For a while now I have been using online backup for both our online windows web server, office file server and home desktop. I’ve used a range of products from the very cheap Carbonite to the reasonably priced MozyPro and now the new comer JungleDisk.
Why use online backup?
Our web server has been using mozypro for about a year now to host our clients web sites, as our hosting company still doesn’t offer their own backup solution.
Obviously backup of our databases and files is essential to ensure the safety of our clients data and websites so having a reliable and fast backup solution is essential. However remotely managing a tape backup solution, or paying a 3rd party to do this can be expensive, and getting data from tapes can take forever.
This is where internet backup solutions have become a sensible cost effective solution, files are remotely backed up and can be quickly and easily restore remotely with a few clicks.
As I said we are currently using MozyPro for our online windows web server backups. We backup about 12GB of data, with around 1GB file transfer a day and it costs around $120 USD per year. You basically pay Mozy for the disk space you use, there is no charge for setup or transfer of data.
MozyPro installs a windows client which you use to select the files you wanted backed up, when and how to back them up and various other options for encryption and alerts. The features we really use are:
- Scheduling backups to run at non peak traffic times
- Throttling bandwidth during peak times (used if backups are still running during peak times)
- Bit level changes – it only backups the part of the file you have changed
- Simple install and setup
- Simple pricing structure and purchasing, expanding storage is pretty easy too
- It “feels” like a single solution for backup
- Can handle backup of sql databases using VSS
- Nice online admin area for checking backup status, clients, billing and restoring files
- If you have a large collection of files to backup the configuration client takes ages to load and you see this for at least 5 mins:
MozyPro have suggested ways to reduce this but I just don’t see why it shouldn’t work out of the box
- For a European user, like us, the speed of uploads and downloads is not great. Im not aware of Mozy having an European data centres.
- Backups just sometimes seem to hang and don’t work again without a reboot
- No support for archiving backups (only available in enterprise which is an entirely different product)
- Its not badly priced but could be cheaper
JungleDisk have a very different business model to MozyPro, and the other online providers. They basically just sell you the backup software ($20 USD) and then you use (and pay separately) Amazons AWS online storage system to actually store your backups.
At first this seems a bit strange, and a step back from MozyPro, but once you look into it more things make a bit more sense. Essentially rather than creating their own storage system and having all the nightmares of supporting it JungleDisk are using the incredibly well designed and supported Amazon AWS system.
We have been using JungleDisk on our office fileserver for about 3 months.
- Its cheaper than MozyPro, we backup 40GB total (about 1GB transferred per day) for $13 USD per month ($130 per year) so half the price of MozyPro
- Its faster to transfer files than MozyPro as Amazon have a European data centre
- You can use multiple data centres for ultra redundancy
- The backup client software is quick to load and easy to use
- Supports configurable archive backups allowing you to keep more than one version of a backed up file
- Its never hung once during backup
- Also supports backup of SQL with VSS
- Its not a “single solution” as it involved 2 companies which may make support more tricky
- The Amazon AWS pricing structure is really complicated with charges for storage, transfer and querying the data. This can initially be daunting when working out your monthly costs
- Bit level changes – these are available (in selected data centres) as an extra called JungleDisk plus for $1 per month, would be simpler if just always included but I guess this gives extra flexibility if you don’t need it.
- Overall its just not a simple a solution, but does give the ultimate in flexibility
And the winner is….
Obviously this is not a simple competition and there are good reasons for using both solutions and I’d recommend you trying both for yourself before deciding.
Overall we will probably be moving all our backups to JungleDisk unless we find a new hosting provider with a better local backup solution. The main reasons are speed of transfers, reliability and value for money.