current installation onto a system - from the normal installation
    > source on a file server (which is considered data on that host, and is
    > backed up), or from any other similar system. Configuration files are
    > backed up when we know they change, and monthly. "Data" on the servers
    > is on the rigorous backup schedule. Our work stations mount the user's
    > files from a central file server, so there is no need to do frequent
    > backups of that.
    >
    >
    >>In reality I store the previous 2 copies of the VMs because space has
    >>not been a serious issue (to date)since all but 4 of the VMs are Linux
    >>flavors.

    >
    >
    > But as noted above, if those two copies are on the same drive, then there
    > is a single failure point - and you _may_ only have one backup.
    >
    >
    >>Perhaps someday my house and my shop may disappear in a twister, and I
    >>would most regret losing code and pictures, but at that point I figure
    >>to have many other higher priority concerns. I guess I will continue to
    >>knock on wood for continued luck.

    >
    >
    > Yabbut as you may have noticed, you also have to guard against those
    > raging herds of rabid yaks (or sex-crazed gerbils or whatever). Depending
    > on how important the data may be to you, and the physical size of the
    > media, you could consider having verified backups stored in a safe
    > deposit box and your bank or similar. For a business of course, that
    > would be critical. For a home user - I dunno, maybe those images may
    > be the only ones you have of a relative, and where do you put a price
    > on that?
    >
    > Old guy

    Our business backup policies are very regimented and far more stringent
    than I use in my home environment.

    I have tested backup methods. The reason this method is used is the
    ease and speed of restoration. There is a flaw in the way I operate, as
    each of the VMs has to be patched when patching at patch time.

    This is more painful in the Linux VMs than it is in the Winx VMs due
    to the various configurations. The reason this approach works so well
    is the base OS is a minimal install with only the essential DLLs,
    applications, and services running. This reduces significantly the size
    and overhead requirement of the base image, which makes restoration
    extremely fast, although I don't need do this often. An additional
    feature is the base system very responsive due to the minimal registry
    and OS overhead. While I do take a performance hit because of the
    virtual machine because they are customized to for their specific
    function their overhead too is reduced. I do have a number of game VMs
    I do not backup because it is just simpler to reinstall the game in a
    fresh VM than to bother with backup and restore. I usually don't
    maintain more than a half dozen games or so and their restoration I
    consider non-critical. I usually put the particular game VM on a DVD
    backup when I have decided I am finished with it for awhile. The VM can
    be restored quickly if desired by simply copying it back onto the
    system. An additional feature of this methodology is the offline VMs do
    not require to have things like AV or firewall or even networking pieces
    operating as they are not required for the specific function. I have
    found it amazing the performance improvements that are obtained using
    this methodology over having a single OS configured to do everything.
    An additional advantage is if a networked VM is compromised "normally"
    it makes no difference so long as one does not save the VM. Things like
    cookies etc. disappear when the VM session is closed. This also has
    ramifications for various DRM methodologies ...

    My financial home data files are never stored on the local machine but
    on cd-rw disks that are inserted only when used in a "non-networked" VM.
    A backup for those is made at each use. While I believe my system is
    reasonably secure, stuff happens. The only data I store in safety
    deposit box are insurance policies, a will and household inventory data
    (for insurance claim purposes) which is refreshed about every 6 months.

    By using VMs one can easily move the configured VM to another of my
    boxes by simply copying the VM to that machine. Because VMWare software
    deals with the most interface issues to the local machine It is
    relatively painless though some games require some video setup
    adjustments. Personally I have found VMware to be a valuable and very
    useful piece of software. I have not tried their server products but
    the workstation product rocks.

    I haven't had a major Rabid Yak issues but I did have a sex-crazed
    gerbil issue recently. Seems some mouse found my box of 8 inch floppies
    I had stashed away in my shop and the mouse decided they made good nest
    material. They were my "extras" that I have kept for replacements for
    an old CP/M system that is still in use. That was a loss that is still
    a bit upsetting as those disks are getting a bit difficult to replace.
    Luckily the critter had only damaged a dozen or so that I had stored out
    of the several hundred disks in the box. But the loss is mourned just
    the same.

    Winged
    Winged, Jul 1, 2005
    #12
  13. News

    Moe Trin Guest

    In the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <3185e$42c53ed6$18d6daa6$>, Winged wrote:

    >I have tested backup methods. The reason this method is used is the
    >ease and speed of restoration.


    In theory, the easiest and quickest restore is from a "current" nightly
    backup. The "full" and "incremental" mode is more of a pain, because you
    need to determine which set of backups is which, and restore them in the
    appropriate sequence. At home, I'm now using a weekly full, which goes
    off site. There are also two "backups" servers, with large drives that
    mirror data from other systems in the house. Thus, the data on file
    server A is backed up to an extra disk on server B and vice versa, and
    the other systems are also backed up to server A or B as appropriate.
    This scenario guards against equipment failures and fumbling fingers
    but is not going to work against fire/flood/storm/theft.

    >There is a flaw in the way I operate, as each of the VMs has to be
    >patched when patching at patch time.


    This would be true with real systems as well as virtuals.

    > This is more painful in the Linux VMs than it is in the Winx VMs due
    >to the various configurations. The reason this approach works so well
    >is the base OS is a minimal install with only the essential DLLs,
    >applications, and services running. This reduces significantly the size
    >and overhead requirement of the base image, which makes restoration
    >extremely fast, although I don't need do this often.


    We have no need for windoze, so the virtual machine concept wouldn't
    offer much to us. This reduces the overhead by that base O/S and so
    on.

    >I do have a number of game VMs I do not backup because it is just simpler
    >to reinstall the game in a fresh VM than to bother with backup and
    >restore. I usually don't maintain more than a half dozen games or so and
    >their restoration I consider non-critical.


    Both the wife and I work on computers all day, and then add some time
    in the evenings/weekends for Usenet. The last thing we consider using
    the computers for is games. The kids had me install a couple of games
    for them on their systems, but I don't think it's a major to them either.

    >An additional feature of this methodology is the offline VMs do not
    >require to have things like AV or firewall or even networking pieces
    >operating as they are not required for the specific function. I have
    >found it amazing the performance improvements that are obtained using
    >this methodology over having a single OS configured to do everything.


    Perimeter firewall, and that's it. All systems are networked, because
    we use a network filesystem. I'm slightly surprised that you find a
    performance improvement, but then my systems and usage is probably
    different from yours.

    >My financial home data files are never stored on the local machine but
    >on cd-rw disks that are inserted only when used in a "non-networked" VM.


    Similar, but this is one of the few things we still put on floppies, as
    there is only a couple of Megs of data.

    >The only data I store in safety deposit box are insurance policies, a
    >will and household inventory data (for insurance claim purposes) which
    >is refreshed about every 6 months.


    Birth certificates, marriage documents, property documents, and older
    tax records.

    >By using VMs one can easily move the configured VM to another of my
    >boxes by simply copying the VM to that machine.


    Networked file systems

    >Personally I have found VMware to be a valuable and very
    >useful piece of software.


    I've not seen a need for it - though a friend who does software
    development swears by it. If he trashes a virtual machine, it's only a
    momentary loss.

    >I haven't had a major Rabid Yak issues


    Maybe you're just lucky ;-)

    >but I did have a sex-crazed gerbil issue recently. Seems some mouse
    >found my box of 8 inch floppies I had stashed away in my shop and the
    >mouse decided they made good nest material. They were my "extras"
    >that I have kept for replacements for an old CP/M system that is still
    >in use. That was a loss that is still a bit upsetting as those disks
    >are getting a bit difficult to replace.


    Yeah, I had a recent glance at google. There _are_ places that still
    have them _advertised_ for sale, but the prices are getting absolutely
    ridiculous. US$85/box of 10, or US$9 each??? I don't recall exactly
    what I paid originally, but it was a LOT less than that.

    >Luckily the critter had only damaged a dozen or so that I had stored out
    >of the several hundred disks in the box. But the loss is mourned just
    >the same.


    I should probably look through the storage area. I'm pretty sure I've
    gotten all the data off my old 8 and 5.25 inch floppies, which is good
    because I'm down to one or two 8 inch drives in storage, and just two
    5.25 inch drives on the systems. Every system still has a working 3.5
    inch drive, and there are several shrink wrapped spares. Heck, I've
    still got several unopened 5.25 inch drive cleaning kits. ;-)

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Jul 2, 2005
    #13
  14. News

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 23:02:23 -0500,
    (Moe Trin) wrote:

    >In theory, the easiest and quickest restore is from a "current" nightly
    >backup. The "full" and "incremental" mode is more of a pain, because you
    >need to determine which set of backups is which,


    There is a difference in the needs of backing up a system which
    is dynamic, and what the OP was talking about in backing up
    the photos he has taken.

    If the data is static, its only the new stuff that needs backup
    so an incremental method is best.


    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
    Jim Watt, Jul 2, 2005
    #14
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