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Duct Tape Dude
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Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:53 pm

Greetings Gerbils,

I wanted to run a crazy proposition by anyone who can answer yes to the following:
  • Do you need moar backup resiliency?
  • Do you have a device with some unused storage?
  • Is it on most of the time (maybe a few 9's or 8's of uptime)?
  • Would you be up for sharing hard drive space as Crashplan backup targets for fellow Gerbils in exchange for some of theirs?

For those of you unfamiliar with Crashplan, have a look here: https://www.code42.com/crashplan/
tl;dr:
  • It's free to backup to a folder, drive, or friend. You pay iff you want to backup to their cloud.
  • It's relatively secure. Files are compressed and encrypted. You can use your own encryption key if you want, but if you lose it you effectively lose your files too.
  • Friend backup is invite only.
  • Very customizeable down to rate limiting, different backup sets (you can set large, frequently changing files like virtual hard disks to backup less frequently so it actually completes), variable history, etc.

Given that I don't have many friends with a ton of NAS space,but I have a few TB free on my server, I'd be willing to provision some Crashplan space to fellow Gerbils in exchange for letting me backup my files to you. (UPDATE: I am out of space after taking on two gerbils' backups). The ultimate goal is to have "cloud" backup that's cheaper than what Crashplan offers, while still being geographically diverse. Because I ain't paying $400 for 4 years to back up my computers to the cloud when I have a perfectly good server already.

I don't know a good way to orchestrate this so I'm open to suggestions.

I have about 300GB of backup that's growing very slowly so I'd need maybe just 500GB. I'd be willing to donate 2TB of backup in exchange. My server is on 24/7 and I'm behind a 12/2 Mbps DSL connection.

Is anyone interested?
Last edited by Duct Tape Dude on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
adampk17
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:59 pm

I use Crashplan and I'm game to give up some space for an offsite backup.

I currently backup to a couple Crashplan friends so I may not need to back up to you.


*Update* I only have about 90 GB of stuff to backup unless I count my ripped movie archive and then it's waaay to much space to ask for, about 2.1 TB :)
Megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost.

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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:51 pm

Would you happen to have up to an entire 1TB of space to give up? I'm sitting at 580.5GB used at the moment, but that can only grow. 90GB isn't bad at all in comparison! I still have another 500+GB of... very extended movie trailers... leftover from the DC++ days in college. But no sense backing that up :)

Shoot me a PM if you're willing to provision me space--I'll keep the history down to 90 days or so.

My 2TB offer stands for you or anyone else here in need of a target.
 
adampk17
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:06 pm

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Would you happen to have up to an entire 1TB of space to give up? I'm sitting at 580.5GB used at the moment, but that can only grow. 90GB isn't bad at all in comparison! I still have another 500+GB of... very extended movie trailers... leftover from the DC++ days in college. But no sense backing that up :)

Shoot me a PM if you're willing to provision me space--I'll keep the history down to 90 days or so.

My 2TB offer stands for you or anyone else here in need of a target.



PM sent
Megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost.

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Flying Fox
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:16 pm

The bigger problem that most people in US/Canada will have is they cannot share as much traffic capacity as they can share drive space form their home. Thanks to capped connections.
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:23 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Thanks to capped connections.

Ha, I have no data caps! Just a miserable upload speed. :roll:

Luckily Crashplan does incremental backups after the initial set, which helps a lot.
 
frumper15
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:03 pm

I'm a pretty heavy crashplan user and have found the absolute best way to do an initial backup if you can't put the computers on the same physical LAN is to create a backup on an external drive (or copy your current one over works just as well) and then simply attach it at the remote computer. The backup is already encrypted, you can simply copy the whole folder over to another drive or even leave it on the external if that's your thing. Attach the backup through the "Friends" tab and it automagically adds you as friends, adds the backup, syncronizes and you're good to go. You would pay shipping, obviously, but if one person has an extra 1TB or so drive (and who doesn't?) you can ship your data one way, have the other person transfer to their machine, put their own data for the return trip and you get your drive and a backup buddy for the cost of shipping a drive one way each.

Saves a huge amount of downloading/uploading especially if you have a large archive that doesn't change a whole lot. Crashplan offers it for their cloud service but it works just as well for free, too!
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dragmor
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:05 pm

I don't have crash plan and I do have data caps. However my backup strategy is as follows:
- 5TB+ of data with Carbonite (manage my own encryption key).
- A Windows Home Server box in my house which backs up the PC's nightly to 12TB (max storage)
- BitTorrent Sync running between my house and 4 other relatives houses (Its a good way to get the kids photos / videos to the grandparents).

Even with all this, the PC's in my house get shutdown each night and the WHS sleeps 16+hrs a day.
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frumper15
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:52 pm

dragmor wrote:
....- BitTorrent Sync running between my house and 4 other relatives houses ....

I have never heard of this. That sounds very cool for what you're describing. I may just have to try this out. Should save on the upload bandwidth assuming your share the load as soon as another machine at least starts downloading from you (e.g. computer a uploads 100mb of files to computer b. Computer C then downloads 50mb from computer A and 50mb from Computer B to get the same 100mb - or even 100mb from computer B if computer A is unavailable or B to C is a much better connection). Neat.
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dragmor
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:45 am

frumper15 wrote:
dragmor wrote:
....- BitTorrent Sync running between my house and 4 other relatives houses ....

I have never heard of this. That sounds very cool for what you're describing. I may just have to try this out. Should save on the upload bandwidth assuming your share the load as soon as another machine at least starts downloading from you (e.g. computer a uploads 100mb of files to computer b. Computer C then downloads 50mb from computer A and 50mb from Computer B to get the same 100mb - or even 100mb from computer B if computer A is unavailable or B to C is a much better connection). Neat.

http://www.getsync.com/
Yeah, it load shares just like a normal BitTorent download.
I started using it early on, when they were using "secrets" to create shares (can be read only, read/write or write only). Its better now than it was. Also 2.0 is coming out soon with paid for management features (mostly for business).
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PainIs4ThaWeak1
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:26 am

I like this idea. Very much so.

However, and unfortunately, I do not have very much available storage capacity in my current, quite puny, 2.? TB RAID 5 array.

The task of building something new, more suitable/reliable/redundant, has been on my "to-do" list for quite some time now. (That's obviously aside from finding the spare change to actually PAY for what I've been mentally designing.)

However, when I do actually get this proposed storage solution to fruition, I'd be happy to offer several TB of storage for this cause. (Will likely be a ZFS / RAIDZ2 solution w/ 6 multi-TB drives to start.)
 
Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:25 am

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:
The task of building something new, more suitable/reliable/redundant, has been on my "to-do" list for quite some time now. (That's obviously aside from finding the spare change to actually PAY for what I've been mentally designing.)

However, when I do actually get this proposed storage solution to fruition, I'd be happy to offer several TB of storage for this cause. (Will likely be a ZFS / RAIDZ2 solution w/ 6 multi-TB drives to start.)

Make sure to use LVM so you can keep expanding/dynamically rebuild later. I've been trying out ReFS Storage Spaces on Windows 8 and it's working nicely after learning some PowerShell commands. I basically have a heterogeneous RAID-1 with additional block-level ECC built in, and I can just add or remove a drive as I see fit, or move the whole thing to any other Win8 device and it will be recognized. I was using Drive Bender before but it lacked additional ECC, so when some drives started throwing SMART errors some files got corrupted (curse you, NTFS).

dragmor wrote:
- BitTorrent Sync running between my house and 4 other relatives houses (Its a good way to get the kids photos / videos to the grandparents).

Even with all this, the PC's in my house get shutdown each night and the WHS sleeps 16+hrs a day.

BT Sync is one of the greatest things ever invented, but there are so many things it falls short in... notably:
  • You cannot have nested shares (so if I want to sync all my photos from place to place, but share a subfolder with someone, I have to copy it elsewhere first)
  • Unreliable .syncignore (works initially but then stops working later. So I can't sync git repos reliably. Been a problem since 2012)
  • No way to have an encrypted share without resorting to the API, and even then it's not officially supported/doesn't always work
  • I have to restart the Sync client every so often ever since 1.4 because peers will stop seeing that client
It's very much a WIP and I wish it would just work as advertised.

On that note, I do still use BT Sync and if anyone needs an additional Sync target for resiliency I could host that as well! Just keep it to legal content only or encrypt it before it gets to me.
 
Flying Fox
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:19 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:
The task of building something new, more suitable/reliable/redundant, has been on my "to-do" list for quite some time now. (That's obviously aside from finding the spare change to actually PAY for what I've been mentally designing.)

However, when I do actually get this proposed storage solution to fruition, I'd be happy to offer several TB of storage for this cause. (Will likely be a ZFS / RAIDZ2 solution w/ 6 multi-TB drives to start.)

Make sure to use LVM so you can keep expanding/dynamically rebuild later. I've been trying out ReFS Storage Spaces on Windows 8 and it's working nicely after learning some PowerShell commands. I basically have a heterogeneous RAID-1 with additional block-level ECC built in, and I can just add or remove a drive as I see fit, or move the whole thing to any other Win8 device and it will be recognized. I was using Drive Bender before but it lacked additional ECC, so when some drives started throwing SMART errors some files got corrupted (curse you, NTFS).

Quick question, when SS is used with ReFS, that so-called "super slow" integrity check is automatically enabled, right?
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:33 am

Flying Fox wrote:
Quick question, when SS is used with ReFS, that so-called "super slow" integrity check is automatically enabled, right?

By nature of ReFS, yes. ECC is always enabled at a block level just like with some ZFS options, along with atomic COWs (copy-on-write) and several other features. The main difference that I see from ZFS is the RAM usage is completely not there. You don't need to provision gobs of RAM to the ARC or do any tricks to just get it to work well. ZFS is very customizeable though, and Btrfs might be a better comparison in some cases. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012 ... -refs.aspx

With SS there are two types of resiliency you're allowed: Parity and mirror. Parity is abhorrently slow for some reason, so I use 1x mirroring (single drive failure tolerance). I'm able to sustain 50MB/s copying and pasting to the same SS, all using portable 5400rpm HDDs (half on USB 2.0, half on USB 3.0). Burst writes and reads are closer to 200MB/s across 5 drives. There are ways to set up landing zones with SSDs too, I just don't need that since I'm using this for archive/storage.

Basically NTFS is usually faster especially when writing, but I've lost data with NTFS at least three times now due to dying Seagate drives (reallocated sectors). So for archives I'm using ReFS on a SS mirror and I haven't looked back (yet).

/rant
 
Flying Fox
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:49 pm

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Quick question, when SS is used with ReFS, that so-called "super slow" integrity check is automatically enabled, right?

By nature of ReFS, yes. ECC is always enabled at a block level just like with some ZFS options, along with atomic COWs (copy-on-write) and several other features. The main difference that I see from ZFS is the RAM usage is completely not there. You don't need to provision gobs of RAM to the ARC or do any tricks to just get it to work well. ZFS is very customizeable though, and Btrfs might be a better comparison in some cases. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012 ... -refs.aspx
I was talking Integrity Streams, which is supposed to be horrendously slow. My limited google-fu suggested it is automatically enabled on mirrored space but not the others (parity, or no SS and just ReFS?).

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
With SS there are two types of resiliency you're allowed: Parity and mirror. Parity is abhorrently slow for some reason, so I use 1x mirroring (single drive failure tolerance). I'm able to sustain 50MB/s copying and pasting to the same SS, all using portable 5400rpm HDDs (half on USB 2.0, half on USB 3.0). Burst writes and reads are closer to 200MB/s across 5 drives. There are ways to set up landing zones with SSDs too, I just don't need that since I'm using this for archive/storage.
For parity you pretty much need an SSD (or two) as the journal and cache disks in order to improve performance. I will be trying that soon. I will have an used SSD for this purpose soon and I really do not want to pay the space for everything mirrored. For even more performance in an enterprise setting (not just for parity space), you will need to throw more SSDs and enable tiering. :o
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:29 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
I was talking Integrity Streams, which is supposed to be horrendously slow. My limited google-fu suggested it is automatically enabled on mirrored space but not the others (parity, or no SS and just ReFS?).

Ah sorry. I'm not so sure then. I can tell you that all the files on my mirror space have the IntegrityStream flag EXCEPT this .vhdx file I have... very strange. I do have some spare space on my drives, would you like me to run specific benchmarks?
Flying Fox wrote:
For parity you pretty much need an SSD (or two) as the journal and cache disks in order to improve performance. I will be trying that soon. I will have an used SSD for this purpose soon and I really do not want to pay the space for everything mirrored. For even more performance in an enterprise setting (not just for parity space), you will need to throw more SSDs and enable tiering. :o

I've opted for mirroring due to performance and future compatibility (I've heard parity spaces may need to be rebuilt from scratch later and I don't feel like dealing with that). Tiering is a great solution but I don't have that much hardware. Throwing more SSDs at a problem is always the best solution though :)
 
Flying Fox
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
For parity you pretty much need an SSD (or two) as the journal and cache disks in order to improve performance. I will be trying that soon. I will have an used SSD for this purpose soon and I really do not want to pay the space for everything mirrored. For even more performance in an enterprise setting (not just for parity space), you will need to throw more SSDs and enable tiering. :o

I've opted for mirroring due to performance and future compatibility (I've heard parity spaces may need to be rebuilt from scratch later and I don't feel like dealing with that). Tiering is a great solution but I don't have that much hardware. Throwing more SSDs at a problem is always the best solution though :)

Do you have a link? My plan is to use parity space and needing to rebuild later is going to be difficult since that will be my largest storage space. Were you referring to complaints about rebalancing and adding new drives? This guy seemed to think it is ok as long as you watch the usage (in more extreme cases you may just need to move the files around to another pool/drive and put it back to force re-balancing).
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:20 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Do you have a link? My plan is to use parity space and needing to rebuild later is going to be difficult since that will be my largest storage space. Were you referring to complaints about rebalancing and adding new drives? This guy seemed to think it is ok as long as you watch the usage (in more extreme cases you may just need to move the files around to another pool/drive and put it back to force re-balancing).

I feel like I'm going crazy... I cannot find a link for you and this will bug me for a bit. I thought I had read somewhere that in moving from a space from one version of Windows to another (maybe this was just the Win8 CP => RTM?) parity spaces were incompatible and had to be rebuilt, but mirror spaces were fine.

EDIT: FOUND IT: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Fo ... proinstall
Maybe there's less to worry about now since these were prerelease versions of Windows. But now I've got all my data on a mirror space. Great.

As far as rebalancing, I've had success in marking a drive as retired, repairing the pool, then re-adding it. ie: You can force the pool to take ALL files off of a drive. But as you state you have to move files around to get true rebalancing. Very "fragmented" spaces can be optimized like an SSD (via the Disk Optimizer). These nuances haven't bothered me yet.
 
Flying Fox
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:51 pm

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Do you have a link? My plan is to use parity space and needing to rebuild later is going to be difficult since that will be my largest storage space. Were you referring to complaints about rebalancing and adding new drives? This guy seemed to think it is ok as long as you watch the usage (in more extreme cases you may just need to move the files around to another pool/drive and put it back to force re-balancing).

I feel like I'm going crazy... I cannot find a link for you and this will bug me for a bit. I thought I had read somewhere that in moving from a space from one version of Windows to another (maybe this was just the Win8 CP => RTM?) parity spaces were incompatible and had to be rebuilt, but mirror spaces were fine.

EDIT: FOUND IT: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Fo ... proinstall
Maybe there's less to worry about now since these were prerelease versions of Windows. But now I've got all my data on a mirror space. Great.

Oh, I suppose when I am moving from 8.1 to 10 I will have to be prepared to lose the pool. May be they will have something for migration. We will see. I would not mind if they need to be incompatible if it means ReFS makes a major step forward in the next Windows. Keep in mind that NTFS needs to be at around v4 to be decent. We are still looking at ReFS v1.1 today.
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:22 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Oh, I suppose when I am moving from 8.1 to 10 I will have to be prepared to lose the pool. May be they will have something for migration. We will see. I would not mind if they need to be incompatible if it means ReFS makes a major step forward in the next Windows. Keep in mind that NTFS needs to be at around v4 to be decent. We are still looking at ReFS v1.1 today.

That was my chief concern. I hope that by W10 release time the transition will be smooth, but I wasn't going to bank on it when I created the SS. Maybe after W10 is released I'll migrate my drives to parity spaces. I'm stoked for ReFS, I think performance is acceptable and I'm much less afraid of corruption than I was before. NTFS is battle tested but I like me some on-the-fly chkdsk functionality, and the other modern features like atomic COWs are nice too. I'm wary that ReFS hasn't publicized much more progress lately, though.
 
hunkeler1961
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:54 pm

Duct tape dude,

Did you find a taker yet? I just added a 6 TB internal hard drive and have 4.29 TB free of 5.45 TB. I backup to Crashplan central and to this internal hard drive (separate from my data drive, also internal). I also have a close friend that backs up to the new drive but I would like to have have a second external backup for redundancy for my data. I have the old portable 1 TB drive that could be used for seeding the backups. My backup is about 861 GB and does not grow too quickly. Largest growth is when I save photos.

Speedtest shows download speed of 23 Mbps and upload speed of 2 Mbps. Location: Carlsbad, CA, USA.

Let me know please.

Cheers,
Chris
 
Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:36 pm

hunkeler1961 wrote:
Duct tape dude,

Did you find a taker yet? I just added a 6 TB internal hard drive and have 4.29 TB free of 5.45 TB. I backup to Crashplan central and to this internal hard drive (separate from my data drive, also internal). I also have a close friend that backs up to the new drive but I would like to have have a second external backup for redundancy for my data. I have the old portable 1 TB drive that could be used for seeding the backups. My backup is about 861 GB and does not grow too quickly. Largest growth is when I save photos.

Speedtest shows download speed of 23 Mbps and upload speed of 2 Mbps. Location: Carlsbad, CA, USA.

Let me know please.

Cheers,
Chris
Hello Chris, I actually did find a taker and due to my terrible upload speeds it's actually still uploading... It might take a lifetime to upload but I'm open to more targets. My download speeds are ok though, and I think I can provision 1TB for you. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.
 
PainIs4ThaWeak1
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:47 pm

Just wanted to keep you all in the loop in where I am with my progress towards my own new storage architecture.

Obviously, I had initially planned on 6 (IIRC) 4TB spindles running FreeNAS under VirtualBox. I've since decided against virtualizing this instance, and instead putting it on a physical box.
Near the same time, I found myself needing to pull the trigger sooner, rather than later, on hardware to support this endeavor, as I was nearing too close to the storage capacity of my current solution.

So, I've ended up having to negotiate with my wallet due to timing, and purchased 4x 4TB NAS spindles, which will be configured in a pair of mirrors (8TB usable.) (I may take two existing 1TB spindles to make a third vdev, or new pool [undecided ATM] configured as a mirror as well.) Roughly 3TB of this new storage pool will be used for my current data. My growth rate isn't very great, so once I get familiar with the in's and out's of FreeNAS / FreeBSD, I should be able to offer ~2TB to this cause.
 
MarkG509
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Here's my suggestion: The Tech Report offers subscribers the ability to buy them hard-disks (or SSDs (even though we know TR rather enjoys killing SSDs)) plus pay for whatever bandwidth (and electricity) the subscriber uses. They stand up these drives via Crashplan (or even ownCloud (which works very well for me personally)). In other words, sort of a "Data Cloud Club for TR subscribers, not too unlike folding, Fantasy *Ball, etc..

Once it's off the ground, prices per GB per year build in a 5% (maybe 10%) profit that TR uses to fund the rest of its day-to-day operations. I'd be in, if I could do client-side encryption, where I hold the only keys.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:40 pm

TR migrated to a commercial cloud-based hosting solution last summer, so they are no longer leasing physical rack space in a co-lo center. Or were you thinking one of the members of TR's staff would host the storage farm from their home?
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:47 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TR migrated to a commercial cloud-based hosting solution last summer, so they are no longer leasing physical rack space in a co-lo center. Or were you thinking one of the members of TR's staff would host the storage farm from their home?

Tell ya what. When I win Powerball and build the new house, I'll have backbone-grade service and will gladly host a farm. Might even host TR for free if I could find redundant backbone providers up here.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
MarkG509
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Re: Crashplan: Gerbil Backup Targets

Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:13 pm

just brew it! wrote:
TR migrated to a commercial cloud-based hosting solution last summer, so they are no longer leasing physical rack space in a co-lo center.
I didn't realize this. Another site I frequent went the other way (moved from cloud to co-lo) and actually saved money, and seem to have had fun doing so. They did a whole series of articles from planning to implementation, and included detailed costs/benefits analysis.

just brew it! wrote:
Or were you thinking one of the members of TR's staff would host the storage farm from their home?
The whole idea of the cloud is that we aren't 'spozed to care where it's located, once costs are driven down to acceptable levels. But, yes, even if the proposed "TR Data Cloud for Subscribers" needed to pay for someone's time to maintain it.

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