Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Geek tech: backups

I've long been looking for a simple, reliable, inexpensive way to backup and archive all the data floating around in Matt World. There are several options:

DVD backups
Cheap, simple, DVD burners ubiquitous, highly standardized format
Con: Size limitations, not scalable, long term reliability

Network storage
Large sizes, centralized, accessible from all computers on the network
Con: Expensive, higher maintenance, cheaper options have reliability issues, still need to backup-the-backup in case of network drive failure

Online storage
Reasonably priced options exist, high confidence for short-term reliability, low maintenance, accessible from everywhere
Con: Speed, low confidence for long-term reliability, privacy concerns

USB/Firewire drives
Reasonably priced, portable
Con: Slow, unreliable

The solution I've chosen (for now) is...

Hot-swap SATA storage
Large sizes, low cost, semi-portable, simple, flexible
Con: Requires bay ($20) in each computer, higher maintenance

In truth I'll be combining DVD backups for the smaller, quicker stuff that I want available separately, using SATA drives for the larger-scale, more automated backups.

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