Long Term Backups

I been researching long term backups, for my 3 2 1 backups. It looks like tape is the way to go long term wise, the biggest problem I see the crazy cost even for old gear.
So what are you doing for long term backups? besides a extra hard drive on the shelf that the day you need no longer spins up?

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tape? it may last 25 years if kept in ideal conditions but the cellulose and magnetic layer de-laminate over time. they are also prone to stretching when your record on em.

if your looking for long term storage then sticking it all on fresh hdds and storing them long term, your likely to have more chance of a working copy in 20 years.
especially if they are just left to gather dust. the hdd will protect them from oxidizing.

anyways this is just an opinion… i think the hdd would be a better long term option… just dont store on ssd or memcards. they loose power a little over a year after they were last plugged in, the cells reset to zero.

Unfortunately, it’s tedious, but laser discs, Bluray, DVD, CD are extremely long term. Although to put your full backup on anything will likely take some time if you have a lot to backup.

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I store backups at my parents home:
Scans of important documents on CD
Photos and home video on DVD
Mass data on external drives (usually smr usb drives)

Just take care to consolidate your backups on new drives once capacity increases a bunch.

Archival quality discs are long term. Like MDISC.

But watch out for the ones with organic dye layers. Those will decay over time and lose data.


oh I forgot about blu-ray’s. would you trust them?
my experience with CDs and DVDs have been mixed my guess thats because of what zlynx said.
yes I know about flash media. bad idea.

Cloud + offline hard drives (sometimes they’re online to add to the backup)

Sure would. Just make sure you get a reputable brand of archival quality discs.

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I don’t trust using a cloud for storage and with data caps on the internet makes the most go way up.

I’ll look into that, seems somewhat cost effective.

Or ill just stick to buying a new hard drive every year or so and and just most everything to the new drive.

Maybe i am going over board but i have lost too many files I can’t replace over the years which lead me to having a Truenas at home, one at in my friends business and one external backup hard drive. since i distrust hard drives i just wanted something on another media.

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I see many say this.
You can trust the cloud to keep you’re data safe, if you encrypt it before uploading. Many backup programs who can upload to google drive, Amazon etc, encrypt the data before uploading it.

They’re the last line of defense however.
I can give my own setup as an example.

  • Primary storage - freenas with a 10x4 TB RaidZ2.

  • Local Backup - Unraid with random HDD’s.

  • And then I have cloud backup with Duplicati. AES256 encrypted before uploaded.

  • For all tv shows, movies & music I also have the original discs.

But as for OPs question, I agree that for now, the best long term backup is hard drives. Store them properly and they’ll last long.
Spin them up every now and then, and to some tests of random files. Eg, check if a movie will play, a document will open etc.

If a better option shows up down the line, transfer you’re backup to that. HDD’s are the best option now (unless you’re in the several 100s of terabytes. Then the upfront cost of tape becomes cheaper.)

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Ok, I guess I should rephrase that. When I say I don’t trust them I mainly mean day there going to change there terms if servace or go out of business. Was it backblaze that did something like that years ago? thy discontinued a popular backup service?

What cloud services do you use? last time I looked at the yearly price. I might as well buy hard drives every year and I’ll still be ahead cost wise.

right know I am sitting around 3Tib for stuff I can replace. My ripped library I can replace easy enough, its just lost time to rip everything again.
I been using syncthing to sync to the offsite, so far thats been working fine.

My setup is

  1. Home.
  • Primary Storage - TrueNAS with 18 mirrors of 6x1T and 6x4T drives. File storage and VM Storage.
  • 1 8T external hard drive.
  1. Offsite backup.
    • 7x1T RaidZ1
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Crashplan cancelled all home users. I’ve used SOS Online backup, they dialed their prices up to insane levels.

Google Gsuite for business. Unlimited backup if yiu have 5 users. But they don’t enforce it, so you also have unlimited with 1 user.

I see online backup as protection against theft or a fire that burns everything I have. Buying more hard drives doesn’t help against that.

Why not use zfs send for the offsite replication :wink:

And yeah if your internet allows syncing to gdrive is actually pretty nice! Google is going to be the last one to go out of business and by using gdrive you have to advantage to browse through your files on your browser. It’s pretty handy. It has worked pretty reliably for me. I don’t even pay for it as you get unlimited storage as a student.
Even if they’d stop giving me storage they’re pretty nice about the data. I used to upload photos the Google photos in full res and while it worked for a while without charging me any money and using up disk space, Google at one point noticed that I’m not really using a Pixel, so I had used 200 of 15 GBs. :joy: Even without paying anything I could go on using Gmail, which takes up space on gdrive as well, and download all the pictures without paying anything. So that’s quite nice I’d say and if you automatically encrypt your backups with Duplicati they don’t even know what you’re saving. Heck you can even mount your gdrive files with rclone. It’s pretty neat. Some even mount it and use it for Plex as a storage backend :joy: :wink: (Just note the API rate limits)

Sorry just wanted to throw it out there for anyone to read.

Well setting up a VPN at the offsite location would been a major hassle, since the router there is garbage.
TrueNAS 12 thy just enabled built in openVPN support for both server and client.
I been thinking of exploring zfs send now that a vpn setup should be simple setup

I use a couple large USB3 hard drives with BorgBackup, and swap the pair between on-site safe and off-site safe deposit box every month. Running a periodic borg verify takes some time, but it proves your hard drive has not lost one bit of your data. Windows users can do about the same with the free Veeam or Macrium.

Blu-ray works well for small amounts of data, but gets impractical and expensive with larger amounts. Tape works well if you have HUGE amounts of data, but expensive and impractical for smaller volumes. Hard drives are the best option in the 1TB-40TB size range, and that upper limit goes up every year.

For LTO tape, a quick search found three companies who will create LTO tapes for you at $60-100 per TB, slightly less to restore from tape, and even less for duplicate copies. Several other companies that will rent out LTO drives to you, prices unknown…

I see working LTO-5 drives on eBay for $500. Just $10 for an old SAS3801E card, $10 SFF-8088 cable, then $18 for each 1.5TB tape.

zfs send can be done over ssh - no need for a vpn.

There’s also wireguard, it’s very easy to setup, but potentially slower than just hardware accelerated encrypted traffic over a tcp socket.

Well here is my problem at the off site location. there running the ISP junk router/switch. and i don’t feel like changes his network setup.
With build in VPN i am going to setup to connect to my Pfsence at home.

True, but i am not going to port forward ssh to the open internet. i want the extra security of the VPN.

I all ready have a external SAS connection for my disk shelf so I would just need the drive and another cable.
I think I keep cycling hard drives until i find a great deal on a LTO drive

Fancy internet access on either end is not a requirement.

See https://docs.sweeting.me/s/wireguard#NAT-To-NAT-Connections .

Essentially, because Wireguard is using UDP, hosts can “hole punch” through.

That’s only if you have hater network admins on both sides, if you happen to have the ability to port forward on one side, or if you have any publicly accessible IP:port anywhere it becomes super easy.