I started a project to install a file backup system for my home systems. I have Windows, Linux and Mac systems on my home network with file types ranging from small text files to huge recording sessions. I didn’t want to spend a lot (or any) money on a solution but I recognized the value of the information on my network. If you are operating a business, these same thoughts and motivations should be crossing your mind.
I thought I would start by looking into a third party solution from Amazom called S3. S3 is an example of what is being called Cloud Computing. I must say, the pricing was attractive at less than a dollar per month. I used a free S3 tool to make storage and recovery easier called JetS3t. It is written in Java so it will run on many computers. The downside of this approach is that an Internet connection is required.
Keith Garner mentioned that he used the Amanda system running on a huge (but cheap) USB drive. Amanda can use either tapes or disk divided up as if they were tapes. Files are cached to disk before writing whether you are using real tapes or not. Caching in this manner is commonly found is commercially available (and expensive) backup solutions. Amanda runs the backups for CRT (so I know it has been running reliably for years) and is Open Source software too.
Before setlling on S3, I thought Amanda was worth a look. Earlier in the month, I received a gift card for BestBuy so I purchased a Maxtor 750G USB 2.0 drive which set me back about $100. Configuring Amanda appeared to be difficult, but turned out to be logical and straight forward. Amanda has a great Wiki with good “Howtos”. I didn’t try it, but there is a “HowTo” for S3 if you don’t want to buy a drive.
I have been running for a week now through a nightly “cron job”, and I have been branching out to other computers on my network. I think it will be some time until I max out 3/4 of a Terabyte. Although S3 was cheaper, the USB drive solution works nicely.
Maybe this spring, I’ll look into the Amanda/S3 option. This would be cheap (S3), advanced (Amanda) and would take all of my data off-site.