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vansmith

 
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Offsite backup can be relatively easy for small things as well (one could argue that someone emailing their important documents to their own address is primitive offsite backup). For instance, I've set up cron to backup parts of my school work to Dropbox at a regular interval. It runs a basic shell script that compresses a folder and copies it to my Dropbox folder. Relatively simple compared to full offsite backup but it accomplishes the same goal.

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Slydude

 
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I've thought about doing something similar. I've had iDisk for a long time but never made much use of it due to speed.

I have several files I'd like to put in an encrypted disk image and store online for easy access. Problem is I need it to be accessed from both Mac and Windows. Preferably without third party software though I don't think that is possible.

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vansmith

 
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You could use an ISO image instead of a DMG. ISO images are fully supported by OS X and it's relatively easy to get software that will read them in Windows. Even better, Windows 8 includes native ISO image support.

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Slydude

 
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I mentioned this to someone recently but I think when I did we were talking about using DMG files. I don't know why I didn't think of ISO as a possibility. Thanks.

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IvanLasston

 
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My family and I are currently safe from the fires - but I have friends in both major burn areas (High Park and Waldo) that are affected. Evacuations and some may have lost their houses already. No one knows quite yet as the burn area in Colorado Springs is too dangerous to get to.

Good info on the ISO. Hadn't thought of that.

I had written up some things on RAID earlier. I may try to consolidate and focus on backup.

Some other places to stash data - again an online distributed strategy is probably good. The more places you have important data - the less chance you have of losing it (i.e. company goes out of business)

dropbox - the gold standard - everything seems to integrate to dropbox nowadays.
www.dropbox.com

box - online - not very well integrated into Desktop OSes. (SugarSync and Dropbox can look like folders on the desktop. Does have an iOS app.
https://www.box.com/

Sugarsync - has a manager just like dropbox for syncing to the deskop. They also have an iOS app that works well. They give you 5GB of space.
https://www.sugarsync.com/

Amazon cloud drive
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/learnmore
5GB Free.

Microsoft Skydrive
https://skydrive.live.com/

Google Drive
https://drive.google.com/

As always - keeping data online is somewhat of a risk so choose carefully how sensitive information is stored there. Consider encryption (the dmg file, an encrypted iso, using tar and gpg) to store sensitive files online. That being said - being online at all is a risk for identity theft so tread lightly whatever you do when putting personal information online.

EDIT: I use GPG to transfer sensitive files as it is available on all major systems. Here is a good article on how to use it with a shared password.
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-...-password.html
You could get really fancy and use shared keys to encrypt/decrypt data.
http://drdatabase.wordpress.com/2010...a-quick-howto/
Or use an encrypted password file to share
http://unix.stackexchange.com/questi...is-it-a-normal
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Slydude

 
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Glad to hear you are OK. Keep us posted.

Thanks for those references. I'll be looking at those as soon as I am a bit more awake.

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How good are those water cooled safe boxes in protecting drives from a house fire (God forbid that happens to anybody)

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Around here the big danger is from Tornadoes. A water cooled safe isn't going to be much of a protection if you can't find the safe. Some folks whose homes have been destroyed by a Tornado have recovered items that were carried a mile or more from their home.

On line storage makes sense but like Ivan warns, you open yourself up to identity theft when storing sensitive data.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
I've mentioned this before - but another thing you could do is run a raid server - and swap disks periodically. You could put the disks in a safe deposit box or somewhere else off site.
RAID is not, and should not be, considered anything like a backup method at all. It's a fault tolerant (not proof) architecture, disks in RAID arrays can (and do) fail regularly and dataloss is not an unusual situation with a RAID array. There are array types that are more tolerant than others, but there are always trade offs. In general, RAID isn't really aimed at the consumer market. It has been adopted in recent years, but it's primarily a high availability type solution.

You should always have another backup method. I'm certainly not going to fail an array, and force a rebuild, on a regular basis simply to have a backup (although I am aware that people do).

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IvanLasston

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
RAID is not, and should not be, considered anything like a backup method at all. It's a fault tolerant (not proof) architecture, disks in RAID arrays can (and do) fail regularly and dataloss is not an unusual situation with a RAID array. There are array types that are more tolerant than others, but there are always trade offs. In general, RAID isn't really aimed at the consumer market. It has been adopted in recent years, but it's primarily a high availability type solution.

You should always have another backup method. I'm certainly not going to fail an array, and force a rebuild, on a regular basis simply to have a backup (although I am aware that people do).
Correct - but there are several raid levels - including mirroring. As I said in some other post - RAID by itself doesn't save you from catastrophic loss like a fire or tornado - you need to have some offsite strategy as well. Taking apart a raid array isn't for the feint of heart either - but it is a way to backup offsite using hard drives. That being said - you'll also need to take ESD protections as well as shock protections when moving hard drives. You also need to keep enough hard drives to rebuild - and that is also dependent on raid level. I never said it was a perfect backup solution - but show me something that is.

Also - if you are backing up - backing up to a single disk is quite a dangerous proposition. Single disk failure is an issue far more frequent than catastrophic loss - so RAID can be a solution for a backup system.

As I said - I need to consolidate and put down the ups and downs of RAID and where it does and doesn't work - but you are absolutely correct - RAID in and of itself is not a backup solution.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
but show me something that is.
At the consumer level, absolutely nothing. You get into the enterprise level, and you get closer with synchronous continual data duplication to remote DR sites, even then there's risk.. just far more mitigated risk.

BTW, I'm more concerned about the risk of dataloss while failing that array, which will depend on array type. For instance, let's look at RAID 5, so we fail a drive. Ok, we have parity across the other drives in the array to rebuild. Awesome! Well, sure but now we're taxing the array members pretty hard, since we're reading parity across all of them. Now, well.. we take say, a read error or spindle failure on one, and poof. The array's gone. No longer rebuildable. Sure, 1's more tolerant of this.. but man... still. It'd be easier just to take an additional drive, mount it and dd the array to it, at least IMHO.

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vansmith

 
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Just to augment IvanLasston's previous post, here are the operating systems supported by those cloud storage services through a native client:

Dropbox: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS.
Box.net: Windows, OS X, iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS (including a PlayBook version).
SugarSync: Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone (screenshots show WP pre 7) and Symbian.
Amazon CloudDrive: Windows, OS X and Android (only music can be streamed).
Microsoft SkyDrive: Windows, OS X, WP7 and iOS.
Google Drive: Windows, OS X, Chrome OS, iOS and Android.

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IvanLasston

 
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Hey Mike, you hit my dilemma dead on. The problem with RAID is the fail/rebuild cycle - at least of the way I was thinking of doing it initially. And as I said - the transport and protection of the drives is still an issue. I mean there is tape - which is a little more robust but having a tape backup is pretty hairy even for a professional IT staff. I've seen plenty of Unrecoverable Read Errors (URE) on both raid and tape solutions to concern me. My thought was one of the mirror raid solutions and rotating in disks - into the mirror - instead of just a parity rebuild (which does stress everything). I don't know all the acronym terminology - is that what you meant by dd?

Right now - a simpler home solution is just to have multiple drives you back up to - which is what I've been suggesting for the time being until I get a raid solution sorted out. Well - I also have some users backing up to a RAID 1 La Cie disk connected to an Airport Extreme just to help mitigate single disk failure.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanLasston View Post
Hey Mike, you hit my dilemma dead on. The problem with RAID is the fail/rebuild cycle - at least of the way I was thinking of doing it initially. And as I said - the transport and protection of the drives is still an issue. I mean there is tape - which is a little more robust but having a tape backup is pretty hairy even for a professional IT staff. I've seen plenty of Unrecoverable Read Errors (URE) on both raid and tape solutions to concern me. My thought was one of the mirror raid solutions and rotating in disks - into the mirror - instead of just a parity rebuild (which does stress everything). I don't know all the acronym terminology - is that what you meant by dd?

Right now - a simpler home solution is just to have multiple drives you back up to - which is what I've been suggesting for the time being until I get a raid solution sorted out. Well - I also have some users backing up to a RAID 1 La Cie disk connected to an Airport Extreme just to help mitigate single disk failure.
dd is a unix command. Sorry It does a block by block (or byte by byte) copy of a disk, to another disk.. or can. It's a WHOLE lot more usable than that, but that'd be a good way to do a low-level copy, with low stress.

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