Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The backups, the backups, oh the… wait, I don’t have them… DOH!

I know I should backup everything regularly.  I work in software.  Really, I have no excuse.  I’ve read several of Scott Hanselman’s posts on setting up regular backups.  I have some (manual) backups that I do on occasion, but nothing regular and certainly not comprehensive.  A few weeks ago, the blog hosting service canceled my account, they did not keep any backups (why would they?) and I did not have any backups of my blog posts.  Shame on me!  And so I am here, attempting to recover some of the posts through Google’s cache and the internet archive, with limited success.  The images are gone, but at least the text content is available.

The main lesson I have learned through this is that backups must be automated if they are going to regularly happen.  A manual backup is nice, but I forget, I get busy, I tell myself I’ll do it tomorrow, or any number of excuses.  The tools exist today for automating most backups.  I have no excuse.  Neither do you.

I echo Scott’s recommendation of having at least three backup locations.  I’ve spent the last several days setting these up, with cloud storage being one, a local NAS (network attached storage) drive being the second, and an external hard drive being a third.  I’m still in the process of doing this.  I will also be setting up services that run daily/weekly that will backup my mail, blog posts, and any content that regularly changes.  By the end of this, I’ll likely be backup crazy, but next time, I won’t lose content!

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