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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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I will be running, on the 31st January, a workshop for Sussex researchers on protecting their assets; aka. backing up their work.

After the first year of my Ph.D I had a nasty scare when my laptop was stolen on my journey home (I had a migraine, effectively passed out and didn't notice someone simply take my bag from beneath me on the train). This could have been dire. Fortunately, though, I take backup and encryption very seriously. I thought I'd share my backup plan.

The below diagram demonstrates the different backups I make. Each box on this network contains a full copy of my work. Communication between all channels is protected by SSL public-key encryption. The HDDs on the laptop and home machines are fully encrypted inside a LUKS container. Crashplan is a commercial service I use, based in the States in case of total failure of my system.

The web server and old-PC-server automatically sync with the home computer. These updates propogate to CrashPlan automatically, which archives a 30-day history in case of accidental deletion. The laptop syncs manually to prevent against accidental loss. Furthermore, the home computer automatically archives the last week's worth of work via the following line called in a daily Cron script:

rsync -avz --delete /home/martin/Documents/Work/Uni /home/martin/Documents/Backup/Work/$(date +%A)

Anybody have any tips for improving, or can beat that for security?