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Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]
  
 
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p.1 #1 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Hi everybody...

I have been using and testing a number of different services for online backup of my raw files and while there is a number for good options out there, I just could not find one that really suited my needs or met my demands.

Crashplan+, Backblaze, Livedrive etc are cheap for unlimited backup, but I dislike having a program running and doing file searching and uploading in the background. Another big issue for me is that you canít delete a file locally on your computer without it being remove from the backup as well. You have to backup such files from an external hard drive, if you want to archive those without littering your computer. Reinstalling the OS or getting a new computer is a major pain as well.

Well, after testing Amazon Glacier, I think I found the perfect solution for me, so I decided to spread the word if you by chance have had the same issues as me.

Amazon Glacier costs $0.01-$0.011 per gigabyte per month and has the same annual durability of 99.999999999% for an archive as the top tier Amazon S3. My testing shows that it is very fast to upload files. I get full speed from my 10 kbit internet upload. Good times.

Cool, so what is the catch, you ask? Retrieving archives. You have to initiate a retrieval job and then the file will download after 3-5 hours. Amazon is not telling why this is, but I think that they store the data on tape. Anyway, downloads are very fast when I tried it.

It is surprisingly easy to use as well, if you pick up a program like FastGlacier. Give it access to your Amazon Glacier account, create a Vault and find the folder to upload. Done. If you buy the Pro-version you get the ability to sync the content of local and Glacier folders too. It works great IMO. There are other programs like
Cloud Berry.

I should also point out that it is possible to move content from Amazon S3 to Amazon Glacier fairly easy although I have not tried this. This setup may make sense if you need to be able to get your most recent files at any given times, but youíre ok with waiting like 4 hours for the older ones. This is probably like most is serving their clients too.

Anyway, if youíre doing archival backup on tape already it might to worth to consider this cloud storage solution. Please to do not hesitate to ask a question, if you have one.

Peace, Nils



May 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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p.1 #2 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Oh, I forgot to show the FastGlacier sync tool in action.







May 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #3 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Thanks for the review.

I am very pleased with Crashplan for my general backup purposes - it's robust and has a pretty sophisticated client application, which works especially well for normal files as the file versioning history can be useful, and prioritizing certain file locations lets me ensure, say, that my documents are always backed up immediately even if I've got a big video or something sitting in the queue.

However, I have long been considering adding a second cloud storage provider strictly for my photos. This may be paranoia, but with 10+ years of memories photographed, tagged and organized, along with many more years worth of scanned photos... it seems like a lot to lose.

I can't seem to find on the site... do you know how they handle file changes? Is it processed at a block level so only the changes are uploaded, or do they simply identify the file as modified (through the hashing process), discard the original and re-upload?



May 28, 2013 at 02:00 PM
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p.1 #4 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


binary visions wrote:
I am very pleased with Crashplan for my general backup purposes - it's robust and has a pretty sophisticated client application, which works especially well for normal files as the file versioning history can be useful, and prioritizing certain file locations lets me ensure, say, that my documents are always backed up immediately even if I've got a big video or something sitting in the queue.

...

I can't seem to find on the site... do you know how they handle file changes? Is it processed at a block level so only the changes are uploaded, or do they simply
...Show more

Hi...

Yeah, I tried CrashPlan+ and came away pretty impressed. It has a lot of options to control the backup, so it was actually that or Glacier for me in the end. Upload speed was quite a bit lower on CrashPlan, but that might have a lot to do with me being in Europe and I can choose to upload to Glacier storage in Ireland.

I think that you need to upload the whole file again, but I really don't know.

I may not have made enough of a point of it, but for Glacier to make perfect sense, one should pretty much only use it to backup stuff that you're not going to modify anymore - this is why it works great with raw-files.

For everyday documents and what not, I would definitely use skydrive or google drive for those files instead - which is incidentally precisely what I do.



May 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM
JustinR
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p.1 #5 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


I've been using Glacier for over a year now with a slightly different setup. I use Cloudberry Backup to automatically scan and upload my backup (because I don't want to have to think about it). The software has a lot of options to control the backup and can use many of the different online archive services (like Glacier, S3, etc. there are around 20 options if I recall correctly), as well as automatically backing up to a local drive. The main reason I went with this solution instead of any of the others is that this is one of the only options that will run natively on Windows Home Server. But even though I don't have many other viable options, I'm very happy with Cloudberry + Glacier.

As it is, I have backups of the computers in their entirety on the server, an additional backup of all irreplaceable/expensive files (photos and music) on the server, which are further backed up to a spare hard drive and Glacier . . . So 3-4 copies of all my photos (3 if archived, 4 if active)



May 29, 2013 at 03:05 PM
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p.1 #6 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


JustinR wrote:
I've been using Glacier for over a year now with a slightly different setup. I use Cloudberry Backup to automatically scan and upload my backup (because I don't want to have to think about it). The software has a lot of options to control the backup and can use many of the different online archive services (like Glacier, S3, etc. there are around 20 options if I recall correctly), as well as automatically backing up to a local drive. The main reason I went with this solution instead of any of the others is that this is one of the
...Show more

That sounds like a very cool way to use Glacier!



May 29, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #7 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


How much does it cost for having 5TB a year ? I'm a bit confused about their storage price and also data transfer price?


Jun 03, 2013 at 05:24 AM
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p.1 #8 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Lars, if I read it correctly, $ 0.01 per GB for storage, the upload is free (its priced at 0.00 because their other services DO have a cost for both upload and download), and $0.12 per GB for download. They also have a price for requests (like listing and file search type stuff, not actually using a file, but asking for a reference of it)

So for your 5TB, you'd pay nothing to upload, but $50.00 per month for maintaining it, and if you ever needed to download it, about $600 to retrieve it.

I'm at nearly 5TB myself, and this is why I can't go with these services. They just don't scale costs in a manner that would benefit me. Now if my archive was say more like 300GB, then $3.00 a month to store, and $36 for a full retrieval would be cheaper than Crashplan or Backblaze.

BTW I use Backblaze cause I've had them for years. Downside? Limited download options, and external drives must connect once a month or they could be removed from the backup. But at $95 for two years, I've been a customer for 4, and have not had any problems.

If I had started my backup more recently, Crashplan would probably get my money now. But when I first decided I needed to do this, they had not offered an unlimited plan for business, only for personal use. I was wary of breaking their TOS and finding out after uploading 2 plus TB (at the time) of data.



Jun 03, 2013 at 06:26 AM
rico
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p.1 #9 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Based on my needs, the benchmark for comparison is 50TB for 5 years, with one complete retrieval:

Price for Amazon Glacier = 50000*.01*12*5 + 50000*.12 = $36,000
Price for LTO-5 tape system = 2000 + 50000*.02 = $ 3,000
Price for bulk HDD = 50000*.05 = $2,500

Basically, rental+access versus capital outlay.



Jun 03, 2013 at 09:51 AM
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p.1 #10 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Yeah - if you get into the multi-terabyte range, you really have to look at cloud vs. NAS (and potentially mirrored NAS).

You can get a pretty decent NAS with many terabytes of storage for well under $2000 (Netgear ReadyNAS, Drobo, et. al.). With 4TB USB 3.0 external drives under $200, most people can also initiate an off-site strategy that is manual but usable - buy a couple, back everything up once a month or so and have it stored off-site - at a safe-deposit box, at work, etc. At the end of the month (or whatever), use the second drive to back everything up, take it to your off-site location to secure it and bring the other home. With the NAS+manual off-site, that is as much protection as 99% of people need. If you have high concerns, raise the frequency of the manual backups. Then you have a high degree of backup (local + NAS + manual backup offsite) with a fair degree of disaster protection. Not cheap, but your only on-going cost is adding storage over time. Many of these NAS devices also act like the cloud: you can access them off-site, allow limited use by others, etc.

The alternative would be a mirrored, off-site NAS: you get identical NAS devices that support mirroring another device and locate the second one somewhere else. This is tricky since the amount of data can be high and you have to consider the costs of the bandwidth (if any) or whether you're allowed to use the bandwidth at the other end (i.e. your company might not appreciate your use of their network for something like for both security and bandwidth/network reasons).



Jun 03, 2013 at 11:53 AM
 

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binary visions
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p.1 #11 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


rico wrote:
Based on my needs, the benchmark for comparison is 50TB for 5 years, with one complete retrieval:

Price for Amazon Glacier = 50000*.01*12*5 + 50000*.12 = $36,000
Price for LTO-5 tape system = 2000 + 50000*.02 = $ 3,000
Price for bulk HDD = 50000*.05 = $2,500

Basically, rental+access versus capital outlay.


Comparing these dollar values is deeply flawed, though.

Off-site backup processes that are not in a hosted environment have all kinds of other considerations. Is the backup process manual? How often does rotation happen? What is the dollar value of the lag time worth (e.g. loss of data that hasn't made it off site yet)? What human factors are involved - getting sick, forgetting, accidents, etc.? How are you vetting the off-site media to make sure it hasn't failed, since it's likely that it's sitting on a shelf instead of being monitored or in a climate controlled environment?

If you're lucky enough to have a remote site that you can replicate data automatically to, that's great, but most people aren't in that position, or are doing it "under the radar" - I could do this to my office, but I'm not sure corporate IT would love my use of their bandwidth.

You're paying for a regularly maintained media set, bandwidth, environmentally controlled storage, with no manual intervention needed.



Jun 03, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #12 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


PShizzy wrote:
Lars, if I read it correctly, $ 0.01 per GB for storage, the upload is free (its priced at 0.00 because their other services DO have a cost for both upload and download), and $0.12 per GB for download. They also have a price for requests (like listing and file search type stuff, not actually using a file, but asking for a reference of it)

So for your 5TB, you'd pay nothing to upload, but $50.00 per month for maintaining it, and if you ever needed to download it, about $600 to retrieve it.

I'm at nearly 5TB myself, and this
...Show more

so you have to pay to store your data and then when you need it they charge you for it .
I can see a use for cloud storage but i dont think full data back up is it . because basicly a file you store and may never even touch again is costing you each month to keep .

Id much rather
1 Back my own drives on site
2 Back up to an external drive(s) and give to a friend , and swap these out each month as the data changes .

or as a couple of friends do (they have better broadband than me). they each have pogo plug in their houses that they backup to . ie A backs up to the pogo in B's house and B to the pogo in A's house



Jun 03, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Tim Wild
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p.1 #13 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Rather than back up original raws to Glacier you could back up original raws to hard drive, then back up compressed resampled DNGs or even jpegs to Amazon - ie consider it a last line backup, not a primary backup. Resample your raw files to 10MP DNG, lossy, the size comes down by 80-90% but still looks great, and it's still basically raw - close enough anyway.

Our upload speed and data allowance is too small in NZ to make this very practical.



Jun 04, 2013 at 02:54 AM
rico
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p.1 #14 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


M635_Guy wrote:
...
The alternative would be a mirrored, off-site NAS: you get identical NAS devices that support mirroring another device and locate the second one somewhere else. This is tricky since the amount of data can be high and you have to consider the costs of the bandwidth ...

To quote Andy Tanenbaum: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway." I'm a tape diehard, but NAS boxes benefit just as well. If you're living off one, buy two more: one for hot backup, the other for your remote location. Swap hot backup with remote as needed. In my vision of survivability, a second redundant techonology is required, so tape is always in the picture. No-one said professional-grade backup is cheap. And yes, Dorothy, cloud storage is right out.



Jun 04, 2013 at 03:34 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #15 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


From a professional perspective, how hard would it be for 2 Pros to simply swap NAS boxes and back to up to each others' locations? We have a vibrant forum here, a perfect location to meet other folk and sort out such an arrangement.

Personally i do my offsite backups to my office. But i work in a University and have a fairly large degree of IT independence. I also have considerably less data to backup than most here (only 500Gb or so).



Jun 04, 2013 at 05:40 AM
PShizzy
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p.1 #16 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


15Bit,

Not only is this easy to do, but there are tools to do it. Namely crashplan. They allow you to keep an encrypted backup on an external drive, and then you can use that as the initial seed for an offsite backup at another location that's got internet.

So I would have say two Drobos, my photos on one, and I'd make the second one a crashplan backup. Once I'm done creating it, I'd send that to my friends, and via the app I'd connect to it as an offsite backup point. As long as both sides are connected, backups would be in realtime, with versions as well.

The biggest issues I'd see would be maintenance. Unless both sides were versed in the same hardware, any technical issues could cause problems. After that, there's the matter of uploading and downloading files. My current internet has a cap of 250gb per month. I blew through that a few months (1TB each way). If I uploaded a few hundred gigs in shoots in a month, I'd not only have issues with my provider, but could cause issues for my friend.

But those issues aside? It's a solid plan and one I've considered several times. I just prefer to deal with a service that is beholden to me, rather than a friend who is mostly just doing me a favor.



Jun 04, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Hammy
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p.1 #17 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


I'm fortunate enough to live a town (Chattanooga) that is fully wired with fiber: up to 1Gbps up and down to every residence and business.

I currently have 100Mb/s at home and 50Mb/s at the office (residential is a lot cheaper but they don't offer static IPs for home). I'll probably go to 100Mb/s at the office as I'm currently upgrading my 30TB server (that is full) to 60TB and building another one (60TB) to put at home (20 miles away)

This will get me a solid, online, high speed backup (and recovery) for a one time cost. Like others, once you go multi-terabyte, the online solutions cease to be cost effective.



Jun 04, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #18 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Hammy wrote:
I'm fortunate enough to live a town (Chattanooga) that is fully wired with fiber: up to 1Gbps up and down to every residence and business.

I currently have 100Mb/s at home and 50Mb/s at the office (residential is a lot cheaper but they don't offer static IPs for home). I'll probably go to 100Mb/s at the office as I'm currently upgrading my 30TB server (that is full) to 60TB and building another one (60TB) to put at home (20 miles away)

This will get me a solid, online, high speed backup (and recovery) for a one time cost. Like others, once you
...Show more

Yes once you go multi-terabyte, the online solutions cease to be cost effective +1

I have tried all the low priced and they are useless. I also have 100mb/s at home. But it does not help me when using the low cost online solutions......



Jun 04, 2013 at 02:43 PM
ISO1600
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p.1 #19 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


I don't have a whole lot to back up, maybe 200-300gb of files I actually care about currently. My home internet here in rural TX is atrocious, maybe hitting 2mb down on a downhill slope with a tailwind haha, and less than 1mb up.

I'll be going to Korea for a year this fall, and will a have MUCH better connection there. As such, I'll be looking into cloud/backup options. Right now, I primarily put my files on Google Drive. I have two chromebooks, and two Google accounts, so that gives me 100gb on each one for free, for two years. I may get a Chromebook pixel, which gives you 1TB for 3 years.



Jun 04, 2013 at 03:57 PM
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p.1 #20 · Great archival backup with Amazon Glacier [review]


Lots of good points here.

I agree that once you move into terabytes of data, something like Glacier isn't quite cheap enough. I only have around 300 GB, so it works for now. For me the important thing is to have an easy way to do off-site backup and an external hard drive in a bank box isn't really the most convenient solution.

If you will have under 5 TB of data, Livedrive ProSuite is an option too. You can ftp data directly to you account so you don't need to install any software. I'm am running this now, but find it too expensive for 300 GBs of data. Livedrive can show thumbnails of your raw-files in your webbrowser which is fantastic when it works, it can be a miss on new camera's.

http://www.livedrive.com/ForHome/ProSuite



Jun 05, 2013 at 08:37 AM
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