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# 214351 8-May-2017 09:43
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Thinking out loud. Comments welcome.

 

CrashPlan

 

My annual CrashPlan subscription is coming up for renewal. It costs something like NZ$70 for unlimited storage, which seems like a good deal, especially coupled with my unlimited broadband. CrashPlan also lets you backup to local disks. Support is good, it's reliable, doesn't seem to slow my PC, and they have a data center in Australia so it's pretty quick.

 

The client gives you quite fine grained control of versioning. For example you can keep versions every 2 hours for a week, then after the version is a week drop to daily, after a month take it to weekly, etc. That keeps key information but minimises disk space required.

 

Cloud Storage Pricing

 

It occurred to me that I store around 100GB of data in online backups, maybe rising 50GB per year (family photos and video). 200GB storage in AWS Glacier in the cheaper US regions is US$0.83/month, which is US$10 per year or about NZ$12/year. 1TB/year costs about the same as Crashplan. AWS Sydney costs about 20% more than the USA regions. In AWS three copies of the data are stored, it's checked for consistency, and bad blocks replaced. It's reliable. Getting data there is the main issue.

 

Backup Integrity / Trust in Tools

 

One of my main backup tools is Cobian Backup. I like that Cobian copies whole files that you can access directly in the backup file system, so restores are trivially easy. You don't get compression, and incremental backups just make another copy of the file, wasting space. It's also pretty long in the tooth, with no active development and no releases since 2012.

 

Also, I have terabytes of files, images and videos, and incremental backups are essential to protect against viruses and crytoware. A small defect in one file in the chain could potentially mean you can't restore your backups. I guess you have hope your tool can tolerate small errors, and ideally use a reliable file system.

 

Backup Tools

 

Duplicati and CloudBerry Backup both backup to Amazon S3 easily, and can backup to a huge variety of targets (AWS Glacier, RackSpace, FTP, etc).  

 

You can of course store data directly in S3 or Glacier, but the user interface isn't so good.

 

 

 

Duplicati

 

Duplicati doesn't have direct support to backup to Glacier - you can fudge it using Lifecycle rules and some settings, but it's not ideal. So with Duplicati you need to use S3 infrequently access storage class, which costs 3X what Glacier costs, but gives you instant access to your files.

 

I had a play with Duplicati 2.0 experimental yesterday before I realised it didn't support Glacier directly, backing up to both S3 and local disks. It seems like a nice tool, and runs on multiple platforms, and gives you fine grained file / folder selection. It's also under active development, unlike one of the backup tools I use, Cobian Backup. 

 

 

 

CloudBerry Backup
This seems like a nice piece of software. It can back up to just about anything - S3, Glacier, Azure, Google Cloud, FTP, local disk, etc. It's commerical with a free tier for home use, so problems may be fixed more promptly than open source systems. It supports file versioning with plenty of options, though not quite as many as CrashPlan. It runs as a service, so it can backup when you're not logged in.

 

With CloudBerry to get compression you need to pay the $30 license fee (comparison chart), but the free version backs up without compression. Given most large files are compressed (mp4/jpg/RAW files) compression doesn't seem essential.

 

If you use AWS S3 as your backup target you can choose to have compressed, incremental backups in large archives or individual files stored in S3 so you can easily access them directly. Individual files is more convenient, but in an archive reduces costs through compression and fewer requests. You could backup some files to Glacier, some to S3, depending on whether you need to access the files from multiple locations.

 

 

 

Rolling Your Own Cloud Backups

 

With current data volumes, I could save some money moving to AWS Glacier, with some files in S3 cheaper tier (IA). However it would take some time to set up, test, and maintain. If I wanted to save $50 a year, then I think CloudBerry backup with AWS Glacier would be a good way to go.

 

CrashPlan at $70 with unlimited data storage and versioned backups is probably good value, taking into account setup and maintenance time.

 

 

 

Local Backups

 

I think I might give CloudBerry a try for my local backups, which I store both onsite and offsite. It seems like a nice tool.

 

 

 

Question

 

What's your favorite software to do backups to local disks? Incremental backups are essential IMHO, to protect against viruses and cryptoware. Mirrors aren't a backup.


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1524 posts

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  # 1777570 8-May-2017 10:44
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NZ$70 is pretty good. I pay US$60 for unlimited Amazon cloud drive which I back up through Cloudberry Backup.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1777573 8-May-2017 10:47
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I use the Crashplan family plan and what I like about it is the 'set and forget' aspect of it. I have it installed on several of mine and my family's computers and the only time I need to worry about it is when I get the occasional email alert letting me know a computer hasn't been backed up for a while (usually because it's been off for a few days.) Also, every time I've had to restore files, the process has been super reliable - e.g. just last week I had restore some files that had been deleted from my wife's dropbox account ages ago, and Crashplan saved the day.




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  # 1777578 8-May-2017 10:54
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I do like CrashPlan, I just wondered if smaller data volumes could be backed up cheaply and easily. I think with CloudBerry you'd get similar features for a lower price, at the expense of more effort. I like that if I need a file that's backed up I can log into the web interface and have it in minutes, whereas with CloudBerry it'd take a client install and potentially 4-6 hours to request data from AWS Glacier. That's why I think I'll stick with CrashPlan for now, but might use CloudBerry for backups to disk.




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  # 1777579 8-May-2017 10:55
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I'd be interested to hear what software people use to back up their data to hard disks. I'm really only interested if the software provides incremental backups, to protect against viruses and cryptoware.


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  # 1777586 8-May-2017 11:08
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For local backup I use an app called Toucan. Works great.

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  # 1777603 8-May-2017 11:31
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timmmay:

 

I'd be interested to hear what software people use to back up their data to hard disks. I'm really only interested if the software provides incremental backups, to protect against viruses and cryptoware.

 

 

I use Crashplan (the application does local backups for free) to backup to our home server as well as to the cloud. The local backup is good for speedy restore if needed, although with gigabit Internet these days it's really not a big deal anymore.





 
 
 
 




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  # 1777604 8-May-2017 11:34
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freitasm:

 

 

 

I use Crashplan (the application does local backups for free) to backup to our home server as well as to the cloud. The local backup is good for speedy restore if needed, although with gigabit Internet these days it's really not a big deal anymore.

 

 

I do that for backup to internal disks too. However I don't back up everything using CrashPlan, I have heaps of media files that aren't worth uploading. So I need another solution that lets me back-up files to disks.

 

 

 

tchart: For local backup I use an app called Toucan. Works great.

 

That looks more like mirroring than a good, incremental backup?


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  # 1777606 8-May-2017 11:36
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I backup up all my vms internall to one machine via crashplan (using crashplan free), handy for user errors.

 

But important stuff is copied from those VMs back to the main server via robocopy etc, and that is picked up by crashplan to send to the cloud.  As well as going cloud, I back up to a folder onthe same machine (fast, for screwups), and to another machine at home.  I have about 1.3tb backed up.

 

 





Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  # 1777610 8-May-2017 11:40
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I use cryptomator to make an encrypted drive and then I use zoolz.com (have a 1TB lifetime plan) that i purchased a year or 2 ago for US $50 (which can still be found on the interwebs if you do a search).

 

The zoolz software only uploads changes made to the files and runs every hour to check for changes in that encrypted drive.  Files are encrypted before going to Zoolz.  Zoolz only holds the copy of the encrypted files.

 

 

 

I'm happy with this as I no longer have ongoing monthly charges.


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  # 1777812 8-May-2017 14:32
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timmmay: ... I think I might give CloudBerry a try for my local backups, which I store both onsite and offsite. It seems like a nice tool.

 

CrashPlan can also do local backups and offsite to friends instead of the cloud.

 

Two things to watch out for when using CrashPlan

 

     

  1. Change your settings to never purge deleted files, otherwise you will never get back files that disappeared more than 30 days ago.
  2. CrashPlan is very user centric; i.e. be default it only select the current users home folder instead home folders for all users on the PC. It also needs to run as a specific user if you are backing up to a destination across the network. You can't specify credentials in the application to connect to the network share.

 

 

 

As to backing up to a hard drive, as long as the backup is not a replica of the local folders but instead encrypted and undecipherable to the local OS, then it's fine. If it's human readable, other apps can easily delete your backup.





Please keep this GZ community vibrant by contributing in a constructive & respectful manner.


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  # 1777821 8-May-2017 14:44
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timmmay:

 

freitasm: 

 

I use Crashplan (the application does local backups for free) to backup to our home server as well as to the cloud. The local backup is good for speedy restore if needed, although with gigabit Internet these days it's really not a big deal anymore.

 

 

I do that for backup to internal disks too. However I don't back up everything using CrashPlan, I have heaps of media files that aren't worth uploading. So I need another solution that lets me back-up files to disks.

 

 

In your Crashplan settings you can enable Backup Sets and have different backup selection for different destinations...







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  # 1777822 8-May-2017 14:49
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IcI:

 

CrashPlan can also do local backups and offsite to friends instead of the cloud.

 

Two things to watch out for when using CrashPlan

 

     

  1. Change your settings to never purge deleted files, otherwise you will never get back files that disappeared more than 30 days ago.
  2. CrashPlan is very user centric; i.e. be default it only select the current users home folder instead home folders for all users on the PC. It also needs to run as a specific user if you are backing up to a destination across the network. You can't specify credentials in the application to connect to the network share.

 

 As to backing up to a hard drive, as long as the backup is not a replica of the local folders but instead encrypted and undecipherable to the local OS, then it's fine. If it's human readable, other apps can easily delete your backup.

 

 

I have it purge versions on a schedule. For example, once a file is a year old I don't need every single version saved every 2 hours, I think I have it set to monthly. I'll check that regarding deleted files though.

 

I have access to everything on my PC. I have files copied from family all over the world come in using BitTorrent, and I back up the important parts to CrashPlan. Some I have back up to CrashPlan themselves.

 

 

 

freitasm: 

 

In your Crashplan settings you can enable Backup Sets and have different backup selection for different destinations...

 

 

I'll have a look at that. Backups to offsite disks are only run when I connect the disk, I'll have to see if it can do that as well as backups for disks that are always connected.

 

Right now I have only one backup set, being copied to their servers and to one of the drives in the PC.


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  # 1777823 8-May-2017 14:49
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freitasm:

 

timmmay:

 

freitasm: 

 

I use Crashplan (the application does local backups for free) to backup to our home server as well as to the cloud. The local backup is good for speedy restore if needed, although with gigabit Internet these days it's really not a big deal anymore.

 

 

I do that for backup to internal disks too. However I don't back up everything using CrashPlan, I have heaps of media files that aren't worth uploading. So I need another solution that lets me back-up files to disks.

 

 

In your Crashplan settings you can enable Backup Sets and have different backup selection for different destinations...

 

 

I can't remember if that a feature that's unlocked when you do have a subscription or not.





Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




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  # 1777892 8-May-2017 15:24
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I enabled backup sets, and I can backup each set to any destination. It works with external drives as destinations just fine, if they're removed it just doesn't do a backup until it's connected again.

 

This might be a decent general backup solution, given I decided to stay with CrashPlan. If I moved to doing them myself on AWS then I'd probably use CloudBerry for everything.

 

On Linux there's CloudBerry or Duplicati. Right now on Linux I use scripts to do backps and a dropbox uploader script to upload nightly. I like offsite backups even from my server.


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