What are you doing to preserve your data?

Churches and other non-profits have important, critical data that should be backed up on a scheduled basis, stored at a reliable source off-site. I suspect, tho that most churches backup process is like this:

  1. Backups happen sporadically
  2. Not all important files are backed up
  3. Backup files are stored on the same computer as the original, or on a disk or something semi-reliable.
  4. Backup files are kept in the office.

Apple’s statistics show that only 4% of Mac users have an automatic backup strategy. I doubt churches are any better.
To be fair, my own backup strategy is full of holes. I’ve tried setting up an automated backup using rsync to copy changed files to an external hard drive, but that means turning on the external drive in time for the backup, and for some reason rsync seems to copy everything, not just the changed stuff so it takes forever.
If doing backups were as simple as typing out a Word document, more organizations would be doing it, including myself!
Amazon’s new Simple Storage Service (S3) offers a partial way there. S3 is an Internet “web service” that permits you to store unlimited data on their very robust, highly secure system. This is the system they use, as well as corporations like Microsoft. Rates, currently, are 15 cents per GB stored a month and 20 cents per GB transferred.
A church with 10GB of data that adds 0.5GB of new data per month would pay approximately less than $10 for the whole year of secure, off-site storage. That’s cheap. No other online storage service compares right now.
Still, that doesn’t solve the problem entirely of getting files backed up regularly. S3 provides the storage, not the tool to backup the data.
In another post I’ll list some tools that make it easy to backup with S3. I haven’t looked yet, so Google don’t let me down. 🙂

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