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Friday, May 09, 2008

Deja Vu 3.3.2 Mirroring, and the Safety Net

I got this with Toast 8, and have been using it to backup my 500 gig backup drive to another 500 gig drive. So, I have a backup of a backup. The problem is, on the mirror, extra stuff tends to accumulate as I clean up or delete on the drive I'm initially backing up to, and I don't want extra files laying about.

So, I started to investigate exactly how the 'Mirror' option works with Safety Net.





I created some test files, some folders within a folder, and some files in those folders.

Testing. I preformed a file placement or deletion then ran a backup after each.

1. Deleted a test file in a folder on the source. When mirrored, shows up in the Safety Net archive folder in the same folder names it was in, in the same relative directory structure so you know where it came from.

2. Replaced a file into a folder on the mirror backup that wasn't supposed to be there. Safety Net also backed up this file before deleting it. Nice: Extra files on the mirror, for example stuff you might have accidentally put there, are saved. Or had a virus eat them on your original disk and you didn't realize.

3. Removed a file from the mirror and it was restored on a new backup. (Duh, but just testing.)

4. Tried the same operations with empty folders. Even those are preserved via Safety Net.

In short, with Mirror and Safety Net enabled, it appears ANY file folder or file change will by backed up into an archive. The archives are folders with all the deleted or changed folders and files in the original 'places'.

Nice: The Safety Net archive folders are named with date and time in the YYYYMMDD_TIME format.

Recommendations:

I plan on keeping 32 archives. The dailies should be small and easy to check, and have the monthly in there somewhere as I've set it to keep 32 archives, as well as 4 weeklies within that set of 32 archives assuming you do one a day. These are just CHANGES anyway so all of them should be relatively small.

Dailies will have small changes but will wipe out the oldest archive.

The Safety Net archives include daily, weekly, and monthly archives. No distinction is made between them, so however many you keep, it just keeps that many folders. I recommend checking what was deleted and if you're fine with it, trash the archive.

Why mirror this way vs raid? Because it gives you a chance to catch deletions, due to file system problems, viruses, or whatever. RAID is on the fly, so you'll never miss it until it's too late. Safety Net lets you review the changes. (Which can be a pain, but that's up to you.)

I don't keep my backup drive or my mirror powered up unless I'm making a backup or mirror. Less time window for any sort of power problem, virus infection, etc. Do the same. Plus it saves wear and tear on the drives themselves. Again, unlike a RAID.

Keep the Mirror drive offsite. Bring it home once a week. I plan to send mine to work with my wife. I hope she doesn't lose it...

Why did I do all this? I asked Deja Vu's makes via email and they never responded. Typical. So, since I wanted to know, here it is available for you.

Did I save you time and or money? Hit that donation button over there or buy something through Amazon. :)

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