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re-installation and disk management

Face it, re-installations are a pain. However, its always a chance to put the best of plans into place and then find out how your plans ended up in the mess.

Well, all wasn't lost so far. The original plan was to software raid 1 (2x 120GB disks) the installation. Of course, greed took the better of me and i decided, i'd just use one whole disk as a separate data mount and if i need to backup, cron an rsync between disks. at least I'd have a bit more room to play with. But like that is ever going to happen.

Data issues, sigh. Unknown to most people, they normally have at least a terabyte of drive space lying around the house. Think about it. How many computers do you have. How many external firewire, usb drives do you have. Have you recently upgraded and have a couple of disks lying somewhere. And we haven't even started looking at optical media yet.

Sometimes, I feel like just getting a NAS with at least a terabyte and not having to worry about it for a year, and I still get the sinking feeling that 1 year is pushing it.

Doesn't sound realistic? if you happen to be like me. A total must to convert stuff to data. Because data is the most secure form of storage hey? So what if bytes corrode, hard disks crash and machines explode. You just got to like those blinking lights.

Distributed file systems. How much of a good idea is that? What redunancies should be put in place? Is my power bill going to shoot the roof? Right, now that we asked the right questions, lets start.

Data Management

1) Identify all type of data stored

2) Classify your data in terms of importance and level of availability

3) Size each category and include potential growth trends

4) Say Yippee and pat your back

Obviously, if you haven't figured what I'm saying is that the important data needs to be backup. you can stick to normal scheduled disk/file copy or network transfers. nothing fancy, just auto windows SMB mapping and bat file for xcopy or rsync or scp -r.

Next think how readily available do I want this data. All the time? Alright, if you look at your list, put the following in order.

|| Important, Always available || Not Important, Always available ||
|| Important, Not always available || Not Important, Not always available ||

Saying that I can't draw a Cross here you, use your imagination.

Take the first layer and allocate the data in your server (machine that is always on). If that machine has 2 disks and you have the space for backup, make a backup schedule between disks. If not schedule a network copy to your other machine. Removable disk do count as additional disks)

So, you have one stable machine you plan on leaving on connected to your broadband router with NAT and server software with the spare firewire drive lying around stuck to it for backups.

You might feel really proud of yourself right now.

In my next post I will talk about the distribution of modern day home processing and how you can benefit from wastage.


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