[vcf-midatlantic] several things

Henry S. Courbis info at reactivemicro.com
Fri Jan 3 16:59:47 EST 2020

$.02 on topic.

I was team "long term" storage for while. Since early Apple II days I
always made at least one disk backup. Moving forward, it was tapes, then
ZIP Disks, CDs, and finally DVDs.

Early on I was more than happy leaving data for long periods of time on old
media. I always had concerns however with old disk drives and of course the
need for some platform to access them. The equipment concerns started to
weigh in as floppy was phased out from motherboards, then later 40 pin IDE.
I never let data sit too long. I would move to newer devices as budget and
time permitted. Later I had some issues with CDs. Nothing major, but it got
me thinking about a 'real' long term solution. I also found it
uncomfortable relying on old tech as the years progressed.

About 2010 I went local attached storage and moved all data to it - live
and backup. RAID 1 is mirrored HDDs. It's 2 HHDs which yields only half the
storage space due to mirroring, but more is much more redundant due to the
unlikelihood both drives would fail at once. And this means the data is
local and accessible. Of course I have a good motherboard and use a good
line filter, power strip, and UPS. Last thing I need is a power spike
taking out my computer or risking both HDDs.

For 'backups' I can attach an external device and copy to it, be it HDD or
Flash. I can also just remove a HDD, insert new HDD, and the RAID Array
auto rebuilds to the new drive. And the removed drive is still accessible
outside the RAID when connected by itself. So this medium/devices can be
kept offsite for a second level of protection. My third level is cloud
based backup which also offers search and versioning. CrashPlan is $10 a
month and offers unlimited space. I currently have 4TBs there. All you need
is basic cable modem access and it's fine. I have 2mbit upload for example.

A decent used RAID Controller (ASR-6805T) is like $40. No need for new. 4TB
HDDs can be had used for $45. So for under $150 (assuming you have PCIe
Slot open and available channels) you can add 4TB of RAID 1 to your system.
And for $120 a year, backup online too. Or just take that money and buy to
more HDDs and swap out of the Array every month and keep the 'backup'
drives in your storage space. Barring a major natural disaster you'll
always be fine. Most years my backup costs are just that of CrashPlan -
under $.40 a day.

Semi-related to topic - Each year I like to crate a new folder, 2020 in
this case, and resave projects being worked on and new things there. So I
have access to past years, and know that my projects/data was current to
that point. If/when I ever suspect an issue I can quickly and simply go
back and open a file to check. When keeping large amounts of data however
it's imperative to be well organized. Personal, Business, sub folders for
Vendors, Media, etc. I'm a backup guy and don't mind duplicating things
from year to year, like Media folders from 2019 to 2020, or even go
quarterly if I feel needed. It's a lot of work compared to just a few
folders. But I can find things from the past very simply when needed. You
may be happy with just one media folder with subfolders of years for
example. But all that's a different discussion.

TL;DR - Deep storage is tricky at best. Local attached RAID might do
exactly what you want and cheaply too with much less risk in the long term.

Henry S. Courbis

Office Toll Free: (800) REACTIVE (732-2848)
Office/Mobile Direct: (856) 779-1900
www.ReActiveMicro.com <http://www.ReactiveMicro.com> - Sales, Support, and
News, Our Headquarters on the Internet
ReActiveMicro.com/wiki  - Support, Software, Manuals, and History. Create
your own page today!
Facebook.com/reactivemicrousa - Our Social Media Outlet and Support

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 6:36 PM Michael Brutman via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> I used to write enterprise class hard drive firmware for HGST before they
> got bought by Western Digital.  Our code was also shard with the consumer
> SATA drives.
> Hard drives have *very* robust error detection and correction.  They will
> generally go to extraordinary lengths to recover and relocate data on
> marginal sectors.  The ECC algorithms implemented in the hardware are very
> robust.  Drives do need to be powered up once in a while to do background
> scanning for weak sectors, so just writing data and putting the drive on a
> shelf is not the best idea.
> As with many other things, the best approach is defense in depth (layers of
> defense).  Store several copies of the data, and not on the same brand of
> media or hard drive model.  Verify the data using a hash that was created
> at the time the data was written to detect corruption, and use another copy
> (that hopefully isn't also corrupted) to mitigate the problem.  Filesystems
> like ZFS are awesome.
> All of the big cloud data storage providers have your data stored in
> multiple places; two copies isn't considered safe enough.  And of course
> they spread them out geographically to mitigate damage from external
> factors.
> Mike

More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list