It's decidedly unsexy, but as we move now into an era with more and more home users building up significant amounts of (significant) digital data, secure storage and backup become more important than ever.
I was reading Tim Bray's post on home storage and his dream home-storage-device:
Presenting the Databox · The Databox has one or two cheap-ish CPUs running Solaris, ten or so cheapish disks, and offers a half-terabyte or so of completely reliable, completely maintainable, network-accessible storage for your data, which lives in ZFS, striped and replicated across the disks.
Occasionally, one of the disks might fail. When this happens, you won’t lose any data, but a red light on the Databox will start flashing, and it will send mail to a few designated addresses. When this happens, it’s exactly like when your laser printer starts saying “You need to replace the cyan ink” or “You need to buy a new printer drum”; next time you go shopping, you swing by Best Buy or Costco and pick up another disk unit. When you get home, you open the top of the Databox, pull out the disk with the red LED turned on, drop in the new one, and toss out the old one. Now that I think of it, if you get the interfaces right you don’t even have to have the same capacity disks. If you configured this right, you could be really very sure that you wouldn’t lose data; ZFS should sail through power failures and so on.
I’d sell the Databox with some sort of physical locking attachment like some home safes have; you could screw it to the studs in the wall so that it would be too much work for burglars to take if you had a break-in.
(For ZFS, see here.) There's a link at this post to an excellent, earlier posting by Tim, Protecting Your Data: 'Here are my life lessons on keeping your data safe while assuming that The Worst Will Happen. Some of it is Macintosh-specific, but there may be useful take-aways even from those parts, even for non-Mac-hacks'. It's the best single post on backup and storage that I've read, summed up in his four rules:
The Rules · If you follow these, you almost certainly won’t lose data in any damaging way.
Don’t use proprietary file formats.
Don’t erase anything.
Store everything twice.
Do occasional ad-hoc and regular full backups.
The whole thing is a must-read.
Infrant Technologies' ReadyNAS NV is the latest addition to the award-winning ReadyNAS product family. Network attached storage (NAS) devices enable advanced home and business users to easily share large amounts of data in a cost-effective and power-efficient manner. …
The Backup Button
New with the ReadyNAS NV is the Backup Button on the front, conveniently located next to the front USB port. Simply connect a USB storage device to the port and press the button, and all your data in your backup share on the ReadyNAS gets backed up to the USB device. It's as simple as that. Now if you want your USB device backed up to the ReadyNAS instead, simply change the source and destination in the FrontView Backup menu. The integrated Backup Manager allows you to set up even more sophisticated network backups that you can schedule or be invoked with the press of the Backup Button.
The NV Loves to Play
The ReadyNAS NV fits your office needs like a glove. But take it home, and it becomes the center of your entertainment center. Equipped with Gigabit Ethernet with jumbo frames support, you can be sure that multiple HD streams will play off the NV with no problems. Whether you use your Windows Media Center PC or stream data directly off the NV with a network media player, your videos, music, and pictures will look sharp and stutter-free on your HD displays.
At £419.95 (£493.44 inc. VAT), diskless, this is no snitch, but things have got to the point for us that any significant loss of data would be … a loss of significant data.