The Data Backup Thread (& request for more suggestions)

Malor, what's your contingency for a local catastrophic event,

The backup RAID is pretty easy to detach and run with. If I can grab that one thing, all my data will be fine.

If I can't get to it, though, I'm gonna lose stuff. That's what offsite backups are for, and I probably *should* be doing them, but my encrypted backup volume would be 6TB of remote data, and that's not real cheap to support. (Plus, I just have this allergy to cloud anything.)

I also keep backups of really super-important files on a micro-SD in my wallet, so even if I lose the full 6TB, it won't be a disaster, but terribly inconvenient and quite depressing. I'd lose, for instance, my entire music library, which would suck horribly.

edit: hmm, yanno, I could probably carry a second micro-SD with those files. They've gotten amazingly cheap for huge cards. When I set up this one, they were still pretty pricey, and I didn't think to re-evaluate.

*Legion* wrote:

B2 is more like Amazon S3: raw cloud storage upon which systems can be built, but in and of itself is just storage.

I was thinking of combining it with Duplicati:

But the lazy part of me just wants to pay CrashPlan even if the price is doubling for no discernible feature advantage (and really the loss of computer to computer backups) because, well, it's working as-is. And $120/year isn't breaking the bank for peace of mind.

Edit: I missed it initially, but Crashplan offers a 75% discount for your first year if you migrate to Small Business. For $2.50 a month, I don't mind sticking with Crashplan, but also giving B2/Duplicati a try longterm.

Duplicati can't backup to multiple destinations (as in, the same backup job/files/set to multiple locations), so I'm trying to decide if backing up locally first, and then running a second job that backs up the encrypted Duplicati files to B2 is the way to go. Or if I want to essentially run the same backup twice, one after the other, to different destinations.

CloudBerry is pretty slick:

But the software is licensed per machine and there's an optional small annual maintenance fee for future upgrades.

They also sell a variety of add-ons like mounting your cloud storage in your file explorer, but while the pricing doesn't break the bank, it's confusing enough to be mentioned in their FAQ. I think my use case would be $30/year plus $6/year for updates. Plus I could add my laptop and NAS into the mix for an additional $25 and $50, respectively.

There's also a 5TB limit on the regular version of the software, which seems odd/arbitrary, although I don't see myself ever hitting that. Maybe that's because anyone storing that much data is likely to require more support?

Edit: After experimenting with CloudBerry and Duplicati, I realize how much I started taking Crashplan's versioning for granted, where you can get really granular, down to saving 1 backup a day/week/month/year instead of just versions for X number of days.

EvilDead wrote:
McChuck wrote:

For those of you that have a NAS and a cloud backup service, do you backup your computers to both the NAS and the cloud? Or backup your computers to the NAS only, then backup your NAS to the cloud?

For most stuff I back up from computer > Synology NAS (which also acts as my cloud) > Amazon Web Services (off site backup).

This. With CrashPlan I had the NAS set up as a secondary backup destination, but I recently switched to this setup and I like it better overall. My computers can push to the NAS a heck of a lot faster than they can to the cloud, and then the NAS backs up to the cloud on a schedule (that being the hours when I'm asleep).

I set up BackBlaze on both of our computers yesterday, so those initial backups should be done in, let's see 1 TB divide by my up speed carry the one, about 2-3 months. And that's only backing up irreplaceable documents and photos/videos. I also had to add unlimited data to our plan until it's over.

I see some of the fine print with BackBlaze means having to make sure external drives are plugged in at least once every 30 days or else the backup data will be expunged; and BB doesn't do versioning. I'm not worried about the latter since we have Time Machine drives for that. So as long as our house doesn't get hit by a meteorite crushing both our TM drives between the end of October and the time the initial backup is done, we should be set.

My CrashPlan subscription is dead, long live BackBlaze.

It works, and has been working fine for the last month, but it isn't as clear as CrashPlan was. There's no visual indication that it's backing up, in the menubar it always says 0 files to do, and the program always says it's up to date to the minute. I put a file on my desktop, told BackBlaze to back up now, it said 0 files to do, did nothing, and said it was up to date. But later I came back to my computer, checked my account online, and there was the file, all backed up. So it backs up, just invisibly and doesn't immediately scan for changes when you manually tell it to back up.

So with external drives, when you have to attach them at least once every 30 days, the time attached should be at least 4 hours.

When an external drive is plugged back in, it may take Backblaze 2 to 8 hours to schedule the files on the external drive to be scanned and backed up.


While on vacation I got my Crashplan 60 day notice so I am on the clock.

Anyone want to share updates on what they are using/how things are going post-Crashplan/whatever else strikes your fancy?

I am still using Backblaze on two computers and have no complaints. Runs invisibly, just works. Here is a referral link if you want to get a month free to try it.

I need to move somewhere, too. I figured these options would widen over time and come down in price, not narrow and cost me more

I'm still running the dual NAS setup. One at my house, one at my parents. Running Minio on each lets me use them as Amazon S3 storage, and Duplicati can back up freely to S3 containers.

Works well as we each back up to our own, so we have a local backup, and then also back up to each other, so in the event of a real failure, we're an hour drive apart, and can restore "locally"

I went to BackBlaze too. No complaints, works great.

I am running a backup server using Duplicati (backup software) and Minio (AWS-style bucket and user management), roughly following this blog series. It's working well so far, just have to pester the rest of my family to actually set up their backups on it.

Also gave me the opportunity to learn about setting up a DDNS hostname and getting it SSL certified - was a neat moment when Firefox gave me the little green lock.

Happy to chat more about the process with anyone interested - I definitely know just enough to be dangerous in this realm, but it was a fun little project.

I'm to the point of enough data stored (because I hoard my PC game collection) where I probably need a NAS. Unfortunately, I do not have the option to do a cloud backup because I have a data cap, and want to know what my options are. I know I could build a secondary PC and use it as a NAS with something like FreeNAS, but I'm not wanting to delve into something that may end up being a massive headache.

I use UnRaid it isn't free which is a bit of an oddity for a Linux distribution, but it is relatively inexpensive. The things I like about it, it uses its own parity, rather than a true hardware/software RAID. So while this makes it slower than a true RAID system, however you can mix/match drives. So you start with the biggest drive you have/can afford, and make that your parity drive, then you fill the rest of the bays up with whatever drives you have laying around, and gradually upgrade them, or add more as you go.

With FreeNas, you sort of need to pre-plan your entire NAS, and have all the drives up front, or at least upgrade them all at once. It is this mix/match mentality of UnRaid that makes it great for home use. Drives go on sale, add one more. No need to pull out all your 3TB drives at once and replace them with 8TB drives.

Unraid also runs docker, and there are lots of applications that users have built docker containers for running media servers, doing backups, sharing files, running your own dropbox like service, running your own flickr like service and lots of other things.

Again, due to the speed I wouldn't use it for anything where you need maximum performance. But for storing large volumes of media, pictures, backups of games etc, it's great.

I recently built a new PC for using as a server and I am running StableBit DrivePool on it. Was much easier to setup than UnRAID or FreeNAS. A friend was using UnRAID and he ended up losing a bunch of files due to some strange issue with it when he lost a drive. He switched to DrivePool a bit over a year ago and has had no issues with it even after losing a couple of drives. I currently have an 11 drive setup (5x2TB, 2x6TB, 4x8TB) giving me about 25 TB of usable space with redundancy on. Most of the 2TB drives are old but other than a single SMART warning that some of them are over the recommended Load Cycle Count (one is near 500,000 but it is a model that can hit 1 million plus based on statistics online) they are still in good shape, but I do plan to swap them out with newer larger drives as I can afford to do so. Also using StableBit Scanner to monitor drive health.

What are the most cost-effective cloud storage solutions these days?

I'm backing up local computers to a Synology NAS and want offsite backups for the NAS. Backblaze B2 and Wasabi were looking like the strongest contenders in my previous round of research, but then Dropbox offered me a discount to re-up to Pro for a year so I just did that instead. And then Dropbox increased their rates and I said no to renewing.

I'm looking at a little over 500 GB of data to back up right now, and that increases pretty slowly.

I have been happy with Backblaze for a while now, and they seem like a good company to support. Here is my referral code if you want to try it for a month for free.

I use Backblaze with the Synology and it works great (I think, I haven't had to use it). Cheap too. I have no idea how much I'm backing up right now. Probably in the range of 250 - 500 GB and it's only a couple bucks a month.

So does the nas count as the one computer or is it counted as something connected to the pc?

Baron Of Hell wrote:

So does the nas count as the one computer or is it counted as something connected to the pc?

It's using Backblaze storage but software from Synology rather than the Backblaze desktop client.

Which means that when I set it up this weekend, I wasn't able to use LeapingGnome's referral code. (But thank you anyway, for offering!) And also that the pricing structure is different -- based on usage rather than a flat monthly rate.