[Gllug] Advice on backup options

Richard Huxton dev at archonet.com
Wed Jul 7 14:49:46 UTC 2004

Rev Simon Rumble wrote:
> Hi folks.
> I do volunteer computer work for a non-profit organisation called
> Peaceworkers UK.  (Contact me privately if you're interested in
> helping.)  They're looking to upgrade the hard drive on their
> (e-smith/SME Server -- www.contribs.org) server and need to upgrade
> their (already not particularly great) backup system to match.

> As with all non-profits, price is VERY critical.  They don't even have
> any budget for IT left this year, and will have to dip into other pots
> to fund this.

> Extra storage space brings with it the problem of data backup.  In the
> commercial sector, tape backups provide the best balance of removable
> storage and low media costs.  The problem is that the startup costs
> are enormous.  An entry-level tape drive costs in excess of £300.  The
> tapes to feed into the drive thereafter, however, are very cheap.
> This price is probably out of the range of Peaceworkers' budget,
> although it is worth considering as the rock-solid dependable option
> that will last for years.
> Backup is designed for two different types of data disaster.  The most
> common is a hard disk crash, where the finite-lifespan of the moving
> disk platter comes to an end, which is unpredictable.  The other is
> the business-continuity problems of major disasters fire, flood,
> nuclear holocaust etc.

If they can't afford a tape-drive, is there any possibility they could 
afford to recover from a fire?

I'd be tempted to go for the 2 x USB drives option and swap them once a 
week. If they have large HDDs in one or more PCs then you could share a 
directory from them and back up nightly there too.

Your backup list is good, but if they're on limited resources they may 
need to compromise. Can they archive emails from a year ago? Can they 
archive old project files? Are there large numbers of duplicate word 
docs they can live without instant access to?

   Richard Huxton
   Archonet Ltd
Gllug mailing list  -  Gllug at gllug.org.uk

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