Backup obsession

In light of my last hard reset and subsequent, albeit minor, data loss, I’ve decided to ratchet up my backup regimen another notch.

Now that Leopard is out I’ve got a free partition (the one I previously used to install prerelease seeds). So after a bit of juggling around with the help of SuperDuper!, I’ve now got:

  • a minimal Tiger install on the small (20 GB) partition that I previously used for backups (I’ll keep this around because at the moment Leopard doesn’t properly support my Pioneer DVR-K06 burner)
  • a full daily backup of my Leopard startup volume to another partition, courtesy of SuperDuper!
  • the old seed partition, 60 GB, for other backups

In the past I was doing compressed, automated backups of my home directory 4 times a day (every 6 hours), to the partition onto which I’ve just installed Tiger. Now I’ve got 3 times as much space, so I’m going to do the backups 12 times a day (every 2 hours) instead. This is approaching the hard limit for the number of backups I could theoretically do in a day, given that each backup run currently takes about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Do you think this is going too far? Personally, given the track record of this machine, it seems perfectly reasonable; losing even a couple of hours’ work is painful. And given that the backups run at a nice level of 20 the performance impact should be negligible. Now I have bootable, daily snapshots of my entire startup volume, and two-hourly snapshots of the data which changes most often (my home directory). Additional layers of protection are afforded by storing copies of my source code in off-site Git repositories and running my machine here off a nice UPS. My old custom of burning a copy of my home directory to DVD-R once per day for added security will remain on hold until Apple starts supporting my burner adequately in Leopard.

This is really about as far as I can go right now; when Apple rolls out read/write, bootable ZFS I’ll be able to remove another weak link in the chain (the joke HFS+ filesystem; does the "H" stand for "Hilarious"? I wonder who’s laughing). The next logical step would then be upgrading to a Mac Pro (still on the lowly iMac here) so that I can pack in multiple disks and start benefitting from RAID-Z.