There’s two types of people: Those who have backups, and those who will lose data. Several years ago I had a raid card failure on a RAID 5 array (three disks) that lost about 5~ TB of data. Of this, about 1.5 was completely irreplaceable data, things as far back as high school projects. After this, I went into backup mode and always had redundant copies both locally and online (cloud based). At this point I’ve made a pretty solid system for handling this across multiple systems. Lemme walk you through it.
The idea was this: How can I make this easy and simple enough (once configured) that I won’t ever forget to make sure my items are backed up. So here’s how I went about this: Backblaze and a Windows 10 as a share drive.
Backblaze home is a cheap 6 bucks a month for UNLIMITED backups. You can’t beat this cost. I went and built a Windows 10 Pro virtual machine on my ESXI host with the below specs:
- 6 vCPU cores
- 8GB RAM
- 2TB disk space
Now, this may seem a bit overkill but with a large amount of backups, the VM may use a significant amount of RAM and CPU resources to compress and transmit the data. I then took a folder (in this case just on my desktop for ease of use when RDP’d into the system) and set it as a network share for only my user account.
Here’s the trick: Now that this is a shared folder, I can mount it as a network drive on ANY computer on my network. This allows multiple PCs to backup to one account. Neat, eh? Going from this approach, I also set up a couple BAT (Windows Batch script) files to backup my cloud accounts (Dropbox, Nextcloud, Google Drive) to this NAS as well on a daily Task Schedule set to run every night on my desktop. This allows me to have all my files I send to this server updated to the cloud and have redundant copies of any of the important files off my local PCs.
I went a step further from this and also added a BAT script onto the backups system to send to my local unRAID server for a redundant copy of data, and also perform weekly syncs to a normally disconnect external hard drive. The reason for this being disconnected is for a worst case scenario: Cryptoware or entire deletion of my files which is then synced online and to unraid. Having the disconnected external will allow most of my files to be recovered.
Hopefully this encourages others to tinker with this. Backups are important and you may not realize what you’ll lose until suddenly they’re gone; Backups of your video games from early 2000’s that are no longer hosted for instance and all data is now gone. Cheers and happy home labbing.