Ideal backup situation

I've been playing fast and loose with backups, and I've been extremely fortunate to have not suffered any serious system failures or data loses. I recently recovered from systems failures on my Raspberry Pis caused by upgrading Debian Buster to Bullseye. The outage wasn't a because of a bug in Bullseye, the upgrade modified some parameters /boot/firmware/config.txt which, for some reason, prevented the board from booting.

Also around the same period, my place was being renovated, and the construction workers had nicked the main power supply lines. As a result, we were experiencing some wild voltage fluctuations and power outages. I thought I burnt my boards from either one of these two things. It was time to set up a proper backup mechanism.


I have roughly 3 TB of storage across multiple devices and none of these were being backed up. Going by the 3-2-1, I would require at least 9 TB + 3 TB of storage(3*3 + some additional space for versioned backups --- most backup systems these days are chunk snapshot systems so versioning is very efficient). But since I'm broke and can't afford offsite storage, my requirements are down to 6 TB + 2 TB.

My current solution

I bought two 4 TB disks and setup Borg backup jobs to run at night. I currently have 7 daily, 4 weekly and 4 monthly snapshots on the first disk and the second disk contains 4 weekly and 4 monthly snapshots, and is unplugged and stored at a different part of the house.

Ideally, it should be plugged in at a different part of the house, away from my server rack, but I neither have the hardware nor the infrastructure to implement that.

Ideal solution

My current set up will work in most cases. I live in a calm neighborhood in a very safe city(not prone to natural calamities and such) but ideally there should be at least one copy of offsite backup. So I did some math to see how much it would cost me:


AWS is usually the cheapest and there's probably an adapter available for Borg

But I don't like AWS or anything Amazon


Tarsnap is developed by Dr. Colin Percival and is quite popular.

And is also quite expensive!

I can't afford either of these solutions. My current setup set cost me roughly ₹16,000 or $220 or the two months worth of AWS rent. Which is ridiculous. So here's my proposal:

As the internet becomes more diverse and more decentralised, home servers will become a common thing. This means more folks, like myself, will be on the lookout for cheap backup and failover solutions. Normally, these home servers won't be at 100% utilization(I'm currently at 20% across the fleet) so forming rings of trust among friends and family will be mutually beneficial. This way, the participants within the ring can rely on each other's facilities for backups and failover situations for a fraction of what a cloud-based solution would cost.

Of course, there should be proper measures taken to prevent unauthorized access and trespassing, but they are implementation details.