Tuesday, October 9, 2007

are your images safe?

So - what is the biggest problem with backup? NO ONE DOES IT! Why? Two reasons - no one thinks about it until it is too late, and no one wants to manage it. What is the solution? Tons of people have solutions. Apple has a new automated solution called Time machine that takes the thought out of backup - simply set it up when your first install the OS. There are a few other automated solutions out there that require little to no upkeep. So what's the deal - why do people (including myself) ignore backup. The answer is simple ... no one sees the need. The average consumer doesn't backup because they don't see the pressing need for backup. I have to admit I was one of the masses for a long time - no backup. I had good drives, what was the need? All that changed when a friend of mine lost thousands of photos when he moved (not copied) his photo library to an external to free space on his desktop computer. A month later the external drive failed. Even though I did not lose any images - I instantly began to think of my images that resided on a single hard drive. The fact of the matter is - drives fail with little to no warning. Should we all switch to CDs and DVDs for backup .... doesn't sound like fun to me. The key with digital backup is redundancy. Having the data in several locations so that if one fails there are backups. A common form of this is RAID which can be used to link multiple drives in tons of configurations to automatically manage mirroring backup. The problem with RAID is that it has zero flexibility when it comes to expansion and is a pain to setup.

A few weeks ago I ran across a new device that takes the hassle out of redundant backup - it is the Drobo from Data Robotics. A 4 bay USB external storage device - it employs 'RAID like' redundancy without the overhead or complex nature of RAID. Wanna use small drives that's cool. Wanna use big drives that's cool. Wanna use a mixture of different sizes of drives EVEN BETTER! Have all four drive bays full with drives and need more space - just pop out the smallest drive and toss in a bigger one. If a drive fails you just get a replacement (any size you want) and pop it in - Drobo does the rest. Check out the site - it will change the way you do backup ... especially if you don't do backup at all. It is not a question of if your drive will fail - it is a matter of when. Don't be unprepared BACK UP YOUR DATA TODAY. I'm not saying Drobo will fit everyone's needs - but it is pretty darn cool. Give it a look - I think you will like what you see.

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