Offsite backups 101

I’ve learned some hard lessons in the couple decades of tinkering with computers. One of the biggest is data loss. Like everyone else, I didn’t worry as much as I should have and it cost me…

Quick background: I had a RAID 5 setup with three drives (4TB NAS edition) and had just completed about 2 weeks of burn in without incident, total of about 5TB of data or so. I had just removed my backups to begin another data migration of the system that temporarily stored all these when suddenly the server failed.

Now, when I say it failed, it crashed (apparent BSOD) and immediately rebooted. Big deal, it’s windows, it happens. But then the raid drive didn’t show. Another reboot, no luck. Go into partition manager, and the RAID array was completely zeroed out and empty. This contained backups since 2006 to as recently as a couple months ago, including family photos, old college projects and school work. Some of this was redundantly backed up on MediaFire but not nearly all of it.

Fast forward to now, and I’ve gone paranoid. I now have the old NAS server with twin RAID 1 set ups to ensure backups on these, along with Resilio sync to further push this out.

The plan: Offsite backups at two remote locations using off the shelf desktops.

This was accomplished using Ubuntu Desktop on two identical systems, both using Resilio sync which is stored on a RAID drive at my place as well. All changes are Read-only on the remote systems to ensure nothing can write back to cause issues here as well. Additional to this, are multiple archives stored on other local systems as well. Paranoid? A little bit. Worth it? Always. Knock on wood I’ll never need them, but now they’re there if anything happens.

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