Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm currently facing the making of our Backup Plan, and I was wondering what's the risk of backing up my ubuntu server in a pendrive instead of DVDs or CDs (physical mediums).

The server is used in a startup company, and is settled in an appartment, so risks of fire (as suggested) and power failures should be considered.

The identified resources to be copied are:

  • MySQL databases
  • Apache HTTPD directories
  • SVN folders
  • SSH configurations

So, keeping the pendrive always plugged to the server should be considered a risk? What other backup ways would you recommend?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Sven, Bart De Vos, Tom O'Connor, John Gardeniers, Chris S May 15 '12 at 13:41

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If this server is in your home, the question is OT here. Also, I can't understand at all why you think that the fact that it is located in your apartment will protect it from fires or extreme weather conditions. If at all, homes are much more susceptible to data loss through fire because they usually have no fire supresssion system like most data centers have while the fire risks are much higher (cooking, ironing, old broken machines, candles or fireplaces, you name it). – Sven May 14 '12 at 13:00
I'm not sure this is offtopic, but it looks like it's on the way to being closed due to the recent changes to the FAQ. You could avoid that, if you want, by making it clear the server is in an apartment, but is running your company's startup (assuming it's not just a personal home server obviously). – EightBitTony May 14 '12 at 13:07
There's a LOT more to backups than merely having a second copy of the data. Also consider that pen drives fail unpredictably and with absolutely no warning, nor any possibility of data recovery. – John Gardeniers May 14 '12 at 13:16
thanks to all, indeed it's an startup's server.. I realice that fire risks exists, but we determined that should not be considered.. – Joaquín L. Robles May 14 '12 at 13:19
@JoaquínL.Robles: Sorry, but this is a very dangerous decision you made regarding your fire etc. risks. You need to come up with a backup strategy that deserves that name and that protects you in any remotely likely scenario. The only protection your pen-drive model offers (if you are lucky) is the accidental deletion of a file. Even a power surge due to a breaking PSU could take out both your primary disks and the "backup" pen drives in the same moment. – Sven May 14 '12 at 13:26

The point of a backup is to move the backup data away from the live data.

This ensures that,

  1. it is physically protected from stuff which damages the primary data
  2. it is logically protected from actions which damage the live data

keeping your backup data device permanently attached to your live data device is not a backup.

It doesn't matter (in general) if you write it to paper, USB stick, DVD, or any other medium, the primary requirement is to physically remove it from the live server location.

If someone hacks your server, then they can trash your live data and your backup data. You don't have a backup until you move it away.

So yes, keeping it plugged in all the time is a risk.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @EightBitTony, perfect answer! considering my situation as I described above, what medium would you recommend? – Joaquín L. Robles May 14 '12 at 13:31
USB stick is fine - but have a bunch of them and ship them out of the physical location in a rotation. – EightBitTony May 14 '12 at 13:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.