Re USB sticks for Backup

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Re USB sticks for Backup

Jim Haliburton
Re Using USB for backup. 

WARNING.

Verbose material follows!

Using USB memory sticks for long term archival storage may not be as long term as one expects.  I regularly throw out failed SD cards and USB sticks.  I typically buy name brands like Kingston.

If one is concerned about long term storage, consider using optical media that has capacity for the need.  Based on this I use DVD (only a measly 4.5GB), DVD-Dual Layer ( a bit better at 8.5GB ), or Blue Ray at some 25 GB.

For ongoing backups of variable data for short periods, such as daily, weekly and monthly backups of accounting or email folders, USB is usable.  However it is important to have multiple data sets.  So maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday suits the need.  So have a set of memory sticks for each week.  Then have at least 2 weeks worth of sets.  So have 3 for week 1, Mon, Wed, Fri. and at least another set for week 2 of Mon, Wed, Fri.

It is also very prudent to have 2 sets of Month end backups.  Month end 1 and Month end 2.  These are done before the end of month function takes place on the accounting software. So that is another pair of memory sticks.

I keep accounting backups on a NAS with mirrored hard drives.  Every few months I burn a pair of DVDs of all those daily backups.  The same goes for my email folders, that has email that goes back to the early 2000s. 

The key to determine backup frequency is how high is the cost to re-enter or replicate the data.  So you have the cost of doing the backup, and the cost of not doing the backup.  We all know that the hard drive is going to die.  The only thing in doubt is the timing.

If you are keeping pictures, and they mean something to you, making optical copies in duplicate is the key.  I once had a client that copied all their photos to an external spinning hard disk. And I mean ALL.  Then they said great, we don't need them on our laptops and other computers.  They deleted them.  Within days they proceeded to drop the external USB spinning drive.  It died and so did a decade of family photos.

If using a spinning external USB drive, you can get really cheap ones.  Or you can get Transcend ruggedized drives.  They are MIL-Spec impact resistant.  Not cheap.  A 2TB is about $150.00.  But you can use it as a weapon, and it will still work after you subdue an attacker, or drive out an intruder.  Tough but like all spinning drives, they die.

So in summary, if making archives, use optical.  If making transient short term backups for less than 6 months, use USB media, either flash or spinning.

Verbose content ends.

Jim H



  

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Re: Re USB sticks for Backup

Joel Maxuel
I do/have done something similar, although rarely archive on optical anymore, since I don't want to have to fish through 100 DVD's to find what I am looking for (and the capacity provided by BluRay seems too-little-too-late for me).  Although optical may be the only media willing to withstand an EMP.  Some older photos (5+ years) are probably due to be on DVD - once I get around to organizing them.

I currently maintain:

o Core data (<16GB) I store on an SD card in a fireproof box, updated about twice a year
o  I keep a 1TB drive at work, updated in about the same frequency (in the event of a fire)
o  I have 2 x 6TB drives (BtrFS mirror) holding OwnCloud for most files but also a BackInTime job runs early every morning against my home directory
o  The OwnCloud instance mirrors some files (a designated directory) with my two laptops
o  I also have 3 x 3TB drives (ZFS RaidZ) in a spare box scheduled to power on once a month, rsync three large sections of the main PC, then shut off
o  There are also two more external drives (beyond the office one) - all three are kept in the original box to help with shock

There is quite a bit of cost to that though, a good deal of the infrastructure had to do with an over-the-air PVR project anyway to allow long retention periods.



--
Cheers,
Joel Maxuel

"One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret."
 - Ronan Harris / Mark Jackson

On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:07 AM, Jim Haliburton <[hidden email]> wrote:
Re Using USB for backup. 

WARNING.

Verbose material follows!

Using USB memory sticks for long term archival storage may not be as long term as one expects.  I regularly throw out failed SD cards and USB sticks.  I typically buy name brands like Kingston.

If one is concerned about long term storage, consider using optical media that has capacity for the need.  Based on this I use DVD (only a measly 4.5GB), DVD-Dual Layer ( a bit better at 8.5GB ), or Blue Ray at some 25 GB.

For ongoing backups of variable data for short periods, such as daily, weekly and monthly backups of accounting or email folders, USB is usable.  However it is important to have multiple data sets.  So maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday suits the need.  So have a set of memory sticks for each week.  Then have at least 2 weeks worth of sets.  So have 3 for week 1, Mon, Wed, Fri. and at least another set for week 2 of Mon, Wed, Fri.

It is also very prudent to have 2 sets of Month end backups.  Month end 1 and Month end 2.  These are done before the end of month function takes place on the accounting software. So that is another pair of memory sticks.

I keep accounting backups on a NAS with mirrored hard drives.  Every few months I burn a pair of DVDs of all those daily backups.  The same goes for my email folders, that has email that goes back to the early 2000s. 

The key to determine backup frequency is how high is the cost to re-enter or replicate the data.  So you have the cost of doing the backup, and the cost of not doing the backup.  We all know that the hard drive is going to die.  The only thing in doubt is the timing.

If you are keeping pictures, and they mean something to you, making optical copies in duplicate is the key.  I once had a client that copied all their photos to an external spinning hard disk. And I mean ALL.  Then they said great, we don't need them on our laptops and other computers.  They deleted them.  Within days they proceeded to drop the external USB spinning drive.  It died and so did a decade of family photos.

If using a spinning external USB drive, you can get really cheap ones.  Or you can get Transcend ruggedized drives.  They are MIL-Spec impact resistant.  Not cheap.  A 2TB is about $150.00.  But you can use it as a weapon, and it will still work after you subdue an attacker, or drive out an intruder.  Tough but like all spinning drives, they die.

So in summary, if making archives, use optical.  If making transient short term backups for less than 6 months, use USB media, either flash or spinning.

Verbose content ends.

Jim H



  

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http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug



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nSLUG mailing list
[hidden email]
http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug