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cza



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Topic # 111768 14-Nov-2012 14:17 Send private message

Hi there,

I was wondering if someone could help me out with some ideas on some back up solutions for a small business.

The business is wedding photography and the amount of data to back up (currently) is about 6TB and this will obviously continually increase.

My question is what would people recommend as the best back solution for this situation? 

I have had a look at some of the online offsite backup services that are around, and they look good but they don't really cater for the amount of data we are talking about here (more for home users rather than businesses) - or if they do they become hugely expensive when you are talking about TB's of data.

Another solution I have been thinking about lately is co locating a server somewhere.  One of the benefits of this is that all the data can be transferred on site then the server can be sent to the DC and then incremental back ups can be done to the server after that.  A couple of downsides to this are the cost of co locating a server, and the upload speed where the photos will be coming from (ADSL).  Each wedding is about 8 to 16 GB so uploading via ADSL connection will take a very very long time.

There are some other benefits which could come into play if co locating at a DC happened such as access to the files from anywhere and we could possibly put a small web server in front of it so the staff can search through the photos and show clients while at meetings - possibly even get to a point where they could be sold online (getting a bit a head of myself here).

The third consideration was setting up a NAS/home server with a raid array, but that doesn’t really protect you if your house catches fire or you get robbed. 

I guess what I am really looking for here is for some opinions and possible solutions from people who either work in this industry or have dealt with this issue before.  It would be really interesting to hear what solutions other small business owners have in place around back ups and also a rough idea of the costs involved – cost is obviously a big factor here given that this is a relatively new business.  As well as the quantity of data, because of the industry data security is also extremely critical, as you can imagine in photography these files are your product and income stream so data loss is not an option.

Thanks in advance.

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  Reply # 717057 14-Nov-2012 14:23 Send private message

Have you thought of using crashplan for business?

http://www.crashplan.com/business/overview.html

If you have no issue with your backup going offshore (Australia), I would highly recommend them. Your data is encrypted, its very easy to setup and can be setup to just run in the background or at specific times. You dont pay for diskspace as there are unlimited storage plans available.

It comes down to the speed of your internet connection and how much new data will be generated each day.

Edit: As you have 6TB of initial backup, customers are given a choice of a seeded backup service. This involves crashplan sending you an external hard drive that you load your data on. You then send it back to them and the initial backup is complete.


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  Reply # 717083 14-Nov-2012 14:57 Send private message

I can also recommend CrashPlan. The only downside is the upload speed of your connection, so if you can upgrade to VDSL that would help.




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  Reply # 717086 14-Nov-2012 14:59 Send private message

Braaiguy, Couple questions, once the initial backup is done are subsequent backups just incremental?

Who makes the best Boerewors in NZ?


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  Reply # 717104 14-Nov-2012 15:17 Send private message

Another recommendation for CrashPlan.

Here's the link to their business plans.
https://www.crashplanpro.com/business/au/store.vtl

The business unlimited plan works out to be A$360 per year, which is NZ$460.

The initial seeded backup costs A$250 (NZ$320), however it looks like they can only do 1TB at a time.
You may be able contact them and sort out a solution to backup more than 1TB at a time. They may be willing to help out in that regard.

As mentioned above, they now have a data centre in Australia.

It would be well worth finding out if they can get either UFB, or VDSL, as this would make things a lot less painful.

EDIT: Actually, the above price was for 3 computers. If they only have the need to backup one computer, it would only cost A$144 (NZ$185) per year.

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  Reply # 717163 14-Nov-2012 15:57 Send private message

We resell an online backup solution that also provides a local NAS device to have on your own network, if you sign up for at least 3 years.
A 9TB NAS with 9TB Online backup is $350+gst per month or a 12TB NAS with 12TB Online backup is $495+gst per month.
Sounds like a lot but you get a local NAS to have onsite plus the same amount of data is backed up online so you're covered if anything happens to your computer and NAS.
The online backup data centres are based in New Zealand too so local and depending on where you are in NZ, the initial seed could be done by taking the NAS to one of the data centres and they don't usually charge for that. 

As you mention though the bottle neck is going to be the ADSL connection when new wedding photos are added, being 8-16GB at a time.
That's going to be a problem no what online solution you may go for though.
Any chance of getting fibre or VDSL?




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  Reply # 717170 14-Nov-2012 16:06 Send private message

How about buying some drives, and every week backing up onto those and storing them in a remote location. I know someone who stores their drive in a PO BOX, and the drive is encrypted just in case it gets broken into.

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  Reply # 717220 14-Nov-2012 16:52 Send private message

cza: Hi there,

...

Another solution I have been thinking about lately is co locating a server somewhere.  One of the benefits of this is that all the data can be transferred on site then the server can be sent to the DC and then incremental back ups can be done to the server after that.....  


Well first you need to work out how long you need to keep the images for.
I grilled my wedding photographer about it as she wouldn't give me the RAW files, and I wanted to know I'll still be able to get some images reedited and printed in years to come. I was happy with the way she protected her images on multiple USB drives and DVDs on site and then with another copy offsite on USB drives. 
 
In the end you may well find it cheaper to simply keep the first copy at your house on USB hard drives and optionally DVDs too, and then keep the second/3rd copy offsite on more USB drives or a large storage servers  collocated somewhere.



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  Reply # 717248 14-Nov-2012 17:16 Send private message

I'd personally suggest a couple of unRAID servers as a great solution. You can run one at home and another at the office or elsewhere if they are the same place.

If you really want something cloud based I'd suggest Amazon's AWS Glacier service as cost effective. With that much data and it incrementing continually you won't find a cheaper online back up solution.

http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/pricing/

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  Reply # 717254 14-Nov-2012 17:22 Send private message

insane:
cza: Hi there,

...

Another solution I have been thinking about lately is co locating a server somewhere.  One of the benefits of this is that all the data can be transferred on site then the server can be sent to the DC and then incremental back ups can be done to the server after that.....  


Well first you need to work out how long you need to keep the images for.
I grilled my wedding photographer about it as she wouldn't give me the RAW files, and I wanted to know I'll still be able to get some images reedited and printed in years to come. I was happy with the way she protected her images on multiple USB drives and DVDs on site and then with another copy offsite on USB drives. 
 
In the end you may well find it cheaper to simply keep the first copy at your house on USB hard drives and optionally DVDs too, and then keep the second/3rd copy offsite on more USB drives or a large storage servers  collocated somewhere.




The whole photography thing is interesting. I wonder how long they are required to retain raw images legally if they won't provide them to you? I would make that part of the contract, that they provide the raw images. I think some will sell them to you for over 1K,, but they retain them so they can make a profit off selling actually photos from those raw images. I would have thought it would be safer for them legally to just give them to you, and they wouldn't then need to retain backups, or worry about them becoming corrupt or failing.

I would be worried if they are saving them to DVD, as DVDs can fail after only a few years. I had some DVDs with images on them, and many are corrupted now. The best backup would be at least two copies in the office, one backup in a different location, and cloud backup to, as at anyone time you would need at least two copies of the date. eg if you office burned down, and you only had a cloud copy, then you don't have any backup of that data, so if the cloud company went under during teh time period of your house burning down and you retrieving your data, you have essentially lost your data.

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  Reply # 717258 14-Nov-2012 17:34 Send private message

dontpanic42: Another recommendation for CrashPlan.

EDIT: Actually, the above price was for 3 computers. If they only have the need to backup one computer, it would only cost A$144 (NZ$185) per year.


I could be reading it wrong however I see A$10 per month, so thats A$120 per year for unlimited data for 1 computer (I assume international orders to not attract AU based GST).

If this is the case why would I not just setup some interesting linux VM with mount points to all sorts of computers in its file system and tell it to backup the "one" computer file system .....

I cant see the logic behind charging A$1250 per month for a predefined 4TB of space (for as many computers as you like) VS someone MASSIVE home computer disk array at $10 a month ...

off to look at some symbolic links ...........

Cheers

Lee




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  Reply # 717266 14-Nov-2012 17:45 Send private message

For some of these online backup systems, they actually only allow you to backup the hardrive which the OS is installed on, and not other drives that are attached to the computer. Otherwise you could potentially be backing up many TB of data.
The amazon system looks quite cheap on the face of it, but the data transfer cost are quite high. I guess though it is like insurance, and the hope you will never need to transfer the data.

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  Reply # 717274 14-Nov-2012 17:54 Send private message

sampler:
dontpanic42: Another recommendation for CrashPlan.

EDIT: Actually, the above price was for 3 computers. If they only have the need to backup one computer, it would only cost A$144 (NZ$185) per year.


I could be reading it wrong however I see A$10 per month, so thats A$120 per year for unlimited data for 1 computer (I assume international orders to not attract AU based GST).


Oops. Yes, you are correct. At A$10 per month, it's only A$120 (~NZ$155) per year. Other areas of the site seem to give a total yearly price, so managed to skim the Save A$144 per year part... ;).
That's a pretty fantastic price for unlimited business grade cloud backup.

Compared to AWS Glacier, CrashPlan is an absolute bargain.

The math:

Crashplan:
A$120 per year (~NZ$155)

AWS Glacier:
US$60 per month using base 6TB storage requirement (@ US$0.01 per GB / month storage fee).
US$720 (~NZ$890) per year

Of course, I may be calculating that completely wrong.


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  Reply # 717278 14-Nov-2012 17:59 Send private message

mattwnz: For some of these online backup systems, they actually only allow you to backup the hardrive which the OS is installed on, and not other drives that are attached to the computer. Otherwise you could potentially be backing up many TB of data.


I can only speak for CrashPlan+ (the consumer based plan), but I am able to back up any drive that is in my machine (not just the OS drive). However, it may be different for CrashPlanPro (business).

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  Reply # 717281 14-Nov-2012 18:05 Send private message

dontpanic42:
mattwnz: For some of these online backup systems, they actually only allow you to backup the hardrive which the OS is installed on, and not other drives that are attached to the computer. Otherwise you could potentially be backing up many TB of data.


I can only speak for CrashPlan+ (the consumer based plan), but I am able to back up any drive that is in my machine (not just the OS drive). However, it may be different for CrashPlanPro (business).


from there FAQ (http://www.crashplan.com/business/support/doku.php/faq) ...

--snip--
Do you support backing up network drives?Yes, on Mac, Linux or Solaris.

Due to security constraints within the Windows operating systems, CrashPlan PRO does not support backing up mapped or network drives on Windows.
--snip--

Looks like unlimited data on the file system ... looking harder at a unified linix based file system that connects to all sorts of things ;-D....

Cheers

Lee

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  Reply # 717284 14-Nov-2012 18:13 Send private message

dontpanic42:
sampler:
dontpanic42: Another recommendation for CrashPlan.

EDIT: Actually, the above price was for 3 computers. If they only have the need to backup one computer, it would only cost A$144 (NZ$185) per year.


I could be reading it wrong however I see A$10 per month, so thats A$120 per year for unlimited data for 1 computer (I assume international orders to not attract AU based GST).


Oops. Yes, you are correct. At A$10 per month, it's only A$120 (~NZ$155) per year. Other areas of the site seem to give a total yearly price, so managed to skim the Save A$144 per year part... ;).
That's a pretty fantastic price for unlimited business grade cloud backup.

Compared to AWS Glacier, CrashPlan is an absolute bargain.

The math:

Crashplan:
A$120 per year (~NZ$155)

AWS Glacier:
US$60 per month using base 6TB storage requirement (@ US$0.01 per GB / month storage fee).
US$720 (~NZ$890) per year

Of course, I may be calculating that completely wrong.



Honestly that does look too good to be true. Just doing the sums on how much it would actually cost to buy 6TB of hardrives, power them and house them in a data centre. Also back them up to other drives too (so 12GB total at least would be used for the data), I don't see how they could make any money.

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