Revisiting my computer backup strategy

Since my disk crash in November of 2009 and subsequent implementation of a disk backup and archiving strategy, I’ve had no further disk crashes. I have, however, followed my backup plan carefully.

OSX Time Machine runs hourly and allows me to recover past versions of files. For a while, I could go back over a year, but lately because of churn of fairly large files, the earliest backup set I can recover goes back about 6 months. An automated clone backup of my boot disk (using Carbon Copy Cloner) runs every evening, and I test that periodically by booting from it. Finally, on a monthly basis I make a clone of my boot disk to a drive that I keep offsite. This is inconvenient, but I like the protection it provides from some types of catastrophe.

I began to realize there were some shortcomings to this plan. First of all, I had no backups for my laptop. Secondly, I foresaw running out of room for my video files (I record a lot of HD and I’m kind of a hoarder). And thirdly  I had security risks with the laptop and the archive disk.

I bought one more disk drive and ended up with this configuration:
1 TB OSX Lion boot disk
1 TB backup clone of boot disk
3 TB Media, video, etc
2 TB Miscellaneous, backup of important video
2 TB Time machine backup for desktop and laptop
1 TB core storage encrypted clone of boot disk
320 GB MacBook Pro core storage encrypted laptop

I have about 200GB free on the boot disk, but have 150GB of video files that need to be moved to the 3TB media disk. I have lots of room left on the 3TB media disk, the Time machine backup disk, and the laptop. By the time I run out of room, new disk drives will be available at far higher capacities.

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