18 March 2007

(unusable) External Storage: Amazon S3 via JungleDisk

Very often I'm tempted to backup my data externally, e.g. with my Webhoster or other companies far away from my home (where fire or robbery could easily get hold of ALL my backup media...)

These days I continued my ongoing quest for reliable and effective external storage: I installed JungleDisk, a very nice frontend to the low-cost Amazon S3 storage service. With only 15US-Cents per month-GB and 20US-Cents per transfer-GB it is within my personally set limits, paid via well-known and proven Amazon.

Sounds like a good start, does it? Installation went smoothly, configuration in a blink of an eye. Once I'd entered my Amazon S3 account info, an additional disk-icon appeared on the desktop.

I dragged a few smaller files onto the drive - and "whoops" they were transmitted. Fine. Still a theory-scenario, as my real backup-sets are pretty big.

First try: iBackup - my favorite tool for USB-drive-based backups. It took a while and iBackup cancelled the backup with the message "not enough space on target". An obvious lie - as Amazon would give me terabytes, if I wanted them... I was still optimistic, as there are stronger weapons lying around.

Second try: rsync, psync and their brother psyncX: Defined a small backup-set of approx 700MB and pushed the "start" button around midnight. Came back early morning, 7h: still 400MB left. I waited a few more hours: Shock: only 30-50MB average upload rate per hour. Definitely not enough for serious work. Then I tried to delete a directory within the remote drive. Deleting took more than 30 minutes. A single directory with approx 100 files in it...

Summary: Really cool application (based on WebDAV) - works find, lousy (upload) performance (here in Cologne, Germany).

No way I can use that kind of backup-mechanism for real backups... I simply don't have that much time to backup... It definitely has to backup approx. 1-10GB per 12hrs. So I'm back to USB drives, which I afterwards carry to friends living far away. Next option: upgrade my webhosting-plan with a few gigs - as plain-old-ftp still works fine.

Update (march 24th): I gave MozyBackup a try, but the Mac-Version kept crashing even before the first backup was completed. The end of my patience is near: I decided to get some decent external USB-drives and deposit them out of my house...


G. Wagner said...

Would be interesting if you could give mozy.com a try. Heard a lot of good things about it but had not yet time to try it myself.

Dr. Gernot Starke said...

Gerhard, thx for your comment. I inquired when Moxy for Mac will be available - answer still pending.

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