Unanswered Questions

Mark Pilgrim is blogging again; the linked entry poses a question we here at Heathen would very much like the answer to.

How DO you back up 100GB of data a year for the rest of your life? All the documents and pictures and videos and whatnot pile up quickly, and while hard disc space is cheap, it’s not particularly solid or suited for long-term storage. Tapes rot. Paying someone else is, at this point, a nonstarter (Mark looked). DVDs are tiny (4GB each) and also not immortal.

We’ve stated before that, for real security, you must measure your backup security in time zones and spindles. It’s actually more than that: you really need to keep them “live” on a real computer and not on some disconnected hard drive someplace, too. Why? Formats change. Keeping your data live means you keep it on reasonably recent technology (ask my client where he’s gonna go to get the pre-DOS 5.25″ disks from his GRiD read, for example). Right now, though, there just doesn’t appear to be an easy way to solve this problem. You’d think it would be a business plan in here someplace, but apparently not. Or not yet, anyway.

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