Backing up isn’t just for moving your car!

I expanded my discussion of communication patterns and the impact of cliques on Linkedin. You can find that post here.

I’ve been thinking about backups a lot lately. One of the things that I got bit by early in my IT career was not backing up my personal laptop. I make sure I have backup solutions for all my computers now. That way I can recreate the IP and applications quickly if the laptop dies.

Of course now, when I think about it, I haven’t had a laptop die in more than five years (did I just jinx myself?). Hardware reliability makes the computer last longer. I have an old laptop that doesn’t have the horsepower to do some of the things I do every day – but it is a great on-line backup tool.

That got me thinking about backups.

Where do you backup?

How often do you backup

How much do you backup?


Once a week


My local network

One to two times per week

Changes made in the previous 24 hours

My local Machine

When the computer boots it starts backing up to a locally attached drive


For the last one that is only the machine I keep all my creative stuff on (books and ideas). I don’t back up my work computer but I do put my critical work stuff into the internal work storage system so it won’t be lost as well.

Backups have changed considerably. That got me thinking about backups even more. What do I back up. Everything is an interesting term. I have two computers that have a lot of RAM and I run VM’s on those two computers. I do not backup the ISO’s I am using as I can get those off the web easily.

I do back up the configuration of the hosts so that I could recreate them quickly. I back up the Macintosh in the office to an external HD and finally my creative laptop (where I am creating this blog) backs up to local drive and a windows storage server.

So I started thinking about what do you need to back up? I have home videos and pictures that I have to backup. I want two or three local copies and then one in the cloud. Those are a growing concern of mine now with the Family History Project well into Phase III. We have nearly 100 years of family history in pictures and videos so it’s critical that we keep those and not lose them.

I also realized that if the photos and videos were lost that would have a significant impact on me. So backing them up locally as well as via a cloud service was critical. It took 21 days but they are safely in the cloud now. Whew!

My next backup project is to pull ten years of my blogs and create a single file of those as a backup. Posting that to the cloud then gives me peace of mind. I could at any point retrieve the lost missives of my blog.

In the end backups have changed. What and how I back up things is different now. In part because I once lost everything. In part because when I lost everything I didn’t have much to lose. Now I have a whole lot of things to lose.

PS. My personal choice for cloud back up is the exceptional company Carbonite. I can honestly say that the backup process is smooth and it works incredibly well. I highly recommend Carbonite.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.