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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #1
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Cloud Computing Strategies - share yours!

So, the hard drive in one of my laptops failed last night. Normally this is an agony-filled situation, but since I had backed everything up recently via time machine it was just a minor annoyance.

Then I got to thinking - even though I was backed up, a lot of my essential flies aren't limited to my HD anymore. I'm using Simplenote for all my text capture and writing these days, since it wirelessly syncs between my iPhone and computers. In addition, a copy is stored on the Simplenote server (i.e. in the cloud.)

I have a free 2GB dropbox account, but I haven't really taken advantage of it. Last night post-crash I copied my most recent files over, since I think I'll start using that as my working documents folder. I have the iPhone app, and I've also got it linked to Goodreader on my iPhone, so it makes sense. If this works smoothly, I could definitely see upgrading to the $99 / year 50GB plan.

I haven't yet set up a Flickr account, but I know the pro account is $25 / year and it allows unlimited online storage (though from what I understand it won't store RAW files, which could be an issue.) That keeps full-res copies of all photos backed up.

Of course, being a mac lover, iDisk / Mobile Me is also an option. I'd probably need to do the additional 40GB / year upgrade, in order to have enough space for my photos and my files.

What are other people doing? Share your strategies! I'd love to hear about what works, what doesn't, and any other services I might not know about.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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I have been using Backblaze for awhile, a little over a year, I think? I've never had a problem with it. It works similar to many of these types of systems where you select what you want to back up, or have it back up everything. You can schedule when and how you want to backup, if bandwidth is precious. It allows you to set the throttle as well. I've never needed to restore anything but they offer a few options - download (free), DVD or USB hard drive.

Cost is $5/month, per computer, and I have it backing up a couple of machines.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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I am using iDisk / Mobile Me and love it!

My music collection in iTunes is 50 G and would not be realistic to use iDisk for, granted after the initial upload it would serve it's purpose. I haven't tried using iDisk with iTunes to see how that works. I use iTunes Home Sharing to mimic what cloud computing would offer and take backups using Time Capsule.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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i have a mac mini server at 1 yonge st - at our colo rack Plus we have a few of our clients xserves there too.. 35 MBs up and down speeds per computer ( not shared ).. ( running our kerio mail server, filemaker pro server, web server, plus daylite server and then odd file back ups for us and our clients. - plus we have an external backup - which clones every night.) [we can vpn to our units any time with our ipads or iphones with mocha vpn or ARD with the desktops]

At the office we have time capsule ( which I am wary of it - so we have external HDs for time machine on each computer plus we back up to DVDs too ).. The usual mobile me for iphone contacts and calendar syncing ( we use busymac to sync everyones calendars together over the cloud with mobile me to make sure no one double books personal appointments then Daylite for business appointments)

if you say we are nuts about back up - well we are.. We lost our invoices once and had to recreate from back up ( retrieved all except 1.5 weeks worth but we managed to figure it out because we PDF not mail invoices any more. ) that was enough to say make it happen... - now we are only 24 hours behind for anything and everything.

I find iDisk to slow for real life usage.. hence we use our own servers

WARNING TO EVERYONE.. TEST THE INTEGRITY OF YOUR BACKUPS EVERY SO OFTEN..
DO NOT WAIT FOR AN EMERGENCY TO FIND OUT IT IS CORUPT
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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I have an airport extreme with a 1.5TB hard drive plugged into it, so I have it set up as a shared wireless disk at home. For bigger stuff like movies / giant iPhoto libraries, and general backups, this helps keep stuff off the laptop.

Backblaze seems like an interesting option, though I'm trying to figure out how to consolidate the services so I don't need to sign up for too many. As a pure backup it seems good, but compared to dropbox the functionality seems limited (no iPhone access of files, etc.)

One strike against Flickr is that it doesn't look like it supports RAW uploads. That's a bit annoying, since ideally I'd like to have all my photos stored "in the cloud" as full backups (and for sharing with family / friends too.)

Do other MobileMe users find iDisk to be too slow? One nice thing about Dropbox is that it stores a local copy of your files too.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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I have a local iDisk on all my Macs so it really isn't slow at all. I work on a document, then it syncs it with the Cloud.

I have 2 Macs running and am always sync'ed.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #7
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I don't use the cloud so much as I could, but it's really just a matter of making sure that nothing is ever only in one place, or to put it in classic terms, that your eggs are never only in one basket.

My iMac (primary computer) is constantly backed up by Time Machine. A few things I store on my iDisk. my iTunes Library is on both my iMac and my netbook via Home Sharing. I don't use iTunes on my netbook all that much, it's there mostly just for backup purposes. I also have thumb drives with a few key things on them, and a FW hard drive plugged into the iMac as a secondary backup (as well as a dump drive for other things).

I'll likely be getting a NAS device soon (a couple are on clearance at work) to take over for the attached backup drive on the iMac.

I also have an automatic online backup on the netbook via Norton 360. Not ideal, but free and easy. The netbook also came with a free storage service called "HP Cloud Drive" or some such, but is actually just a rebrand of ZumoDrive, which is accessible from Windows, Mac and iOS.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:54 PM   #8
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With a documents folder of over 200GB, photos folder (Lightroom mostly) of almost 200GB, iTunes library of over 50GB and another 500GB of music on an external drive, the cloud is not something that is even remotely practical in my house. I have a total of 4 backups - 3 internal (one TM, two SuperDuper - one daily, one weekly) and an external clone that gets updated whenever I'm traveling with my MBP. My husband's iTunes library on his Mac is almost identical to mine (some variation in podcasts), so there's yet another copy of at least some of the music.

Until (1)someone offers a terabyte of storage for peanuts and (2)Rogers removes its bandwidth caps (it would take me MONTHS to get all the stuff uploaded to begin with, without blowing through my cap AND still being able to get work done) it's just not happening.

Although it would appear that BackBlaze has solved problem #1, now that I look. However, there is still the problem of getting all that data there initially. Yes, there are no doubt things that can be tossed/edited etc. - but until I find the time to do that, the initial upload itself will remain a problem. Even with editing, I'd still have waaaay more to upload than I could manage in one go. Picking and choosing what to upload (and then doing it over a long period of time) is just too darn much work. I want clones so that I can pick up where I left off if either a computer or a drive dies - it's happened before and will no doubt do so again. Drives die. I can be up and running again in about 5 or 10 minutes, with little or no work lost (depending on what died and when).

Obviously, my needs may be different from some of yours - I don't have any great need to sych files remotely and I don't own an iPhone. I'm fanatical about backups and it has served me well so far. Eventually, I would like to have a remote "cloud" backup in case of catastrophe, but will have to make do with a physical one for now.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #9
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Sounds to me that the comments are back-up strategies, both web based and local, rather than cloud computing which is what the thread title says.

As to web-based back-up, I don't use it and would only ever use it as a secondary back up since there is really no incentive for any of these services to make sure the back up is available when needed.
Or can someone point to a back-up service that will compensate you if they fail to back up properly or loose the back up or if the back up becomes corrupted.

As to cloud computing - I tried that a few times but even with a high speed connection, it tends to be slow and of course your internet connection has to be up to be able to use it.
I don't really see any advantage for the user at this point.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Sounds to me that the comments are back-up strategies, both web based and local, rather than cloud computing which is what the thread title says.

As to web-based back-up, I don't use it and would only ever use it as a secondary back up since there is really no incentive for any of these services to make sure the back up is available when needed.
Or can someone point to a back-up service that will compensate you if they fail to back up properly or loose the back up or if the back up becomes corrupted.

As to cloud computing - I tried that a few times but even with a high speed connection, it tends to be slow and of course your internet connection has to be up to be able to use it.
I don't really see any advantage for the user at this point.
"Cloud computing" can mean a bunch of different things - online backup/storage is just one of many aspects. I don't see any particular use for myself yet - I really do like to maintain control of my software and data locally and would not like to be at the mercy of some distant server(s).

Good article here which talks about the various aspects of cloud computing:

What cloud computing really means | Cloud Computing - InfoWorld
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