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A Backup Change

By Steve Jones,

Backups are a fundamental skill for most DBAs, and hopefully, for most technology professionals. For developers, I'd hope that most of you use some sort of version control, and that you back up your VCS database. I actually had someone ask why we needed to back up the VCS if we had the code on our machines. Certainly the local code on your system, or in your database, provides you some level of redundancy, but all the branches, all the code from other developers, you really want a real backup. For git, this is a simple file level backup.

I recently got a letter from Crashplan, who I've been using for a few years as a backup provider. Apparently they are exiting the home backup market, choosing to focus on businesses. I chose them since it was an economical provider, with good ratings, that let me back up multiple machines. I've been happy with them, tested a restores of a few files, but never needed the service. Now, I need a new solution. I keep two copies at home, but what about a fire or disaster? I want an offsite backup.

One of the things I've wanted with a backup solution is a hands off process. While I've managed to use cloud sync software and VCS reports to move most work stuff from one machine to others, there are pictures and other data that I don't want to lose. I've also got computers for my wife and kids that I'd like to have backed up. The Crashplan subscription for 5 computers worked great for me.

It doesn't seem there are a lot of providers out there for families. Most focus on businesses or the individual, which is fine. Backblaze seems like the next best choice, and at $50/yr/computer, perhaps that's a fair price. I've considered using Amazon Glacier and CloudBerry software, but that feels like I'm giving myself another management job to track. Though, maybe with PoSh available cross platform, I could just build a set of scripts to let each computer notify me if there are issues. I'm still trying to decide what makes sense.

Backup is important, and it's becoming a more cumbersome job over time. As my family generates more pictures and video, I get more concerned about backup. Especially the cost. The same problems and challenges I face as a DBA, though often with a slightly bigger budget. However, the challenge of balancing a budget with the requirements to meet some RPO is the same.

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