Digital Prepping: – How to Create a Highly Redundant Backup System

By: Nick LaDieu

Data Reduncency is Key to Good Planning
Data Reduncency is Key to Good Planning

I’m guessing that you know someone who has suffered through a digital disaster such as loss of precious family photos or important tax documents and other files. Just like you prepare for other disasters n the physical word you need to be digitally prepared. The first step towards digital preparedness is creating a good backup scheme for your important files.

I have a good friend who recently had all of her interior design business’ documents on a laptop. I didn’t know this was the case until it was to late. In her case she didn’t drop it in a puddle or experience hard drive failure. On new year’s eve this past year her house was broken into while she was away and the laptop was stolen.

Laptop lo-jack and encryption of sensitive information is a topic for another thread. Those issues aside, she experienced the loss of many digital assets including quick-books financial records and irreplaceable photos which were both business and personal in nature. This is not a threat on the level with a physical threat to your safety but I assure you it is a real threat and if you go through it you will highly regret not being prepared. People regularly pay upwards of $5000 for hard drive recovery services to retrieve family photos, make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

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  • A great topic considering how many people have PCs; but don’t have proper backups of their critical and important data.

    For a family of 3 with two personal computers (both Macs), I have 1 external hard drive per computer (the external drive is atleast the same size if not significantly bigger then the corresponding computers internal drive) that has Time Machine running to both external hard drives. I also have a biweekly clone scheduled for each computer to the external hard drives. As well, I have a 2TB separate NAS Raid to which a third backup for each computer runs on a daily basis. Is this backup foolproof, no; does it work and entire a level of redundancy, yes. Also, my setup has a UPS that also has the computers, external hard drives and NAS and router and modem on it. This helps to regulate power fluctuations, excessive wear on delicate electronics and offers a level of power to safely shutdown electronics in the event of a blackout.

    One point that people don’t think about often is selecting the importance of files to backup. This is important in cutting down on the amount of data to backup and increasing the ease of backing it up (I have a couple of USB thumb drives that hold the critical info, photos, etc.).