My Evolving Backup Strategy needs some work

dreamstimefree_594I wrote about my backup strategy a couple of days ago, describing the tools I am currently using to back everything up on my laptop.

Once I’d written it down it initially appeared quite comprehensive, and I was quite pleased with myself. I soon realised that there are holes, though, because not every tool is used to back everything up.

Each tool is used for one or more types of data, and only a few types of data are covered by more than one tool. For example:

  • Email
    • Mozy (automatically,daily)
    • external hard drives using GoodSync (when I think of it, every few days)
    • Gmail (automatically, not all accounts are picked up)
  • High use documents
    • Dropbox (automatically when document closed)
    • Mozy (automatically, daily)
    • netbook (when I think of it or when I get home)
    • external hard drives (when I think of it, every few days)
  • Regular use documents –
    • Mozy (automatically,daily)
    • netbook (when I think of it or when I get home)
    • external hard drives (when I think of it, every few days)
  • Business documents –
    • Mozy (automatically,daily)
    • netbook (when I think of it or when I get home)
    • external hard drives (when I think of it, every few days)
    • Dropbox (for sharing with clients at the end of the project)
  • Photos (other than family history, which are stored with the documents)
    • External hard drives
    • a very few photos are in web albums on FacebookPicasa and Flickr.
    • my sister has a lot of them but I wouldn’t count on her in a crisis. She is not one of Nature’s Techos.
  • Music
    • External hard drives
    • MP3 player
    • the original CDs
  • Social media
    • Blogs backed up by WordPress plugin and sent by email
    • Facebook and Twitter not backed up at all!!!

It may be apparent to you, as it is to me, that my photos and music are at risk here. There is 30-40 GB of pictures and 20-30GB of music, so online backups are not the answer. They had to be evicted from my laptop when it ran out of space. As I said, I bought another external hard drive but I’m still not comfortable. If I lost my music I would have to spend hours ripping it back off the CDs, which would be a pain but could be done. I probably wouldn’t do as many if I had to do it all again.

If I lost the photos, though, I’d be devastated. The earlier ones were scanned from prints or negatives and I still have those, but later ones…

My social media needs some work, too.

So I still have some work to do. I’ll have another look at Backupify and perhaps I’ll make greater use of Flickr.

Any suggestions?

4 comments on “My Evolving Backup Strategy needs some work

  1. Shelley 3 April 2011 5:35 pm

    I need to review my backup strategy too.

    I’m thinking of copying my photos onto SkyDrive – 25GB free cloud space provided by Microsoft. If you have a hotmail account you’ll already have it. I’ve managed to map a network drive on my PC to SkyDrive so that’s a good start to make the transfer easier.

    Then there’s my music. I’m not too worried about that as I have a 40GB iPod with all the music on it, and an iPhone with just the most recent and most listened-to music. I’m sure there’s software out there that let’s you copy music back off your phone if worst comes to worst.

    I use DropBox for the frequently used files such as my genealogy database plus source documents. I’ve been very happy with it but am getting close to needing more space. I either need to start sending out referral links or consider switching to (or also using) SugarSync which starts out with 5GB (if you want to use that let me know and we can make sure we get make the most of possible referal credits – I haven’t signed up yet but have an invitation I’ve been thinking about).

  2. Carole 6 April 2011 1:29 pm

    Hi Shelley
    Skydrive is another good idea. For me it has the same problems. My current internet plan gives me 12GB per month for peak times (12pm to 12am) and 24GB offpeak (12am to 12pm). I originally thought that there was no point backing up something online that didn’t change much – hence the external hard drives). Photos don’t change, usually, but I do add more, and 25GB isn’t enough space.
    Google allows you to purchase storage space, as Amazon does. Hmmm… I feel another post coming one!

  3. Carole 6 April 2011 1:32 pm

    Thanks Shelley. How’s your upload limit? Google also allows you to buy more storage, as Amazon does, but my problem, again, is the upload limit. 12GB per month during peak time (12pm-12am) and 24GB per month offpeak (12am-12pm) is not enough unless I manage the initial upload very carefully and never want to download any of it!

  4. Shelley 15 April 2011 12:04 pm

    Hi Carole, I think my upload limits are similar to yours. After that I still have access but it’s slow. If I was going to do a big upload I’d try to do so in off peak times and/or the day before my plan renews for the month. I don’t have as many photos as you (yet). I’ve just started moving mine to skydrive. I’ll do it bit by bit. Another option wirh more free space, if it’s just images <10MB each (I think that's the limit) is to get yourself a private Yahoo! Group. They come with a measly 100MB for documents but for some reason 100GB for photos. Actually I don't want to fill up my SkyDrive with photos because I've fallen in love with OneNote and want plenty of space to sync notebooks… But that's another blog post!!!

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