IT Geeks – off-site backup?

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  • IT Geeks – off-site backup?
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Sorry for all the IT geeking today, my mind’s been on it.

    Anyone arrange off-site backups for your personal photos/music/whatever? Without the use of a commercial cloud provider?

    JulianA
    Member

    No… Probably should for photos, though.

    What cloud for photos?

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Yes. I have two big external hard disks. When I visit my parents (every 6 weeks or so), I take one with me and swap it with the one I leave at their place.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Plenty seem to use the “take a hard disc somewhere” route, though about it for about 5 mins then put everything in the cloud.
    At work we did take a look at the prospect of setting up our own dropbox style thing with something like http://owncloud.org/ as we had a couple of hostings with unlimited storage/access on them. Not tried it yet.

    The software company we distribute for uses this http://blog.bittorrent.com/2013/11/12/sync-hacks-a-complete-guide-to-creating-your-own-private-dropbox/ a bit torrent method to sync stuff with all the distributors world wide.

    skids
    Member

    You can put like a terabyte on Flickr for free now, for photos. Music doesn’t need backing up unless you made it yourself

    JulianA
    Member

    Flickr’s good for pics, but you might be a tad upset if a fire melted all your CDs…

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Yes. Having had my fingers burned too many times in the past I’m completely neurotic about backups. I have a massive archive of all my email on Fastmail, all my working documents are in DropBox, Time Machine does its thing all the time, and my desktop machine gets nightly SuperDuper backups onto an external hard drive, with regular but less frequent ones for my laptop. On top of that all my data, including vast quantities of photos, get backed up off-site using CrashPlan.

    Crashplan is very straightforward. I pay them for the service – it’s not hugely expensive and it just works – but there’s a free alternative, see below. It took weeks to finish the initial transfer of the data onto their servers (high speed broadband made a huge difference to that) but once that was done the incremental backups each day don’t take long at all – I’m not even aware of it happening. I use computers all the time for work, but I’m not very technically minded, and this is great for me – it just works. I tried Carbonite for a while first but it kept crashing so I gave up on it and went over to Crashplan.

    I know it sounds excessive, but hard drives fail, and computers get stolen. I am completely dependent on my laptop for work, but if it gets nicked I could have a new one up and running where I left off in less than a couple of hours. If the house burnt down it would take me a bit longer, but I’d get my photos back eventually.

    You can use the Crashplan software free and just stick an external hard drive on another computer somewhere else, it’ll then back up to that. So you could come to an arrangement with a friend that each of you host the other’s off-site backup. I should probably give it a go, but the setup I have right now works so I’m reluctant to change it…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Amazon cloud storage is $0.01 per GB for the cheapest option.. tempting.

    Crashplan looks like it only backs up a whole computer but I would like more flexibility than that.

    Owncloud could be good – a Raspberry PI with a big disk attached could be the solution – I doubt either me or my parents would like to leave a desktop PC running all the time.

    I was thinking of something like WD OwnCloud, which can itself store incremental backups of its contents on another network drive. If that network drive could be somewhere off-site, that would be perfect. I wonder if MyCould could do that simply – simpler than VPN.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Plenty seem to use the “take a hard disc somewhere” route,

    ‘s what I do. Probably not the best, but I’ve nothing that’s That Important really.

    Premier Icon lorax
    Subscriber

    Crashplan definitely allows selective backups – for example I’ve set it up to save my documents and photos, but not my applications.

    user-removed
    Member

    I bought a SanDisk Vault a few years ago for personal stuff (photos). It’s basically a plug and play SSD. It’s been in the garage for the last year doing nowt. Clients’ photos are a different matter – multiple backups on dvds and external HDs, here and at a mate’s house.

    Premier Icon andyfla
    Subscriber

    Personally (well my sister) has gone for http://www.carbonite.com they are about £50 per year and they do a complete computer backup,
    More than free (about the price of a new tyre !) but very simple to use and extremely reliable – she recovered an entire laptop off them

    Highly recommend

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    All of the online solutions suffer from the initial copy being slow.

    If you have an upload speed of only a few hundred kbps then it takes an awfully long time to copy 150Gb of music and photo’s up the wire.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Use AWS Glacier storage here with Arq doing incremental backups (on the Mac). Ok is a commercial cloud provider but much cheaper than most others I looked at. Not too bothered about the retrieval times as I’ve got a local (TimeMachine) backup too, so this really is a proper DR scenario backup.

    cranberry
    Member

    I have 2 NAS boxes – one at my place, on at my parents. They are set to replicate weekly. It is not the cheapest way of doing things, but easy day-to-day and fairly secure.

    I also then backup the most important stuff with crashplan, and keep copies of photos/music/films/docs on several devices.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    wwaswas – Member
    All of the online solutions suffer from the initial copy being slow.

    If you have an upload speed of only a few hundred kbps then it takes an awfully long time to copy 150Gb of music and photo’s up the wire.
    Take the PC to a mates house and pay for them to have unlimited uploads for a month!

    Milkie
    Member

    I thought Amazon did a storage plan that was free to upload and you paid to download it when the shit hit the fan.. Can’t find it though, maybe I just made this up! 😆

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    You need proper backups;

    ah, those were the days.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Take the PC to a mates house and pay for them to have unlimited uploads for a month! work and talk nicely to IT

    FTFY 😀

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t just want my computer backed up though. I’ve got various things on various different external drives, so I’d want more control over what I can do. Ideally I want something that looks like a network drive on my network but is remote.

    But that open source cloud thing up there looks promising, like it could be customised.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Owncloud could be good – a Raspberry PI with a big disk attached could be the solution – I doubt either me or my parents would like to leave a desktop PC running all the time.

    Looked at Owncloud. Still tempted actually.
    RPi are fun toys, but tbh, I’d prefer something pretty reliable and purpose designed for backups / NAS etc. use.

    So I picked up a NAS. Only use ca. 21W max, so not exactly excessive. And has a button on the front for those occasions where you have to phone up to get a parent to reset it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Advantave of RPI is power consumption, if it’s going to be always on. I could buy a purpose build thing like WD my cloud etc but that could turn out to be more expensive.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    molgrips – what the issue with commercial cloud providers? I find it hard to go beyond dropbox now. Just rebuilt my PC and everything I need appeared back on the new build over night.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Ideally I want something that looks like a network drive on my network but is remote.

    AWS mounted as an iSCSI drive?

    tonyd
    Member

    I’d look closer at Crashplan if I were you Molly. It’s pretty configurable, you can use backup sets for example and apply different policies to each (inc different backup target locations). We actually started rolling out the commercial version at my old company (> 30,000 employees), I was involved in a lot of the POC and beta testing and was very impressed. We compared it to a lot of other commercial providers and it was better by a long way.

    I use the free version myself at work to allow me to backup my desktop to an external drive, if I ever get round to it I’ll use it at home too (although I have a lot of other changes to make there first).

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    agree about the RPi power usage.
    it’s just the array/nest of cables coming out in each direction, the USB hub, 2 wall warts (depending on which external HDD setup you have), etc.
    Saying that, pull the plug and stick it back again isn’t much harder than pressing the button on the front, if things stop responding.

    IA
    Member

    Backblaze here, it’ll backup external drives too so long as they’re regularly connected (otherwise it assumes they’ve been ditched and removes them). You can exclude stuff.

    I also back up locally to time machine, and do the “occasional HDD left at relatives” things.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    molgrips – what the issue with commercial cloud providers?

    Well mainly because I want to avoid a monthly fee, but of course that is now getting so low especially with AWS Glacier it’s hard to argue against.

    I also haven’t read through their T&Cs, which I’d have to do before handing it over.

    Seems to be mainly aimed at businesses too?

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Owncloud could be good – a Raspberry PI with a big disk attached could be the solution – I doubt either me or my parents would like to leave a desktop PC running all the time.

    There is a NAS device that does this without any faff (in exchange for dollar of course) – all you need is somewhere at the end of an internet connection to put it. Elderly relatives work well!

    Do Carbonite do a PC version? That was the most usable I tried on my Mac, but again a tad expensive if you aren’t selective.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    molgrips – what the issue with commercial cloud providers? I find it hard to go beyond dropbox now. Just rebuilt my PC and everything I need appeared back on the new build over night.

    I use Dropbox for files and Flickr for Photos…..

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There is a NAS device that does this without any faff

    Which one you talking about?

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I use Dropbox for files and Flickr for Photos…..

    There’s a difference between a cloud drive/store and a backup solution.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Flickr for Photos…..

    Does Flickr lets you easily retrieve the original, uncompressed versions of your photos en-masse? And what about RAW files, PSD files etc?

    bazzer
    Member

    I use Crashplan and I find it great. You can choose what folders you want backed up its straight forward.

    I have a NAS which everything I was backed up goes on which is on a raid array. That then gets backed up to crashplan.

    It even keeps the history of old files to if you delete one or over write it you can get it back.

    Perfect solution for me.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Molgrips – Transporter

    Don’t have one yet, but were considering it as a cheap flexible private drop box for a number of corporate uses.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    How do you back up the NAS to crashplan?

    bazzer
    Member

    When I say NAS I mean a small low power Linux box running Ubuntu.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Does Flickr lets you easily retrieve the original, uncompressed versions of your photos en-masse? And what about RAW files

    Yep, it stores the original (untouched) and then creates lower res images for screen display. You can set up your account so anyone can download all sizes and the originals, or just certain sizes etc.

    Retrieving a set en-masse requires a 3rd party app (or some scripting). eg http://www.flickr.com/services/apps/72157622874451890/

    mjb
    Member

    I use the Amazon cloud via Jungledisk to back up all my photos and a few other folders. Appears as a network drive in explorer and automatically backs up the folders I want. Never seem to spend more than a couple of dollars each month for the storage. Not sure of the cost of Jungledisk as I joined when they were just starting out and paid about $10 for a lifetime license 🙂

    RooleyMoor
    Member

    I’ve got a 25GB Microsoft Skydrive account (free as I started using it years ago)

    they introduced a desktop connector last year and now I have a scheduled batch file that runs a backup.

    It works fine.

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