I know my answer to this question, but I am not sure it is the correct way going forward as data quantity increases.
I have the majority of my data located on a server computer with a RAID hard disc array. This means that I can have a hard disc fail and not loose any data before I can replace it. I backup the data stored on this computer to tape every week to a pool of weekly and monthly backup tapes. This gives me the ability to restore previous versions of files that are deleted or overwritten.
My computer, with the software applications on, accesses the data on the server and doesn’t store any critical information locally. This means if I have a hard disc failure on this machine, I don’t loose any critical data and only have to reinstall the operating system and programs.
As I scan my film negatives, I am scanning them at the highest resolution that the film scanner is capable of and storing them in tiff format. For long term storage of the scanned images, I have created par files for each image, which will allow me to recreate the image if the original is damaged. Each film has been stored on DVD, 2 copies, each on different manufacturer’s DVD. One set will be stored at my mum’s and I will retain the other scanned set as well as the original negatives.
I know that there are other things I should be doing such as storing my tapes at a different location rather than at home. This locating of storage media remotely protects against data loss in the case of a fire. Although the original data would be lost, I would be able to recover it from backup.
Coming from an IT environment, I am aware of the importance of data backup and am able to implement a solution that will work for me. I often wonder what, if anything, most computer users do to ensure the long term protection of their data. There are USB flash drives, external hard drives, online storage and DVD/CD storage available. As the home computer becomes more important for storing digital photos and other information, I wonder what will finally be targeted at the home user as a out of the box minimal configuration solution.
What do you do to protect your data?