My own data protection strategy

I know this is overcomplicated, but if you know me; it makes sense. First lets identify what data I’m talking about. This is the data in my home lab and that which I create at work that doesn’t go into an authoritative resource, like SharePoint. The home lab also includes my personal stuff like family photos, resumes, my writing and other typical stuff. I’ve got about 2 TB all in of home data. All of that data lives on the main file share at home, is created on any number of servers/workstations in my lab or home PCs, my phone or is created on my work laptop.

I use three products to protect my data:


A note of disclosure and lure: I work for Veeam as most of you know. But you can also get a free copy of Veeam Backup & Replication for your home lab here.


I also use DropBox, but it isn’t a data protection solution (I’ll get to that in a bit). Here is how I protect each of these data sets:


The primary file share is a Windows Server virtual machine and there is one share, organized “pretty good”. That share is backed up in the following ways:

  • The file server data that is a zone that needs protection is backed up nightly to the Amazon S3 cloud with CloudBerry Backup Server Edition. There are two jobs for CloudBerry on this server for the main file share.
  • The file server virtual machine is backed up with Veeam Backup & Replication to a VMFS volume on a different storage resource than the running virtual machine.
  • All data on the file server is copied to a ioSafe fireproof drive with robocopy weekly.


The phone data is limited to My Tracks routes (which I upload to Google), pictures and videos. I upload the pictures and videos to DropBox (application for Android) – again, I’ll explain Dropbox in a bit.


I protect my work laptop data in the following ways:

  • Scheduled robocopy job to a portable ioSafe drive.
  • Automatic robocopy job to a file server resource at home.

I use DropBox a lot for work, so it is installed on the work laptop.


Dropbox isn’t a data protection solution, so I don’t count on it as such. I have installed Dropbox on my file server at home and a designated directory is for my Dropbox account. I backup the Dropbox data to the ioSafe USB drive weekly, the daily CloudBerry backup of the file server picks up the Dropbox folder, and there is a separate job to a separate AWS S3 bucket for the Dropbox data that runs monthly.

Visually, these swimlanes represent what is backed up and with what tool:


Not every VM at home is backed up, in fact only my domain controller, the file server and my SCVMM server are backed up. The file server has three tools applied to it, and Dropbox is installed. The Rickatron lab is shown below:


The number of VMs will come and go, and at the moment there are 12 that are constantly powered on. All “data” goes to that file share.

There it is, this is how Rickatron rolls in his lab protecting his data.


3 responses to this post.

  1. […] me both as a person and also how I practice IT. In particular, I am a little obnoxious in my own data protection strategy. I also ensure that all plans are clearly communicated. It seems simple, but basic things like […]


  2. Nice lab, Rick, and a good plan for backup, following the 3-2-1 rule. I’m sure the NetApp folks love that your home lab is sporting the FAS2020!


  3. Thanks, Jim – actually – that’s a type-o. The SAN at home isn’t a NetApp, its a series of Drobo Elite and Drobo Pro units. This was a Visio diagram re-used!

    Good catch.


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