Goodbye DVD-R backups, hello HDD backups

Finally, I had enough with my weekly backup to DVD-R discs. 3 x 4.5Gb DVD-Rs every Monday. Even with the burning spread across three PCs (server, workstation and a laptop) it was a good 90 minutes for burning and verification to complete.  There was the occasional duff burn in there too, and while it's burning you can't modify the files you are backing up either.  Grrrr.

I didn't want to automate the backups overnight.  As I am environmentally minded, when I'm not in the office I don't like my PCs being switched on.  I could have set my burn software to switch the PC off after burning, but it's all too much work.

So I bought two external USB/eSATA enclosures from Akasa (, product code for the UK, AK-ENP2SATA-BKUK.  Inside each enclosure is a Samsung Spinpoint 400Gb SATA II drive. 

The enclosures are great, if you put a SATA drive in them, you can flip a switch to go between USB 2.0 or eSATA (IDE is USB 2.0 only).  As my development PC is a modern Shuttle XPC I can hook them into the eSata port and have full drive speed externally.  It's almost like the SCSI drives I used 10 years ago.

The price was around £150 for the lot. It will take a year to fill up the drives.  That will compares to £30 in DVD-R media costs but more importantly, about 1 hour of my time per week.  Now that costs a lot more than £150. I will be using robocopy.exe and will be alternating each weekly backup, to a new folder on a different drive.  This is proper weekly backups, not just disaster recovery.

Recovery of files will be a breeze, and I can use the drives for Virtual PC as well - eSata is wonderful for full speed access to Virtual PC image files.

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Print | posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 3:08 AM

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