The message two days ago was Backup, Backup, Backup. The mission today was Restore, Restore, Restore.
Well, life is good. I replaced two external devices that I used for data storage with one Drobo S that holds five drives and “stripes” the data across all of the drives. I can lose one drive without data loss. I COULD have formatted it so I could lose two drives, but I would have lost storage space. So, my five drive bays are filled with two 2TB drives, 2 1.5TB drives and an oddball 320GB drive I had kicking around. After the overhead the redundancy claims, I have 4.82TB available to me. (I can remember when I was impressed to get 1.4MB on a 3-1/4″ floppy.)
Drobo was easy to install
Most of you won’t need that kind of storage, but if you do, I highly recommend the Drobo. My kid has one like mine at home and an eight-bay at his office. He kept trying to convince me to move in that direction, but I hate to spend money until and unless I have to.
The nice thing is that you can mix and match drives, then put in bigger ones when you need more space. You don’t have to go through any big gyrations to make it work. The thing that took the most time was getting a stripped screw to let go of the side rails in my old device. Drobo installation consisted of loading the Drobo Dashboard software, sliding the drives in the bays (the cover, a nifty translucent plastic that lets you see diodes and flashing lights is held on by magnets), plugging in the power and and data cables and formatting the drives (took five minutes).
I touted Backblaze’s cloud backup system in my earlier post, but I have to admit that I wasn’t completely confident that it was going to be able to handle a 228GB zip file, but it unpacked clean as a whistle.
If you’re not backing up your data on a regular and reliable basis, I highly recommend this service. It’s five bucks a month to back up unlimited amounts of data. If you click on this link or the image above, it’ll take you to Backblaze. If you sign up for the service, I get a tiny piece of the action. Since the darned service is so cheap, trust me when I say “tiny.”
Salting the elephants
I used the expression “salting the elephants” when a vendor tried to tell me that he didn’t need to prove that his backup system actually worked. He said the restore was so reliable (and so much trouble to make work) that I should just trust him that it would perform as described. (The elephant photo, by the way, was taken at the Town Plaza.)
“So, basically, if I buy your system,” I said, “I’m going to be salting the elephants and assuming that just by HAVING it, I’ll keep failure at bay. Is that your pitch?”
He looked at me quizzically, so I filled him in.
A guy is sitting on a park bench minding his own business when a stranger in a suit sits down next to him. They nod, but otherwise ignore each other. The stranger opens his coat, extracts a salt shaker and shakes it over his shoulder.
Guy One thinks this is unusual, but shrugs and ignores it. A few minutes later, Guy Two repeats the action. This goes on several times until Guy One just has to ask.
“It’s none of my business, but what’s with the salt shaker?”
“It keeps the elephants away,” was the answer.
“There aren’t any elephants around here.”
“See, it’s working.”
Unlike the vendor, I have actually done a restore with Backblaze, so I feel comfortable recommending it.