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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @03:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the confidentiality-integrity-and-availability dept.

Exotic Silicon has a detailed exploration of how and why to make long term backups.

The myth...

When thinking about data backup, many people have tended to fixate on the possibility of a crashed hard disk, and in modern times, a totally dead SSD. It's been the classic disaster scenario for decades, assuming that your office doesn't burn down overnight. You sit down in front of your desktop in the morning, and it won't boot. As you reach in to fiddle with SATA cables and clean connections, you realise that the disk isn't even spinning up.

Maybe you knew enough to try a couple of short, sharp, ninety degree twists in the plane of the platters, in case it was caused by stiction. But sooner or later, reality dawns, and it becomes clear that the disk will never spin again. It, along with your data, is gone forever. So a couple of full back-ups at regular intervals should suffice, right?

Except that isn't how it usually happens - most likely you'll be calling on your backups for some other reason.

The reality...

Aside from the fact that when modern SSDs fail they often remain readable, I.E. they become read-only, your data is much more likely to be at risk from silent corruption over time or overwritten due to operator error.

Silent corruption can happen for reasons ranging from bad SATA cables and buggy SSD firmware, to malware and more. Operator error might go genuinely un-noticed, or be covered up.

Both of these scenarios can be protected against with an adequate backup strategy, but the simple approach of a regular, full backup, (which also often goes untested), in many cases just won't suffice.

Aspects like the time interval between backups, how many copies to have and how long to keep them, speed of recovery, and the confidentiality and integrity of said backups are all addressed. Also covered are silent corruption, archiving unchanging data, examples of comprehensive backup plans, and how to correctly store, label, and handle the backup storage media.

Not all storage media have long life spans.


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @06:33AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @06:33AM (#1343284)

    > It's a shame the web site looks like a Geocities page from the 1990s, but the article is well worth reading regardless.

    That's on you. There are ten themes to choose from there, available via a click and without javascript.

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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by sigterm on Tuesday February 06, @06:51AM

    by sigterm (849) on Tuesday February 06, @06:51AM (#1343285)

    Really? I go to a web page I've never been to before, and it's my fault it looks weird?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @02:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, @02:43PM (#1343329)

    > ten themes to choose from

    Sure -- link at the bottom of the page changes the color assignments. Does nothing to the layout that I could see, still very much 1990s style with one long page to scroll down. Sometimes I prefer this, instead of multiple shorter linked pages.

  • (Score: 2) by boltronics on Wednesday February 07, @02:20AM

    by boltronics (580) on Wednesday February 07, @02:20AM (#1343441) Homepage Journal

    Indeed. If you don't appreciate those 90's style themes, there's also one named "The 1980s".

    --
    It's GNU/Linux dammit!