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    If there are wires connecting two backups, it’s one backup. USB drive is a pretty decent backup, but it should be disconnected when not in use. (Possibly rotating drives to avoid mishaps while backing up.)

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      Great point! That’s why folks in high-reliability recommend octocouplers for situations where there would be a shared wire. Fiber if one doesn’t want embedded. Each side’s hardware should be from different suppliers with differing implementations.

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        Even with optocoupler’s, make sure power coming from different places…

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          I was thinking about that. Since I dont know hardware, best I can say is through two, different UPS’s.

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      I have to ask:

      …I cancelled my off-site Amazon Glacier backups around 6 months ago.

      Why? I don’t recall the precise costs, but Glacier is very cheap, and cloud storage is probably the easiest way to get geographic distribution. (Random hardware failure killing a 4-drive RAID and an external drive is very unlikely, but non-random hardware failure—such as the power surge you hypothesized or, heaven forbid, a house fire—not so much.) If you’re paranoid about “The Cloud” having access to your data (reasonable, IMO), run it through GPG first. I keep all my backups encrypted and duplicated in Backblaze B2 for pennies a month, and I wouldn’t consider them secure if they weren’t duplicated somewhere outside my house.

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        I actually was nearly settled on doing an encrypted backup across Glacier, Backblaze and Tarsnap. Alternatively, substitute one of them for Prgmr if I buy a VPS there. Can just drop a backup copy on it, too. Glacier was definitely in the mix for the cost vs data durability. It’s so good… well, if the advertising is honest ;)… it’s so good that I gotta buy from Amazon despite usually dodging them for ethical reasons.

        Edit: Just read the article. He used Amazon. Then, I wrote that… No judgment @kev. I just encourage folks to use alternatives where they can or want to. My ass might be calling up anyone that’s the fastest and cheapest in a scary situation like that. Glad you didn’t loose everything. That sucks when it happens [like my triple, HD failure].

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        I think this is a good precautionary tale about power management, too.

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          Yeah, I wouldn’t consider running anything critical like that without a UPS.

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            Was curious if he was using a UPS or not, apparently in the comments he mentions he wasn’t using one:

            “Think the issue boils down to complacency and stupidity on my behalf. I’ll respond to each of your points for completeness though: 1) I did not have surge protection or UPS in front of the NAS. I just assumed (stupidly) that in 2019 the power grid in the UK was better than that – I won’t be making that mistake again.”

            While I’m here, I suggest if you order a UPS spend a bit more and get a true sine wave one if you’re powering to a server or anything using power factor correction (PFC).

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          I once had to help out a coworker who had to recover some data from a mirrored disk out of a QNAP (I think) NAS. It was straight forward, start the MD raid in degraded state, then the LVM an mounting the FS.

          This entry is also a good reminder, and I most likely will install it, to have some kind of surge protection for the important infrastructure at home. We are spoiled by very good power grids where things like power surges or outages are very rare occurrences. Funnily enough I am writing this while on vacation in Myanmar during a power outage.

          Regarding backups for a home server / NAS: I do not want to rely on some cloud provider, therefore I have another server at my parents who live on the other side of the country. To this I replicate my data regularly. This should protect me against theft, fire and even some bigger disasters. If I suffer a full data loss on my main server I can access the data on the backup one, transfer it back or if the bandwidth is too slow, copy it to an external disk and get it express shipped.

          Occasionally I also backup to an external disk and keep that disconnected. These are also nice if I am on the road and just need read access to some of my bigger files.

          I welcome any critique on that strategy :)

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            3-2-1 rule

            3 instances of each data

            2 different storage solutions

            1 copy off-site

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              I have been planning on finding a friend with a NAS and offering that we exchange some amount of storage on our NASes so that we both get an off site backup.

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                Instead of trading space what about attaching an external drive you own to your friends NAS where you can backup your data to? This might make it easier and the probability of this disk failing while you have a problem with your NAS should be low enough. But then again… Murphy’s Law.. :/

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                I found myself in a similar situation a while back when my NAS died. Worse in some way, because it was using a proprietary RAID implementation so I couldn’t just mount the drives.

                But, I had backups of everything I cared about on a USB HDD at work. I used to update it monthly and it was fairly up to date. I lost some minor things, but nothing important.

                My main take-away was actually a little different. I looked at all the data I was shipping around and decided I didn’t need most of it. I didn’t need 10 years of RAW image files when I had the processed JPGs, for example. I used it as an opportunity to pare down my data, and then started paying for Mega. Cheaper than replacing the NAS and in many ways, less stressful. I still keep an offsite backup at work, of course.