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Author Topic: Help me choose an online backup service  (Read 24979 times)
tranglos
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 06:48:06 AM »

You know tranglos I'm starting to think more and more the idea of grabbing a $10/month hosting account with unlimited or large storage space and just using encrypted ftp may be the way to go.

It's not nearly as convenient and automatic, but it does offer the control and also can serve as a backup place to host an emergency backup website..

That's what I'm thinking. One thing to keep in mind in that case: the ISP may not allow storing personal backups in web hosting space. I know Dreamhost doesn't. Their least expensive plan already gives unlimited storage (within reason, but what hard limits there were initially are now gone), but this space is explicitly for stuff you serve on the web.

At some point they noticed people (myself included...) kept personal backups under their /home directories and decided they didn't like it. What they did was give everyone a separate, free ssh/ftp account that's specifically for backup, but limited to 50 GB, or you can buy more.

Other ISPs may not have this policy, but it's something to take into account.

Other than that, ftp gives you plenty of options. SFFS and other backup apps do ftp, but I'm thinking an even better option would be to use something like WebDrive (is there a free alternative?) that maps an ftp account to a drive letter and just keeps it open all the time. That way uploads are transparent and you can throttle them better. Down here for example all ISPs offer only asymentric links, with fast download but a really limited upload bandwidth, so throttling is useful.

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apankrat
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2012, 12:10:14 PM »

Just I thought I'd mention - http://tarsnap.com - "Online backups for the truly paranoid"

Runs natively on Unixes, via CygWin on Windows. Naturally, it's command line only, because that's where all truly paranoids are smiley
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app103
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« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2012, 12:22:34 PM »

I've got most of our high backup volume clients set up for either Carbonite or Backblaze.

I've been happy with both services.

Everybody knows about Carbonite. Backblaze is a little different in the way it works from most. It's more a continuous mirroring rather than a traditional backup/sync service (although it can be set up to do a scheduled standard backup if you prefer), so definitely visit their website for full details. They'll provide you with a free 15-day trial to see if it works for you. For general backup use I slightly prefer Backblaze. Especially now that they've added support for backing up VMs. Datasheet here. And having the option to have them send a DVD or a drive to restore from is a major plus for me. Sure beats pulling half a terabyte of data down the wire during a major restore.

I'm not too up on what the exact performance is for either of these two services. They're more than fast enough for what we're doing.

Luck. smiley

Backblaze would probably be the one I'd go with if I could afford something like this. They are not a reseller like BeeCloud that might suffer the same fate as Backify, the software seems simple enough, nothing to think about, backs up everything, unlimited storage at $95 for 2 years, and unlike others they haven't raised their rates in their last 3 years of business.

And they don't mind giving you the details to some of the secrets to their success. http://blog.backblaze.com...-0revealing-more-secrets/
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highend01
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« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2012, 01:07:31 PM »

Quote
Backblaze

Tried it today. Maybe it's a cheap solution but for an advanced or pro user this isn't probably the way to go. You can exclude folders / drives but it's a cumbersome task if you have a nested folder structure and want to sync several folders inside this structure.

It is _really_ not possible to reverse it and say: Only include these specified folders that I want to sync, no matter what.

I hope http://www.acrosync.net/home.html gets into a usable state in the near future so that I have a more graphical approach to my current online backup / sync needs...
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40hz
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« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2012, 01:30:33 PM »

@app - Their new platform is quite impressive. Interesting what they had to say about Hitachi drives too. Can't get more of a real world test than what these guys are doing.

Speaking to a few of my cronies, we're thinking crazy thoughts about massive storage like they're doing combined with machines running something like myCloud (see below.) I'm not surprised myCloud has since been acquired by Citrix. Fortunately it was built on an open source platform so it's still available as a free download.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfMd5eNnJLo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfMd5eNnJLo</a>

Right now almost all the pieces are in place. There's affordable massive storage technology, open source server and desktop operating systems and software...so all that's needed is a good replacement for the public IPaddress and DNS system (new protocol maybe?) and we'd be at the point where we could implement our very own alternative Internet. Bwahahahahaha!!!



Dilbert would be envious. Grin
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 01:42:53 PM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2012, 01:39:50 PM »

Tried it today. Maybe it's a cheap solution but for an advanced or pro user this isn't probably the way to go. You can exclude folders / drives but it's a cumbersome task if you have a nested folder structure and want to sync several folders inside this structure.

It is _really_ not possible to reverse it and say: Only include these specified folders that I want to sync, no matter what.

@h - Not quite sure what you mean by a "pro" or "advanced" user unless you mean more like a desktop 'power user.' Backspace is a high data volume and enterprise backup service. And as was mentioned previously, it's not set up like a traditional backup. It's more a mirror solution. It's also geared for large storage collections, so not a lot of emphasis was placed on having their client software provide lots of individual file and folder sync tricks.

For a home user or SB, Dropbox or Box.net or one of the other personal backup services would definitely be a more flexible and appropriate way to go. smiley

« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 01:45:02 PM by 40hz » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2012, 02:01:00 PM »

I'm using JungleDisk with S3.  That said, I'm also looking at trying SFFS with S3.  Not because I have any problems with JD- to the contrary, I'm still going to use it.  I just want some things to back up at home separately now that I have a NAS (getting a bit paranoid about having synced copies in multiple places, so I want one local too)
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app103
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« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2012, 02:10:47 PM »

Quote
Backblaze

Tried it today. Maybe it's a cheap solution but for an advanced or pro user this isn't probably the way to go. You can exclude folders / drives but it's a cumbersome task if you have a nested folder structure and want to sync several folders inside this structure.

It is _really_ not possible to reverse it and say: Only include these specified folders that I want to sync, no matter what.

They are giving you unlimited space for backups. Why would you want to exclude anything? The only reason I can think of to exclude anything from backup is to keep from running out of space, which isn't going to happen with Backblaze, so you might as well let it backup everything.
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wraith808
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2012, 02:13:03 PM »

They are giving you unlimited space for backups. Why would you want to exclude anything? The only reason I can think of to exclude anything from backup is to keep from running out of space, which isn't going to happen with Backblaze, so you might as well let it backup everything.

There's the overhead in transfer, and the inability to know exactly what's in the backup.  That's one reason I keep different backup archives.
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app103
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2012, 02:20:28 PM »

@app - Their new platform is quite impressive. Interesting what they had to say about Hitachi drives too. Can't get more of a real world test than what these guys are doing.

Speaking to a few of my cronies, we're thinking crazy thoughts about massive storage like they're doing combined with machines running something like myCloud (see below.) I'm not surprised myCloud has since been acquired by Citrix. Fortunately it was built on an open source platform so it's still available as a free download.

Right now almost all the pieces are in place. There's affordable massive storage technology, open source server and desktop operating systems and software...so all that's needed is a good replacement for the public IPaddress and DNS system (new protocol maybe?) and we'd be at the point where we could implement our very own alternative Internet. Bwahahahahaha!!!
 (see attachment in previous post)
Dilbert would be envious. Grin

I drooled over the original about 2 years ago and yeah, it does provoke crazy thoughts, especially if you are a digital packrat. Just think of the amount of crap I could download and store on one of those babies! cheesy
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2012, 02:37:19 PM »

Anyone understand the pricing for CrashPlan Pro?



Why would anyone pay $14.13 a month for 50Gb when you can pay $7.49 for unlimited?

My issue with all of these plans (not just CrashPlan) is the appallingly slow upload speeds in the UK. I get about 38Kbs upstream (7+Mbs downstream) and there don't seem to be any ISPs that do better.

I had a 5Gb online backup with my bank but even uploading small amounts took forever.
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40hz
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2012, 02:51:40 PM »

I get about 38Kbs upstream ...

OMG! I'd go absolutely nuts with that. I guess the UK doesn't plan on getting much on board with SaS and "cloud" do they? Or are those speeds just because of where you're located in the UK?
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Jibz
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2012, 03:07:15 PM »

Java backup applications suck (imho)...

I've tested CrashPlan a year ago and observed equally the same results as in the review of JavaJones. A backup client software that was
awfully slow and used up several hundreds MB of memory. Ridiculous...

I can't really relate to this sorry. I've been using CrashPlan for a couple of years, and even on my old computer (which was single core with only 1 GB of mem) I didn't notice it running at all. I know others say it uses a resources on their machine, so I guess it's different (or maybe related to how you set up the options).

At any rate, it has worked well for me Thmbsup.

Edit: to add, what made me choose it over the others back then was that it had a sane de-duplication chice, allowed me to encrypt the data locally with my own password before it was uploaded so noone can access it, it runs as a service so it worked well with my setup of running on a non-admin account, and it allowed me to backup to the other machine here as well as online.
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highend01
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2012, 04:14:57 PM »

Quote
They are giving you unlimited space for backups. Why would you want to exclude anything? The only reason I can think of to exclude anything from backup is to keep from running out of space, which isn't going to happen with Backblaze, so you might as well let it backup everything.

Why should I let it backup things that don't need to be backuped (e.g. parts of my C: drive)? Why should I waste my upload bandwidth (1MBit) for such a task?
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40hz
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2012, 05:23:37 PM »

Why should I let it backup things that don't need to be backuped (e.g. parts of my C: drive)? Why should I waste my upload bandwidth (1MBit) for such a task?

Why indeed? But it's kinda moot since it doesn't backup anything other than your data by default. If you look at the website:


Quote
What does Backblaze Backup?
Our philosophy: backup all data so you don't have to pick and choose.

All Your Data
With the exception of your operating system, applications, and temporary files.

-------------------------------------------------

What We Don't Backup

Backblaze does not want to waste your bandwidth or Backblaze datacenter disk space. Thus, we do not backup your operating system, application files, or temporary internet files that are transient and would not be useful in the future. Backblaze also excludes podcasts in iTunes.

Certain Filetypes
You can see these exclusions by clicking on “Settings…” in the Backblaze Control Panel and selecting the Exclusions tab. They can be removed in Backblaze 2.0! Some of these excluded files are:

  • ISO (Disk Images)
  • VMC VHD VMSN (Virtual Drives)
  • SYS (System Configuration & Drivers)
  • EXE (Application Files).
  • Other Backup Programs
  • Backblaze also doesn't backup backups like Time Machine and Retrospect RDB.

Deleted Files
Backblaze will keep versions of a file that changes for up to 30 days. However, Backblaze is not designed as an additional storage system when you run out of space. Backblaze mirrors your drive. If you delete your data, it will be deleted from Backblaze after 30 days.

When you tried it out, as you mentioned earlier, it might have been enlightening if you first just let it 'do its thing' to see exactly how long it took - and then logged in to check and see exactly what got backed up.

I doubt you would have seen much there you wouldn't have selected anyway.

It's also fairly intelligent. So once the initial mirror takes place, subsequent backups only require a fraction of the original time unless major changes have taken place on your local drive.

Again from the website:

Quote
Backblaze has developed a unique 'single-read' engine that ensures no slowdown of your computer. Backblaze provides an automatic throttle that most efficiently uses your Internet connection. Typical home connections can backup online 2 - 4 GB per day. Backblaze provides a throttle option if you want to use more or less of your Internet connection.

There's also a handy speedtest utility they have that will let you know what you can expect on your connection. Even on a slow residential grade ADSL with a 39.1 Kb/sec uplink (via a wifi connection no less!) you'll be able to backup a huge amount of data in a 24-hour period. This laptop I just ran it on estimates 3,300 Mb worth of data per day as the absolute capacity.

It also keeps deleted and changed files for up to 30 days - so it also acts as a sort of versioning backup system. That alone is sometimes worth its weight in gold.

Dunno...I don't think it comes any more "pro" or "advanced user" than this. Just my humble opinion anyway. smiley
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 05:37:55 PM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2012, 05:48:30 PM »

I drooled over the original about 2 years ago and yeah, it does provoke crazy thoughts, especially if you are a digital packrat. Just think of the amount of crap I could download and store on one of those babies!

Don't let superboyac hear you! That might be all the motivation he needs to go out and build one of these bloody things. (I really could see him doing it too. Seriously...I could.)
 Grin
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rgdot
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2012, 06:03:41 PM »

I'll take 2  Grin



* backblaze-storage-pod-partially-assembled.jpg (98.36 KB, 560x376 - viewed 167 times.)
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highend01
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2012, 06:04:11 PM »

@40hz

If it take my time to test a new software you can be rest assured that I do it thoroughly smiley

Quote
But it's kinda moot since it doesn't backup anything other than your data by default.

Anything on my C: drive isn't data that should be backup-ed. Why not? I already decided over 20 years
ago that I separate all of my data from the partition, where the os is installed. Apart from that 95%
of my used software is portable and stores it's settings and data on a different drive (and the only
Software that needs to be installed is forced to write everything it wants to save to a different drive as well).

Quote
if you first just let it 'do its thing' to see exactly how long it took - and then logged in to check and see exactly what got backed up.

You don't need to. You can see this kind of information before it actually begins the real backup. Look at the last rightmost tabs.

Quote
I doubt you would have seen much there you wouldn't have selected anyway.
189 MB of files it wants to backup (only for the C: drive).

Quote
So once the initial mirror takes place, subsequent backups only require a fraction of the original time unless major changes have taken place on your local drive.

Delta-backup. Atm it's hard to find reasonable sync/backup providers that DON'T support this technology.

Quote
It also keeps deleted and changed files for up to 30 days - so it also acts as a sort of versioning backup system

That's the case, right. The currently used HiDrive account allows me to configure for how long old / deleted versions are kept and these settings can be changed for different folders and users (I use a 5 user account with 500gb of storage).

Regarding the huge amount of data that can be backuped with a slow uplink: I'm storing atm 150 GB on my user account at HiDrive. With non throttled upload speed this takes about 18 days (24h/day) if you don't want to pay the extra fee if you send in a hdd.

PS.: I like intelligent software. As long as it let's me reconfigure it's behavior when it does things that I don't want it to do.

Regards,
Highend
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mouser
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2012, 06:13:35 PM »

Interesting benefit for active duty armed service members from CrashPlan:

Quote
Armed Forces Seed Offer: To honor your service, members of the Armed Forces actively serving overseas get seeded drives and Restore to Your Door services for free. If you have an active CrashPlan+ account and you are a member of the Armed Forces on active duty overseas, from your ”.mil” email address, please write apo@crashplan.com with your name, email address and mailing information, so we can ship your seed drive.
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wraith808
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2012, 06:16:23 PM »

When you tried it out, as you mentioned earlier, it might have been enlightening if you first just let it 'do its thing' to see exactly how long it took - and then logged in to check and see exactly what got backed up.

I doubt you would have seen much there you wouldn't have selected anyway.

Truthfully, even with those exclusion, there would be a *lot* on there that I wouldn't want backed up.  His case might be similar.
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mouser
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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2012, 03:06:56 AM »

One thing I'm still struggling with is that this is really my last line of defense, and i already have a backup system to version files right away.  The offline backup does not need to happen so frequently.  That runs counter to the way all of these processes work -- they are always running in the background eating up cpu cycles and bandwidth and uploading changed files.

I can see how that's a wonderful feature if you need it -- but if I only need a once-a-week upload for emergencies, these tools seem like they may be a high price to pay in terms of lost cpu cycles/bandwidth.

Which brings us back to Tranglos' suggestion of just using some existing tool to do an encrypted ftp backup on some schedule of my choosing..
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highend01
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« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2012, 03:34:41 AM »

@mouser

What's wrong with a rsync backup which doesn't need a client that runs in the background? You decide when the backup takes place (or you can use the task planner). My rsync tasks needs about 2 minutes if there is nothing major to upload.

150gb with about 120k files in 14,5k folders
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mouser
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« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2012, 03:43:18 AM »

Nothing wrong with rsync, or the ftp-based tools i already have.  But that doesn't address the issue of what online storage provider to use.  You say you use hidrive -- that's outside of my budget.
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Jibz
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« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2012, 05:41:33 AM »

One thing I'm still struggling with is that this is really my last line of defense, and i already have a backup system to version files right away.  The offline backup does not need to happen so frequently.  That runs counter to the way all of these processes work -- they are always running in the background eating up cpu cycles and bandwidth and uploading changed files.

CrashPlan allows you to set the backup schedule etc. for each backup set -- for instance my image folder is only backed up once a day, while my source folders are backed up every 15 minutes. I know that you can do something similar with SpiderOak -- schedule it to only run every now and then.

On my old computer (which was slow) I set it to use 0% cpu and bandwidth while I was present, which meant it only did it's job when I left the computer for more than 10 minutes.
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wraith808
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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2012, 07:23:47 AM »

I can see how that's a wonderful feature if you need it -- but if I only need a once-a-week upload for emergencies, these tools seem like they may be a high price to pay in terms of lost cpu cycles/bandwidth.

With JungleDisk, though the process is running, it doesn't back up until you tell it to- it's not a continuous backup.  I usually set mine to run on Sunday at 3AM or so.
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