Time to read: 6 min
May 16, 2019
This generation(post y2k) has forgotten the way of the datums. You fill up your phone, your computer with recipes, web pages, pics, videos….
..and then think:
HOW THE HELL do I back this shit up?
Because its when you DONT PLAN-
that you get infected, lose files forever, format your drive, etc.
Remember that guy MAYHEM- from the Tv commercials?
Hes coming for your computer data too!
RAID5 came about during the Y2K era - and just before it. It was a good plan.
Then along came RAID6, RAID10, etc etc..
RAID5 is impractical RAID0 is a straight copy(mirror)
ALL RAID METHODS REQUIRE MULTIPLE HARD DRIVES. USUALLY OF THE SAME SIZE.
–LEAVE THIS FOR YOUR NAS–
Just cloning your hard drive side-steps the problem.
Compressed archive on another hard disk (whether whole disk or just data files) is WISE.
Often its NOT ENOUGH.
Drives - over time- will lock up when trying to power/spin up if let to sit.
I have seen it happen.
How do you know your drive with the backup on it- isnt going to get wiped? Theres no write protection.
The Idea was that you had a striped set with “CRC-like protected backup sectors” to restore your data from - in case of disaster, drive failure, etc.
-which still happens-
You could remove ONE or (usually no more than 3) two drives and still reconstruct the set.
The modern end user (millenial plus) is forced to split archive CDROMs, DVDs, and BDROMs. This poses significant risk from scratches, dust, dirt, dust before burning on the disc, etc.
The latter is a very bad thing to happen.
YOU ETCHED DUST.
Now where the data should be- is a “hole” in the data stream. A visible HOLE.
The data NEVER MADE IT to the medium.
YOU CANT PUT THE DUST BACK on the disc.
And storage of your discs matters, too.
Binders attract dust and scratches- not what you want.
You need disc file cabinets and paper sleeves.
An alternative- and very expensive option- is TAPE. IOMEGA had some solutions previously for end users and seems to have dropped the ball as of late.
And by late- I mean- the past decade.
You do have LTFS(filesystem) and Physical ‘Tab’ warning of overwrite.
Enterprise level tape drives (the only other TAPE option) do not conform to end-user hardware.
There is a GAP in connections.
They dont fit -and theyre not compatible.
SAS is not SATA but can connect to it. SCSI(1-2) is not a parallel port, nor IDE. Firewire usually is not an option- there were a few tape drives in the past that used it (mac). FIBRE? WHAT-de-faack? Never seen that…
There are a few MSI brand pci-express bridge adaptors. Now you have to track down the correct connector cable.
AFTER trying desperately to find a drive you like with a tolerable capacity you NEED-
at a reasonable price….Hundreds to thousands of dollars OUT OF YOUR POCKET.
(THIS THING HAD BETTER WORK….)
The drive is fire and forget- but you may need “backup software” or know how to build source code. Not everything is obvious- some things require some research.
LOTS OF RESEARCH.
TEST TEST TEST TEST TEST TEST (and for the love of GOD- have patience)
**Do not blindly trust a write to tape. **
When you are happy-
then (only THEN) leave the tape(and drive and controller) sit.
-THIS IS NOT AS EASY as etching a DVDROM.
AND usually requires a Network Administrator or similar to figure out.
END USERS dont usually have a ENTERPRISE GRADE TAPE DRIVE.
Split archives are FINE. Nothing wrong there. But how to keep the data intact?
specifically use of PAR, like winRar uses.
Multipar app(runs under wine, dont freak out bc its not a linux native app) is a good start.
But again- you are taking a live snapshot backup(tar/dar/cpio) and trying to add RAID5-ish
technology to it (par) so that you can verify and reconstruct the set in case of failure, data rot, etc.
However, where does the PAR data go? CDROM, BDROM, NAS??
You CANT put THAT DATA directly onto a TAPE(unless in LTFS mode).
Doing so would also defeat the purpose.
MMC/SD cards could be used.
You want someplace you wont access frequently.
Somewhere that you can recover if need be.
PAR (raid-ish) files are an extra step- your backup plan usually does NOT include them, nor use them.
If you DONT go thru the extra steps-
you DO NOT have this safety net.
This brings up another option:
WinRar (with paring) to tape? ( you need LTFS for this)
If you encrypt- where does the password go?
Youll forget- so you put it in a file. Remember- the password(keyfiles) cannot be put with your data.
Same with drive encryption.
The super paranoid need another set(copy) to be stored off-site(bank, etc).
LTFS by itself is a more recent development.
Not all drives have it.
The older ones only use archaic methods of data storage.
DOES YOUR TAPE DRIVE SUPPORT ENCRYPTED LTFS? (LTO6)
The tapes are not expensive, however.
And the speed of these drives is worth the price.
But bring earplugs. The winding motor is NOT quiet.
restoration of encrypted DAR data is vulnerable to data loss. Recovery will stop once data loss is hit. There is no workaround.
I dont yet know if hardware encryption (in tape drive) also suffers from this.
Everyone wants encrypted backups-
I dont think yet- all of the kinks in "data safety" have been worked out.
NAS is the consumer grade version of a ENTERPRISE GRADE “file server”. (AS in IBM, Microsoft, Facebook….THAT KIND OF ENTERPRISE.)
NAS is sidestepping the data storage problem.
You STILL NEED A BACKUP.
Which leads me to the ULTIMATE POINT OF THIS POST:
NOBODY BACKS UP DATA THESE DAYS.
Its almost as if we forget the “BS level work” that went into making our “daily computing lives” possible.