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36. Re: Project Zomboid Code Theft Oct 17, 2011, 12:17 Dev
Some people seem to be confused about backup strategies, and what "backup" means.

The more important something is, the more measures one should take to protect and backup the data. Is this something your livelihood relies on? Something your business relies on to work? Maybe family photos that would devastate you if they went missing? Then its pretty dang important. Is it just some steam backups? Thats probably not so important.

HDDs are super incredibly cheap nowadays, and one of the easiest and fastest and cheapest ways to back up. I saw a sale recently (as in last couple weeks) for $37 for a 1 TB hdd, and then a sale for a 2 TB hdd for $60.

At the very least, one should backup all the data. If you keep your data in a central location (such as "my documents") its easy to backup this folder, and its often smaller and faster than backing up the entire hdd. This is a possible strategy to use if the data is important and the time spent to rebuild a computer (such as reinstalling windows) is acceptable.

RAID (such as 1, 5, etc) is not really a backup. The only thing it protects against is physical hard drive failure. If you have a software screwup, or a nasty virus, RAID does nothing.

Backing up from one hdd to another is a good start. Backing up to an external device (such as USB HDD) is even better. If the data being backed up is under 32 gigs, its easy and cheap to get a USB stick.

That 250 page thesis that you need to graduate and you've poured uncountable hours into? Yeah that one. It needs to have an extra copy on a USB stick at a minimum.

One can also get inexpensive NAT setups to backup to a bunch of drives, or just use (or pickup for cheap) an old computer, throw a bunch of drives on it, and backup over the network.

Next step would be off-site backup. These can still be free or really cheap. This protects against things like theft of your computer(s) (such as the project zomboid case), or a fire burning a house down (or the water damage that usually results from a fire!), earthquake, etc. A super easy and free way to do this is email yourself the data in gmail. Gmail has filesizes up to 25 megs and there's browser extensions and utilities to cut up files into 25 meg chunks. This would work fine for that 250 page thesis (and probably the project zomboid source code). There's also things like dropbox, and other file upload things. For unlimited size, one could generate redundant PAR2 repair fils, and upload it to usenet, a good premium usenet provider runs about $10 a month and can access data over 3 years old. There's also special backup services one can pay for such as carbonite that run in the background and constantly uploads every changed data file.

In the case of a business that needs to be always online with important data, one possible backup strategy could be:
RAID on server with hotspare, to guard against hardware failure of the drives. Frequent rolling grandfather, father, son backup to a NAT (both data sets and complete image backups to restore to server from bare metal in case of a problem). Offsite backups to guard against disasters, both physically offsite, and over the internet.

In case of a disaster, if one still has access to the hdds, one can send them out to a data recovery center and often get most of the stuff back. Be warned though, in the case of a SSD, if there's a hardware failure, the stuff is likely gone.

And none of this covers any sort of encryption to secure the data.

Now, I'm not an authority in the field, but these are all common sense approaches to backing up. And even something as simple and easy and quick as throwing it onto a USB stick or emailing it to themselves on gmail could have saved them.

This comment was edited on Oct 17, 2011, 12:24.
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