Backups [was Re: Is tape dead?]

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Tue Sep 15 14:19:27 CDT 2015

> I think a more important issue in backing up is "How many GENERATIONS
> to you keep around?"

For many purposes, that's an important consideration, yes.  There's
something (small) I back up weekly for which I keep the most recent
seven backups, the oldest backup in each of the most recent twelve
months, and the oldest backup in any year.  I'm considering something
of the sort for my house backups - live replication to a backup host,
with a once-a-week freeze of the replica, storing past replica drives
on a scheme somewhat like the above.

> I back up my original work or valuable reference sources.  No
> pictures or movies.  When you consider how much *original* work
> anyone does during a lifetime, it's surprisingly little.

Pictures and movies can be original work - perhaps not for you,
certainly mostly not for me (I have a few original pictures, but only a
few), but I know graphic designers and photographers who have probably
produced at least a gigabyte of original pictures each by now.  And
people into video production....

> Related to the subject of backup devices, I've been seeing stupid-low
> prices on SSD using MLC flash.  How reliable are these things?  I'm
> still of the spinning rust persuasion, right now.

So am I.  I don't trust multi-level for anything more than passing a thumb
drive to a friend or the like (where failure carries a very low cost)
and I mostly don't trust wear-leveling algorithms yet, so I have little
use for flash, certainly not for backups.

Besides, even stupid-low SSD prices are still, in my admittedly limited
experience, well above spinning-rust prices.  The advantages of flash
(random access and physical ruggedness) aren't very important for most
backup applications, so price (and burnt-in technology, to some extent)
win out for my purposes.

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