Thursday, 11 June 2015

storing data

i have been on the search for a good storage system for all my files, for years. then i mean all my files. 800 GB is the current size of my digital file cabinet. these files are part old archived files, and new active files. in here are photos, videos, programs, project files and what have you got. stuff that i would really hate to lose.

finally i have come up with a solution that seems good, for storing such a massive (relatively, at least) amount of data, that i still need access to. i guess many would look at this as overkill. that again, this is my style.

the hard drives
as i have a stationary pc, i bought two extra internal 2 tb hard drives. i mounted them, and created one drive running a software raid 0. hence i got one mirrored 2 tb drive on my computer, so that i get all data stored on two drives. nice, in case if one drive fails.

the cloud
then i bought more storage for my google apps account, giving me a total of 1 tb "cloud space". i did set up google drive sync on my local machine, with the location folder conveniently located on my new 2 tb drive. the result, my data not only stored on two mirrored local drives, but also in the cloud.

the backup
if that was not enough, i also did set up a backup solution, crashplan is my choice, to automatically backup my new 2 tb drive. the result, the data, next to being on two mirrored drive, and in the google cloud, also being backed up to a second cloud service provider.

locations, locations, locations
my important data is now saved locally on two hard drives, and externally with two different cloud providers. if i lose my local machine, i am still ok. if google deletes my files, it will be deleted locally as well, as these files are synced. but then i have the backup solution. if my local machine gets affected by cryptlocker, or another ransomware, the encrypted files will replace my original files. but with my backup solution, and google drive, i can view old versions of my files.

the manual backup
we are not done yet. to be even a tad safer, once a month i manually connect a external mirrored raid 0 hard drive, to my machine, and copy over the entire file archive. as soon as the job is done, i disconnect the drive. hence, in case of a ransomware attack, where i by some strange reason is unavailable to restore my files from the cloud providers, i have at the maximum, a one month old copy of all my files. restoring from a local hard drive would is alsi very efficient, compared with restoring loads of data from the cloud. manual work like this i am no fan of. but extra security comes at a cost.

privacy
having your files stored on different locations means more places and ways for people to access your private content. so a good idea is to encrypt everything before syncing to the cloud. that do mean inconvenience though. i have realised that if the right people want to access my digital files, there is nothing i can do. hence i am not bothering with own encryption of all my data. the cloud service are encrypting on their own, but you can't really rely on this.

improvements
i am thinking of moving really old files, that no longer is in use, to another archive, that do not have to be online at all times. like amazon glacier. for simplicity i have not done this yet.