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Backup Suggestions..

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,920
11,100
Canaderp
I need some suggestions on how to back up my main computer here at home.

The situation is like this:

Main Computer;
-Running Windows 7
-1TB Drive (only using about 450gb)
-2nd 1TB drive mirroring the 1st

Backup Computer;
-It is on my local network
-Running Fedora 17
-Samba configured and running
-Close to 1TB of free space (need to get another disk still)

What I've thought about doing is simply doing an initial full backup of all my personal files. Then each night, I would write all the changes (files that were modified, deleted or created) to the Fedora machine. The reason why I would do it this way, is to keep the backup on the Fedora machine simple. I don't often create, delete or modify my personal documents, I'm mostly concerned with just having a copy of them somewhere else, as well as keeping my music and movie libraries backed up.

The other way, which would be interesting, but would be more of a challenge would be to schedule a full backup on Sunday night and do incremental backups each day of the way week after that. Repeat. The challenging part (maybe not so much of a challenge, but time consuming) would be to write scripts to automatically manage the deletion of old unnessessary backup archives.

Further down the road, I will backup the backups on the Fedora machine to some other place.

Am I going about this the correct the way? I also can't seem to understand, if when scheduling backups using Windows backup tool, if it will only backup changes that occur from the last backup or if it will simply backup everything again? I really don't want to be sending that much data across my network every night.

Yep..I'm bored, have no job and am done school for the Summer. Getting this thing setup and working is my goal for this week haha.

:tinfoil:
 
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binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,879
760
NC
Windows Backup syncs the differential changes from the last backup. So the first time, it writes a giant backup archive and after that it just backs up the block-level modifications.

Why not simplify it and use a service like Crashplan? It'll take a while to do the initial sync, but it'll back up differentials after that and it gets it out of your house so a problem like flood, fire, theft, electrical issue, etc. doesn't wipe everything out.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,335
0
Boulder
It seems like you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. I would:
1. Back up to a second drive, either in your computer, or an external. I would use something like Acronis which is going to store older versions of files in case you delete anything. If you use a 2 or 3 TB drive for this, you'll probably never run out of space. You could also use some sort of free sync software or a batch file to manage this if you don't want to pay for software.
2. Set up an online backup like Backblaze or Crashplan.

If you aren't using the Fedora box for anything else, keeping it turned off may save enough electricity to pay for Backblaze or Crashplan.

I like to have the local back up so I can recover everything quickly if necessary. I also ran into a problem when I was using Mozy where they decided to discontinue the plan I was on, and it took something like a month to re-up everything to Backblaze. So I would have been left unprotected during that time. In that situation I probably could have paid for both, but it's certainly possible that a company could go out of business leaving you with no backup at all. So I like having both.
 
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canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,920
11,100
Canaderp
I didn't think it was too complicated haha. I have all these extra hard drives laying around from doing work at college and I picked up this extra computer for a few bucks. So I figured why not? It's good reinforcement for what I'm studying anyways...and I have all the free time in the world

I was mostly curious about any 3rd party software any you guys had experience with.

My other problem, is that with the internet service I currently have, there is a bandwidth cap on my connection here at home. It is 120gb per month and currently we are just about hitting that consistently every month, so I don't really want to add more to that right now. But eventually I do want to use an online service.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,879
760
NC
I guess I'd just rather buy an external USB enclosure. That way it's not sucking up electricity every day, and it's less complicated so there are fewer moving parts to fail.

Not that you shouldn't install and enjoy Fedora, just that introducing more moving pieces to your backup is often not the best idea. If you want to use Fedora as a learning tool, you'll often be putting the box in some kind of state where it's not going to accept backups, so you'll constantly have to make sure to rebuild it into a working environment, or risk not having backups.

I use Windows Backup for my local backups. rsync is a nice tool with a lot of options and a linux build, something you might want to play with.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,920
11,100
Canaderp
I definitely see what you mean about keeping it less complicated and having less points of failure.

If I was using Linux on my personal computer this would be a piece of cake with rsync. The assignment in one of my classes was to setup a backup server that would use rsync to pull backup archives from each machine on the network. Though I had the fun task of creating the DNS server. My school uses Fedora as its teaching platform for Linux which is why I went with that, I'm pretty comfortable with it.

Actually I didn't know before this, that there was rsync ports for Windows? Hmm..
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,920
11,100
Canaderp
You can buy bike parts and crap on Newegg now???? Jeez its been a while since I've visited that site..

Yeah I'm going to go down the route of just backing it up to a drive in this computer. I actually have one of these which will make it handy to remove it the drive and keep the cost down.

I've had to ditch creating mirrored volumes too, I forgot that both of these 1TB drives have different sized caches. Durp.