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Thread: Storing backups in Clouds

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Storing backups in Clouds

    Okay, Donald is starting to embrace the modern world.

    I've been exploring backing up my files to a cloud. The one I like the look of is Zoolz (cost, ease of use, etc). I'm on the trial at the moment, but hoped to move on to buying unlimited cold storage space.

    But ......... and it seems to be a very big but! Upload Speeds.

    My 'normal' upload speed, whenever I run a test is somewhere about 0.3 to 0.4 Mbps.

    Well, I've configured the Zoolz Dashboard and Settings page with every option I can find to maximise bandwidth use, to have it run when the computer is otherwise idle, etc. But at this rate it's going to take me months to upload the stuff. After something like 15/16 hours of running (I don't run it when I'm doing things like typing this) I'm only about 2% the way through. Each Raw (.CR2) file is taking about 30/40 minutes to upload.

    And that seems to be to be completely untenable. God knows how long the TIFFs will take once it starts on those.

    Can anyone enlighten me. I can't think that home use of clouds for backup is going to work if this is the reality of uploading. On that basis, I assume I'm not getting something right.

    Please help.

    Frustrated and disappointed,
    Glenfarg.
    Last edited by Donald; 25th September 2013 at 07:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    You have my sympathy Donald, but it would appear to be a common problem where the broadband service is less than satisfactory. Much publicity is given to download speeds but very little to the upload equivalent. I was amazed to find that I enjoy approx 15 to 16 Mbps which has made such a difference to uploading websites etc., whereas my son who also achieves 60+ download speeds only gets between 1 and 2 Mbps.
    A colleague of mine decided to use the cloud based storage offered by his bank for his several businesses. He gave up after a very meagre percentage of his data had been uploaded after 24 hours.
    I really do think that ISPs should state clearly the upload speeds as well as the mouthwatering download speeds available. It certainly takes the edge of a cloud based storage system.

  3. #3

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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    The "A" in "ADSL" stands for Asymmetric, unfortunately.

    Check your plan Donald; 256kb/s is very common for cheap plans, but often other plans will offer upload speeds in the order of 2mb/s (8 times faster). Quite a few variables though, like if the circuit is copper or fibre, cost, distance from the exchange.

    My personal suggestion would be to backup everything to a couple of external drives - keep one off site most of the time - and just upload full res JPEGs of finished photos to the cloud as a "last ditch effort".

    I upload about 250MB in around 50 minutes - works well for landscape where only "the chosen one" is turned into a finished product ... I don't upload all the "non-keepers" to the cloud. I use Google Drive by the way -- just through the web interface.

  4. #4
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Hi Donald,

    When I was in Mexico with a slower internet plan (small town) it took about 4 weeks for all my photos to be backed up to a cloud with my computer running 24/7 (1.5 TB). Nevertheless I'm glad I was patient because now I have the peace of mind of having my photos backed up on a cloud and an external hard drive.

    Here in Vancouver, my cloud back up is pretty speedy.

    For anyone that is interested for a cloud back up I use

    http://www.backup500.com/

    Provided through Tom Barrington of the Computer Store in Puerto Vallarta. It costs me about $60 CAD per year, and Tom still helps me with all my computer woes and backups (remotely and through calls), and the service provided is always above and beyond. I can't say enough to recommend Tom. He even built my desktop computer which I brought to Canada with me.

    Tom Barrington
    The Computer Store
    Guayana 153, Esq con Cuba
    Col Lazaro Cardenas
    Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
    Tel: (322) 223-2939
    Email: tcs.tom@gmail.com
    http://www.computerstorepv.com/

  5. #5
    mastamak's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    if you have no need to access your data from many different sites or from the field I cannot see what advantage there is in backing up to the Cloud, particularly with the usual slow upload speeds of ADSL. I backup to one external drive concurrently when importing into Lightroom then once a week I do an incremental copy to a second external drive using FolderClone. If security is an issue store one backup off-site. For business purposes I can see advantages in Cloud storage of data where different individuals need mobile access to the same data. But for home use I reckon external drives are cheaper, faster and more practical.
    Grant

  6. #6
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Donald,

    As other have said, your upload speed is too slow to do this comfortably, even though a good program, like Crashplan, will run silently in the background.

    Re Grant's comment: I personally think that it is essential that one backup be offsite. The probability that two local backups will be damaged is low, but it is not zero. The probability of my house being destroyed by fire is far lower (because other things besides fires could damage two local backups), but I wouldn't think of going without fire insurance. The cost of that remote possibility is just too high.

    I can use online backups because I have fiber-optic service with high upload speeds (~30Mbps), but before I settled on that, my plan was to use two external drives, one of which I would from time to time fetch from a second location and update. That would be a bit of a pain, but it might be sufficient.

    Dan

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    I have fiber-optic service with high upload speeds (~30Mbps),
    I want to live there!

    Until home-broadband services in the UK match up to what happens in some other parts of the world, I'll just stick with the hard disk backup option. Just paid the licence to upgrade from the free Genie Timeline package I had been using. Now feeling much more in control in terms of being able to better manage my backups.

    Thank to all the above for the very helpful guidance.

  8. #8
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Hey, Donald -

    Just move to the the States and sign up for Internet with your cable TV provider. I also have >30Mbps (usually it's 50 unless my neigbhor is going nuts). Overnight, I can back up a day's worth of photography, approximately 16GB including RAW, TIFF (generally both of these are approximately the same total volume) and JPG thumbnails which I make from the TIFFs because the color fidelity is SOOOOOO much better. So what I usually do is as soon as I get to my camp or my hotel room, I start the computer off making my directories (a .bat program that takes less than 30 seconds to run, regardless of the total size of the images) followed by building another program that runs the RAW to TIFF conversions immediately after it finishes building itself. That's about 15 seconds. And then, it runs the conversion software which typically takes an hour for every 75 RAW images it converts. That's when I eat dinner. ;~) When the conversions are finished, the second program puts each group of images in the appropriate directories. Before I go to bed, I check to be sure all the conversions worked properly and finish any leftover email. Then, on my way to bed, I start the upload of everything from that day to my server (functionally in this case same as the cloud). When I wake up in the morning, the uploads are finished and I can reformat the camera's memory stick and start all over again.

    It took me about 3 hours to write the two programs that build the two programs (one to build a directory structure for that days work and one to run all the conversions and put all the images in the correct directory in my computer). If anybody's interested and would like to see the programs, PM me and I'll give you the URI on my server where I've put copies of the programs along with instructions for running them. I use dates, for example, 20130925 for today, as my directory names so it should be easy for you to change that if you want.

    Hope this helps; and when you decide to move to the States, Donald, remember to bring money! ;~)

    virginia

  9. #9
    gaijin's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Anyway, backing up to the Cloud isn't the panacea - it may turn out to be cloud cuckoo land because the company you choose may go out of business. Well, perhaps not Google, Microsoft, and some others, but even they may decide they're not making enough money out of it and close the service down. Unlikely perhaps... Of course you could always back up your Cloud by choosing 2 service providers...

  10. #10

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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by mastamak View Post
    if you have no need to access your data from many different sites or from the field I cannot see what advantage there is in backing up to the Cloud, particularly with the usual slow upload speeds of ADSL. I backup to one external drive concurrently when importing into Lightroom then once a week I do an incremental copy to a second external drive using FolderClone. If security is an issue store one backup off-site. For business purposes I can see advantages in Cloud storage of data where different individuals need mobile access to the same data. But for home use I reckon external drives are cheaper, faster and more practical.
    Grant
    Hi Grant,

    I'm not disagreeing with you, but, the biggest advantage of the cloud (for big providers anyway) (and for me anyway) is the physical separation of the data; if ever there is a time when you have your two drives connected to your PC (or even in the same building) then you have a risk (if connected then from power surge, virus, mistake etc) (and if in the same building then from natural disaster, fire, theft etc).

    But as you rightly point out, upload speeds are currently the bottleneck; when we get LAN type upload speeds then it's "game over" for local storage.

    Personally, I use both external drives and cloud storage.

  11. #11
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Try a three dongle, check service first to ensure your covered by googling three and coverage. You can then use the dongle in any PC.

    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/2991903362

  12. #12
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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    it may turn out to be cloud cuckoo land because the company you choose may go out of business.
    The only risk if this happens is that your primary storage and onsite backup both fail before you have time to start a new online service. Not a zero risk, but certainly remote.

  13. #13

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    Re: Storing backups in Clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    The only risk if this happens is that your primary storage and onsite backup both fail before you have time to start a new online service. Not a zero risk, but certainly remote.
    Can be more risky than people think because they usually never check their historic primary data; they think it's safe - cloud "fails" and only then do they discover that their primary data "isn't working right".

    Not a biggie (best practice is to always have at least 3 copies), but something to think about.

    Data backup in a "failure is not an option" scenario is actually quite a bit trickier than people realize (imagine a bank permanently losing account data)

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