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Backup

Right now, there is a bit of a lull, as we just finished the FEMBA midterm testing cycle. (I did rather well, if you are curious.) I utilized some of my free time to play computer games and run a backup of my important files.

I very rarely backup. But then again, Iíve never really stored that much important content on my own computer. Most of my product has been stored on servers that are backed up by professionals. (My company got hit by the MyDoom virus, which wiped out some shared drives. It remains to be seen if the IT group managed to restore from the backup.) But, considering the amount of time that I have put into this website, and the fact that it is run off of my own server, I want to prevent a virus or harddrive crash from destroying my work.

My backup process was this: Archive my /var/www directory and certain folders in my home directgory. Use the command

mysqldump -a -u xxx -p xxx > web-db-2004-02-29.bak
to make a backup of the mySQL database that Movable Type uses. Archive some of my important project directories that reside on my laptop. Burn them all to CD.

Iím not particularly pleased with the process. It was too much manual labor, and took too long (about a half hour). Furthermore, I missed a lot of the configuration files from the server, as well as less immediately-critical stuff from my laptop. (For example, I donít have a backup of my MP3ís.) I didnít even have a felt pen to write the date on the CD!

Ideally, I would have a cron job on the server that would occasionally archive all of the designated files from the server, and have that archive available for burning or replicating on another (remote) machine. My other Windows machines and my laptop could then replicate designated directories onto the server (automatically, when I connect to my home LAN?). Note that the above scheme means that there is a full backup occasionally: Right now, everything fits comfortably on one CD, but someday that may change.

Iím planning some other interesting projects, so I really should get this backup thing straightened out.

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