Your Digital Legacy – Part 5. Storage and Backup.

For storage I have based mine on popular American commercial photographer Chase Jarvis’s solution. See

Chase uses Apple Xserve servers connected to a bank of Fibre Channel Hard Drives and TimeMachine to automatically backup, along with an off site storage system.

This is serious money and you may not need all of this stuff from the start, but it’s good to know it can all be done.

I use a Mac OS Mini Server and a 2 Terabyte Firewire drive, with a 2 TB USB connected backup. Unlike USB, you can daisy chain up 64 drives with Firewire. I also have a docking station where I can plug in a drive and make a copy that I can take off site once a month.

A warning on backup. Some people advocate RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives) as a backup solution. RAID is a redundancy solution. Redundancy means there is a spare drive that will keep the computer going without interruption if the main drive fails. It gives you time to replace the faulty drive without your machine stopping. However RAID provides absolutely zero backup.

Backup means a separate storage device that you can go back to if your main storage loses something. It is a snapshot taken in time of your data. If you have a backup taken yesterday and you delete a file accidentally today, then you can go back to the backup copy, find the file and restore it.

If you accidentally delete a file on a raid system, or it gets a power surge, or the software controlling the raid fails, the file is probably gone forever.

A backup should therefore ideally not be a live system, not powered up and not at the same site.

MORAL 5. Check and review your backup situation.

I hope you have found this series on Your Digital Legacy useful.

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