Anton Lindstrom (about, @twitter, @github)

The importance of backup


Think about the data stored on our computers. I store my photos, school assignments and a lot of code projects. What if they get lost, someone could steal my computer or the hard drive may fail. What am I supposed to do? The data could be lost forever. This is where backup is really important, if a hard drive fails you are able to get the backup from another place and get it back. Many people I know have a lot of data on their computers that they are afraid to loose but does not take action to prevent it.

How to backup? One way to solve this is to get an external hard drive and copy all the files that you have on your computer onto that one, remember to keep copies on your computer so it is stored on more than one place. There are also solutions like Dropbox where you can store your documents, Dropbox will also sync your files with your other computers if you install a small piece of software. Other services are Mozy, Backblaze and the more advanced alternative Amazon S3.

This is how I run my backups:

  • Photos and music are backed up via a bash-script to my local server
  • Documents are stored on Dropbox for revision control and high availability
  • Documents are also stored on Google Docs as I am often using that as primary writing platform
  • Code projects are saved on Github, also with revision control
  • My laptop is using TimeMachine to an external drive which is connected about once a week and does a full copy of the laptop
  • The most important files are uploaded to Amazon S3

In my backup plan there is one thing I want to improve right now. The local server does not have mirrored disks which is something I have to improve to get a little bit higher fault tolerance. I really take care of my data and truly want to save it. I hope you do the same!