Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

All things storage here: hard drives, DVD RW drives, little wicker baskets.

Moderators: morphine, Steel

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 2:57 pm

Dieter wrote:I'm not sure if you're asking rhetorically or if you're looking for a solution, but the free (and paid) version of CrashPlan offers what you are talking about (backing up on your friends/family's computers, and they on yours). They do manage the central servers so it's easy to connect to the other systems, but once the connection is established I think (though I'm not sure) it's direct between computers. Once established, it's pretty much set it and forget it.

I don't mind using "cloud" storage since it's encrypted, and I like the ability to retrieve my files from anywhere with an internet connection. But, I do find the peer-backup model a really nice feature, even though I don't (yet) use it.

Neither; it is how I would handle it if I did not have the ability to periodically sneakernet external hard drives to an off-site location I trust.

I'm talking about self-reliance here: If CrashPlan suffered a catastrophic failure or went out of business tomorrow, would you be able to get your data back?

Sure, there are risks with a non-commercial solution too. But it's free, and I'm not convinced you're sacrificing much (if anything) versus a commercial plan, provided you do it right.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37737
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 3:07 pm

just brew it! wrote:Neither; it is how I would handle it if I did not have the ability to periodically sneakernet external hard drives to an off-site location I trust.

I'm talking about self-reliance here: If CrashPlan suffered a catastrophic failure or went out of business tomorrow, would you be able to get your data back?

Sure, there are risks with a non-commercial solution too. But it's free, and I'm not convinced you're sacrificing much (if anything) versus a commercial plan, provided you do it right.


Agreed, although I think it's low risk, at least in my situation. Even if they did go offline today, I still have my data, as my system hasn't died. I do prefer the self-reliant model using normal tools like you mentioned (rsync, etc), but I like the few-clicks-and-you're-done approach, as I think frequent, reliable backups are important. Plus, I don't have to monitor anything; I get an email/report on a regular basis, so whether the report is missing or I get a failure warning, at least I know there's an issue with the backups. You can do that with standard tools as well, but there's more to do to get it working. I'm not necessarily lazy, but as I've gotten older I have gotten better at calculating risk (at least I like to think that I have) and sometimes a managed service makes more sense.

But yes, compressed, encrypted, only-sync-the-changes using free and open source tools is a great solution. I just don't want to set it up! :-)
Dieter
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:51 am

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Dieter wrote:but as I've gotten older I have gotten better at calculating risk (at least I like to think that I have) and sometimes a managed service makes more sense.

Heh... yes, I would like to think that I've gotten better at calculating risk too. And I'm not sure I'd be willing to bet on who is right here! :lol:

Life is full of risks...
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37737
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 4:04 pm

just brew it! wrote:And I'm not sure I'd be willing to bet on who is right here!

Cloud storage has become an issue in my day job. Given the strictures of the various privacy/data security regs, us regulatory types want to know the exact physical location of data so that physical security may be assessed. Enterprise-level cloud storage contracts by and large make it very clear that the customer can never know where their data physically resides. In my day job, that gives me the willies.
Life is hard; but it's harder if you're stupid. Big Al.
Captain Ned
Global Moderator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 20311
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 4:43 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:And I'm not sure I'd be willing to bet on who is right here!

Cloud storage has become an issue in my day job. Given the strictures of the various privacy/data security regs, us regulatory types want to know the exact physical location of data so that physical security may be assessed. Enterprise-level cloud storage contracts by and large make it very clear that the customer can never know where their data physically resides. In my day job, that gives me the willies.

It wouldn't really be a cloud, now would it, if you could track your data down to a precise physical location!
Buub
Maximum Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 4200
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 5:08 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:And I'm not sure I'd be willing to bet on who is right here!

Cloud storage has become an issue in my day job. Given the strictures of the various privacy/data security regs, us regulatory types want to know the exact physical location of data so that physical security may be assessed. Enterprise-level cloud storage contracts by and large make it very clear that the customer can never know where their data physically resides. In my day job, that gives me the willies.

Yup, me too. We routinely handle ITAR-restricted data, though we haven't had to deal with data requiring security clearances (at least not yet... that seems to be where we're headed though). Backing that stuff up "in the cloud" would be verboten... even with strong encryption it would raise a lot of eyebrows. We're definitely not opening that can of worms!
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37737
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 5:16 pm

Buub wrote:It wouldn't really be a cloud, now would it, if you could track your data down to a precise physical location!

The point of a cloud is that you don't *need* to care where it is. The cloud services provider could still tell you, if they *wanted* to!
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37737
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 5:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:Backing that stuff up "in the cloud" would be verboten... even with strong encryption it would raise a lot of eyebrows. We're definitely not opening that can of worms!

The real bugaboo for me is that GLBA and HIPAA (the financial world synonyms to ITAR) were written in a time where it was assumed that all data would be retained at the facility that originated the data, or at least in a facility owned by the data originator. Accordingly, my examination procedures assume the data to reside within the organization and have lots of physical security checkpoints.

I simply don't know how to audit/examine data security in a cloud environment. I'm stuck reviewing policies/procedures, contracts, and wishy-washy SAS 70 reports. Since I don't know which server farm hosts the data, I can't go out there and see if the employees are diligent or are using the really fat pipe to spawn-camp CounterTwits. It's an issue we struggle with on a regular basis and there's as yet no good advice as to how to approach the problem.
Life is hard; but it's harder if you're stupid. Big Al.
Captain Ned
Global Moderator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 20311
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Fri May 27, 2011 7:43 pm

wibeasley wrote:
xtalentx wrote:I was "told" to setup an Amazon S3 account at work and backup everything to it. We have about 10 TB of data that will be going.
That's around $1,500/month. Did they give you much hassle about finding a lower price, or are the risks too great?


Amazon offers a fair price per GB. If I did find something cheaper it wouldn't be by much. We have so much patient data that cannot be left to chance (literally peoples lives are at stake). So the expense is negligible.


just brew it! wrote:
wibeasley wrote:
xtalentx wrote:I was "told" to setup an Amazon S3 account at work and backup everything to it. We have about 10 TB of data that will be going.

That's around $1,500/month. Did they give you much hassle about finding a lower price, or are the risks too great?

Seems to be pretty much the going rate for cloud storage from the major vendors (Rackspace is similar).

Related to my previous post, do you (xtalentx) have a geographically remote office you can back up to? That might be a better solution.


I do not have another office. That would be my first choice if I did. I looked at buying rack space at a local ISP and installing my own NAS/Sever but the expense was astronomical. Cloud storage seems much more the way to go. I even played with the idea of putting the NAS in my basement but that is less than elegant. Currently I have a 10TB NAS backing up all my servers using DPM and critical data also gets backed up to a tape that I rotate weekly off site.

I'm still researching S3 before I pull the trigger but I need to at least setup a test account and backup a few GB of data this weekend.
xtalentx
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:53 am

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 1:41 am

Can you limit the amount of upload bandwidth used by the crashplan client during certain hours of the day / weekends?
In Australia we can only afford say 30kbytes/s during business hours but after hours could go up to 100kbytes/second - maybe 160.
AbRASiON
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:06 pm

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 9:37 am

xtalentx wrote:I looked at buying rack space at a local ISP and installing my own NAS/Sever but the expense was astronomical. Cloud storage seems much more the way to go. I even played with the idea of putting the NAS in my basement but that is less than elegant. Currently I have a 10TB NAS backing up all my servers using DPM and critical data also gets backed up to a tape that I rotate weekly off site.

BTW not sure if you mis-interpreted, but when I mentioned "Rackspace" I meant the company (and their cloud services), not getting actual rack space at an ISP. But now that you mention it, it seems to me that it should not be "astronomical" from a cost standpoint to host a backup server somewhere. Maybe you ought to look at a couple of other server co-lo places before making a final decision.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37737
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 9:45 am

Thanks for this suggestion, Dieter. I've used for a day and like it so far. I'm just backing up the smaller critical folders on the CrashPlan server. After a few weeks, I'll try setting up the NAS at a friend's house.

xtalentx wrote:
wibeasley wrote:That's around $1,500/month. Did they give you much hassle about finding a lower price, or are the risks too great?
Amazon offers a fair price per GB. If I did find something cheaper it wouldn't be by much. We have so much patient data that cannot be left to chance (literally peoples lives are at stake). So the expense is negligible.
I agree. I was hoping that everyone agreed with you and you didn't get hassled about the price. I'm glad you were able to work out the HIPAA issues with the remote PI data so quickly.
Last edited by wibeasley on Sat May 28, 2011 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 9:49 am

AbRASiON wrote:Can you limit the amount of upload bandwidth used by the crashplan client during certain hours of the day / weekends?
In Australia we can only afford say 30kbytes/s during business hours but after hours could go up to 100kbytes/second - maybe 160.
In the Settings->Network page, you can limit the sending rate. In Settings ->Backup, you can specify when it runs. For the personal version, I don't see how you can set different speeds for different times.
http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/r ... e/settings

Assume you're only transferring after business hours. Do they charge you on transfer rate or amount transfered? If it's actually the latter, the 100KBps rate shouldn't matter. You're still transfering X GB, it just takes less time. Instead, you'd want to transfer as fast as possible overnight, so it doesn't overlap with business hours.

Either way, you could save money by decreasing the "Backup Frequency" to once a day, or even less frequent.
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 10:03 am

Regarding encrypted backups: unless you encrypt the files yourself, online backup services like CrashPlan et al rely on an encryption key associated with your account. You can encrypt the key with your own password, but you still have to trust them not to have a second copy.

Not trying to scare anyone off here, just pointing out a fact. I'm a CrashPlan user myself.
There is a fixed amount of intelligence on the planet, and the population keeps growing :(
morphine
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9999
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2002 8:51 pm
Location: Portugal (that's next to Spain)

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sat May 28, 2011 4:09 pm

If it helps anyone: I backed up 2.0GB in 3.9 hours this Saturday afternoon (for a second computer). If I understand the log correctly, the 1.98GB was encrypted and compressed down to 442MB before it was transferred. That's 36 KB/s across the network. Some of that time overlapped with a third computer backing up; I don't know if CrashPlan decreases the throughput of the other computer, if multiple computers are uploading data to it..
wibeasley
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:19 pm
Location: Norman OK

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sun May 29, 2011 7:48 pm

AbRASiON wrote:Can you limit the amount of upload bandwidth used by the crashplan client during certain hours of the day / weekends?
In Australia we can only afford say 30kbytes/s during business hours but after hours could go up to 100kbytes/second - maybe 160.


I don't know about the free version, but using the Pro version and enabling backup sets, there is the option to only run a particular backup set between specified times on various days of the week. There are also options to throttle network speed and CPU usage depending on if your system is considered "busy" or not. In my experience, it's not really good about restricting network usage (but I'm not worried about that), but it does seem to help on the CPU side -- on my old computer, anyway. On my new one I can't tell the difference, and there's no slowdown. So there's not a direct option to limit bandwidth during certain times, but you could have the backup only run during certain hours.

Worst case, I think they have a satisfaction guarantee, so if you paid for the Pro version and didn't like it I think you get your money back. After 30 days, I think it might be prorated, but I haven't looked in a while so I'm not certain.

As far as security goes, there is the option to use your own key, but of course you lose a lot of functionality. You do gain a lot of security, though. I'd hate to lose the key, though!
Dieter
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:51 am

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Sun May 29, 2011 8:03 pm

For people with the mission-critical apps and what-not, the best offline storage we've found is Qwest's Real-Time Application Recovery. Its worth looking at for medium to large businesses.
http://www.qwest.com/business/products/managed-services/business-continuation/real-time-application-recovery.html
Sony a7
Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 SSM, 24-70/4 SSM
Minolta 17-35/2.8-4 D, 100-300 APO, 100/2, 500/8
TheEmrys
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 2171
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 8:22 pm
Location: Northern Colorado

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:51 pm

So, I realize this thread has been inactive for a few months, but I thought best to post this here instead of starting a new thread for the sake of continuity. I have been using Crashplan for nigh unto six months now and the experience continues to be seamless and head-ache free. In fact, it is one of those products that have worked so well as a free version that I've been willing to reach for the wallet and pay for something that I feel is a worthwhile upgrade (unlike WHS 2011 so far, but that is neither here nor there).

Until late last week I have been using the completely free version of Crashplan for my own little "cloud" of backups between my house (WHS and laptop), my office (server and workstation and another backup WHS server), my parents house, and all of my siblings (inbound only from them). As I said, it's been working perfectly and doing exactly what it advertised and I expected. But, I wanted more - the promise of both online backup to "the cloud" and (more importantly) backup sets with different destinations, frequency, etc. was enough to push me to get the 4-year family unlimited plan. $6 a month for unlimited storage from up to 10 machines? Yes, please. So, I went ahead and just added Crashplan Central as a destination for all my machines with their current settings and that continues to chug along, backing up the bits to the 'net.

That's great and all, and undoubtedly what brings most people to the doorstep of companies like Crashplan and mozy and backblaze and others, but I could honestly take it or leave it. I felt comfortable enough with my geographically diverse backup scheme (3 location spread over 20 miles - if some sort of natural disaster could take out all three I probably wouldn't be around to care anyways) that the unlimited online backup wasn't enough to tempt me to pay for the upgrade, but backup sets and control over frequency were. I've largely left my schemes unchanged for the majority of my machines (laptop, mom and dad's computer, workstation at the office, etc.) but the servers have gotten some attention. Namely, I've created 2 levels or sets of backup material with unique contents, destinations, and schedules.

For example, at the office, we have a primary "home" document store where proposals, tracking spreadsheets, etc. and a User My Docs redirect folder that I would like to back up every 15 minutes or so to be able to prevent the "Oops, I just saved over that important spreadsheet that I just spent the entire morning working on and it hasn't been backed up yet because all the backups run overnight" issue (doesn't happen that often, but an entire morning of productivity lost isn't great for business). So, I created a backup set that backs up changes every 15 minutes to both Crashplan central and the local backup server. Both are pretty quick - local server moreso - and I haven't noticed a performance hit in any of the other applications running on the server. The other backup that is run is an overnight set that includes just about everything else on the server including our main dispatch program database (SQL) , exchange store, etc. I also include the aforementioned home drive and user docs backup. That set gets backed up to crashplan central as well as the local backup server, but it additionally goes to my WHS at home as well.

I figure if we have some kind of failure at the office, the fastest way would be to restore from the local server. If there is some kind of disaster that destroys the office, I'll have the copy at home, and if all else fails, Crashplan has my data as well. So, in my mind, offsite to Crashplan central isn't critical, but it's nice to have included along with the Backup sets and ability to control the frequency and locations of my backups.

$6 a month (with 4 year buy) to have all my computers backed up the way I want (local disk, remote computer(s) and cloud) and have unlimited backup to the cloud make Crashplan unbeatable by anything else I've found so far.
i7-3770K | Asus P8Z77-V LK | 8GB DDR3-1600 | HD5850 | 128GB 840 Pro | Samsung F3 1TB | U2412M | Define R4 | Seasonic 520W M12II | Win7 Pro x64.
frumper15
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:29 am

I've been using BackBlaze for a few months now. So far, I'm a happy camper. It does real-time deduped and compressed backups and allows me to throttle the bandwidth used. That meets all my requirements right now. Restores are not quite ideal though. After you pick the files you want to restore, you have to wait for Backblaze to gather them, zip them, and email you a link to download the archive. I'd rather be able to download individual files directly from the restore GUI.
"I take sibling rivalry to the whole next level, if it doesn't require minor sugery or atleast a trip to the ER, you don't love her." - pete_roth
"Yeah, I see why you'd want a good gas whacker then." - VRock
dextrous
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Ooooooooooklahoma

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:38 am

:frumper15

I signed up for the 4 year 10 computer plan as well (plus a Mozy switcher discount, so I paid even less -- a steal in my book!). I still feel it was money well spent, and I only have 3 computers on it, and not a whole lot of data. I haven't gone as far as you and have extra copies elsewhere, but I'm happy to hear that it works as advertised. I probably SHOULD make extra copies on other computers, but I'm being lazy (bad idea when it comes to backups!) and I like the simplicity of it. Maybe I'll put that on my stuff to do this month.....

I hope their business plan is sustainable; I'd hate to have to shop for another provider, and they seem to be a good bargain! Certainly not perfect, but it's good enough for me for home.

I really do wish they could backup some types of files (using VSS, special plugin, I don't care!) such as QuickBooks. If QuickBooks is open, it locks the file, and CrashPlan simply times out (on that file) or just skips it, so it doesn't get backed up. Some files (Office, Outlook, etc) backup fine when open, but I guess other programs have a different type of lock on the file. Some online backup solutions can handle QuickBooks (iDrive is one that I know of), but I'm not as impressed with their product. If CrashPlan could add that functionality I don't think I could ask for much more, except maybe them storing my data in 2 separate data centers (I'd pay 2X as much, if offered as an option!).
Dieter
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:51 am

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:28 pm

Dieter wrote:I really do wish they could backup some types of files (using VSS, special plugin, I don't care!) such as QuickBooks. If QuickBooks is open, it locks the file, and CrashPlan simply times out (on that file) or just skips it, so it doesn't get backed up. Some files (Office, Outlook, etc) backup fine when open, but I guess other programs have a different type of lock on the file. Some online backup solutions can handle QuickBooks (iDrive is one that I know of), but I'm not as impressed with their product. If CrashPlan could add that functionality I don't think I could ask for much more, except maybe them storing my data in 2 separate data centers (I'd pay 2X as much, if offered as an option!).


Hmm...I didn't have our QB file (enterprise solution v9, multi-user mode) in the "constant" backup set only because it is constantly changing (hmm...note to self - rethink backup strategy) and would require a backup every 15 minutes (the interval I have set) to both our local backup server and online - seemed like it would unnecessarily clog up the pipes. However, I went ahead an added that file to the set to test the theory that it would time out or skip it, but it didn't seem to do either - it backed up to the local server rather quickly and currently backing up to Crashplan central. Being the first time, it took all 350ish megabytes to upload - we'll see how long it takes in 15 minutes - should just make the block level changes, in which case I'll probably leave it in the "constant" set - a bit more peace of mind, I suppose and it won't take much more storage space or upload bandwidth either. I'm going to test a restore as well to make sure things are as they seem from the client side. I'll post an update with the results.

I'm not really sure about the 2 separate data centers thing - I thought Crashplan did have multiple data centers (Backblaze only has one, I believe) but as far as I'm concerned, this is a backup and I've already got another "datacenter" at home for another offsite as well.

I guess this is the best answer I can find right now: (from crashplan) "In addition to the security measures built into CrashPlan software, backing up online to CrashPlan Central,our online destination, offers the added protection of a state-of-the-art data storage facility. Your backup is stored in one [emphasis mine] of our data centers located throughout the US and around the world. All our data centers comply with data storage industry standards for secure physical access and up-to-date video surveillance. In addition, power and cooling redundancy guarantees very high availability and resiliency to failure. The facilities themselves protect CrashPlan's infrastructure from physical harm."

It would appear that while they have multiple data centers, your data is only stored in one of them. Time to find a friend or family member you can ship an external drive to and have them be your 2nd "datacenter". I bet they would even be willing to take you up on your $6 a month offer ;) Heck, I would be willing to!
i7-3770K | Asus P8Z77-V LK | 8GB DDR3-1600 | HD5850 | 128GB 840 Pro | Samsung F3 1TB | U2412M | Define R4 | Seasonic 520W M12II | Win7 Pro x64.
frumper15
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:06 pm

frumper15 wrote:Hmm...I didn't have our QB file (enterprise solution v9, multi-user mode) in the "constant" backup set only because it is constantly changing (hmm...note to self - rethink backup strategy) and would require a backup every 15 minutes (the interval I have set) to both our local backup server and online - seemed like it would unnecessarily clog up the pipes. However, I went ahead an added that file to the set to test the theory that it would time out or skip it, but it didn't seem to do either - it backed up to the local server rather quickly and currently backing up to Crashplan central.


I'm just running a single-user instance, which is likely the difference -- good to hear that it works on some version, though! I imagine it will lock the file differently since it's only used locally by a single user. The good news is (at least for the single-user file) it does only backup the changes, so it's a small delta (a few MB) between backups.

Crashplan is able to backup the "associated" files (I don't remember the extensions) that QB creates when it has a file open, but not the .QBW itself. We've just gotten in the habit of closing QB anytime we're away from the computer.

And you're right -- a friend/family member would be the best bet for a secondary backup. I guess I just like knowing that a real datacenter is a 24/7 operation and I don't have to worry about bandwidth or people remembering to leave their computers on. I could easily backup between my systems, but I want some geographic separation, so I don't bother.
Dieter
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:51 am

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Just did a test restore from local backup server to the storage drive on my workstation - other than being prompted to set up a computer to host the file for multi-user access, it appeared to work perfectly. I can confidently say that Crashplan works to backup my Quickbooks company file and restored perfectly. I also just observed the 2nd backup up the same file and it was much quicker both locally and the Crashplan central - it's definitely using block level changes because it backed up the 380mb file in about 30 seconds and barely moved the needle on the 10/100 connection between the two servers.

I'm really very pleased with those results and it makes me think I want to add more into my "continuous" backup set - although at some point I'll make having two different sets redundant, but I'll still be getting my moneys worth from both the online component as well as the ability to make backups as often as 1 minute if I so choose. Just a note on the functionality here - I have 2 destinations for my continuous backup set - a local server and Crashplan central. I would say it takes every bit of 7 minutes or so for each to run, so either adding more destinations or increasing the frequency isn't going to actually net me any more backups - it will just spread the data out more and ensure that a backup is running continuously for what I would consider little gain. If anything I could drop the local backup and add my house as a destination, but they I don't have a nice quick restore for the Oopses (accidental overwrites, deletes, etc) and I get a backup to my house at night when I don't have to worry about hogging bandwidth if the wife and kids are watching netflix or something at home.

Still very happy and plan to recommend to anyone I can as a pain free and affordable (or free) backup solution.
i7-3770K | Asus P8Z77-V LK | 8GB DDR3-1600 | HD5850 | 128GB 840 Pro | Samsung F3 1TB | U2412M | Define R4 | Seasonic 520W M12II | Win7 Pro x64.
frumper15
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:43 pm

Dieter wrote:I'm just running a single-user instance, which is likely the difference -- good to hear that it works on some version, though! I imagine it will lock the file differently since it's only used locally by a single user. The good news is (at least for the single-user file) it does only backup the changes, so it's a small delta (a few MB) between backups.
Crashplan is able to backup the "associated" files (I don't remember the extensions) that QB creates when it has a file open, but not the .QBW itself. We've just gotten in the habit of closing QB anytime we're away from the computer.


Well, I was curious so I just tried to backup the restored copy of our company file that i had on my workstation, so I opened it in Single User mode, added it to my backup set on that machine and watched what happened. The first time it took a while (it is 385mb over a 10/100 connection) so I thought I was successful. Then, I tried to do it again and it didn't appear to backed up. I thought there might not have been a change, so I made a small one to test it. I ran the backup again and it didn't seem to do it again. So, I closed the company and ran backup and this time I saw it backup. I thought you experience was the same I was having, but when I opened it again and ran backup a 4th and 5th time, this time I caught a glimpse of it backing up - I think the change was so small that I just didn't notice it the first couple of times. I checked the restore page on the destination machine and sure enough, I have 5 different versions of my QBW file along with the associated log and whatever that other file is.

I would say that if you're not able to backup your quickbooks file using Crashplan I would take advantage of the tech support included with your Plus subscription. I think that would beat having to constantly close and reopen quickbooks a whole bunch of times. I think it is possible, so I'm not sure what's preventing it from working for you. Different QB version maybe? I know ES uses a different type of database and maybe that's the difference. Hope you get it figured and can share what you find.

EDIT: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/articles/vss Just found this that states that Quickbooks does in fact cause the backup to fail, potentially not all versions, though. So, I guess you're stuck closing and reopening to get a clean backup, which is unfortunate.
i7-3770K | Asus P8Z77-V LK | 8GB DDR3-1600 | HD5850 | 128GB 840 Pro | Samsung F3 1TB | U2412M | Define R4 | Seasonic 520W M12II | Win7 Pro x64.
frumper15
Gerbil Team Leader
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Best Online (offsite) Backup solution?

Postposted on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:01 pm

frumper15 wrote:EDIT: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/articles/vss Just found this that states that Quickbooks does in fact cause the backup to fail, potentially not all versions, though. So, I guess you're stuck closing and reopening to get a clean backup, which is unfortunate.


Wow, thanks for doing all of the research! I found that support article as well, so I knew the behavior I was seeing was expected, and I hope they add it as a feature in the future. We're using QB Accountant's Edition, which is just a glorified Premier/Pro version, so it does use their crappy database. I have no experience with the enterprise version of the product (most enterprise accounting software I've seen is *really* lousy, and I can't imagine QB would be any better, at least with my experience with their single-user products!), and unfortunately I don't think we'll ever be there.

For "regular" QB, the logs will show that it skipped the file, and when you go to restore the file, it's just not there to restore. So it doesn't back it up at all, unless it's closed.

Closing the file and re-opening it is not a huge deal, as Win7 smartcache (or whatever it's called) works pretty well, so it usually opens in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, when switching clients, we use all versions of QB between 2003-2011, so we're switching in and out on a regular basis.

Crashplan isn't perfect, but it's Good Enough[TM]* for me!

* - For home use. Serious business/enterprise use requires a lot more.
Dieter
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:51 am

Previous

Return to Storage

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests