Sci/Tech

My Data Storage Framework – Local, Cloud, And Backups

When it comes to data management, there are so many options for storage and redundancy! Over the years, many of my colleagues lost vital information (especially notes) when their computers crashed or were stolen. It’s a frustrating disaster that is largely preventable, so I wanted to share an outline of my data storage framework.

First of all, I analyzed the collective sum of my data and the hardware it was spread over: a desktop, notebook, smartphone, and tablet. Then I approximated how much “essential” data I was dealing with. All my documents, photos, videos, social media/website files, coding projects, etc. amounted to ~1 terabyte. Finally, I thought about how I would access this data locally and over the cloud with automated backups in place.


Local Storage

My desktop, Zeratul, has two solid state drives (SSDs) of the same size and two hard disk drives (HDDs) of the same size. My system partition is maintained on an SSD and ALL of my data is maintained on an HDD. I use software automation with Carbon Copy Cloner to maintain mirrored volumes between the two SSDs and two HDDs. Additionally, I backup the data drive to an external USB drive (formatted as exFAT) at the same time. Basically I have two copies of my system drive and three copies of my data drive.

The USB drive lets me carry my data everywhere and serves as a backup in the event that my computer suffers a short circuit that wipes out both HDDs.

I can also access my desktop from anywhere in the world via secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) to download/upload files. This gives me tremendous flexibility with my workflow.


Cloud Storage

Google Drive. iCloud. Dropbox. OneDrive. Box. NextCloud. Mega. The list of cloud storage options seems endless! I wanted to simplify things by using the fewest number possible. I use Google Drive as the backbone because, well, In Google I Trust. I installed the Backup And Sync application on my desktop and notebook to keep a select library of files available to me at all times over the Internet. I also use Google Photos to automatically save all the photos/videos I take with my smartphone (unlimited storage at the “high quality” setting). Oh, and of course, be sure to use two-factor authentication for added security. 😉

In addition, I use OneDrive for all of my Microsoft Office files including my résumé and presentations.


In summary, the aforementioned framework gives me a central, mirrored repository with USB and cloud storage failsafes. The peace of mind is well worth it! 🙂

Please take the initiative to protect your data before it gets lost or stolen! Everyone’s needs are different, so drop me a comment if you need recommendations or have questions regarding more safety options, managing very large data repositories, etc.

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