Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Plan for Backup and Recovery



The Story

My 4 bay NAS drive (Thecus N4200 Pro) for photo backup had one hard drive failure two weeks ago. While I was trying to pull the data from the NAS, I found the RAID 5 array configuration was missing since there was another hard drive also contained bad sectors. In order to recover one of the most important data (89GB of Photos from the pass 10 years) from the NAS, I ordered 3 new hard drives from Amazon and performed sectors to sectors copy in order to rebuild the RAID array. The whole process took almost 2 weeks to complete even though the hard drives were shipped with 2nd day service.

Usually most of my photos was backed up online at flickr.com while some of my personal photos are not. This incident triggered me to think of a new backup and recovery solution since the current one still has a chance to lose some data.  I am not a person who would like to backup my data on a scheduled bases, the Time Machine backup concept from Apple will be one of the best solutions for me. However, in order to increase the redundancy and achieve the goal of "Setup It Up and Leave It", I need to think of another solution.

The New Solution
From the above image, you may see the new plan of backup and recovery solution for my home. The key of this new solution is to set up a Mac system as a time machine server, other systems within my network will be backed up to the WD My Book USB drive. The new Mac system includes a shared Photos folder and setup for time machine backup to the WD USB drive as well. One the other hand, the photo folder will also backup to the Thecus N3200 every week.

Conclusion
Maybe you'll think this is a complicated/overkill/stupid setup, but I just can't take the risk of losing data. If you are a Mac user looking for peace of mind backup solution, the Time Capsule from Apple would be your best choice and you can get it here for $278 Shipped. If you are a Windows user, a Drobo from Data Robotics will be perfect for you and you can get it here for $297 Shipped

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