Continued from page 1
- Very slow
- Data errors are common
- Specialized backup/restore software required.
- Attempting to restore on different tape drives or on different machines is likely to fail or to be extremely difficult. Tapes do not support random access, so restoring single files is a long and painful process.
Writeable CDs - I have found that writeable CDs are by far best option to use for backups. When you purchase media, you have choice of buying write-once disks (very cheap) or read-write disks (much more expensive). I like to mix and match - sometimes write-once is good (when I want to create a permanent archive of my data) and sometimes read-write is what I need.
I recommend writeable CD drives for following reasons:
- The media comes in two formats. Both formats are relatively cheap, especially when purchased in bulk.
- The error rate is low.
- The media will last a long time.
- You can store over 600 megabytes on each disk.
- The disks are easy to store. In fact, you can use same jewel cases and storage racks that you use for your audio CDs.
- If you write in compatible format, you can read CDs on any system with a CDROM drive.
- You can use same hardware and software to create audio CDs.
On other hand, some of disadvantages are:
- Writing is rather slow.
- The drives do require specialized drivers and cabling to be installed on your system.
Disk-To-Disk - Disk drives are becoming extraordinarily cheap. You can easily purchase 50 gigabyte drives for under $500 (and I've seen them much lower). One possible backup solution is to purchase a drive to match each of your other disk drives. For example, if you have a C and D drive, you could purchase two more disk drives and install them, making them E and F (or whatever).
The advantages of this scheme are:
- Disk-to-disk backup is very fast
- Data written from disk to disk tends to be very reliable.
- The data is easy to recover.
- The data is still accessible from your system, which means viruses, hackers ad environmental disasters (such as a flood) can destroy your data.
One alternative to look at if you have a small network in your house is to get a network disk drive. These are available at $500 to $1,000 range and sit on network. You can backup and restore files from them easily and quickly.
Conclusions - So what do I recommend? Purchase a writeable CD drive and install it on your system (make sure it is compatible before you make your purchase). If you've got money, purchase a networked disk drive which is same size as all of your local disks put together. Why? The writeable CD unit allows you to create backups at will of many of your files. You can store these backups off-site, transfer files between, machines, and have a high expectation that data will still be good in five to ten years. The networked disk drive allows you to create full backups of your system quickly and easily while you are sleeping. This gives you complete recovery in event of a disaster.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net Weekly newsletter: http://www.internet-tips.net/joinlist.htm Daily Tips: mailto:internet-tips@GetResponse.com