Disk space is cheap. We all hear and see it but plenty of you out there seem to ignore this fact. Yes, there can be a cost associated with maintaining the extra volumes in your data plan, but does there rally have to be?
Let’s face it, the average hard disk has a stated MTBF that is just ridiculous. Oft misinterpreted, and more generally misunderstood the numbers range upward of 50+ years. They are sourced roughly with the following logic. If a drive has a MTBF rating for 300,000 hours and the service life is 5 years a group of these drives should provide 300,000 hours of service before one fails. Needless to say, the unknown unknowns can interfere… The key point here is that they as a standalone device are supposed to be, and typically are, rock solid and reliable. Paired with a drive of equal properties from a different manufacturer, or if the same, from a different production batch, your odds of failure are even more reduced. Right now an external 1TB drive with USB or Firewire will run you less than $150. Buy two and you’re still under $300. Total costs for electricity ~$50 a year? That’s cheap.
Now why don’t people just hook one of these to a server, networked would be a bonuus, and add it in as an additional backup location? Some do, but they are the exception, not the norm. More than once, though sometimes it took some “cajoling”, clients of mine have seen the merits of extra, cheap, storage that STSADM can dump data securely onto and be retrieved quickly and easily. I’m a firm believer in the more baskets you have, the fewer broken eggs you have.