Backup, backup, then backup some more

I’ve had a couple of backup reminders recently. John suffered a hard drive failure. Then his backup failed. It reminded me that I need to sort out a backup for my server. This server! Then I accidentally deleted my whole address book. Thankfully I was able to restore from backup quite painlessly. Thank you dear, sweet rsync.net. :)

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share the message with YOU. When did you last backup? Do you have an automated backup plan? Have you tested it? Do you know you can actually recover your data, or do you just hope? Do you keep your backup drive next to your computer? How would you be affected by fire or theft?

Backup is a little bit like insurance. It’s tempting to drive without insurance, until you have a crash that is. Then, of course, the insurance seems like a bargain. Why not decide today is a good day to check over your backup procedure? Maybe even run a little test restore just to be sure.

Here’s a picture from amanky completely unrelated to backup which appeared in a flickr search for backup all the same.

Staying with rsync.net

Have said I was going to ditch rsync.net as my backup provider, I’ve decided to change my mind. The eventually got back to me today having finally fixed my problem a whole month after I reported it, and a full 14 days after they last were in touch.

However, my problem was very specific, very random, hard to reproduce, and not a major problem, just a small feature that wasn’t working. They did resolve it in the end, and every message I received was intelligent.

So, I’ve decided to stay put. I’m still keen to use S3 for media storage, but rsync.net are a better option for incremental, automated, nightly backups.

Incremental Backup on Amazon EC2 / S3

Somebody suggested using Amazon EC2 to provide an incremental backup interface to S3. For the likes of rsync to be truly effective, you need to have an rsync program running near the data store. It struck me, you could use an EC2 instance with free, high-speed bandwidth to S3 to do exactly that.

Using S3fuse (currently down) I’m sure you could script something so users log in to the EC2 instance and then mount their S3 bucket locally. Then rsync would work pretty effectively I reckon.

Could even be an interesting business model.