Articles, Blog

I lost all my data. You don’t have to. [World Backup Day]

September 29, 2019

Let’s start with a little story time! I’ve covered a lot of NAS – or Network Attached
Storage – content on my channel over the past couple years, but given how much my channel
has grown since then, many of you might not know why. Back in 2016, I had a major storage crash
and lost a LOT of data. I had run out of space and was too caught
up in the day to day of getting video projects done (I was really focused on efficiency in
production that year) to bother setting up anything else, and was keeping all of my working
data for projects I was working on stored on a RAID0 array of hard drives. That RAID0 was supposed to be for recording
only, and then projects moved off of it, for this very reason. Wellp, after watching like 4 videos from other
tech YouTubers about their RAID0 arrays dying in the same year, mine kicked the bucket. I lost just about everything I was working
on at the time, and then in a scrambling attempt to make sure I didn’t lose anything else,
my other big archive drive managed to corrupt or die or something, too. I was left with a random assortment of loose
hard drives and USB drives with no organization and lost all of my work from 2016 back. Sounds real doom and gloom, right? Yeah – don’t be like me. This is why I’ve partnered with Synology
all these years since, to make sure I keep this from happening to myself again, and to
help showcase options that you can use to keep yourself safe, as well. But I’m missing an important piece of the
puzzle, and we’re going to talk about that today – March 31st is “World Backup Day”
and I wanted to take part this year to help make sure you’re safely backed up and won’t
end up like me with data I can never get back. You see, poor choices aren’t the only reason
data gets lost. On the computer side, 1 in 10 computers get
infected each month with data-harming malware or (even worse) ransomware, and 113 phones
are lost or stolen per minute. While we like to joke that today’s society
only ever carries around useless selfies with them, there’s still likely precious memories
in photo or video form – or more important data that you need to have backed up. There’s a very important Rule for backups
that most people honestly don’t follow. This is called the “3-2-1 Backup Rule”
or Backup Strategy. It’s fairly straightforward, but even I
haven’t managed to establish the “1” in that, until today. The 3-2-1 Backup Rule means having at least
3 total copies of your data, all in different places and on different forms of media or
devices. Two of these should be local, but on different
media, and one kept off-site, or not in the same physical location. So for example, let’s talk about the project
files for this video. In a typical editing setup, there’s an active
copy of everything kept on a local hard drive or SSD in my computer itself while I edit
it. That’s one copy. The next copy would be my initial backup or
archive of the footage I have recorded. Some people choose to leave the footage on
the original media they were shot on – SD memory cards, for example – or in my case
the footage is transferred to my editing storage NAS, the Synology DS1817+. That’s a second copy, on a different device. If something happens to one of my copies,
I quickly have another copy in my home that I can work from. This is a great start, but missing an important
backup. We only have the “2” out of our “3”
point strategy. What happens if someone steals all of your
computer hardware? Or you have a flood, tornado, fire, etc. that
makes any data in your home inaccessible? It’s easy to just assume that kind of thing
can happen – but if you have mission-critical data or irreplaceable sentimental data such
as long-term family photos or home movies, you want to be absolutely certain you’ll
always have a backup you can retrieve your data from. This is why the 1 offsite copy rule is so
important. Some people use cloud-based solutions for
this – though choose carefully, MySpace (yes it still exists) just announced that it lost
every music file stored on it since 2003 during a botched server migration. A great, more user-controlled and privacy-guaranteed
option is a secure, raid-based storage solution such as a Synology NAS! Synology even provides tools to make it easier
to keep your files mirrored between servers. Also, by using Synology’s RAID builder,
your data has another layer of protection by providing redundancy so that if one of
the drives in your NAS goes out (or more, depending on setup) your data is still safe. For this, I’m setting up their new DiskStation
DS2419+. This is a powerful, 12-bay storage server
that I was super stoked to see get updated this year. I have it loaded up with Seagate’s IronWolf
Pro drives, which are built for always-on NAS workloads, come with awesome monitoring
software integrated into Synology’s DSM software, and include a 2 year data recovery
plan in case the worst happens. The DS2419+ starts with 12 bays, though can
be expanded to 24 with a DX1215 expansion unit for a total of 336TB capacity, if desired. The NAS starts with a quad-core CPU, 4GB of
RAM – though it’s upgradeable up to 32GB if desired, and has a PCIe slot for either
a dual M.2 NVMe expansion card, or a 10 gigabit network card for high-bandwidth environments. Synology offers Desktop backup via their Cloud
Station Backup software to keep your data stored to your NAS, and Hyper Backup to back
up your whole NAS to another NAS, if desired. I’ll be using this. Again, this final backup copy needs kept off-site
– which means not in your home. Ideally this is somewhere you’ll have access
to it but it won’t be easily disturbed or damaged, such as at a family member’s home. I’ll be mirroring my data to this NAS and
keeping it online at my parents’ house for me to periodically update during the night. The DS2419+ is great for someone like me,
as I just have… so much data. But if your needs are smaller – Synology has
a wide variety of network storage solutions, so you’ll be able to find one that fits
your needs perfectly. But remember – the important part is to follow
the rule for having safe backups of your data! Two local copies on different mediums, and
one copy stored off-site for worst-case scenarios. It’s when we assume those scenarios won’t
happen that they can cause the most problems for our data. I hope you found this video helpful – what
backup strategies or tricks do you use? Share them in the comments below. Hit the like button if you enjoyed, and check
out Synology’s storage options via the links in the video description. Shoutout to them for always supporting educational
content here on the channel. I’m EposVox, here to make tech easier and
more fun, and I’ll see you next time.


  • Reply lemler 3 March 27, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    you have pink hair now? when did this happen?

  • Reply Nisco Racing March 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I love my Drobo, still going after 10 years!

  • Reply trogdor420 March 27, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    One of the most important messages! My raid 0 netfinity 5000 ate shit 15 years ago. Never forget!

  • Reply Meco March 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I archive everything on my gsuite for education (unlimited data storage)

  • Reply Speed_Prime56 March 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Oh yea πŸ™‚

  • Reply bruce wayne March 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm


  • Reply KAHENS March 27, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    take everything away from my home and send to the moon…..wait a minute did you say parents' house mmmmhh that is just another house, everything that can happen here also can happen there.

  • Reply North Dakota March 27, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Very useful video, stupid me back in 2017 lost all of my Photoshop projects when uninstalling PS because of this uninstalling/shredding software (iobit uninstaller) i had to redo couple of projects untill i realized i had a backup copy in an external hard drive. That was fun πŸ™ƒ

  • Reply commodore256 March 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Good video, though it sounds very expensive. Imagine you wanted a fully decked out NAS and that you showcased in this organic feeling, yet transparent ad would have been around $15,302.95 fully decked out with the expansion case for 24 drives that's in the NAS's name, the DS2419+, (that's what the 24 means) 64GB of ECC Memory and two 2TB NVME M.2 Drives giving you 308TB of redundant RAID6 storage (same maths as Raid z2) with 4TB of NVME cacheing. Now, that's the price of one fully decked out NAS, for 3-2-1 to work, multiply that cost by three, so that and after state sales theft (tax), that would be $49,122.47, almost $50,000 just to backup 308TB or $159.50 per terabyte to backup.

  • Reply guitaristtom12 March 27, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    I personally have my main 2TB "Files" drive that I mainly use, an unplugged 1TB WD My Passport drive that I sync to using Synkron every other week or so, and an encrypted 2TB Seagate Portable drive that I leave at a good friend's parent's house that is hours away by car. Speaking of that… I haven't updated it in a while…

    I also have a pair of 2x2TB NAS boxes (each in RAID 1) but that's more meant for stuff that I rip from physical media that I can get back, but it also ends up being a buffer when I'm converting files as well.

    I'm working towards a local FreeNAS box. I have the tower all ready, just need to save up about $1100 for drives for it…

  • Reply xLCx52 Gaming March 27, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    This is just me… But I think you can't never be able to safely save data no matter what you do.

  • Reply cee128d March 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Had a couple of friends try the 3 2 1 concept a few years ago. They set everything up and exchanged the 1 copy for their offsite backup. Unfortunately they lived in the same duplex and when it burned down they both lost everything. Off site means more than just a different apartment or a neighboring home. Offsite needs to be far enough apart that the chances or the same disaster won't affect all copies.

  • Reply iSpike March 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    AAAAAAAAH MY EYES MY EYES!!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘ What have I just seen the PINK SKUNK HEAD πŸ‘€ πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺ tHANK YOU FOR THE 3, 2, 1 is a good idea but the cost "$" V loosing all your data. I have just purchased a 16TB dule raid system $1200 AUD and going for "Raid 1" system. (is this a good idea?) I do like what you have shared in this video. Thank you. Cheers from Western Australia

  • Reply Eclogites March 27, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Mega gives you 50gb of data storage just for signing up.

  • Reply TocΔƒniΘ›Δƒ de jocuri March 27, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Is there a color grading problem or the hair is funkyzeit red ?

  • Reply Ulvsbane March 27, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    BTRFS is not considerad to be an enterprise ready file system. It still contain some nasty bugs. Getting better though.

  • Reply MrHeksas March 27, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    wtf whats wrong with ur hair

  • Reply Barend Nieuwoudt March 27, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    My backup at this moment, basically only involves having everything in my OneDrive or Google Drive.. but thats about it

  • Reply Daniel Jordanov March 27, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Guess your lost data was a victim of the snap.
    Very nice video though!

  • Reply Tyler Kegger March 27, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Your hair is goals!!!!!!!!! I fucking love it!!

  • Reply Concept Creator March 27, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    my most important part is the 3d and that is backup online and just on the HDD so I only have 2 honestly

  • Reply killaken2000 March 27, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    LOL Nice try Synology.

  • Reply Nordern March 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Just had my external backup drive dying..going without backups until it's replaced, praying my raid 0 doesn't kick it as well πŸ˜₯

  • Reply Nita Vesa March 28, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Meh. I'm on a budget, I can't even afford to keep my server supplied with new drives to keep up with my needs for storage, let alone be able to afford an offsite-storage!

  • Reply Seth Williamson March 28, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Preach it brother! "3-2-1!"

  • Reply Seth Williamson March 28, 2019 at 6:49 am

    After feeling the pain (and financial impact) of data loss, I got serious too. What I landed on was…

    File Server #1 — Local working data in RAID 1+0 for good performance with redundancy.
    File Server #2 — Local backup with historical copies/versioning, etc. RAID 5 for reasonable storage density.
    File Server #3 — Remote backup. Raid 5 as well.

    I previously used Backblaze for the remote backup element. It was just getting to be a nightmare of data all over the place on various machines. Consolidation to a working file server was a good fit for me. However, when I decided to consolidate all of my working storage to a NAS, Backblaze was out the window. Paying monthly per TB for cloud space like B2/S2 was cost prohibitive for me. So, like you, I'm swapping remote storage colocation with someone who's in the same boat. He's also colocating his remote storage with me. (I created VLANs and traffic shaping rules (quotas) in my router to make sure backup traffic yields to my more important traffic, but that's another topic.)

    The only storage left on each workstation is the boot drive. One or two are still single media, but most of them are mirrored. Every new system I bring in will be set up with mirrored boot media from now on.

    What I've got in the works now is adding high availability to my working data. (Moving the HDDs into a dual domain external SAS enclosure, then two file servers can both attach to the same enclosure. A crossover network connection between the two for heartbeat and state sync. Your clients map to a virtual IP that both boxes share so it can tolerate a total server failure. Pretty neat stuff!) My small business has thankfully grown, but it's at the point where a days' downtime would cost me more than it costs to implement this. Folks like TrueNAS, Dell, HP, 45Drives, etc can offer turn-key HA solutions for you too.

    Bringing it back to a smaller scale. If I had a single workstation, I'd have internal storage in RAID 1, 5, 6 or 1+0 (not just a stripe!) Next, attach a fat USB enclosure for local backups. My personal favorite software for this is Acronis True Image. Mac people could set up Time Machine. Next, I'd just pay the $6/mo for Backblaze unlimited cloud backup to cover the disasters that wipe out even the local backups. Note that even Backblaze recommends that you do not use their service as your sole backups. It's better than no backups, but they recommend using their service in conjunction with local backups.

    If time is money for you, local backups are your friend too! Restoring multiple TB from a cloud backup takes ages! You'll realize why they often offer the option to send your data on physical media via courier. On the other hand, I can do a full bare metal restore of any of my systems from a local backup in the time it takes to have a lunch break. As good as local recovery is when it's available, flood, fire, theft, data corruption, etc happens, so it can't be your only option.

    A final tip for everyone: I learned the hard way… if it ain't automated, it ain't gonna happen. "Once a week, I'll swap the drives out and take them to a storage facility or my Mom's house." No, you won't. Life happens, you get complacent. It'll slide and that's precisely when Murphey will send disaster.

    Oh, 1 more trick! If you have a really small network of no more than 3 machines, you can get blazing fast local transfers without the cost of an expensive switch. Look at dual port Thunderbolt 3 cards or look for dual port Mellanox SFP+ cards on ebay. You can set up a mesh/crossover network with up to three machines at speeds of 40-100+ Gbps for not a lot of money compared to how much switches with those speeds cost. (Single port cards will do if all you need to connect is two machines.)

    Sorry, it was so long for a comment. For anyone who thinks it is excessive, wait until you have a catastrophic data loss. You'll become passionate about saving others that pain too! :p

  • Reply mdd1963 March 28, 2019 at 11:11 am

    1 in 10 computers infected each month? That sounds a bit made up……. πŸ™‚

  • Reply mdd1963 March 28, 2019 at 11:13 am

    RAID 0? You pretty much had that shit coming! πŸ™‚

  • Reply mdd1963 March 28, 2019 at 11:14 am

    4:44 12 bays….very nice!!!!

  • Reply The EpicSlayer7 SSS March 28, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Irony is that even if you would never use your Backup Drive, after some time it could corrupt since a hard drive needs to be rewritten each 3 to 5 years minimum! since the Data is a Magnetic charge, it can weaken and delete it self. there are programs to rewrite files on a hard drive… do not remember the name but that is some thing i saw on the "Explaining Computers" YouTube channel.

    anyhow, for those who has only like 1 TB and not like 20 TB of data to store, just get a high capacity hard drive (a couple of TB) with the lowest RPM rated for long time usage and split the hard drive in 2 and copy the files twice. then just each year, copy one over the other from one side then the other and that should do! (keeping the magnetic writing fresh and strong. but using a specialized program should be way better and safe.)

    in my case, for what i backup, i can do with DVDs but that is only because i do not even have one TB of total space. i should get a new HDD since for 100$ i bet i can get a lot! (back then 100$ for a 40 GB… and i said i would never fill that… games were 1 GB to 4 GB, now they are like 40 GB… so "20 games" on 1 TB instead of "1000 games"…)

  • Reply Vincent Brandon March 28, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Onedrive + a local NAS (homebuild) and a Raid-0 on my workstation is working really well for my small business stuff (~600gb for $8/month; 1TB comes with my office 365 subscription).

  • Reply NeoQuixotic March 30, 2019 at 12:50 am

    I've been good about backing up in two places locally. It's the offsite backup when you don't have good upload speeds and working with Terabytes of data. I'd probably be better off making a periodic trip to sync some NAS's together.

  • Reply Ayush Bakshi March 31, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Sometimes I randomly freak about the fact that I don't have any live backup. And my current hdd isn't even for normal usage (it's seagate skyhawk for video surveillance [some ahole duped me into buying it])
    Sucks to be poor. I only backup the most important stuff every month in my pendrives.

  • Reply olbaze May 31, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    I suffered a dead system drive a few years ago. Partly due to this, I decided to set my PC up so that I had separate drives for storage and programs/OS. So if the OS drive dies, I don't lose my data, just the programs and OS, which are easy to replace. Recently, I realized that my storage drive had passed 5 years of age, the same time frame my old system drive died. So I went to get a new HDD, and set up backups of the storage drive. Now, even if the old storage drive kicks the bucket, the most I will lose is whatever data was created after my most recent backup. I set up two backups, one daily for lighter stuff that changes frequently, like writing or code, and one weekly backup for the entire drive.
    I also keep some light stuff (like writing and game saves) backed up to Dropbox.

    Setting up two different media really isn't difficult. The easiest option would probably be an external USB drive that matches (or exceeds, preferably) the size of the drive you are backing up. Then just schedule the backup (easy to do both in Windows and Linux), and get into a habit of plugging and unplugging the drive.

    I think for a lot of people, the initial cost of backing up is what turns most people away. Buying twice (or thrice) the amount of storage that you "need" seems like you're spending money on things you don't really "need". But ask yourself: How much would you be willing to pay, if whatever is on that drive was taken away from you? Well, backing up literally insurance to cover that scenario.

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