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Archive 2013 · Online Backup - Backblaze
  
 
NathanHamler
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p.1 #1 · Online Backup - Backblaze


SO, i've been trying out Backblaze during my 15 day trial period....i've got it backing up basic stuff on my system drive (wont let you do applications), and then my entire external drive....obviously, this is all on top of other physical on site, and off site backups......the thing is, i'm questioning the feasibility of this system....for instance....my Aperture library is being backed up....and we all know, you cant pick apart pieces of what you want from a library database.....it's all or nothing for the most part......i mean, you can go in and say "show package contents," and then go and find your originals, but they'll have no adjustments applied to them, so really, what good are they (i know it's better than nothing, but stay with me).......so i've been uploading 24/7 for 10 days straight now, and only uploaded about 260gb, and still have about 750gb to go....so about 26gb per day....trial is almost up, so i'm deciding if i need to pay or not.....my Aperture libraries are like 540gb and 240gb each....so how long would it take to download an entire library, should i have to recover something?? Is it even feasible? Worth it??

Also, i've noticed that there is absolutely ZERO rhyme or reason to the order in which files are uploaded.....which, you cant do with a database/library....it all has to be there, or it wont work....so after i get done with my initial backup, who's to say that if i need to recover a library, it'll even be complete??




Mar 06, 2013 at 04:05 AM
TheProducer
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p.1 #2 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Last week I was Backblaze user of 2 years, this week I'm a CrashPlan user.

To your question, in an emergency and at a cost, they will ship you a physical hard drive with your data on it.

I was a happy Backblaze customer until I recently made a switch from PC to Mac. After a few failed attempts to do it myself, I contacted their support about "Transferring my backup state" to my new Mac. Well, turns out, you can't do this from PC to Mac. The result is reuploading all of your data, even though 99% of it remains identical. No deduplication or the like is offered in this situation; just a pure reupload. That's a lot of wasted bandwidth and time for everybody involved.

I could've lived with that, but while I was digging around online to learn more about this issue, I accidentally came across another interesting fact: Backblaze will delete your data from their servers if it isn't seen by their application for 30 days; I have since confirmed this with their support team. So, say you're on the road with your laptop and don't connect your external hard drive for 31 days. That data is deleted from their server without warning and you're left to reupload it, if you even notice this has happened. This was not a workable limitation in my case; it's not unreasonable that an external drive could remain detached for a couple of months at a time now that I've transitioned to a MacBook as my only editing machine. I've got enough hard drive space for a few months of shooting and don't plan on unloading onto the external until it's nearly full.

When I finally decided to move on, I asked Backblaze to delete my account since there is no option to do this yourself. I was told that they could not do that and they encouraged me to log in and set a bogus email address for myself instead. I can't imagine a more sloppy and unprofessional solution from a company that many entrust with their enormous amounts of data.

Backblaze's complete apathy toward losing customers (myself and the friends I've shared this with who were unaware of the data retention issues) via their support team and Twitter account was really the icing on the cake.

Enter CrashPlan: Similar price, similar features, they don't delete your data ever (unless you set it up to), upload speed has been fast enough to saturate my internet connection, they've got an iOS app for monitoring backups and grabbing files on the go, and their support has been quick, friendly, and helpful.

Not at all what you asked, but seemed like it may be useful information to you as a trial user.

Edited on Mar 20, 2013 at 08:29 PM · View previous versions



Mar 06, 2013 at 07:30 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #3 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Wow, i'm really glad you said something....i've been on the fence about this, but i think this solidified my need to just do my backups on my own....the thing is, Backblaze puts a lot of stress on my external drive, READING it 24/7...not just ON, but READING 24/7, b/c it's always uploading....so yeah, i'm pretty sure i'll say no go......i tried CrashPlan a while back, i liked their interface, but i didn't like that it took FOREVER to upload....i guess that's just the name of the game with online backups....


Mar 06, 2013 at 08:06 PM
TheProducer
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p.1 #4 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Glad I could help. For what it's worth, I have been very impressed with CrashPlan's upload speed. Of course, I've only got 150gb of data total. If you're willing to pay for it, you can actually send them a "seed" drive for your initial backup that they will import on their end. It's a bit pricey, but a neat option nonetheless.

This was actually the blog post I stumbled across that was eerily similar to my experience and led me to the 30-day discovery: http://www.robinwyatt.org/photography/journal/backblaze-causes-disasters-image-backup/



Mar 06, 2013 at 08:12 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #5 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Somewhat different, but I use my own website for backup because I have zenfolio and I have an unlimited storage. Nice thing is just being able to be on my website and click the download button and have it downloaded full res to my computer (only because I'm logged in). And I can download full galleries as a zip drive pretty quickly.

Drawback would obviously be that I only upload the best online, but that's really all I'm worried about losing anyway. If I'm on the road and do want to backup all files I would just set up a private gallery and upload them all the ones I want there, it would just take all night to sync probably.



Mar 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM
TheProducer
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p.1 #6 · Online Backup - Backblaze


An update on my experience.

After a couple of successful days of backing up to CrashPlan, I decided to give the iOS app a shot. I could not get it to connect, so I reached out to their support who were responsive and friendly. Ultimately, he had to pass me on to a developer because he could not provide a solution. During this interaction, I noticed my MacBook has stopped backing up entirely and was "Waiting for connection...", so I added this to my support ticket. The developer responded with some suggestions as to how to test the connection and check my network, none of which helped. And quite frankly, if I have to start running Terminal commands to get your application working on a brand new machine that every single other thing I've installed works flawlessly on, I've already lost interest and faith.

During this time no variables on my end changed, my network was up and running, I tried multiple networks, reinstalling, etc. to no avail. Periodically I could get it to "Synchronize blocks" which would take 1+ hour and if I waited it would begin uploading. But if I interrupted it and say, slept my MacBook, it would be the same issue all over again. I'm not sure what happened or what changed, but it did not instill much confidence in their service.

Out of curiosity, I decided to reinstall Backblaze. A quick install and I was backing up instantly on the same network CrashPlan wouldn't even connect through. Despite my recent frustrations with them and the 30 day data retention limitation, I can attest that my backups have been reliable and painless for 2+ years. Set and forget, which is what I'm looking for in an cloud backup solution. So it looks like I am once again a Backblaze user.

A couple of additional notes:

1) The upload speed I was quoting for CrashPlan was an effective rate including local compression, not an actual upload speed.

2) Due to being Java based, CrashPlan consumes 150-250mb of RAM at all times, while Backblaze is currently only using 17mb while backing up. A huge difference.



Mar 08, 2013 at 10:01 PM
ItsDaveTime
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p.1 #7 · Online Backup - Backblaze


I've read both of your posts about Crashplan and Backblaze, since I was trying to decide between the two (I currently use Crashplan). You make some good points in your original post about Backblaze deleting files, horrible support, etc.
I'm a bit confused though since you decided to go back to Backblaze even with all of these issues that you complained about.
I have never had an issue with Crashplan. If you have problems connecting to the Crashplan servers, it might just be your firewall or router configuration. I highly doubt it has anything to do with the Crashplan software at all. With the issues you pointed out using Backblaze, I decided to stick with Crashplan. Their service works flawlessly on my Windows and Mac computers, as well as their iOS app is excellent.

TheProducer wrote:
An update on my experience.

After a couple of successful days of backing up to CrashPlan, I decided to give the iOS app a shot. I could not get it to connect, so I reached out to their support who were responsive and friendly. Ultimately, he had to pass me on to a developer because he could not provide a solution. During this interaction, I noticed my MacBook has stopped backing up entirely and was "Waiting for connection...", so I added this to my support ticket. The developer responded with some suggestions as to how to test the connection and
...Show more



Mar 19, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #8 · Online Backup - Backblaze


I've been using Crashplan for the past year and a half with no issues. The initial upload took ages (about 4 months), but I don't have a fast upload speed (1Mbs). I've got about 2 TB backed up with them. No issues so far. Not worried about the RAM, since I have 16GB of RAM, and 150MB is a drop in the bucket.


Mar 19, 2013 at 02:38 PM
 

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Mitchell Carter
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p.1 #9 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Happy Backblaze user for two+ years, here (after trying a couple other services). It's simple and fast, and has a nice interface.

Their policy of deleting disconnected external drives after 30 days is not a hidden rule -- it's in their FAQs. The FAQs also advise how best to work around it.



Mar 19, 2013 at 03:18 PM
eephoto
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p.1 #10 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Ok so if for example, as most do, you have more then 1 external hard drive. You keep one connected to the computer, the other are shelved. You've backed up all of them to Backblaze, 30 days later the drives that haven't been connected to the computer for 30 days (because you don't use them, they are old client files), are no longer backed up?

Thanks
Elaine



Mar 20, 2013 at 07:39 PM
JustinR
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p.1 #11 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Another completely different thought:

I use Cloudberry Backup software, wchich can backup to a bunch of different cloud based storage systems. I use Amazon Glacier. Cloudberry is a one-time purchase, and I pay Amazon a monthly bill based on my usage, their Glacier service is intended for long-term storage and backup and costs about $0.01 per GB per month. There is a fee to download data, I think it is $0.03 per GB, but for backup that doesn't really matter. As long as I pay my bill to Amazon, they keep my files, regardless of what else happens. I like this system because I only pay for the amount of storage that I use, but that would probably be a minus for some people.

Speed is tied to the internet connection speed, and for most residential internet services, the download speed is much faster than the upload speed, usually something like a factor of 10x.
One of the things I love about the cloudberry system is that the bandwidth used by the backup system can be throttled, even scheduling different throttling periods (i.e. limit the a bandwidth that the backup system will use in the evening so that we can use netflix).

-Justin



Mar 20, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Mitchell Carter
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p.1 #12 · Online Backup - Backblaze


"30 days later the drives that haven't been connected to the computer for 30 days (because you don't use them, they are old client files), are no longer backed up?"

That's correct, Elaine.



Mar 20, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #13 · Online Backup - Backblaze


JustinR wrote:
Another completely different thought:

I use Cloudberry Backup software, wchich can backup to a bunch of different cloud based storage systems. I use Amazon Glacier. Cloudberry is a one-time purchase, and I pay Amazon a monthly bill based on my usage, their Glacier service is intended for long-term storage and backup and costs about $0.01 per GB per month. There is a fee to download data, I think it is $0.03 per GB, but for backup that doesn't really matter. As long as I pay my bill to Amazon, they keep my files, regardless of what else happens. I like this
...Show more

The bandwidth throttling per schedule can be done with CrashPlan as well, including limits on stuff when the computer is 'in use', so if you're actively surfing the web or something, it'll slow the backup speed so you aren't affected.

$0.01/GB per month is either a really good deal or expensive compared to the competition, depending on your usage. For me, that would be around $20 a month, vs $60 a year for CrashPlan. However, if you only use a hundred gigs or so, I guess it would be more cost effective with Glacier.



Mar 20, 2013 at 07:59 PM
eephoto
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p.1 #14 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Mitchell Carter wrote:
"30 days later the drives that haven't been connected to the computer for 30 days (because you don't use them, they are old client files), are no longer backed up?"

That's correct, Elaine.


Thanks, I just needed clarification. So sorry to t/j but what does everyone do then reconnect them every 30 days?



Mar 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM
jchin
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p.1 #15 · Online Backup - Backblaze


Interesting thread. Thanks for the info on Backblaze and Crashplan. I've been thinking of trying them out, but both of their flaws (Crashplan using a Java app and lots of RAM, Backblaze deleting your 31+ day backups) in holding me back.

As someone noted that they use Zenfolio as a backup. Do you use a software application to do the backup or are you uploading the edited images manually into galleries? That is what I've started to do recently (since 2011) with "finished" client images.



Mar 30, 2013 at 04:24 AM
kings_freak
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p.1 #16 · Online Backup - Backblaze


I am also a Backblaze user. I have backed up over 1.8 TB with them and haven't had any issues. I have FIOS with 38Mbit upload, so I was able to do my initial backup in 2 weeks.

I didn't know about the 30 day retention, so thank you for that. I have 2, 2TB external FW drives that are my workhorses and they are always connected to the computer, so no issues there. I do have a couple of other drives that are stored in a safe that I need to get reconnected.

–Tony



Mar 30, 2013 at 04:43 AM





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