It was bound to happen. The hard disk died on one of my rack computers which is generally made up of older workstations that were retired from front line use and put on network rendering duty as they aged. This one, however, was not a workstation. It housed my email client so it was constantly downloading all sorts of would-be infections that were quarantined by my virus protection. The disk started showing signs of failure so I took it offline, pulled the system from the rack and ordered a new disk drive.
Not being a workstation this system had very little 3rd party software installed on it. It is in fact a much slower architecture than the actual workstations but it held one big distinction. It was my iClone morgue started back around 2005/06 when I began using the product and it held gigs of models ported to iClone over the years. This one was backed up on the Carbonite online backup service and now was the time to find out just how reliable it was. This was no test for an article but rather a real world situation of gigs of past work suddenly inaccessible. The very thing that used to keep us up at night... before the safety of backups and the reliability of online backup vendors. Right???
Carbonite- The online backup solution whose slogan should be: No Drama!
There was much trepidation as there always is in these situations when years of work slips into cyber darkness. At least being a glorified network attached storage point its simple architecture meant I only had to replace the drive, load the OS and restore the data from Carbonite. It wasn't that long ago that my main workstation gave me trouble. Wouldn't boot. Turned out to be a video card problem of all things but that was where I discovered that RAID systems are great. That is, they are great if you pull your head out of your butt and choose anything but a striped array. My head was in said butt when I originally ordered the workstation. I mean why else would an I choose a scheme that splits data on two drives instead of a backup array? I still can't answer why I did this due to aforementioned head in rectum disease but I digress. Thank the cyber gods I only had to deal with a simple drive in this case.
Within minutes of the new drive arriving the old drive was sitting on the workbench while I loaded Windows. Since I didn't have any software that needed installing I decided it was time to restore my iClone morgue from Carbonite. Mr. (or Mrs. If that is your thing) Anxiety knocked at the door but I was expecting it and just tried to ignore it as it dawned on me that I didn't know the restore procedure! The banging on the door was getting louder.
Turns out this is where I do what I always do, over complicate things and invite further anxiety. The entire anx family is pounding on the door by now only to be turned away by a single, simple little text link on my accounts page at the Carbonite website... Get Files Back! Once clicked you are given an option of a full restore or selection of the files you wish to restore. I chose the latter and selected my iClone morgue which was restored over a period of 4 days to its original state. My digital iClone morgue was intact!
A welcome sight... Get files back!
Sure it took days not hours but that is too be expected with online backups. I could have requested a DVD or HDD pre-loaded with my data as I have that service on this particular machine but I wasn't in that big of a hurry so several days later I had a completely restored iClone digital morgue! This was the simplest data restoration I have ever done and I have to say I am completely satisfied with the process. And as to the striped array on my old workstation... well according to a Carbonite rep that would have been no problem either and just as simple to restore.
Carbonite treats all backups as a single volume so restoration would follow the same process.
That night... I slept like a baby and still do to this day thanks to at least one good decision to use an online backup service.
Carbonite - https://www.carbonite.com/