50 days with Amazon Glacier backup

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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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