When it comes to backing up my data, I consider myself to be pretty savvy. I have a CrashPlan subscription to store data in the cloud, there's a number of portable USB drives that I use to keep duplicates of important data. We even have a Synology NAS unit that I've offloaded a lot of data to that provides additional storage, duplication of important data, and remote access as well.
That's why I was really surprised when my entire data management strategy came crashing down around me on Friday night.
After hearing the beep, I logged into my Synology DS213+ to see that "Volume 1 has crashed." Crap! That means this hard drive is probably on its way out (it's a 3TB WD Red which I bought a year ago, specifically for the NAS).
To make matters worse, I'm only running 1 drive inside it at the moment. I've kept putting off getting a second drive for redundancy through RAID 1. (I'll admit, I have no one to blame but myself.)
Anyway, I figured that things were probably okay, after all, I recently figured out how to get the CrashPlan service running on my Synology box through an unofficial method. Of course, it turns out that the service hasn't been running for the last month or so due to some unknown issues, so only 35% of my data has been backed up. Argggghhhh!
I've pulled the affected drive out and am still able to mount it through an external enclosure, so I'm currently frantically copying data off there, onto another drive and hoping I can get everything off before it decides to go.
Needless to say, it's been a crazy weekend! It's really made me think of the sort of data that I prioritize keeping:
- Important documents and records: Anything related to education, finances, work stuff, etc (to be fair, a number of these were scanned or are placed inside a file cabinets).
- Digital photo collection: We have about 50,000 photos that date back to 2001. Excessive? Sure. But there are some great photos that I'd like to keep and be able to look fondly back to.
- Music: Thanks to the days of things like Napster as well as legitimate services, I've managed to accumulate quite a collection of music -- a lot of which involves CD's that I ripped and then later sold! I'm sure there are ways to get it back, but it'd be a shame to lose out on all the time spent ripping, organizing, or acquiring through various methods.
- External desktop drive connected to computer: Some sort of huge USB 3.0 drive that offers quick loading times and is permanently connected to my computer. This is important for offloading storage, since my Mac mini and Macbook Pro have limited capacity thanks to SSDs.
- Cloud backup to CrashPlan running off my desktop: CrashPlan's desktop client will back up data from any connected USB drive, so this is really important. And let's not forget that it's much more reliable running off my Mac mini than it is on my NAS, so this is probably the way to go.
- PictureLife backup for photos: Paying for a yearly subscription to PictureLife that specifically backs up my photo library to the cloud. It's kind of redundant with CrashPlan, but PictureLife makes it easy to remotely browse your photo library and find those special moments. (Apple or Google should buy them.)
- Dropbox for important documents: This isn't a true backup service and I don't want to keep EVERYTHING in Dropbox, but it's handy for storing important documents and making them available from every machine.
- Rsync from external drive to Synology NAS: Have to setup some sort of script or cronjob that will periodically backup my data and keep things in sync.
- Finally add a second HDD to the NAS for RAID 1 redundancy: Can't be too careful I guess! Grumble grumble grumble.
What sorts of ways or you keeping your valuable data backed up?