50 days with Amazon Glacier backup

Amazon Glacier and Arq 3 com­bined allow for off-site com­puter backup solu­tion. In November I posted about my first impres­sions backing up with Amazon Glacier client Arq 3 .  Nearly 2 months in it seems like a good time for an update of my con­tin­uing thoughts on this off-site data backup solu­tion.  You can read more about the ser­vice and my ini­tial setup of the soft­ware in my pre­vious post off-site backup with Amazon Glacier .

Glacier is just like it sounds: S-L-O-W.  The process of uploading my ini­tial com­plete backup is still in process and has been for 50 days, almost con­tin­u­ously.  There are of course lots of fac­tors including my house­hold internet upload speed.  And it is a lot of data, 165GB to date according to Arq.  Although I could have simply pointed Arq at my hard drive to back it all up, I chose to pick and choose what I thought was most crit­ical and incre­men­tally add to my backup.  Based on the time it has taken I strongly rec­om­mend this approach — get the impor­tant data backed up first!

Testing your backup is crit­ical.  I ini­ti­ated a file restora­tion of a backed up 6MB file, which Arq reported I could expect the file to be deliv­ered in 4 hrs.  The file arrived as promised within min­utes of the 4 hours.

Glacier being slow cannot be fairly con­sid­ered a crit­i­cism as it is adver­tised as exactly that: Glacier.  What Amazon is offering is low cost data storage.  To date I have spent less than $10 in fees, the majority being upload transfer charges. For instance for the month of December while pop­u­lating my backup:

81.266 GB $0.81 ($0.010 per GB / month)
76,613 Requests $3.83 ($0.050 per 1,000 requests)

All-in-all I am very happy with the Arq 3 and Amazon Glacier redun­dant cat­a­strophic backup solu­tion.  I’ll con­tinue to run Time Machine as a quick access local backup.

If you missed it I encourage you to read my first post, off-site backup with Amazon Glacier , where you will find my ini­tial impres­sions during setup and the first few days with Arq 3 .

More info on Amazon Glacier 

Down­load Arq 3 

More Infor­ma­tion:
Amazon Glacier: Back Up All Your Data for Pen­nies a Month 
22 Aug 2012 00:17:05 Z
In the press release Amazon also says that Glacier data is intended to last, as in “cen­turies”. While there’s an obvious use case for enter­prise web ser­vices and any dig­ital archiving project, Glacier could also be used as a cheap way to create an …

New Arq 3 Taps Amazon Glacier for Backup Nir­vana
08 Nov 2012 17:26:54 Z
It’s hard to think of a cheaper, better way to create and store an off­site backup of your files. Back when Glacier first launched we spec­u­lated that it would be a per­fect fit for a backup utility like the OS X backup app Arq.

(image via Flickr by kaet44)

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Comments

6 responses to “50 days with Amazon Glacier backup”

  1. clayton says:

    have you ever heard of rsync.net?

    very good
    uses incre­mental backups and can resume dis­con­nected trans­mis­sions

    if you want to save money you can set up your own rsync server using an old tower and save some bucks that way as well.

    cheers

  2. Al says:

    Unless you keep your com­puter on 24/7 anyway, the hidden cost based on what you’re saying is that your com­puter has to always be on and con­suming power in order to upload con­tin­u­ously like that.

  3. stephen b says:

    Yes Al, there is the addi­tional cost to con­sider of keeping a com­puter up and run­ning longer. Over time this has become less of an issue as once the ini­tial backup was done sup­ple­mental backups ran more quickly. ARQ does not need to be left run­ning as you can have it work only when you are using the com­puter. Having said that, if my com­puter was stolen and I lost my recent data because I was con­cerned about a few dol­lars of electricity.…(I will have to edu­cate myself on how many dol­lars!!)

  4. Vasco says:

    Arq 3 uploads at 256kb/s tops!!! I have an internet con­nec­tion of more than 5MB/s. Other apps let you do par­allel uploading but not this one. For that reason I quit using Arq. It doesn’t make any sense to be backing up giga­bytes at a 256kb/s.
    Unless you don’t mind run­ning your PC 24/7 waiting more than 20 days for uploading 500gb

  5. Ankit says:

    Vasco, if arq is slow what do you rec­om­mend ?

  6. Stefan says:

    @Vasco, Arq 4 is faster. It maxes out my ISP’s upload speed of 20 megabits/second to Amazon.

    Also, Arq 4 can back up to SFTP so you could back up to any SFTP server online or on your local net­work (e.g. a Syn­ology NAS).

    (I’m the cre­ator of Arq)

    - Stefan

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