Studio guys - off-site backup solutions?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by JohnM, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Trying to find a good off site backup system to implement at a studio I work in. It's inevitable that drives fail...and when they do...:FM It's a fairly busy studio, doing lots of ad work and music projects, so reliable backup is critical.

    Just curious if any of you have recommendations or experience - I know about services like Iron Mountain, Carbonite, etc... but I'm guessing there are others. Right now everything is on HDD and backups done on DVD's, etc... but perhaps there is another route?
     
  2. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Saw Gobbler at the NAMM show. It's a new company that was being pushed at the Steven Slate booth. They're still in final Beta so still kind of vague on their monthly pricing, but the system seems really great for studio related backup. One of the guys that rents one of my studios has been using it for a couple weeks and loves it. I'm going to start using it myself this week.
     
  3. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I think SugarSync and Dropbox are well regarded in the online space (in addition to Carbonite). I haven't used them but I do hear of people talking about them frequently.
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    DVDs are a terrible way to do regular backups, I agree, but why go off-site? I could see off-site archival, but for daily backups I think a dedicated RAID array is more practical.
     
  5. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Haven't checked out Gobbler - thanks for the tip.

    DVD's are clunky, but they eliminate the 'moving parts can fail' aspect of backups. It's really not a bad way...it's mainly just cumbersome.
    The appeal/advantages of an off-site system is that you aren't maintaining a bunch of hardware, which is a job unto itself. Servers always need updating and maintenance, and of course, raid arrays are just drives, which can fail. The idea is that an off-site system is redundant, maintained in a server farm by folks who DO have time and resources to handle the hardware. Of course nothing is perfect.

    There is definitely something to be said for the whole 'cloud' thing - especially if you don't want to dump a ton of money & time into an in-house server or tape backup, etc...
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't remember saying anything about a server, but a RAID array requires no maintenance at all. The whole reason for it is to have redundancy if one drive fails. Just a suggestion. Good luck!
     
  7. Powerpopfan

    Powerpopfan Member

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    We use a raid drive. Two backups in one. "Good afternoon, department of redundancy department."
     
  8. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Sorry - didn't mean to go off about servers... Raids are a good solution - I just want to completely eliminate the hardware aspect - raid drives can go bad just like regular HDD's. Of course the redundancy is key but it's still a piece of hardware.

    The Gobbler service seems pretty interesting - it even recognizes the software and project type and does the seamless backup. Wonder what sort of pricing scale they are going to have once they get out of beta testing?
     
  9. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I don't know about you guys but my experience with startup companies is that they fail often enough that I wouldn't trust my backups to a startup. Startups (like Gobbler) are great for certain things but if we're talking mission-critical backups, I'm going to go with someone who has a history of being there for a number of years. It takes a lot of trust for off-site backups to make me sleep better at night and I just don't think I'd have that trust in a new company for this and many other reasons.
     
  10. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

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    I've been using Mozy Home for about three years now - on 3 different PC's and it works great. Something like $60 (per PC) a year gives you unlimited storage for your backups. You can set it up so it continually backs up in the background, or just at certain times of the day.

    Basically a 'set and forget' solution, and it has saved my life on numerous occasions when I accidentally overwrote a file or folder.

    The other one we use on our server is JungleDisk - the software was about $20 up front. The thing is that JungleDisk uses Amazon S3 as the storage back end, and Amazon charge per Gb of data stored - really cheap though. We've got about 15 Gb of data stored away on S3 and the Amazon bill is around $8 per month.

    JungleDisk does a nightly backup. Never failed us yet. Though I think the company has had an ownership change, and they might not offer the up front pricing for the software - I think it is all bundled in a monthly subscription now...

    The only disadvantages of these services is that the initial backup takes a while - sometimes a couple of days for a new PC to fully trickle all the data up to their servers. Once the initial backup is done though, subsequent backups are really quick.

    With Mozy, if you have to restore an entire PC, you can order a DVD from them with all your data on it for quickest restore, rather than having to download gigabytes on an internet connection!
     
  11. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I hear you - it's definitely a concern worth some attention. It's hard to hand the goods over to an unproven system for sure. I think if enough big customers sign on, their chances for success are better. Then again the reasons startups fail can run deeper than simple monetary issues!

    I've been looking at the Amazon S3 stuff - their system allows developers to build custom apps to handle the backup, etc... Plus they obviously have a pretty reliable system.
     
  12. Somniferous

    Somniferous Member

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    I just use some network drives set up off site. As long as you work out a static IP you should be set.

    I don't understand why you think DVDs are more reliable that HDD, sure they can fail, but when they do you can usually get the info off. When a DVD goes, you lose everything. The shelf life of some media can be quite short if not stored properly.
     
  13. tedm

    tedm Member

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    Check out the Nasuni Filer or Cirtas.
     
  14. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    How much data do you have? Cloud backup providers aren't all that practical for folks who generate a ton of data.

    I'd recommend you backup to external hard drives regularly and use several in rotation so that you reduce the likelihood of losing it all at once from hardware failure. Buy different brands or at differed times too if you want to mix up the manufacture dates.

    Will something eventually fail? Always. Will the above solution have your back? Definitely.
     
  15. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    My concern too Scott. I haven't implemented Gobbler's service yet, but I really like how it's working on my renter in Studio B's system. The backup features look very impressive and unobtrusive and they have a triple redundant setup so pretty safe backup IMO......... as long as they can stay in business that is :D

    As mentioned I'm going to give it a whirl and still keep backing up to DVD's and secondary drives for a while. The only problems I have with DVD's is that I really don't have a great database and/or labeling type system implemented for efficient cataloguing. One of those things I just never get around to doing while under fire (I really need a good assistant). I'm always assured that I have past projects backed up to both DVD and hard drives and know where they are located at all times, but it definitely takes some sifting through many DVD's labeled Pro Tools BU #x to find the project I'm looking for. Always have it so no worries there, but something like Gobbler would really streamline that location process and keep me from scratching my head when I'm looking at "my greatest song" project sitting on three separate "my greatest song" backup DVD's. Which one actually was my greatest song LOL.

    I'll report back in a month and let everyone know how it's going.
     
  16. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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  17. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Interesting read Scott - thanks for posting
     
  18. Gobbler

    Gobbler Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to introduce myself. I am the CEO of Gobbler. It's been great reading everyones thoughts on backup and off site storage.

    I am more then happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about Gobbler.

    Thanks for giving the product a try!

    all the best

    chris
    www.gobbler.com
     
  19. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    anybody that thinks a RAID or any other on site backup solution is no maintenance....think again.

    RAID is for backup integrity. You get added benefits of data backup-restore...but you pay for it with the "spare parts" syndrome...like owning a car and having extra tires, alternator, whatever for the day it craps out....and it will. If you wait for HP, Acer, whoever to send you your disc you are still in the same boat....waiting for your data.
     
  20. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

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    ^ It depends on the type of array. Raid 5, for example simply slows down when a drive fails, but does not stop. Once you swap a new drive in, parity is rebuilt on the new drive for a couple of hours. Once parity is restored, the array returns to full speed. Yes, it is a good idea to have an extra drive or two laying around so you don't have a slow array for a few days, but it's not like you need a parts warehouse to keep it running.

    Offsite backup of some description is a good idea, because it puts your data in two separate physical locations in case of fire or natural disaster. I used to rotate drives and keep one in my car at all times.
     

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