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Re: USB drives as backup medium

 David Kramer wrote: 
> jbk wrote: 
>> As posted in the past I am using a consumer level travan based tape 
>> backup system. It is getting old has an eight gig capacity which forces 
>> me to be selective in what I backup. The largest travan capacity with a 
>> new drive is 20/40 gig. So, looking at the price of the new 20/40 drive 
>> at close to $300 new and three additional tapes at $50 each for a total 
>> investment of $450 I could by five 80G USB drives maybe even six. My 
>> total disc storage across three household computers is in the 
>> neighborhood of 80gig, but this includes distro downloads and kernel 
>> source code that I wouldn't backup. So my current backup script uses tar 
>> and dd to write to a device a hash table of known directories that I can 
>> edit to include or exclude. So what is my question? Well typically I 
>> cycle the same 4 tapes each month with a full backup Monday and Inc on 
>> Friday. So when I am ready to overwrite the tape I just erase and it is 
>> ready. With a tape you append to the end of the data. How would I 
>> achieve the same with a disk? I'm sure the answer is in front of me but 
>> I am not seeing it. 
> I wanted to address one aspect of your post, in case others would be 
> interested even if you no longer are. 
> I do backups to an external USB hard drive.  I don't back up everything. 
>  I only back up my files, and a bunch of logs of my configuration.  To 
> restore I reinstall the OS then put my stuff back on from the backups. 
> I have two classes of backups.  The larger, more inclusive backups are 
> .tar.gz files, and are generally around 7-8GB.  The more frequent ones 
> (mail/log/db/etc) are backed up to rotating directories. 
> My technique for the rotating directories is like this; create a base 
> directory, and several numbered directories below it.  Then in my 
> script, I have something like: 
> BASEDIR=/backups/rotation 
> CURBACKUP=`ls -lt $BASEDIR/* | tail -1` 
> This will identify the oldest directory under $BASEDIRE, and use it for 
> the backup about to be performed, thereby forming a ring of backup 
> directories.  The nicest benefit of this technique is you can increase 
> or decrease the number of backups simply by deleting or creating 
> directories without changing the script. 

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