Strong opinions, weakly held

Backing up to S3

My project to move my backups to Amazon S3 was derailed for a number of reasons, and lately I’ve been thinking in completely the opposite direction. I’m thinking instead of getting an Airport Extreme and attaching it to an external hard drive and backing up everything to that. The comments on the previous posts about the cost of S3 when you have a lot of data to back up kind of gave me pause, and then I found out about S3’s performance for myself. I’m passing for now, although there are still some “absolutely can’t lose” files that I’m storing there.


  1. Did you mean this project?


    The one you linked to is about Sun and DTrace.

  2. Have you thought about using a service like Mozy? It sounds like a really good deal, with $4.95 per month for unlimited storage and up to 2GB for free. Their backup client automatically keeps your backup current whenever you’re connected to the Internet. The only reason that keeps me from using it at the moment is that their Mac client is only in beta and that this beta keeps on crashing during configuration… 🙁

  3. I did mean the article mentioned in the comment. I have been having an odd copy and paste issue with Firefox. Sometimes I try to copy the contents of the address bar and the copy doesn’t make it to the clipboard. Probably user error.

  4. Drives are so cheap now though that throwing together a simple backup file server pc running ubuntu with a half TB or so of storage on a couple redundant drives will cost you around $500, and you don’t rely on anyone outside of your home.

  5. I’m in love with S3 and EC2, but for personal backups I came to the same conclusion after running the numbers.

  6. That is not backing up. You are describing a duplication of your files to another disk. Which is useful in case of e.g disk failure.

    Backing up means having a copy and revisions available OFF SITE for recovery after hurricane X stroke again.

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