11 August 2007

Intelligent backup solution

At least I found a backup solution which suits my needs: CrashPlan can either backup to a central server, but (really cool!) also to your other machines... (Mac, PC, Linux!!)

I had it up and running in a few minutes - tried their support (reactive, competent) and had 50GBytes backed up from my Mac to our family-PC (yes, we're still using it...) within a few hours...

Elegant UT - a cool addition to my backup strategy... (20-50 Euro).

Update (Sept 07): I verified the following things to make sure it works as expected:

  • Simple restore of a file or a previous version. Crashplan can keep arbitrary versions :-)

  • Restore from a different machine, so I can restore files even if the original machine is stolen, burnt down, drowned or otherwise unavailable.

  • Asking support questions: The CrashPlan support guys are responsive, friendly and competent. Excellent marks here!


Michael said...

What if it encounters an error on the remote backup machine. Will it check the backup destination? I am asking because in the last year when my machine crashed, I was really optimistic as I had done regular backups on an external USB drive. Unfortunately, the backups were always written to the USB drive without any complaints but in it turned out eventually that the USB drive was faulty.

-- Michael

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the mention and we're glad you're happy with product.


That's a really great question! We were worried about that too. Here is what we do:

1)Destinations automatically verify their archives every night. They do this by simulating a restore, if a problem is discovered, it attempts to heal/recover around the damage (so everything isn't lost.) and notifies the source machine there was a problem.

2)Any problem reaching the destination or using it causes an e-mail to be sent. A follow up e-mail is also sent if problem isn't corrected. User can control when the e-mails go out. (i.e. warn me if problem for 3 days, and again at 5 days)

This way, cheap storage can be used somewhat reliably for a backup! If you have two destinations, you're really really safe. (even if they're both really old drives, what are chances of both failing at same time?)

Hope that helps.

~Matthew / crashplan.com

Dr. Gernot Starke said...

I personally follow the "positiv-example" strategy: Backup everything and restore a few crucial files now-and-then...

That takes up a bit of my time, but gives me a better feeling...

Although I gotta admit that it's ages ago I last checked one of my backup CD's or my external USB drive...

thx for your interest!

marjan said...
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Dr. Gernot Starke said...
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