Remote Backup Storage Solution

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Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 11:43 am

Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of setting up some remote storage for my PC. I have a 2TB "Archive" drive that contains old photos, videos, etc. that I want to have backed up at an offsite location 80 miles away. All I need to happen is for the remote device to make an identical copy of the main drive, plus archive deleted files for a certain amount of time.

I've thought of using a small PC, but for a drive that is at best a last-resort measure, it's a waste of energy to have it running 24/7. I've looked at NAS devices, but they all seem extremely expensive for what I need to do. I've also checked out external hard drives with network connectivity, but I see tales of the device breaking down over time or running extremely slow. My plan would be to pre-load most of the files, so a slow network connection would not be a deal-breaker since after the initial backup the incremental changes will be small.

I've also thought it hooking up something like a Raspberry Pi to an external hard drive (when they are more available). Is there a better option or something I have missed?
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themattman
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 11:53 am

themattman wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of setting up some remote storage for my PC. I have a 2TB "Archive" drive that contains old photos, videos, etc. that I want to have backed up at an offsite location 80 miles away. All I need to happen is for the remote device to make an identical copy of the main drive, plus archive deleted files for a certain amount of time.

I've thought of using a small PC, but for a drive that is at best a last-resort measure, it's a waste of energy to have it running 24/7. I've looked at NAS devices, but they all seem extremely expensive for what I need to do. I've also checked out external hard drives with network connectivity, but I see tales of the device breaking down over time or running extremely slow. My plan would be to pre-load most of the files, so a slow network connection would not be a deal-breaker since after the initial backup the incremental changes will be small.

I've also thought it hooking up something like a Raspberry Pi to an external hard drive (when they are more available). Is there a better option or something I have missed?



One option: Cheap PC + Wake-on-Lan support where you can wake up the PC prior to the backup, do the backup, and then put it back into low-power sleep mode. As a reference point, I have an Atom box that I use for online network storage over multiple gigabit links and it is plenty fast for that purpose.

On the software side, I am assuming you are using something like rsync or another backup solution that uses incremental to do the backups in a sane way? You could setup a cron job that wakes up the server, does the backup, and then puts the server back to sleep to keep the power usage reasonable.
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 11:59 am

If doing your own thing is too much trouble (it's actually not that difficult) then you could try some of the many backup services out there, like Crashplan or Carbonite.

However, setting up FreeNAS or a straight up Linux box on cheap hardware would work too. If you are like me and have drives laying around or old hardware use that.
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 8:16 pm

Currently I am using SyncToy 2.1 from Microsoft to backup files to another computer:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15155

It's exactly what I want and works with Windows 7.

On the Mac side (I have a MBP 13) I use Carbon Copy Cloner onto an external drive...but that's another story.

I currently use Crashplan for my parent's computers, and it works great since they do not have as much data to backup.

I would do an atom system, but I can't seem to find a good system under $200, and it seems a bit much if I could get a networked hard drive only.
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Sun May 20, 2012 8:54 pm

themattman wrote:I would do an atom system, but I can't seem to find a good system under $200, and it seems a bit much if I could get a networked hard drive only.


At that level I would go Brazos, Semprons, or Celerons. You could build a system using any of those and stay under that 200 mark.

Just browsing there was this barebones system:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119057
Which gives you a full system. All you would need would be hard drives and memory.
$104

You can start out with this for storage (unfortunately hard drive prices are high):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181
$79

Here's your memory:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148194
$16.99

Total: $199.99
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Mon May 21, 2012 2:13 pm

I'm assuming you're going to have an internet connection at this remote location - is this someone else's home or business? Is there already a computer there? If so, I would recommend Crashplan running on a computer (could be dedicated, certainly doesn't have to be) and you can attach the 2TB drive you say you already have that you've seeded with your data at home, so the only data that would have to go over the wire would be incremental changes (crashplan does block level, so larger files still only need to transmit any changes made, not the whole thing again in most cases). I use this method at home/work at it's wonderful. Depending how critical this data is I would recommend another offsite location, maybe not 80 miles away, especially if this is going to be an unattended setup. I personally use a machine at work and my parents house as my offsite backup (along with crashplan central) so that if there is an internet or hardware problem at either location I don't have to rush over because my only offsite back up down. Maybe you can prioritize data that needs to be backed up more frequently (pictures, documents, etc) and stuff that won't change but you would be sad to lose. I guess I'm saying I don't know that you need 2tb of data backed up two different places, but maybe you have a few hundred gigs you want more backed up and 1.5tb you want backed up at least a single place.

Another reason i would suggest crashplan is that it stores the data in encrypted form (along with retaining deleted/changed files for as long as you want) so that if it's a shared location or computer or if it's just sitting by itself 80 miles away, I don't think you want 2tb of your data (that you think enough of to backup) sitting in the clear on an easily transportable medium. If you have the time, rather than rehash it here, I spent entirely too much time talking about crashplan here:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=75326&hilit=crashplan
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Re: Remote Backup Storage Solution

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 8:08 pm

Are you able to backup multiple computers via Crashplan to one PC? I was not able to see anything the last time I checked. I would want to backup each computer to separate backup drives on the host PC.
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