Like most of you, I have a home network comprised of multiple servers, and even more clients. Data is backed up nightly to tape, or has been for a long time. But, primarily due to the proliferation of digital media, tapes are not cutting it anymore (plus, tapes just make me more than a little nervous). So, I was going to install a NAS (probably a Snap device configured using RAID5) and back everything up to it.
But there is another option, online backups (which have a far lower out-of-pocket cost, and also provide offsite protection). Lots of companies are offering this now, with pricing typically based on amount of data stored, so many that I’m looking for feedback on which to look at (and which to avoid). Does anyone have any experience with these offerings? Any recommendations (or horror stories for that matter)? Please share, thanks!

13 thoughts

  1. If your data has any value you’d probably be wise to do both.
    1. what if you house burns down (your local backups are toast – pun intended)
    2. what if the remote storage facility has problems

  2. Ben – take a look at StreamLoad – http://www.streamload.com/
    * Unlimited Uploads
    * you pay download data transfer only
    They have a free account w/ 10GB storage and up to 100MB of download data – give it a try.
    Since you are looking for data backup, you’ll mainly be uploading… so you can get by with only $4.95/mo 🙂 That’s cheap!
    I think you’ll end up finding it will serve more needs than your initial goal of finding an offsite backup solution.
    Enjoy!
    – Gideon

  3. I’ve used an online backup solution before — it was OK. But after a while, I started removing my sensitive data-files from the backups — my tax returns, bank-files, etc. How much can I trust that company ABC won’t be broken into, and somebody can get ALL my data. Without physically inspecting their facilities, and better yet, looking at their website security, etc. I cannot feel safe with my data when it’s not in my hands.
    My solution: Semi-nightly full backups of my drives, onto a NAS device, and a monthly backup onto tape which I drop off at the safety-deposit box at my bank. I should probably do the off-site tape more often, but, eh.

  4. I’ve used <a href="www.amerivault.com">Amerivault</a> in the past. A little tricky to set up, but runs without much intervention after that. They never see your data in an unencrypted form, so spying threats are reduced.

  5. I have been looking at the TeraStation NAS
    http://www.buffalotech.com/products/product-detail.php?productid=97&categoryid=19
    which gives you a TeraByte of store for about $980 at Provantage.com.
    Also for good reviews of backup software I have been reading
    http://www.argentuma.com/backup.html
    Their argentuma ZIP backup program is a very cheap way to schedule backing up files into ZIPs over your network.
    Also if you want a good laugh view the John Cleese backup Truma video at http://www.backuptrauma.com/video/
    (it is written using Macromedia Flash 7). I am not sure about LiveVault’s product or pricing but their marketing department deserves hats off!
    – Michael Smith, TeraTech, Inc http://www.teratech.com/
    CFUNITED http://www.cfunited.com/

  6. Ben:
    Our company has been using US Data Trust – http://www.usdatatrust.com – for about a year now with good results. We went to an online backup primarily because based on my experience, no matter how sure your IT guys are that the backup is being made successfully, I’m amazed time after time to learn that when it comes time to restore, the files you need magically aren’t there. I like the ability to go online and review the backup logs to ensure that we’re backing up what we should be backing up.
    Good luck,
    Scott

  7. I and the other folks in my small, work-at-home company have all used connected.com for a couple years now. I’ve been very very happy with it. I’ve never needed to restore more than one or two files at a time, never had a hard-drive failure, but several times have had a situation where I needed a version of a file that I had on my computer a week ago and have been very glad that connected has been silently, competently doing it’s job.
    It looks like their offerings have changed slightly since I started using it — I’ve never upgraded because I never saw the need:
    http://onlinebackup.connected.com/

  8. Ben,
    Have been using IBackup for +1 years now, and don’t have any complaints at all. I’ve got a 4GB package for my client data from home, and I’ve had 0 problems thus far. Very easy to setup, and pricing is great!. Hope this helps.

  9. The solution I am moving towards is to use Vmware virtual machines instead of physical hosts. I can interativly script a machine to shutdown and copy the static file which defines the whole machine. In this way I am able to capture the vm in a known good state. I will copy it from it’s running location to an attached storage device (probably a 320gb drive) and start it up. Then I would script the machine to start up and continue its processing. If you use loadbalancing hardware/software you can keep everything running.
    Basically, the approach it to accept failure as a certainty and increase the speed and ease of a recovery. Only downside it a bit of a perf hit, but these days that isn’t that big of a deal.
    HTH
    John

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