Re: Rebuilding my server
- From: Bill Baka <bbaka@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 11:44:38 -0800
Jean-David Beyer wrote:
Bill Baka wrote:
Does it have USB 2.0 ports you can hang an external drive on? I have
seen 500 GB external backup drives for the mid-$200 range.
Beats a tape anytime.
How many 599 GB external backup drives can you put in a safe-deposit box? I
can easily get a dozen backup tapes (one a month) into mine. I can get 160
GBytes onto a tape. The newer model of my tape drives can get double that
onto a single tape.
Tapes are way better now than in 2000.
Norton ghost worked for me back in 2000, slow, but I did get a 40GB
drive mirrored with it. Tapes have burned me before and the external
drive seems to be a good way to go, and much faster.
I did, too, with DDS-2 tape drives. With VXA drives, I have never lost anything.
I used the old DC-250 tapes at home until about 1995. 250 MB, DOS interface, and about a half an hour per VHS sized tape. Reliable but slow as mud. At work we had a newer tape that would store about 10GB, 2000 time frame, cheap company. There I did my backups with a drive and 3 tapes that the IT guy gave me and all 3 were bad when I tried to do a restore. The genius gave me a drive that had never been tested, so the tapes couldn't be read by another drive.
Using 2 external drives on a day to day rotation will keep you pretty
well bullet proof. Worst case, one of the backup drives dies and you
only lose a day.
That depends on what you think the failure mode is. If you are only worried
about head crashes, and you can detect them in less than 24 hours, you may
be OK. But if you accidentally delete a file and do not realize it for a
week, or a month, what do you do then? That is why I have 6 daily backups
for Monday, ..., Saturday; 5 weekly backups for 1st week, ... 5th week; and
12 monthly backups for January, ..., December. That is a lot of drives. I
would have difficulty getting 12 drives in my safe-deposit box.
I'll agree there, but if your work data is really critical you would want backups both at work and at home.
Now let us consider the failures I have actually experienced. Where I used
to work, a novice sys-admin did a mkfs on top of the file system I had been
doing all my work on while I was actually using it. All our systems were
supposed to have been backed up nightly, but he forgot to backup the one I
was on, so he could not restore my file system from the non-existent backup.
I could have punched him, but instead I went home for the day to simmer
down. Several months work lost.
I had one of those once and backed up my own machine before he could 'administrate' it. I'm a hardware (analog) engineer so he thought I knew nothing about that stuff, along with all the other engineers he pissed off before he quit due to 'overwork'.
On my home computers I used a floppy tape drive on the first one, and it
worked, but was slow and very small; just big enough to back up my 1.2 GByte
hard drive (my present machine has more RAM than that). The next one had a
4mm HP DDS-2 tape drive that would take 8 GBytes, IIRC. I could use that if
it worked (which it seldom did) even though I had 18 GBytes of hard drives
at the time -- that machine now has 90 GBytes of hard drives. Easily backed
up on a single tape. My third machine has a bit over 200 GBytes of hard
drives, and I do not back up quite all of it at once. The everyday stuff all
goes onto one tape, and a database for software exploration that changes
slowly, goes to a second tape when necessary. I do not recall losing any
data from the floppy-tapes. I lost data with the HP DDS-2 tapes. I do not
recall losing any data with the VXA tape drives. We are talking about a
10-year time period here for my home machines.
I had a 10 year old MB that I bought for $1,200 in 1988. In 1997 I couldn't even get $25 for it. I remember back then an upgrade to the hard drive was from 10MB to 40MB with 1GB drives for $1,000.
If the MB is actually 4 years old it may be going antique as we speak.
I keep my machines longer. I tend to get either the fastest or
second-fastest machine I can and run it until it does not make sense to
continue. So my "old" machine dates from early 2000 and it still works fine.
It drives my printer, cd-burner, runs Windows XP when necessary, and BOINC
the rest of the time. It has two 550 MHz Pentium processors in it, three
hard drives, and 512 MBytes RAM.
I kind of wish that I had room for another computer. Windows 3.1 screams on a 3GHz machine. Makes me wonder that happened???
My "new" machine I built in early 2004. It too still works fine and I do not
foresee replacing it anytime soon. It has two 3.06 GHz Xeon processors, 8
GBytes RAM, and 6 hard drives in it (4 for a database, 2 for everything else).
Sounds about like my machine. 4 IDE, 2 SATA, almost 2 TB hard drives, total home build. I took the cover off my daughter's Compaq once and swore never to buy a factory build, ever.
Keep on having fun ;')
Maybe a good time to evaluate the projected life of what you have and
plan an update this summer, or whatever is good for you.
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