Morgan Jones on 11 Mar 2014 14:12:51 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] How to Archive Data for 20 Years?

On Mar 11, 2014, at 4:37 PM, Casey Bralla <> wrote:

> On Tuesday 2014-03-11 3:53:57 PM Art Clemons wrote:
>> Actually neither flash nor DVDs/CDs are really suitable for long term
>> archiving.  The estimates on life by manufacturers of said items seem to
>> not be reflected in actual results.  I refer you to the following url
>> <>
>> have DVDs I used for backup six or seven years ago, if I didn't have
>> later backups, I'ld be in trouble because I get read errors on most of
>> them.  I've faced similar issues with tape, hard drives and the like.
> IMHO, there is __ONLY ONE__ media that is guaranteed to be machine-readable in 
> 20 years:  paper.
> If a human being can read the data, a computer will be able to also.  Any 
> other media will have a technical life of about 20 years max.  Even if the 
> media survives, the hardware to read it will be obsolete and very rare.
> So store those tax records in file folders and keep them in a cool, dark, dry 
> place.

When I embarked on my project to build a home NAS I had all sorts of problems with the several dozen DVDs I'd been using to archive my data.  I did some research and discovered what Art said above.  I vowed to not use DVDs to archive again.

Between picking up photography as a hobby, digitizing a moderate sized movie collection, periodic backups of my Linode VMs and backups of mine and my wife's various computers I've ended up with a fair amount of data.  I also bought a high speed document scanner and have been digitizing more and more to reduce the paper I am store.

My answer is to archive data on a few different redundant spinning mediums and keep at least two versions: my primary data store is a mirrored FreeBSD ZFS machine.  I have a Linux LVM nas at a second home a few hours away that I periodically rsync to.  I also rsync to USB drives periodically.

I have a good friend with a similar setup in his house and we talk about rsync'ing to each other's NAS periodically though haven't gotten there.


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