So, I have been researching various ways to improve my backup setup and I have fallen into a bit of a rabbit hole... I am hoping using the sounding board of this forum will help me to climb out! You can see how lost I am by how much text is below...
Current Backup Setup
A hodgepodge basically. Despite using computers for years, I didn't really even have any kind of solid backup strategy (aside from "it's in Dropbox/Google Drive" - which I am now painfully aware is not a backup tool, it's a sync tool!) until recently.
My various laptops around the house are backed up onto a bog standard WD MyPassport 1TB 2.5" external USB hard drive using Borgbackup - each machine has a separate repo on the disk. I connect this disk to my desktop (when I remember - I try to do it once a week) and push backups from clients to desktop over SSH. I then use rclone to mirror all those repos into my Gsuite account (I put them into a hidden "appfolder" so they don't appear in the web interface and I don't bother encrypting them as Borg already does that). So, rather than 3-2-1 backup, I feel it is more sort of 2.5-1... The Borg docs suggest (correctly) that a better way to do this would be to have two repos for each machine - one on the USB disk (that would be the separate physical media onsite to make two copies) plus a Borg repo in the cloud that I push backups directly into (making it a proper third offsite copy).
The reason why my setup is currently "2.5-1" is because the onsite and offsite copies are merely just a direct mirror of each other - if something goes wrong with one, it will be replicated with the other. At the time I set this system up, there weren't really many affordable places that offered direct Borg to cloud backup (but that has changed - you can get a 2TB Hetzner Storage Box for about €12 a month and it allows you to push Borg backups directly to it. There is also rsync.net as well as a couple of others). Also, I feel like Google are going to start clamping down on storage - they closed Google Play Music, they are limiting Google Photos in June and they seem like they are closing the "it's 1TB per Gsuite account unless you have five, but in reality we don't check" loophole that people have been using (and abusing). I am still a touch under 1TB, but I might surpass that soon... Might be time to think about another place to put stuff!
As a second (pretty poor) "failsafe", I run Syncthing on some clients. A limited amount of key files from them (amounting to about >50GB total) are synced to a 1TB 3.5" WD Red on my desktop machine (also running Syncthing). I have versioning activated on Syncthing running on the desktop machine. I then use rclone to mirror these files (with the Syncthing versions) into an Rclone crypt on Mega (it used to be Pcloud, but I only had a free account with 20GB of space and it ran out... Mega is free for up to 50GB, but again, I am probably going to run short on space again soon!)
Basically, it is merely OK, but I know that I can do better...
My main concerns at the moment are that there isn't enough redundancy (I really want 3-2-1 properly) and there is absolutely no provision for error checking and bitrot prevention.
I looked into TrueNAS, but I found the forums and subreddits to be quite unwelcoming, and I just don't think I have the cash (or space, my flat is small!) to stump up for a decent TrueNAS capable rig with ECC memory and lots of drives. OMV seems like a better fit for me (and the forum seems a hell of a lot more friendly!)
Hardware (drives to come) I have that I think I could use:
- A desktop with a Core i5 4590, 16GB RAM
- An Asus Chromebox, Haswell Celeron 2955U, 4GB RAM. It has one m.2 SATA 2242 slot currently occupied with a 16GB SSD. I have flashed a full UEFI BIOS onto it and at various times it has been a LibreElec/Kodi box, a Retroarch/Lakka retro gaming box, and even a router on a stick using OpenWRT and smart switch! Now it is just sat there gathering dust.
- A Raspberry Pi 3 - running PiHole and a little Ampache music server (to replace Google Play Music - I hate YouTube Music, so I went this way instead). The music is stored on one of those tiny Samsung USB flash drives (not the only copy of those files I have of course!) It just means it can sit in there in a very low profile way serving up my personal music collection (even remotely if I Wireguard back home whilst out).
Drives I have:
In the desktop (which I use for day to day desktop stuff and a little light gaming) is:
1x Crucial MX500 250GB 2.5" SATA SSD running the OS
1x WD Red (CMR) 1TB 3.5" HDD
1x Seagate (presumably SMR) 1TB 2.5" HDD (salvaged from a laptop and really only used for downloaded stuff that isn't sentimental and I could easily download again)
1x Intel Optane 16GB NVMe (which I believe if put into an NVMe slot can actually just be used as a standard (if small) NVMe SSD)
1x Samsung CM871a OEM 256GB 2.5" SATA SSD
1x Samsung OEM 256GB m.2 SATA SSD (not sure of the model number)
1x Seagate SMR 2TB 2.5" HDD (salvaged from a laptop, wiped and with nothing on it)
1x TeckNet 3.5" UD027 SATA to USB vertical docking station with its own power supply. No S.M.A.R.T. reporting.
1x Inateck FE2004 2.5" SATA to USB enclosure (bus powered). Has S.M.A.R.T.
Client machines all have either a single SSD or an SSD and one 2.5" spinning rust drive salvaged from elsewhere (those are laptops I have removed the DVD drive from and used a SATA adapter to add these rust drives alongside the SSD).