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)



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.


  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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