I've been backing up my home data to a Drobo 5N NAS for a few years now, but never felt fully comfortable about the idea that if my home were to burn down, that data would be gone.
I messed around with CrashPlan before, thinking I would take advantage of the unlimited space but I think they stopped offering that. Also I wasn't able to get the headless agent on the machine and the steps were just a little too inelegant/homegrown/unsupported. Still, at the time it was the only option and I figured I'd get to it eventually when I had time.
On a whim, I started researching alternatives this holiday and I'm glad I did. Within a day, I had a better, much more elegant solution that came in the form of Arq Backup. Combined with the low cost of Amazon Glacier whose pricing model and design fit my needs completely (ie., I only need to retrieve my data if my house explodes and I'm still alive), this really provided me with the exact solution I'm looking for. All for a one-time upload cost of about $50 and a per-month cost of $2.40 for 600GB of data. (Check out this calculator I made to figure out what your cost might be)
Here's how my backups work.
I have things on many devices around my home and in my mobile devices. As soon as I enter my home, I can connect to the network and store these files on the Drobo 5N. Here are a few ways I do that:
So copies of my files are on my various devices for immediate access, and on the Drobo 5N as a backup. What about if the house burns down?
I currently have Arq Backup encrypting and copying all the files on my Drobo 5N to an S3 bucket in the Amazon cloud, and setting the lifecycle policy of that S3 bucket to make it a Glacier bucket. For the uninitiated (ie., me just a few weeks ago), what this means is:
For 600GB of data, this is probably going to take 60-100 days because we have slow-as-molasses Internet, it takes up all the bandwidth when it's doing its thing, and so I can only do it from about 11pm - 7am every day. Which is fine. This is just the initial time investment before I can get to the point where everything is just incremental backups of infrequent files and photos.
I also tried restoring one file from Amazon Glacier, and it worked like a charm. So this helped ease my mind.
This remains to be seen in fact, but theoretically this setup is also future-proof. I had a concern about how Arq Backup is encrypting my data. If Arq Backup goes kaput one day, and I somehow lose the computer that I have it on and it's difficult to get another copy of Arq, how will I retrieve and decrypt the nonsensical data that is on Amazon Glacier?
The creator of Arq put my mind at ease on this front. He said the encryption algorithm used is open source, and that there exists an Arq Restore command-line utility which is also open source that will be able to retrieve files. So I really only need a Linux distribution that can run this command-line tool and I will be able to access what I need. Given everything Amazon doesn't blow up as well.
So, I'm pretty happy. This is better than what I had before, and got something off my to-do list!
COPYRIGHT © 2019 BY JESSICA CHAN