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Author Topic: Online backup vendors  (Read 2571 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: March 30, 2017, 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 :)

ned

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 06:40:05 PM »

Backblaze for me...

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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adias

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 09:20:34 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

Hans: I read a post of yours where you say you use ChronoSync. Do you use that with BackBlaze?

Hans Kruse

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 06:48:20 AM »

Hans: I read a post of yours where you say you use ChronoSync. Do you use that with BackBlaze?

No you can't use Chronosync with Backblaze. The use of Chronosync is only to synchronize my external hard drive where almost all my photos exist. Still after having photographed intensively professionally for 8 years now and a lot before that I only have 87.000 photos in my Lightroom catalog and it takes up 1.8TB so I only need one external HD for that. I then synchronize with two other drives for backup. The external HD and my MBP gets backed up using Backblaze using their backup client. That's how it works for me.

Damon Lynch

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2017, 10:20:58 PM »

I installed a trial of Backblaze personal. Uploaded 2.3 TB from my laptop using my university's Internet connection. Went to "inherit state" from my desktop computer, carefully following the instructions on their website. All 2.3 TB of the backup was wiped and a brand new backup initiated. Bummer. Frankly if a system is designed to wipe terabytes of user data without asking the user beforehand if that's what they really want to happen, with no way to recover it, that's terrible design.
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davidgp

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 03:29:00 AM »

I installed a trial of Backblaze personal. Uploaded 2.3 TB from my laptop using my university's Internet connection. Went to "inherit state" from my desktop computer, carefully following the instructions on their website. All 2.3 TB of the backup was wiped and a brand new backup initiated. Bummer. Frankly if a system is designed to wipe terabytes of user data without asking the user beforehand if that's what they really want to happen, with no way to recover it, that's terrible design.

Hi

Not defending Backblaze or anything but the system is designed that you pay 5 dollars month per computer. They have some rules to do that, thinks like only direct attached disk to the computer you are backing up are going to b uploaded (NAS disks are excluded).

When you switched from your laptop to your main computer, Backblaze probably told you something that your backup files of your laptop will be deleted in 30 days. At least that it was what I happen to me when I switched from my iMac to my actual MacBook Pro. But if you login via the web interface... You will still be able to see your old files, it takes Backblaze like 30 days to delete something.

I think you can tell Backblaze that you are migrating from your laptop to your desktop. Backblaze will use your index data of your laptop in your desktop and relocate again all the files... Basically what it does it is calculates again the hash/signature of each file, double checks that the file is already uploaded and if it is uploaded, goes for the next one, if not uploads it. Since Backblaze always tries to upload the small files first, if your desktop has a lot of files that were not in your laptop when you did your initial backup at the university, it will take it a long while to realize that the rest of the files you uploaded are already there. That basically it was what happen to me when I reformatted my old iMac and I was still having an slow internet connection.

Regards, 

David

Damon Lynch

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2017, 07:10:53 AM »

Thanks for sharing your experience. In this case, it was logging in via the web interface that confirmed what the windows client also showed: the backup was immediately wiped, exactly opposite to what their online instructions say. The data is gone, unless they have some internal way of getting it back that's not exposed to users.

The data I uploaded from my machine at university was for all intensive purposes a very close duplicate to the data on my desktop. I did the initial upload from my university because there are no data caps and the upload speed is more than ten times faster. I'm very fortunate to have access to it.

I'm glad that backblaze works out for some people -- maybe most people. However in this instance it's been a short and sharp failure. Their windows client is obviously not bug free. Depending on how their tech support people handle it when business resumes on Monday I may have to try another try something else.
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davidgp

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 01:52:45 AM »

Thanks for sharing your experience. In this case, it was logging in via the web interface that confirmed what the windows client also showed: the backup was immediately wiped, exactly opposite to what their online instructions say. The data is gone, unless they have some internal way of getting it back that's not exposed to users.

The data I uploaded from my machine at university was for all intensive purposes a very close duplicate to the data on my desktop. I did the initial upload from my university because there are no data caps and the upload speed is more than ten times faster. I'm very fortunate to have access to it.

I'm glad that backblaze works out for some people -- maybe most people. However in this instance it's been a short and sharp failure. Their windows client is obviously not bug free. Depending on how their tech support people handle it when business resumes on Monday I may have to try another try something else.

I was using the Mac client... Seeing this I will be extra careful in my next system reinstall or laptop upgrade.

Damon Lynch

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 03:08:03 PM »

An update: the (very) good news is that my Backblaze backup is now complete and nothing had in fact been wiped. So I have now purchased it.

What happened is that when I followed their instructions on the 2nd computer to inherit the backup state of the 1st computer, the backup client application erroneously indicated that it was performing an initial backup, as if it was starting from scratch. Apparently it's not supposed to do that, but it sometimes does, according to their tech-support.

Compounding the confusion, the inherit backup operation renamed the backup set on the Backblaze servers with a new name and made all the previously backed up files disappear from view. Neither the application nor the website provided any indication that it was performing any de-duplication, whereas behind the scenes that is in fact what it was doing.

It took days of emailing back and forth with tech support to figure all this out. At one point they asserted I'd never completed the initial backup and that's why it showed I still had more than 2 TB to upload; I knew I had done that upload and assumed either their system was broken or I was not understanding something.

One thing is for sure: none of this stuff is simple. Illustrating the complexity of the problem, when I write the "the previously backed up files disappear from view" on the website, that's true, they did. However you can go "back in time" and they're there. When you complete the backup from the new computer, they reappear "in the present", rather than only in the past.  There is a certain logic to that, for sure, especially considering files can move location between one computer and the next.

However IMHO the UI on the website must do better in providing feedback to the user as to the status of their files. And it certainly their client application should never display that it's performing an initial backup when it's not in fact doing that. I'd also like to see the client application indicate when it's de-duplicating files rather than re-uploading them. 

On a considerably more positive note, one good thing is that their client never thrashed the disk, crashed, or consumed excessive amounts CPU, in total contrast to the shockingly awful Amazon client application. So while the UI needs work done on it, at least the core file transfer functionality works.
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davidgp

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Re: Online backup vendors
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2017, 04:24:25 AM »

Hi Damon,

Happy to hear that you were able to perform your initial backup... Even with the UI problems.

Best regards,

David


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