How I back up my data

I talk about backups a lot (seriously, have them!), but I don’t really explain what I do. The answer is pretty simple, but I need some blog filler.

In short, I use CrashPlan. I have it write to a local USB drive and upload to their cloud service. The unlimited hosted backups cost $65 a year and mostly just work for me. I keep all of my important stuff on my main server. When I’m using another computer (e.g. my laptop), I use your typical remote access tools (e.g. NFS). I assume that anything on my laptop is subject to going poof at any moment.

I also use SpiderOak to synchronize and backup a few small things: my podcast downloads, a few application configs, etc.

In the old days, I had an rsync script that copied only particular directories to my USB drive. It would also copy to an external drive I kept at my office. This worked well when most of what I cared about was on one of two mountpoints. Now I use LVM to carve up a filesystem for broad categories, which would necessarily complicate the script. Frankly, I’d rather just let someone else’s software handle it.

One thing I don’t do that I really want to is setting up configuration management. While that’s not backup, it’s a shortcut to “get this machine back to where I want it to be”. Data is one thing, configuration is another. I could get back most of my configuration from the CrashPlan backup, but having configuration management would get my system functional quickly while I wait for the restore process to complete. Someday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *