All of us deal with data which has to be safe for long time. Nowadays, there are many different types of data storage devices (e.g. keeping files in an external USB hard-drive, USB flash drive, A cloud-based backup service etc) that are useful for making backups. My question to all data manager here, in practical basis (availability, price etc ) which media is best to back up data for a long term? Any particular recommendation??
It's hard to reply - what kind of data and what kinds of requirements do you have for backup?
Ideally for any dataset or CDM system, I would say off-site server dedicated for backup storage in a secure and air-conditioned location. It should be set up in a way that only the machine(s) you are backing up can access it.
I don't like cloud-based document sharing services because they are not secure and reliable enough for backing up confidential health and research data.
But if you are in a very difficult setting with bad connectivity, I'd say use any setup you can automate and take the human factor out of the equation. Probably a couple of external drives with firewire connection are OK, as long as these drives are swapped periodically.
Since we are working in resource scare settings where internet connectivity might not be a problem but availability of money and trained and dedicated human resource is definitely a big problem. In this scenario I would recommend to have a storage system that could be easily managed by someone not very experienced but sincere enough. You can use external hard disk (at least two) and take backup on (both of) them simultaneously on regular basis. Keep them away from external interference and on different locations in secure manner. Whenever take backup synchronize them so that whenever needed you can recover from any of them. For backup you can just copy and paste in external drives or can set Microsoft Backup utility.
@Tina Dannemann Purnat : I agree with you to store data in off-site server dedicated for backup storage in a secure and air-conditioned location but the problem is lack of resources and trained manpower to handle it specially in the environment where we work.
By the way, what do you think about to store data in Google Drive ? Do you think it may have problem ?
As we are talking here about Clinical Data, I would never consider storing data in the Cloud or things like Google Drive. You never know where your data is and who can access it. Even with non clinical data, you should always try to keep your data in your own trusted organisation.
I just read your comment on cloud storage of data. Is true you may not no who accesses what data stored or posted. But I also think that they also think of the confidentiality of their clients or customers as they decide to back up data to their sites. Also with the idea that they may be sued or held by law as a company, they wouldn't just leave lose data posted to their sites. Therefore I think is a safe thing to do by storing data in the cloud.
The idea of easy retrieval of data is also an issue for you to store data at such places. Where data becomes retrievable with just a computer and an internet and avoiding so much gadgets especially when traveling. Is my opinion.