I have a problem.
I need to sort out my offline backups.
After trying Crashplan, I’ve cancelled my online account as the upload speeds just weren’t cutting it. I have a 100MB down, 10MB up connection with Virgin Media and despite an initial high speed upload, the speed has fallen up dramatically. Yes, it’s a brilliantly cheap deal, but I really want a fast upload.
After some research on the CrashPlan forums, it seems I’m afflicted by a routing issue out of their control with some carriers throttling traffic to CrashPlan (not VirginMedia BTW)
So I tried BackBlaze, another online service, but their upload speed isn’t too hot either.
So I tried Arq.
Brilliant! Getting 1.2MB upload speeds, right into Amazon’s S3 service.
The problem is though, it’s going to be expensive. Not so much Arq, but S3 itself. To store 500GB on S3 will cost $70 per month (ish!). I’ve got a fair amount of data I’d like to store. Several terabytes in fact!
So how about this for a solution.
Find a “Friend” living within a hours drive of Liverpool, who is also on a Virgin Media 100MB connection and who is prepared to enter into a “symbiotic” relationship i.e. they would host my online backup and I will host theirs.
It would go something like this:
- I would configure a Mac mini and a 4 bay Drobo and do a local backup of all my stuff.
- I would transport the Mac mini and Drobo to the “Friends” location.
- They would power it up and connect it to their local LAN and be OK with leaving it on 24×7
- I would be able to backup incrementally to the remote Drobo and do the same for them (if required)
The Mac mini could be left to run without a monitor and I could arrange for Remote Access (if required).
So once in place, how would this work?
CrashPlan has a facility to allow you to setup a remote backup location with a “Friend” for free. Once configured, CrashPlan would start incremental backups automatically from my local data to the remote location. Because I would have already made a full backup locally before before transporting it, there would be no requirement to backup Gigabytes over data over the internet.
Other than the initial hardware costs, the running costs would be nil (except for power)
Physical security is another matter, but again, by setting up a CrashPlan “Friend” system, access to the data on the remote system is protected.
To prevent negatively impacting the bandwidth in the remote location, you can configure the inbound connections to only work overnight, but as they would only be incremental backups, this would probably not be an issue.
As I’d only really need to access the backups in the event of a catastrophe, there would be no real need to download stuff (other to validate the backups are working), and in the event, I could always just drive over and pickup the Drobo to connect to my local system.
Actually, I wonder if there is something already built into the Drobo to do Drobo to Drobo backups remotely. I’ll need to do some research.
So what do you think?
Have you ever set up a similar system with CrashPlan and how has it worked out?
Are you within an hour of Liverpool, have a Virgin Media 100MB connection, be happy to have a Mac mini and a Drobo powered 24×7 and willing to be my “Friend”?
Let me know!