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  #1  
Old 05-11-2019, 01:38 AM
justinhill justinhill is offline
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Default Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Last night, one of my hard drives went down. It was an old spinner, used for backups. As well as fixing this problem I thought I should re-consider the whole backup regime, and see what others feel about it all. My present setup is an eclectic jumble of variously-sized and housed hard drives with stuff all over them.

My thinking is that I need one backup for the (500GB) computer SSD, and one backup for the (1TB) audio SSD. The audio drive contains only 'live' projects so I also need somewhere to archive completed projects. This 'archive' drive should itself be backed up - i.e. there should be two copies of it.

The backups of the computer and current audio should just be 'clones' I guess, but bigger than the actual SSDs so that Carbon Copy Cloner can do its Safety Net thing.

The archive drive and its mirror would be the same size as each other, and no safety net required because nothing would ever be deleted. This also means these drives should be as big as I can afford.

Does everyone agree with me so far?

I'm not sure I can afford to do all this with SSDs (much as I'd like to) but last night's drive crash has left me feeling a bit fed up with spinners. There's also the question of whether each 'destination' must necessarily be a unique physical drive. This would have to be the case with the archive pair or there's no point in doing it - but maybe the computer and current audio could be backed up to one drive with two partitions, or even one partition with CCC's backup to folder feature.

If I go with spinners, there's also the question of enclosures. I don't like the drive enclosures I have at the moment (OWC) because they've always had a habit of not mounting after a restart. However, buying good-brand external systems like G-Tech looks a bit pricey for me.

And then there's RAID...

So, bearing in mind the obvious problem - money - does anyone have any thoughts to steer my thinking?
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:56 AM
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mjslakeridge mjslakeridge is offline
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Your proposed backup scheme makes sense to me. I would not use SSD's for backup. Speed is not an issue for the backups, safety is. I backup my OS drives by making a disk image using Acronis True Image Home edition. It has the ability to do incremental backups daily/weekly, etc. but I just do a full backup periodically and save the last 2 or 3 backups.

For my sessions, I just do a copy/paste to another hdd across my LAN. I do this at the end of any day that I have worked on a session. I also make an archived backup to an external HDD. So all of my session data exists in 3 locations.

For my O/S drives, I am not worried about loss of data, just want to be able to get back up to speed quickly in the event of a virus or other problems without having to reinstall Windows and a bunch of other programs. Not so much an issue with my ProTools rig, as the only time it is connected to my LAN is when I'm backing up, but I have had to restore from a disk image a couple of times on my everyday computer when something went wrong (virus probably). It is important to test whether restoring from a disk image actually works, I have a few spare HDD's from old computers that I use for testing.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:01 AM
justinhill justinhill is offline
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Thanks, mjslakeridge. You're right - SSD would be overkill for backups so long as the drives are reliable. I'm noticing that used 4TB G-Tech USB3 G-Drives seem to be fairly affordable (c.GBP75) and four of these would do nicely.

I suppose the key thing about the computer backup is boot-ability. I think I'll need to have two places I can back up the computer to, though - one for daily backup, the other for creating 'test' boot drives when upgrading softwares. I can use one of my existing drives for that.

What's the consensus on holding archives of completed commercial work? How long for? I have a vague memory of hearing that tape was held by studios for seven years.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Did you say ”used” 4TB drives as in second hand drives ???
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Not sure about currently, but Digidesign/Avid used to recommend SuperDuper as an imaging/cloning backup program.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:47 AM
justinhill justinhill is offline
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southsidemusic View Post
Did you say ”used” 4TB drives as in second hand drives ???
I take it you feel I shouldn't buy second hand drives for backup... I know what you mean - but we use G-Tech at the studio and some of our drives are getting on for 10 years old and we've never had a failure. I have quite a lot of confidence in G-Tech.

Also, the G-Drives don't have fans, but do have really good heatsinks.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:57 AM
justinhill justinhill is offline
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Weed View Post
Not sure about currently, but Digidesign/Avid used to recommend SuperDuper as an imaging/cloning backup program.
I used to use it... went on using it for years after everyone else I knew moved on... but it became very buggy and its scheduling features were not well implemented. Carbon Copy Cloner is streets ahead.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:03 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

How do you know that the drives you are buying have never been dropped? Never been left in a car or elsewhere and got super hot. Are not just beyond their expected service life?

G-Technology is Western Digital. They make decent drives, but the actual detail/specs of any drive matters.

--

That being said, HDD and SSD have "bathtub" reliability curves. You get some with premature failure, ones that don't prematurely fail work well for a while, then start to fail as they get old. That does not say buy used, it says be paranoid with any new drives.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:06 AM
justinhill justinhill is offline
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
How do you know that the drives you are buying have never been dropped? Never been left in a car or elsewhere and got super hot. Are not just beyond their expected service life?

G-Technology is Western Digital. They make decent drives, but the actual detail/specs of any drive matters.

--

That being said, HDD and SSD have "bathtub" reliability curves. You get some with premature failure, ones that don't prematurely fail work well for a while, then start to fail as they get old. That does not say buy used, it says be paranoid with any new drives.
Quite so, quite so. By the way, I used to be a G-Tech dealer and as far as I knew they were using only Hitachi drives at the time.
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Studio: Apple Mac Pro 5,1 mid 2012 2x 3.46Ghz 6-Core Xeon, 64GB RAM, GeForce GTX 970 graphics, OSX Sierra 10.12.6/Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.12/HDX1/Avid HD 16x16, Digidesign 192 16x16, Digidesign 192 16x8/Custom Raindirk Symphony 32ch. front end
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:10 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Backup and archive hardware and regimes

Quote:
Originally Posted by justinhill View Post
Quite so, quite so. By the way, I used to be a G-Tech dealer and as far as I knew they were using only Hitachi drives at the time.
Hitachi/HGST and their subsidiary G-Technology, were acquired by Western Digital ~ decade ago. Western Digital has been on an acquisition binge for a long time.
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