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What's your backup strategy?

What's your backup strategy?

  • No backups

    Votes: 1,316 18.0%
  • Manual copy of important files

    Votes: 4,170 56.9%
  • Automated local backup

    Votes: 1,024 14.0%
  • Automated backup to the cloud

    Votes: 816 11.1%

  • Total voters
    7,326
  • Poll closed .
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Does windows system restore count? that's just one strategy I use atm.
Its the same as ZFS snapshots. Technically not a backup, its main benefit is a get out of jail card for operator error, accidentally wipe a file, edit wrong document or whatever, snapshot gets you out of jail. :)

Different options which have pros and cons, and different levels of cost.

An actual backup is expensive as of course requires new hardware but might be cheaper than mirror redundancy as backups can be compressed and as such consume less space, but also more expensive than parity redundancy. Ideally backups would be off site if possible, but at the very least different physical drive.

RAID, mirror raid is the closest raid mode to a backup as you do actually have two copies of all data you could pull a drive and it would immediately be a backup of your data. The problem is the data is linked so technically is not a backup, problems e.g. could be metadata corruption on filesystem losing access to your data, would affect both sides of mirror, another example operator error would affect both sides. Parity raid is one copy of data but with parity data that can rebuild the data if its lost. Same downsides of mirror, with an additional downside you cant just pull a drive and have an immediate backup.

Snapshots, supported by NTFS, REFS and ZFS, (Windows typically makes a snapshot on any enabled drives when a system restore point is made), its a very nice feature as the performance overhead is practically zilch, and space overhead is only for changed bits of data. Its a useful recovery system for certain situations but again not a backup, also all the snapshots mechanism's I have used all have the snapshots on the same physical storage as the main data as well. Same flaw as RAID if filesystem breaks.

Cheapest proper form of backup is the cheapo consumer cloud services, assuming you dont already have spare storage devices that can be used for local backups.
 
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We are in a desktop territory here, ie we have accesses to multiple hard drives, therefore it goes without saying that all those important files are stored on the drive(s) that doesn't include the OS.
 
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All my important data is stored on my NAS, which has two mirrored hard drives. My NAS then has automated remote backup to another NAS at a family member's home.

Four drives in two different areas of the country would need to fail simultaneously for me to lose the data.
 
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