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Online Backup Solution - Suggestions?

phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
edited Nov 2011 in PC Building
I'm working on modifying my company's backup plan. I would like to integrate an online back up plan. Our needs are basically a one time per month backup of 2 compressed files... one about 90GB the other about 30GB. Ideally the files transfer one after another in succession (like not one on the 1st of the month and one on the 15th).

We currently have a disgustingly slow T1 speed (about 1.3 Mbps up) so, according to my shoddy math, online backup of this much data might just not be possible without some serious added cost. With that said, we are considering a change in ISP anyway which may also include a slightly faster connection.

I've looked at some of the better rated online backup services but most of them have bells and whistles I just don't care about. All I want is to pay $10/mo to upload 130GB of data without the service's speed being the bottleneck. I also want to feel good enough about the service's reputation that my data will be safe. I don't need mobile access and I don't need to view my photos online in an online photo album. Maybe we just need to rent storage from a regular old webhost and upload via ftp or ssh or something? Hints, tips, experience, etc appreciated. Thanks!

Comments

  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    We use CrashPlanPro. For your needs, you're probably better off using their unlimited plan, which is $7.49/computer/month.

    We're backing up 9 servers totaling around 300GB. So far I haven't noticed any slowdown. I chose them not for price, because we don't have complex backup requirements, and their interface is fairly simple relative to the other cloud-based backup solutions out there. We don't need bare-metal backups. In 7 years we have had a total of 5 drive failures on 9 servers.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Mountains Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    phuschnickens said:
    I'm working on modifying my company's backup plan. I would like to integrate an online back up plan. Our needs are basically a one time per month backup of 2 compressed files... one about 90GB the other about 30GB. Ideally the files transfer one after another in succession (like not one on the 1st of the month and one on the 15th).

    We currently have a disgustingly slow T1 speed (about 1.3 Mbps up) so, according to my shoddy math, online backup of this much data might just not be possible without some serious added cost. With that said, we are considering a change in ISP anyway which may also include a slightly faster connection.

    I've looked at some of the better rated online backup services but most of them have bells and whistles I just don't care about. All I want is to pay $10/mo to upload 130GB of data without the service's speed being the bottleneck. I also want to feel good enough about the service's reputation that my data will be safe. I don't need mobile access and I don't need to view my photos online in an online photo album. Maybe we just need to rent storage from a regular old webhost and upload via ftp or ssh or something? Hints, tips, experience, etc appreciated. Thanks!
    Most "unlimited" web hosts wont back up your files on their shared server unless you use 10gigs or less ... or in that range. This means that if the datacenter burns down so do your backups. They also don't usually guarantee that they back you up regardless, its more of like a ya well do it for most customers because they expect it ... but it isn't covered in your agreement.

    I'd really avoid a standard webhost for this sort of thing and go with the company Kwitko recommends or something similar that exists for the purpose of backups. They likely backup your backups to another offsite location and have some sort of agreement in your plan that they will do that. This makes it much easier should the company have to file a claim with their business insurance which includes the costs of recovering your backup.

    In general I'd say when making a decision like this try to simulate the worst possible scenario 5 years from now, and does the backup solution you choose work out well?

    If you do some research and find what you think is the best one, it would be awesome if you came back here and let us know what and why :D
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    Thanks guys.

    Kwitko: What sort of connection speed do you guys have? At 1.5Mbps it looks like it will take us about 4 or 5 days to transfer our files. Any suggestion for an affordable way to get a faster up-speed?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Dallas Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    If your file won't be changing much, you should look into an rysnc solution, as that will drastically cut down on backup time and total data transferred.
  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    We're on a 20/2 cable connection. What are the files that you're uploading? Is it something that you can do incrementally instead of a huge backup like that?
  • ShortyShorty Manchester, UK Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Another vote here for CrashPlan. Just be aware that a big first backup can take days and days... we put our "at rest" data that isn't going to change onto different spindles so it can churn away uploading.
  • kryystkryyst Ontario, Canada
    edited Nov 2011
    Another option is also to use Dropbox or Sugarsync to do that.
  • ShortyShorty Manchester, UK Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Depends on the business. Are those kind of services _really_ biz ready? Debatable.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Shorty said:
    Depends on the business. Are those kind of services _really_ biz ready? Debatable.
    I'd say they're not. Especially Dropbox (not as familiar with SugarSync), if for no other reason than they have access to all your data.

    It's going to be damn hard to find a trustworthy, reliable backup service for under $10/mo. For enterprise backups (of non-Windows servers), I'd probably recommend Tarsnap (http://www.tarsnap.com/) but at ~130GB, you're looking at about $39/mo for storage (this would vary depending on how compressable the data is). There's also a fee for bandwidth used. Tarsnap does incremental backups though which should also help keep that number down. Given your network constraints, I'd definitely look into a service that does incremental backups and avoid archiving everything into one huge file before backing it up.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Mountains Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Ya don't forget about what kind of data your backing up here, if it's confidential information make sure your using a service that allows an encrypted connection.

    Last I checked (like, two years ago) dropbox did not without some serious hackery (ie encrypt/decrypt all contents before/after sending/receiving)
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Dropbox does encrypt your data during transmission (and allegedly on their servers), however, they hold the encryption keys and can decrypt your data if they want. The only way to use Dropbox for actual secure backups is to make a TrueCrypt volume (or something similar to it) then back up the encrypted volume. That, however, involves significant overhead.

    Tarsnap uses a unique encryption key, which only you have (make damn sure not to lose it) to back your data up before transmission.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek IREEELAND Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    SecretSync and BoxCryptor are supposed to offer proper encryption with dropbox though I've never used them (duplicati to server space here).
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    Thanks guys. Looking into option. I forgot about rsync... it was suggested years ago for this exact purpose, but we didn't act on it. In my first post I mentioned 2 files to be backed up. Those are two tib files (compressed files created by Acronis TI). I think rsync and incremental are the answer. I'll look into those options and see where I get. Probably only about 5% of our data will change in a single month. We are probably a perfect candidate for incremental. Can rsync process an incremental transfer within a compressed file (ie a tib file or the like)? Can anybody point me to a tutorial for using rsync for the specific purpose? Keep in mind I know very very little about linux. Thank you again.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    rsync won't work for you. rsync works on a per file basis. If you attempt to do an incremental backup of 2 archives, it will simply see the 2 files as having changed and transfer the entire file again. It has no ability to delve into compressed files (or archives of any sort) and figure out what parts of the archive have changed. rsync, while an awesomely useful tool, is meant for operating on sets of many files.
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    I kind of suspected that. Hmmm... my large backup is simply of a bunch of files on a drive. The smaller is actually the system disk (Windows Server 2003). What I like about backing up with Acronis is that I can actually transfer an entire Windows OS system partition and upon restore to a new hard drive I actually have a bootable system disk with no OS install and difficult DC/AD setup/restore etc etc. I'm thinking rsync is not quite capable of this.
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Fact of the matter is rsync is a *nix tool. In that world, it is the swiss army knife of file operations. Windows does things very differently from every *nix based system in the world though, making rsync not nearly as useful for backing up Windows systems.

    At the end of the day, I'm not aware of any tools that will allow you to do an incremental backup of an archive/image/etc. If you want to do incremental backups, you'll probably need to do them directly on the source, not on the image. That or you'll just have to suck it up and do a complete backup of the images each time. Either way, I can pretty much guarantee that you won't be able to find a service that can do what you want for under $10/mo. It's just not a realistic price point.
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    Totally makes sense. When I threw out $10/mo I guess I was kind of thinking of what I can fit into our extravagant IT budget (my boss kind of thinks that IT shouldn't cost money or something). I was also kind of thinking of a simple reliable server with storage space where I can do a transfer where the only bottleneck is our up-speed. Once we start talking incremental and the need for the backup service to have software capable of allowing for incremental I realize that this is understandably quite a bit more than $10/mo. I think the plan is going to be something like a weekly rsync to my home server of everything and some sort of separate solution for the OS image. Thanks everyone for the tips and I'll report back with my results.
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    Update: I spent some time yesterday playing with DeltaCopy, a Windows based rsync GUI. It's pretty simple to figure out and allows for optional use of a lot (all?) of the same parameters that the true linux rsync does. I'm pretty happy with the results or test I've run so far but have yet to do the real deal. I suspect I will be happy with those results too.

    Since off-site backup is one of the preferences of our backup plan, I'll be doing the OS image backup the old fashioned way (external hard drive, into laptop bag, into house onto coffee table).

    Thanks to all for your help/suggestions and maybe I'll post back with any other findings.
  • jaredjared College Station, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Not sure if it 100% what you are looking for, but I use BackBlaze and have had no problems.
  • phuschnickensphuschnickens Beverly Hills, Michigan Member
    edited Nov 2011
    I've been using the rsync GUI for Windows (DeltaCopy) for the last couple weeks and I'm loving it. It emails me with a full log after each run. The next part I'm working on is some sort of versioning. I've got the rsync coming into my home server on a 500GB (D) drive. I have a 500GB (E) drive that I want to mirror to. I've run the trial of Genie-Soft's Genie Timeline Pro and I'm quite impressed but unfortunately it intermittently crashes and won't run when logged off... so basically that's not a solution. Genie-Soft also offers Genie Timeline Server which will apparently run when logged off... we'll see about crashing issues. The product is $200 which is pretty reasonable if it works well I suppose.

    Another method I'm considering:
    I have VMWare and access to a copy of an unused Leopard OSX install so I'm thinking I might just work on setting up Time Machine to do the mirroring/versioning from D: to E:. One PITA is that I believe Time Machine will only back up HFS+ partitions so that means reformatting the D: to HFS+, abandoning DeltaCopy since it is Windows only (at least on the server side) and using a different rsync receiver. Once I do that I believe a VM of OSX running Time Machine will be able to do the magic I want it to do. Comments, hints, tips, advice, criticism?
  • ShortyShorty Manchester, UK Icrontian
    edited Nov 2011
    Yep, Time machine only sees HFS+.
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