>1TB 'Cloud' storage - options

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

  1. gdc macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    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. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Tell them to buy their own harddrive.

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


    Oct 26, 2009
    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):

    Attached Files:

  4. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    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

    Dec 29, 2010
    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. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    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.


    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. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    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. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    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. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Synology NAS, supports DYNDNS so you can DIY your own cloud storage. Works great with OS X.
  10. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    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. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2006
    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. kingdonk macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2011
    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. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    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. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    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. bornblind macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2008
    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

    jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    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. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2006
    Suburb of Chicago
    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. assembled macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    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. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
  20. gdc thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    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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