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re·pos·i·to·ry  Merriam-Webster says this about repositories.  "1) A place, room, or container where something is deposited or stored, 2) One that contains or stores something nonmaterial ('...considered the book a repository of knowledge.')
3) A person to whom something is confided or entrusted."  Now let's see how this term applies to data.

By Stephen Worden / Illuminova Technical Services, (c) 2010

Have you ever accidentally overwritten a needed file?  Ever edited an existing file but forgot to do Save As and did a Save instead?  Your old version just "went away," my friend.  But with a repository you could just drag-and-drop it right back where it's supposed to be.

My definition of "repository"?  A local hot-copy of non-deleteable¹ corporate data.

Breaking it down, "local" means it lives on your Local Area Network.  It is a network share easily mapped by each computer on the LAN.  "Hot-copy" means that it is not a compressed file or encrypted in any way.  As a copy it has the same user permissions as the original folders and files.  "Hot" means that there is some mechanism for keeping the repository up-to-date.

"Non-deleteable"¹ states the obvious — no user can delete the data or folders, even if the source files grant that permission.  A repository maintains a copy of your important information on your network from which you can drag accidentally deleted files back.  The directory structure follows the structure of the original data exactly; users will recognized their folder and file names.

No one but an administrator can delete these files.  Even if files are deleted in the original folder, they are NOT deleted in the repository.

A script runs nightly to update any changed files and to bring over any newly created ones.


Building a repository is a great way to repurpose an old PC.  Reliability is improved if the repository has redundant hard drives, so you'll probably need to get a RAID controller.  I'd invest in two new drives also, for the same reason.  Any Windows operating system will work from Win 95 to XP.

This is a pretty low-tech way of protecting your data.  It doesn't cost much and is pretty easy to set up.  It is very easy to maintain and is very reliable.  I've built a couple dozen of these systems.  They are a great first defense against file loss.

¹ I'm not sure this is a real word, but that's never slowed me down in the past.  I've come up with some excellent words, if I may be so bold.  "Constuction" is a one of my favorite creations, defined as "the state of unity you achieve with a vinyl car seat on a hot summer's day."  You know what non-deleteable means even if Merriam-Webster doesn't.
 

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You may freely link to this page or quote from here with attribution to "Stephen Worden / Illuminova Technical Services" at http://www.illuminova.com

Copyright (c) 2010 Stephen Worden / Illuminova Technical Services.