My online backup service, rsync.net, has just dropped their prices. They’re now $1.20 per GB per month, unlimited bandwidth. Pretty reasonable I reckon. Plus they’ve added a couple of Windows clients to make things easier for poor souls not yet enlightened to the power of Linux. :-p
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.
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.
Update 27-Nov-2008: In the end I stayed with rsync.net.
Today I’ve decided I’m fed up with my current backup provider, rsync.net. The service they provide is pretty solid, I’ve been using it for a few months now. The main reason I chose them at $1.80 per Gb instead of Amazon at around $0.30 per Gb is the support. They guarantee to have a real, live, intelligent engineer answer my questions. That’s worth more than a few bucks a month.
However, the service of late has been abysmal. As soon as my questions got beyond “How do I plug my computer in”, it took 5 days to get a response to tell me there’s a problem with their system, it should be fixed soon. Another five days later, and still no response to my question “Will you tell me when it’s working?”.
Given that the support I thought I was getting is apparently a myth, time to switch I think. I also discovered that they won’t automatically expand my account. So if I need more space, I have to email them to ask for it. Bah.
Goodbye rsync.net, I’m afraid it’s been a little disappointing.
Amazon S3 is a static file hosting service from Amazon. Storage costs $0.15 USD per Gb and data transfer (outgoing) costs $0.18 USD per GB up to 10TB. As an online backup solution, it would cost less than $20 / month to store 100Gb, assuming you’re not uploading / downloading more than 20% every month.
That’s pretty cheap by backup standards. But for commercial static file hosting, it’s insanely cheap. Particularly given the fact that it will scale from a few GBs today, to several TBs tomorrow.
I currently spend $5.40 / month for 3Gb of online backup with rsync.net. I might consider switching to Amazon S3, although probably not for my daily backups because I get unlimited bandwidth on rsync.net and top notch support. For image archiving on the other hand, it looks very tempting.
The best thing, there’s no minimum spend. You don’t have to commit to spend hundreds of dollars to benefit from enterprise class storage.