I’ve written about backups at various times, including responsibility, problems with systems, and home protection. This is a subject that is important to me, as I consider the responsibility for protecting data to be first and foremost. Security, performance and more all matter, but backup and restores are the most important items to pay attention to.
As data professionals, whether looking at organizational systems or our personal data, we will find that our backup strategies change over time. We may also find that systems come and go, and it can be easy to forget about older systems. I know I’ve had to track down tapes and restore decommissioned systems years after they were reformatted or powered off.
I ran across an interesting post from someone that went through and found their old backup media and moved it all to newer media, as well as cloud storage. While I’m not sure that I really want to go through old hard drives and keep old code or data, it’s an interesting exercise to think about.
Do you worry about losing data from old backups? This probably applies more to home systems than organizations, but perhaps you have regulatory requirements to keep seven (or more) years of backups around. Maybe you want to be sure that your old code, projects, pictures, and more are saved elsewhere. Maybe you even want to ensure that newer formats of media are being used.
What techniques might you use to accomplish this? I know I have a Windows Home Server that receives copies of pictures/music/video and a Crashplan account that backs up various machines in the house. That seems to work well, though I do consider taking those pictures/video and putting them on DVDs for long term storage out of the house. I’m hoping that .jpg and other formats don’t go out of popularity anytime soon.