Why am I so turned off by online backups? Well I’m not entirely turned off, I use http://filesanywhere.com to backup my personal workstation. Here are some things that bother me:
- special files – The performance of online backups relies on being able to perform incremental backups (and compress these?). But some special files are problematic to incrementally backup: SQL & MS Access databases, Exchange Information Stores, Outlook PST files, Active Directory, etc. Of course I trust Backup Exec to perform incremental backups of databases and information stores, but many online services don’t even offer that feature.
- Ok, let’s say that you have to restore EVERYTHING. How long will that take? Say you have 150 GB of data and a T1. (Is it over 13 hours at the theoretical maximum? T1 = 1.5 megabits per second /8 = 187 megaBYTEs per second, 150,000 MB / 187 MBps /60 = ~13 hours. But when do we ever get full 1.5 mbps transfer rates? 1.2 is probably more realistic so > 16 hours.) Of course that probably does compare with other off-site solutions like sending tapes to Iron Mountain…
Well, everyone keeps talking about http://mozy.com and they claim to be able to backup all of these special files and they can overnight a DVD in the event of a full restore scenario. So I guess that I just need to get an account and do some intense testing. (Of course General Electric is already using it for client backups, so who am I to question them? :-))
- One problem is that for clients with very large data sets, this gets really pricey. Mozy charges $1.75/GB so 500 GB of data is $875 a month! We can do it by hand to tape at an hourly rate and use Iron Mountain for cheaper than that.
- I might look into idrive.com which is much cheaper ($49.95 for 500 GB) but they don’t advertise exchange or sql backups.
- ibackup.com claims to do exchange and SQL for about $1/GB, but do they have the high-profile clients that mozy can boast?