Cloud Storage

For chat about everything, from the world of gadgets, to improving your home theatre setup.

Moderators: DreamensioN, Splash

User avatar
tipper
male housemaid
Posts: 2842
Joined: Thu 03 Jul, 2003 5:48 pm
Location: Brisbane

Cloud Storage

Post by tipper » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 9:15 pm

I am looking for a cost effective way of storing about 100 GB in the clouds! Dropbox is great but costly when you have to buy it but the access via PC, Mac and iPhone is very handy. what other options do i have with easy iPhone access also?

User avatar
DreamensioN
4000RPM
Posts: 4988
Joined: Thu 13 Nov, 2003 5:12 pm
Drives: Golf R
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by DreamensioN » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 9:55 pm

Software dev I know uses this for his company.
http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

Looking at their pricing - it would cost around $12.50US per month for 100Gb.

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 11:23 am

Amazon S3 is the underlying storage service for services/applications/websites like dropbox, tumblr and smugmug. As I understand it, its a by-product of amazon's own processing and storage needs.

As cheap as S3 is (at least on the surface), I think its going to be a bit too low level for tim's requirements. Dropbox is not that much more expensive ($200USD/yr for 100gb which ends up being ~$17USD/month), and provides all the nice/easy/simple/supported interfaces and applications that tim needs. Personally, I would pay the extra through dropbox, and let someone else worry about managing the service for me. It's the difference between buying your own computer hardware, installing an os, and configuring it all yourself - or walking into the apple store and walking out 5 minutes later with a product that only requires to press the power button to start using it. You might pay a premium, but you know what you are getting.

There are other free/cheap storage services on the web (skydrive, box.net, syncplicity, sugarsync), each with their own pro's and con's (box.net is aimed more at corporate with multi-user accounts although their service doesnt seem as good as dropbox, sugarsync has good features, but you must be online to use it, skydrive is tightly integrated with microsoft (for better or worse), some will have max file sizes, better app support, etc, etc, etc. One thing dropbox doesnt do well is multiple people editing the same file at the same time.

Good gizmodo article on dropbox and its pros/cons: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/04/how-t ... work-tool/

REALLY good article on cloud storage: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/the-b ... the-cloud/

Cliffs: IMHO - Pay for dropbox.

User avatar
Splash
pants
Posts: 3765
Joined: Wed 04 Sep, 2002 8:51 pm
Drives: with eyes closed
Location: Gympie
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by Splash » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 1:25 pm

the other issue is, how fast is the upload on your internet connection?

100GB will take a loooong time to upload with ADSL2
Image

Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world's population

User avatar
tipper
male housemaid
Posts: 2842
Joined: Thu 03 Jul, 2003 5:48 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by tipper » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 1:35 pm

I was hoping to backup my 64GB MBA to it and then do a backup like timemachine where it would only change what needed to so it would be fast.

the balance of the 100GB can just be used for storage.

I bought a 64GB USB stick to backup and this looks to be the cheapest option overall.

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 2:27 pm

Dropbox will only update the files you have changed, but that will still be a slow process. I'm with splash on this, uploading a file is always going to be a much slower process than downloading a file - on a typical 1mbit/s ADSL2+ connection, 100mbytes of updated files are going to take ~13minutes to complete (at best). Thats assuming you're not doing anything else on the internet at the same time (the upload link on your adsl is vital for flow control information for anything being downloaded). Assuming you've got 50gb in dropbox, the initial update is going to take 5 days in ideal conditions.

I'm not a fan of usb sticks for backup, by their nature they are portable and convenient, which makes them easy to lose and misplace, or stolen. I could tolerate losing a usb stick with some pace notes on it, but anything with account information or names on it is asking for identity theft. I still think that a USB stick would be a good backup medium for the MBA, but I'd be leaving the USB stick at home in a secure place.

Work out exactly how much information you need to backup off your MBA. Take out operating system and application/program files (they can be reproduced, or restored from the USB stick at home), music/movies/videos/photos (keep a backup on your htpc), and anything that you can redownload/resource/recopy from somewhere else (eg PDF files you can download from the internet, apps/music from itunes), and work out what your actual online backup requirements are. If you're looking to backup email, personal office files (.doc, .xls, etc) and things like itunes, then I doubt you'll need more than a few gb. Checkout my dropbox thread for how to get an easy 5 gb (2gb initial + 3gb (was 5gb) for signing up to their beta), and I reckon it will go a long way to getting your backup sorted.

User avatar
dan
argument inc
Posts: 6154
Joined: Wed 08 May, 2002 5:46 pm
Drives: German's mum........
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by dan » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 4:30 pm

i use amazon s3 for almost exactly what you want to do tim... it is good.

i back up all my photos, documents, home pornos, user profile, etc etc which total about 71gb. it costs about us$9/mo (billed per mb) for the storage space, plus us$2/mo for the jungledisk client i use to automate the upload process for me. it works flawlessly. i am a little so/so about the cost, but realistically the savings would only be ~$3/mo and it's not worth the fscking around. it has already saved my arse (in a big way) once, so i consider it something worth paying for.

alternatives are mozy.com or crashplan.com

i haven't used mozy.com, but i use crashplan to make backups between my machines at home. so my laptop backs up to both my desktop PC and HTPC, and my desktop also backs up to the HTPC, creating a local backups. this works flawlessly and is free. this means that i'd really only use the amazon/jungledisk backup if someone broke into my house and stole all 3 computers, or if my house burnt down, or whatever. but i reckon it's still worth paying for amazon/jungledisk just for that.

bear in mind that the upload times for cloud storage are pretty amazing. i think it took me a month to make my initial backup. with amazon you pay for both storage *and* transfers, so the initial upload will cost you a few extra dollars.
camo means mogg, and mogg means business

User avatar
dorift
I love lamp
Posts: 8251
Joined: Mon 24 Jun, 2002 8:21 pm
Drives: Toyota Hilux Diablo
Location: Not near you
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by dorift » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 5:58 pm

Hmm.. I need to think about this stuff too.
Got a lot of photos built up and knowing my luck it'll get lost.
89 Corolla SX
90 Pulsar GTiR
95 Barina GSi
98 200sx
04 Forester XT
99 Hilux ute (woohoo!)

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 6:10 pm

dan wrote:plus us$2/mo for the jungledisk client i use to automate the upload process for me.

I didnt know you could do that, neato!

User avatar
dan
argument inc
Posts: 6154
Joined: Wed 08 May, 2002 5:46 pm
Drives: German's mum........
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by dan » Tue 06 Mar, 2012 12:32 pm

graham i think telstra give you a free/discounted mozy.com account. worth looking into.
camo means mogg, and mogg means business

User avatar
dorift
I love lamp
Posts: 8251
Joined: Mon 24 Jun, 2002 8:21 pm
Drives: Toyota Hilux Diablo
Location: Not near you
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by dorift » Tue 06 Mar, 2012 7:53 pm

Cheers for the headsup. Assume it'd be outside my cap too. Heres hoping.
89 Corolla SX
90 Pulsar GTiR
95 Barina GSi
98 200sx
04 Forester XT
99 Hilux ute (woohoo!)

User avatar
DreamensioN
4000RPM
Posts: 4988
Joined: Thu 13 Nov, 2003 5:12 pm
Drives: Golf R
Location: Brisbane
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by DreamensioN » Fri 09 Mar, 2012 9:45 am

It's not a backup, unless it's an offsite backup.

In saying that, I really need to move my ultra important stuff offsite into a data center somewhere.

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Wed 06 Feb, 2013 3:29 pm

New player in the market - Bitcasa - http://bitcasa.com/

Unlimited storage for $10/mth, $69/yr for limited special signup

User avatar
spitex
GTiR wannabe
Posts: 10721
Joined: Sun 28 Apr, 2002 8:17 am
Drives: FPV F6
Location: Brisneyland
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by spitex » Thu 07 Feb, 2013 7:45 am

Maybe we should all chip in for a box and I will host it .... you can put all your shit on that :P

Anyway, Dan's doing what I would. Amazon S3 (or Glacier) and Jungledisk.

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Thu 07 Feb, 2013 9:57 am

http://www.box.com has got their 25gb freebie back.

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Thu 19 Dec, 2013 10:40 pm

I recently got some free credit to use at Amazon, and it got me thinking about backups.

I have a 10gb (free) dropbox account which I use for frequently accessed files, shared files, and files which I don't care too much about (data is stored in the clear and I like the freedom of access from ipad/iphone/pc/server/random computer with a web browser). 10gb is more than enough for this type of information, but no where near enough for photographs and other files.

All other important data (photographs mostly) I keep multiple copies of over several hard drives: main computer, server, and then an offline USB drive (2 actually, because I wasn't using them for anything else). It covers me for failure, corruption and personal stuff-ups, but theft/fire/other damage is still a real possibility. Offsite storage of hard drives are difficult to maintain currency of data, and I still get concerned about drives not being regularly used to keep them operating.

Which brings me back to cloud based storage. They (google, amazon, azure, dropbox, crashplan) all offer large storage capacities, it just comes down to cost. Some comparisons (in USD):
Google drive - 100gb - $4.99/mth
Amazon S3 - 100gb - $10.50/mth
Microsoft Azure - 100gb - $7.10/mth
Microsoft Skydrive - 100gb - ~$4.00/mth
Dropbox - 100gb - $9.99/mth
Crashplan - unlimited - $7.70/mth

Which is where it gets interesting. Crashplan comes down to $5.78/mth if you pay for 1 year, and under $5 for a 4 year subscription. The big bonus with crashplan (and dropbox/skydrive for that matter) is that you get the application to manage your files as well.

But I don't have credit with crashplan.

Amazon S3 storage (which dropbox uses by the way) is based around readily accessible files with a high level of redundancy. You can reduce the redundancy (and the cost comes down about 1.5c/gb) and still retain the readily accessible files, or you can go all out with glacier storage for 1.2c/gb (total) per month. 100gb cost is now $1.20/mth.

Unfortunately there are some downsides.
- You need something to integrate with the storage API. Someone like boods or al could probably (have?) cut the code themselves, and whilst there are freebie apps like Fast Glacier, they are limited in their functionality (most notably with scheduling). I'm trialing cloudberry at the moment (Costs: AUD$36 upfront + $7/yr maintenance - so $3.60/mth for the first year, then $0.60/mth for subsequent years)
- You need to setup storage vaults and (ideally) archive your files. Some of the apps have encryption also, but I'm going to zip and encrypt my files to reduce file size and increase security.
- Retrieving data is slow. Like, 4 hour turn around slow (and then download times on top of that). And it costs if you retrieve more than 5% of your data a month.

I don't see either of these as a problem for me. The first year app cost is still on-par with the other offerings (and then significantly cheaper for subsequent years), and that's only for 100gb. As soon as you ask for more data, Glacier gets WAAAAAAY cheaper. The retrieval cost/time is not relevant for files which I only plan on accessing in case of a major incident (I still plan on keeping files locally on hard drives). Actually, I'd be interested to see whether insurance would cover the costs of data retrieval...

I'm still a bit concerned about smaller cloud storage providers (especially after stories of some companies not storing data properly, or going bust because Microsoft is buying up a third of the worlds servers and pushing everyone but the big boys out of the market), so I figure Amazon is a safe bet. 99.999999999% data durability is pretty good too (~10 bytes corrupted over 100gb).

I think the biggest issue I'm going to have is uploading all the data, which based on a couple of hundred gig will take a couple of months :o I could always send amazon a hard drive with all the files on it - for a couple of hundred bucks its not a bad option.



tl;dr - Cheap cloud backup for $1/mth per 100gb.

User avatar
tipper
male housemaid
Posts: 2842
Joined: Thu 03 Jul, 2003 5:48 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by tipper » Fri 20 Dec, 2013 10:41 am

I bought 100GB with Dropbox recently and it is $100 pa paid upfront. obviously there are cheaper solutions but for ease of use and integration to my iphone, mac, ipad, HTPC and work PC its pretty good. Hard to live without it now I have it.

User avatar
iano
glass always half empty
Posts: 10229
Joined: Tue 21 May, 2002 6:21 pm
Drives: by my own accord

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by iano » Fri 20 Dec, 2013 11:44 am

cGr wrote:I still get concerned about drives not being regularly used to keep them operating.


This caught my eye...

I have 3 ext USB drives, all WDs ranging from 120gig up to 1tb. They're all spindle based. What you're saying is like most things mechanical, the parts need to keep moving regularly otherwise they get stiff/brittle...correct?

The 1TB has been sitting in a drawer unplugged for several months :?
This isn't life, it's just stuff. And it's become more important to you than living. Well, honey, that's just nuts

User avatar
cGr
Intuition
Posts: 10110
Joined: Fri 19 Jul, 2002 9:08 am

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by cGr » Fri 20 Dec, 2013 12:07 pm

tim: I still love dropbox, but for what I need it for its a reasonably high cost.

iano: I had a Lacie 1tb hard drive that was a bit stubborn (didn't spin up cleanly, didn't detect) after not being used for a while (several months), so I've just gotten in a habit of regularly using it. Havent had any issues since I've started using it.

Hard drives are only designed for (reasonably) short term storage, so I wouldn't be hiding it in the sock drawer and expect it to work in 5 years time when you need it.

User avatar
dorift
I love lamp
Posts: 8251
Joined: Mon 24 Jun, 2002 8:21 pm
Drives: Toyota Hilux Diablo
Location: Not near you
Contact:

Re: Cloud Storage

Post by dorift » Fri 20 Dec, 2013 12:24 pm

Image
89 Corolla SX
90 Pulsar GTiR
95 Barina GSi
98 200sx
04 Forester XT
99 Hilux ute (woohoo!)

Post Reply