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Author Topic: Online backup vendors  (Read 431 times)

Damon Lynch

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Online backup vendors
« on: March 17, 2017, 02:51:19 PM »

I have  an approx 2.5 Tb photo archive I'd like to backup online, plus another 500 GB or so of other data. 

For my photo archive, I tried Amazon Prime Photos on Windows 10, but it was a veritable nightmare. There are many problems with the desktop application that powers the service, but the most shocking is that it can delete your photos on your PC behind your back without backing them up, even if all you ever do is sync from your computer to the Amazon servers. Unbelievable -- you use it to keep your photo safe from harm, and the opposite happens. 

Is there one vendor that stands out for its robust backup client tool and good pricing? It's a bonus if I can send my archive via disk and have the disk returned -- it sure beats having to worry about going over the annoying Comcast data cap. I'm particularly interested in a client tool that:
  • doesn't thrash the drive with multiple simultaneous read requests
  • doesn't consume inordinate amounts of the CPU as it determines what has already been backed up and thus doesn't need to be sent over the net
  • runs in the background without trying to backup files I'm actually working on at that moment e.g. TIFFs while I'm working on them in LR or PS
I'm assuming that a dedicated online backup vendor will produce better client tools than a company for whom backup is merely one service among many others.
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bassman51

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 03:48:20 PM »

I've been using CrashPlan for many years with good results.  I recently had to restore my 1.3TB photo library, which took a while but worked and saved my butt.  When I started with them, they did offer a hard drive initial load, but I don't know if they still do or not.  The price is quite reasonable (to me).   

While it's not perfect, I'm a satisfied customer. 
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scyth

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 04:56:25 PM »

I have  an approx 2.5 Tb photo archive I'd like to backup online, plus another 500 GB or so of other data. 

Naturally the suggestion will be to go if possible with 2 different providers (for example CrashPlan + BackBlaze)
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Joe Towner

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 12:43:37 AM »

So I hate to break it to you, but your 2.5tb isn't anything special, and you're more likely to have data issues due to sending them a disk.  Yes, the data caps suck, but really, start with your latest work, and work backwards.
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Damon Lynch

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 12:24:34 AM »

So I hate to break it to you, but your 2.5tb isn't anything special, and you're more likely to have data issues due to sending them a disk.  Yes, the data caps suck, but really, start with your latest work, and work backwards.

I know 2.5 Tb is small-fry compared to some :-) No delusions there, believe me!  Photography is one thing I do in life, not the only thing. And I've been doing it for less time with smaller megapixel cameras than many if not the great majority of folks here.

I'm surprised to read that you think there are more likely to be data integrity issues if the files come straight off a mailed in physical disk onto their physical disks, vs. using the net as an intermediary. Do you have data that demonstrates that's the case, or any case studies / personal examples to draw on?
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davidgp

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 03:38:18 AM »

I'm using backblaze for several years now. The client it is not that wonderful in terms of configuration but it does its job. You can configure how many threads you want to be sending at the same time, by default it is just 1 thread, and that should be enough for daily basis, for first backup I will recommend to increase it, so it can take the full advantage of your bandwidth.

I have never had to recover it yet, luckily, but I do regular checks downloading random data from it and checking if it works. As they say, any backup it is in an indeterminate state until you try to recover from it.

They have 15 days or one month trial, so you can check the client yourself to see if it fits your needs.

Joe Towner

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 03:29:43 PM »

I know 2.5 Tb is small-fry compared to some :-) No delusions there, believe me!  Photography is one thing I do in life, not the only thing. And I've been doing it for less time with smaller megapixel cameras than many if not the great majority of folks here.

I'm surprised to read that you think there are more likely to be data integrity issues if the files come straight off a mailed in physical disk onto their physical disks, vs. using the net as an intermediary. Do you have data that demonstrates that's the case, or any case studies / personal examples to draw on?

It's from being on the vendor side of things.  It's a royal pain to take in a drive, associate it to an account and pull the data into the system, all from a remote site.  You should have seen what folks sent us - bare 3.5" drives with no padding or case, just tossed into a fedex box.  We charged a fee to do it, because some folks would never catch up their backups had they not done this method (terabytes of data with a baseline cable internet connection back in 2010).  Really, you'd be better off copying your whole 2.5tb archive, take the disk to a friends and leave it there as a backup than to send in a disk to a vendor.

Besides, Comcast bumped their data cap to 1tb - https://dataplan.xfinity.com/faq/

One thing to note, online backup is a race to the bottom.  As in the cheapest possible at every step of the way, because folks expect huge data storage for pennies a year.  It's a tough market, and most vendors have taken on a lot of debt, and there have been many who shutdown.
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 12:22:27 PM »

I have  an approx 2.5 Tb photo archive I'd like to backup online, plus another 500 GB or so of other data. 

For my photo archive, I tried Amazon Prime Photos on Windows 10, but it was a veritable nightmare. There are many problems with the desktop application that powers the service, but the most shocking is that it can delete your photos on your PC behind your back without backing them up, even if all you ever do is sync from your computer to the Amazon servers. Unbelievable -- you use it to keep your photo safe from harm, and the opposite happens. 

Is there one vendor that stands out for its robust backup client tool and good pricing? It's a bonus if I can send my archive via disk and have the disk returned -- it sure beats having to worry about going over the annoying Comcast data cap. I'm particularly interested in a client tool that:
  • doesn't thrash the drive with multiple simultaneous read requests
  • doesn't consume inordinate amounts of the CPU as it determines what has already been backed up and thus doesn't need to be sent over the net
  • runs in the background without trying to backup files I'm actually working on at that moment e.g. TIFFs while I'm working on them in LR or PS
I'm assuming that a dedicated online backup vendor will produce better client tools than a company for whom backup is merely one service among many others.

I would Backblaze qualifies given the requirements you listed. I have used Backblaze since 2011 and it has worked very well. When you switch drives from an older retired to a new one or switch computers from an old one to a new one, Backblaze (of course) will recognize the files that are on the new drive (or computer) that is already backed up. The process of checking in that case took a couple of hours in case of a new computer with a 1TB internal drive (MBP) and during that time a high percentage of cpu was consumed. During normal operation I do not feel any impact from the backup client. It is robust and works well. Find them here https://www.backblaze.com


Damon Lynch

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 11:22:33 PM »

I would Backblaze qualifies given the requirements you listed. I have used Backblaze since 2011 and it has worked very well. When you switch drives from an older retired to a new one or switch computers from an old one to a new one, Backblaze (of course) will recognize the files that are on the new drive (or computer) that is already backed up. The process of checking in that case took a couple of hours in case of a new computer with a 1TB internal drive (MBP) and during that time a high percentage of cpu was consumed. During normal operation I do not feel any impact from the backup client. It is robust and works well. Find them here https://www.backblaze.com

Thank you very much indeed Hans. When moving to a new computer, does it compare files on a file-by-file basis, instead of file-in-a-rigid-folder-structure basis? If it does, that would be a genuinely useful feature, because it means the new computer doesn't need to replicate exactly the folder structure of the older computer. 

As an aside, I love your work on 500px!
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #9 on: Today at 12:22:04 PM »

Thank you very much indeed Hans. When moving to a new computer, does it compare files on a file-by-file basis, instead of file-in-a-rigid-folder-structure basis? If it does, that would be a genuinely useful feature, because it means the new computer doesn't need to replicate exactly the folder structure of the older computer. 

As an aside, I love your work on 500px!

The way it works is that each file is divided into chunks and a unique footprint is calculated and compared with what is stored in the cloud. So it is not related to a folder structure or anything. Although I have not tested a reorg as I always have just restored my drives and computer identically when upgrading.

And thanks :)
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