Disaster Recovery Testing — 10

Usually computer disaster recovery plans presume available backups in one form or another. What happens in a worst case disaster where no backups exist?

All backups in the home network are stored in different locations around the house in allegedly fire proof safes. Despite the claims I am presuming the heat from an intense fire would destroy the backup disks. While the house is not located in anything close to a flood zone, the safes are not water proof. Theft would render the backups moot.

The common reply to this dilemma is off site backups.

There are no off site backups for the home network.

Two layers of backups are off network, which is good, but not off site.

For many years I have considered off site storage. The primary reason for not having off site backups is inconvenience. Unlike a business owner who has available locations to store backups, options are more limited at the personal level. At the personal level off site backups could be stored in a safety deposit box or with friends or relatives. Doable but inconvenient with the hassle of continually rotating backup disks.

There is the option to store files on somebody else’s computer — the so-called cloud. That approach unsettles me. I do not trust such options. My files are mine — I am not opening doors to data mining and snooping. There is no way I can test or confirm files are always encrypted unless everything is encrypted before uploading. There is no way to guarantee full access at any time to the files.

A core question is deciding which is more inconvenient — rotating off site backups or losing years of work.

I never could recreate the hundreds of shell scripts I have written through the years. I never could recover years of writing projects. I would lose access to all passwords, both local and online.

Mischievously — or perversely, such an event could be treated as not being the end of the world. In certain ways a life without computers is tempting.

Being pragmatic means off site backups should be created.

One challenge is how often to rotate off site. How many file changes can be lost when recovering from such backups? The current backup strategy means losing up to three days of backups if the clone backup disks survive. If not then the loss of file changes will be one or two weeks.

Rotating disks off site for a longer period means losing more file changes.

The clone backup disks are updated every three days. That window is reasonably palatable with respect to restoring files. Two sets of clone backup disks are needed to be able to rotate disks off site every three days.

Another challenge is where to store those off site backups. One way or another, rotating disks off site every several days or weeks is a nuisance.

I am still thinking about this challenge.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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