[kwlug-disc] Offline/offsite archival data storage

Brian Bentley bhbentley at gmail.com
Wed Oct 16 14:40:35 EDT 2013


My 1st list entry. Be gentle.  :-)

I am part of a Tax Prep business with 5 partners at 5 home office
locations. Data privacy is important. Data security is important. Quick
turnaround from hard drive and/or motherboard failure is *really important*

We use Amazon S3 to instantly backup tax data to the cloud and to each
partner PC moments later. The Amazon monthly bill is often in pennies, and
hardly ever over $1.

Each partner PC has an EZ Swap 4 drawer that contains the boot drive. Once
a week we clone the boot drive to a WD Green drive in a USB docking
station. The next week we repeat with a 2nd WD Green drive. The most recent
clone is stored off-site with a partner. (We have not had a green drive
failure in the 4 years we have used them. I refuse to use external drives,
only bare drives and a toaster.)

Periodically, the clone goes in the drawer to verify it will boot and is a
valid restore. Periodically I run Spinrite on our drives to check their
health. We use Acronis and Macrium software to make the clones. I use
Acronis to restore to different hardware when motherboards change. (I also
use Acronis to image the boot drive for my linux PVR - Ubuntu Server with
SABnzbd, etc.) I have found that most "backup" software has trouble with
the restore part - Acronis and Macrium have been reliable.

All of this system could be applied to a linux box with the possible
exception of a front end for the Amazon S3 service. I'm sure one must
exist, I just don't know what it is.


*Brian Bentley*
EXECUTAX -* Professional Income Tax Preparation*
Voice: 519-571-9186
Fax:    519-208-2529

On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Khalid Baheyeldin <kb at 2bits.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM, William Park <opengeometry at yahoo.ca>wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 12:34:39PM -0400, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
>> > My solution in a nutshell:
>> >
>> > Vantec Nextar eSATA dock + 3TB WD green disk.
>> General agreement... but go with USB3 and /not/ WD Green.
>> Why not WD Green?  -- bad reputation.  I think most dock can spin the
>> disk down, and OP wants electrically disconnected backup.  So, power is
>> of minor issue.  It's just bad drive.
> It is not only power, it is heat, and longevity. Been using a pair for 10
> months and they have been stable.
> Previously, for years the USB ones would eventually develop errors. I
> tried many versions, and got errors after a month or two. With eSATA, no
> errors so far.
> Why USB?  -- since OP mentioned "offsite" && "online", you can attach
>> your USB disk to any network device.  Beaglebone Black or Raspberry Pi
>> has USB port, but not eSATA.  Also, some el-cheapo NAS doesn't have
>> eSATA.
> The same dock has USB as well, and therefore you can use to connect to
> anything USB.
> Any case/dock with USB will work with the same disk, so not really an
> issue.
> --
> Khalid M. Baheyeldin
> 2bits.com, Inc.
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