Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Back-a-who? Back-a-wha?

I run my own e-mail, web, and IRC servers at my house on a cute little G4 Mac mini running OS X Server. I know there's GMail, and a zillion different places to host web pages, but I'm a stubborn holdout from the days when it was easier to get a permanent net connection than it was to get those services configured just the way you want them. For example, I run an IMAP server, which isn't so easy to find from a provider. All that's not what this story is about though.

Last Saturday, the hard drive died in my server. Of course, I didn't have a backup. Let me tell you, there's nothing like a failure to make you get religion about backups. Not only did I reconstruct the server, I also finally started setting up proper backups on all my machines, which I've almost finished with. I was lucky in that I didn't lose much data, but I'll never get that days and a half back.

I said I was doing "proper" backups, which isn't quite true. I'm doing image backups, not archival backups, and I'm not storing them offsite. Doing some quick back-of-the-envelope math, I have about 2.5TB of hard drive capacity scattered over several machines. That's a lot of data to back up, especially if you're going to do it right, with off-site archival backups. So, for now, I'll just bask in the somewhat incomplete sense of security I get from having something that's clearly better than nothing.

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