Project: Automated offsite backups for an NSLU2 -- part 1

Posted on 11 November 2006 in NSLU2 offsite backup project

I have a Linksys NSLU2 on my home network, and I'm very pleased with it. It is almost silent, was not too tricky to set up, cost very little (and is even cheaper on Dabs these days), and it happily serves the contents of a 200Gb USB-connected hard disk to all of my PCs. But there's one problem; it would be easy for someone to steal. I was burgled a couple of years back, and while (thankfully) they missed the disk, I realised that while almost everything else in my flat is insured and replaceable, the data on that drive is not. I decided that I needed it backed up offsite automatically, so that even if my home was completely cleared out, my data at least would be safe.1

Shortly after the burglary, I set up a temporary solution, which - like all these things - has lasted for somewhat longer than intended. My media-centre PC is always on, and it runs IBackup, which synchronises the contents of the NSLU2 (mapped as several network drives) every night.

This approach has three problems:

So, I need something better - cheaper, more power-efficient, and more elegant. Here's the plan: I want to find a decent supplier of offsite backup space, and to somehow put in place software to keep the contents of the NSLU2 synchronised with that space. I suspect getting this all sorted may take a while, and I'll keep detailed notes here.

Next: Where and how?

  1. The NSLU2 does have the ability to automatically back itself up to another network drive - presumably it accesses the other drive using the same Windows SMB protocol it uses to share its own disks. If I wasn't looking for offsite backup specifically, this would have been quite useful -- good enough, at least, to protect against hard disk failures.