>1TB 'Cloud' storage - options

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gdc, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. gdc
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #1
    Greetings. I have multiple devices backed up at home using Time Machine, and am rapidly becoming a depository for other family members to back up when they are 'passing through', unsatisfactory as this may be as regards the robustness of their approach!

    What I am looking for is a cost effective way of achieving this off-site as well, but have been surprised at the costs of storage, even in the 'cloud era', that 1TB+ will amount to.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might go about this in the most cost effective manner? I am open to various approaches such as cloud providers like Amazon S3, Rackspace, Jungle Disk etc., or hosted solutions such as a Virtual Private Server, or even putting some of my own hardware in a colo facility.

    I suppose I could just keep a very large portable drive in the office, and/or rotate a pair of them, but I'd prefer something automated, and would enjoy the process of setting up a remote network solution. A perfect solution would allow me to visit, say, my parents, and upload a clone of their disk to the remote storage. I would like to avoid any additional hardware at home.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
     
  2. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    Tell them to buy their own harddrive.

    Their data is not worth a $75 harddrive?
     
  3. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    Just think about the time needed to transfer 1TB to or from the "cloud" and reevaluate!

    I use 1-2TB hard drives, clone them and store "off site".

    Home server (6TB, toaster used to clone, 1TB external backs up mini):
     

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  4. macrumors demi-god

    VideoFreek

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #4
    gdc's mention of colocation got me thinking about an approach I hadn't considered before. One could preload a mac mini server with a baseline backup, ship the thing off to a colo provider and from then on do differential backups over the internet. This would address talmy's rightful concern about pushing 1tb to "the cloud." Another advantage of this approach would be that if one ever suffered a total data loss, one could have the mini returned in order to retrieve the data locally, thus avoiding the need to pull 1tb of data back from the cloud.

    Has anyone considered (or better, implemented) this approach?
     
  5. MMV
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    #5
    Colocation might be cost prohibitive just for a personal backup solution. Depending on the storage needed you could be paying more than $200 a month plus the cost of a mini.

    If you had people chipping in each month it wouldn't be too bad. You could also use a 3TB external drive to ship back and forth.

    Personally I have a 8TB NAS at home in addition to a 2TB Time Machine. I like to have backups of my backups and then back that all up again. I'm a little on the paranoid side and have images from hard drives I havn't touched in over a decade just in case I ever need anything off it.

    With that said, bandwidth plays a huge role in this. If I tried to have my relatives backup to my NAS I know I'd get dinged on bandwidth from my local ISP and their upload speeds wouldn't be that fast at all.

    It won't backup their entire machine but ARQ is nice, you can also look into dollydrive and crashplan.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #6
    I have *zero* experience or connection to the following company, but the Mac Mini co-location service exists. I think I've seen at least one other company do the same.

    http://www.aimhigh.net/aimhighminis/macminihome.htm

    If you look at the cost structure, it would appear that you'll spend quite a bit more for this service than simply storing drives off-site. No surprise. You just have to decide if the extra $$$ affords you an important convenience.
     
  7. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Buy two 2TB disk drives. Copy your stuff onto one of those and take it to the office, or anyplace other then your home. Then make a second backup and take it to that location and bring the other drive back home, sync it with your computer then swap it. To be even more robust use three drives in rotation.

    The cloud sounds good until you need the data and find out how slow your connection is. The cloud does not work well when you have so much data.

    I keep a Time Machine drive connected and I also have a backup at work in a fie drawer and another at home in a fire safe.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #8
    Take a look a Crash Plan. They do have an "unlimited" online plan at reasonable cost. But what is more interesting is the ability to "back up to a friend". You can back up to local files, a local server, a friend's server, or their online storage. They recently added backup sets, so you can control what goes where. The data is encrypted on your computer before it goes out. Even the free version will "backup to a friend".
     
  9. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    Synology NAS, supports DYNDNS so you can DIY your own cloud storage. Works great with OS X.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #10
    If you want to buy cloud storage, Amazon S3 will be among the cheapest and most reliable for this kind of size. But you might also think about syncing to an other harddrive in an other site. Because 1TB is a lot.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #11
    And, you just realized why 'the cloud' is nothing but a stupid buzz word, and the world will either continue using network storage, or not using network storage.

    And yeah, make them buy their own damn drives, haha.

    Or back up their important data on a 20 dollar flash drive.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    #12
    you could always try http://www.backblaze.com/ or if your adventurous and fancy making your own back-up server they have plans for you to build a cheap multi TB storage server, although it would be OTT.
     
  13. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    All this talk of "cloud" and "terabyte" in the same sentence is silly.

    Let's say you were very lucky and have a a 1 megabyte per second Internet connection. If so then a terabyte means one million seconds or 278 hours.

    And that assumes a megaBYTE not a megaBIT internet connection that is not used for any other purpose.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #14
    Yes, but if you are only updating a backup then it could easily be 100-200x faster using something like rsync. I'm not saying "the cloud" is the right choice...
     
  15. macrumors regular

    bornblind

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #15
    I have been using this service for about 2 months. Loving it so far. I don't pay for them to back up my stuff. I back up 1 PC and 1 Mac from the church I go to, to my house using a connected USB external drive. This way if I need the offsite backup, it's not far away.
     
  16. jtara, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #16
    There is an advantage to CrashPlan+, even if you don't use the online storage. (Unfortunately, they no longer have just a premium version of the software. Now you get the premium version with any online storage plan.)

    The free version does not do de-duplication, although it does do compression. The + version (about $25/year for the cheapest plan with 10GB online storage for one computer) does both file and fragment de-duplication, which saves quite a bit of space over just compression.
    As well, the free version doesn't support backup sets and only does daily or on-demand backups. (No "continuous" backup.)

    But the free version is still a great deal for the price! I love the fact that it runs on Windows, OSX, or Linux. I couldn't find another popular backup program that runs on all three. I used the free version for about a year before finally upgrading to the family plan. (up to 10 computers, unlimited online backup.) I'm backing up one each of Windows, OSX, and Linux.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Suburb of Chicago
    #17
    As others have mentioned, maintaining redundant copies of >1TB of data in geographically dispersed locations is nontrivial if you don't want to go for the old school backup-to-portable-hdd approach.

    That said, AWS (S3) offers an excellent platform for doing this. I would utilize their Import/Export service (you snail mail them a drive and they import the data) for the initial setup. Then, I'd do incremental backups over the wire based upon the existing data in the cloud.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #18
    I'd go for multiple disks that held a copy that I rotated between home and work.

    If you want an automated solution, then you need to look at having a computer at a remote location (friend/family) and use RSYNC to maintain a copy. This works brilliantly for lots of small files that don't change much, but as soon as you have large files, you will run into bandwidth issues.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #19
    http://www.webhostchat.co.uk/dedica...ing-significant-remote-back-up-space-1tb.html
     
  20. gdc
    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #20
    Thanks to all for the suggestions. It looks like it's a big portable HD kept in the office for me.

    Incidentally, for those interested in colo solutions, the conclusion of my searching (including the thread linked immediately above where I posted a similar request) was that the Mac Mini colo offering in the UK at http://www.mythic-beasts.com/macminicolo.html was as cheap as it gets currently.
     

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