Opinions on cloud storage/backup services

txcynna

Well-known member
I'm in research mode for our print shop so I would be stupid not to ask the opinions of you lot on cloud storage.

I am only familiar with the 'big' names in cloud backups like Carbonite (and by familiar, I mean I have heard of them) and there are so many more companies now than there were even a year ago.

I am a pre-press operator and have never really paid that much attention to the technology side. I've always worked in shops that had a supervisor or IT person who took care of upgrades to hardware and software. Until now. Now I need to keep up with all this and I feel very uneducated. Any help that the forum can give me is greatly appreciated.

We are a smallish shop and looking into getting some sort of cloud back up system going for our art files. The powers that be don't seem to be that interested in backing up the actual computers, just the art files, which all fit on just over 50% of a 1 T hard drive. We already do daily backups through Retrospect to two removable hard drive that we switch out weekly, taking the unused one off site.

We would continue to keep our working files on site and want to schedule backups to run overnight, so we will NOT be working files that are on the cloud. I would imagine that if the internet goes flakey the up/downloading of working files would tend to bog things down and our internet has been known to have issues in the past.

Do you have any recommendations for companies that supply this service and do you know of any pros/cons of using a cloud backup system?

Thanks in advance!
 

mattbeals

Well-known member
Amazon S3, Rackspace Jungle Disk are two easy ones. Why not just buy a could of 2TB Western Digital USB drives from your favorite retailer and take them off site? I would imagine that USB drive's transfer rate will exceed your network connections actual upload speed.
 

txcynna

Well-known member
Exactly my thought... but they want information on the cloud based systems so here I am. Researching that. Honestly... I don't even know how the cloud based stuff works. I'm guessing magic. ;)
 

mattbeals

Well-known member
It's just like any network drive. But slower. And you pay for storage AND bandwidth used to transfer up and down.

"Cloud" sounds great. It's not always the answer. I suppose you could sign up with DropBox or Box and subscribe to their 1TB packages.

Someone needs to have a serious discussion about why "cloud" storage for old jobs is better than what you have now. Everything has a tradeoff. What's the cost/benefit? Or is someone interested in buzz words? Are old art files being "online" or "nearline" really that critical to business?

Bandwidth, transfer time (especially the initial upload), transfer cost, internet connection reliability, storage provider reliability, etc are all going to be very important factors.

Pricing

https://www.jungledisk.com/business/workgroup/pricing/

https://www.box.com/pricing/

https://www.dropbox.com/business/pricing
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We use Crashplan primarily because of the ability to backup our NAS. It also has unlimited storage for a flat fee.
 

seratne

Well-known member
Second the crashplan option. Important stuff(live jobs, hyper-v virtual machines, email, etc.) is backed up to their cloud, and also to a nas in another part of the building. Archival jobs (more than a year old) are backed up to just their cloud.

If a server dies, we can quickly restore the virtual machines from the nas to one of our other servers with minimum downtime. Old job pickups (~300MB) take about 20 minutes to restore from the cloud. If the entire building burns down, at least we still have backups off site.

A few notes about CrashPlan: You'll want to run it from a mac (backing up network drives is much easier than the windows version). And, you're going to want a dedicated machine for it. The client is currently java based and uses up lots of ram, and lots of cpu (if you allow it to run all the time, instead of restricting it to a schedule). A mac mini will be fine. You might have to allow java to use more ram, depending on how much you're backing up (instructions are on their website if you search).

Figure spending around $800 for the mac mini and nas to backup to for the initial cost. And the service is $10/month.

We were going through 4 tapes a month (~$80). So we saw ROI in less than a year by moving to the "cloud" for backup. And you're not having to swap tapes/drives around, and having to move duplicates offsite.
 

kjp17

Active member
We use backblaze to backup some misc stuff. It is fast compared to other cloud service. Only $5 per month, unlimited storage. But it doesn't backup deleted files. Which means files you accidentally deleted in the main drive will also delete the files in the backup after 30 days.

Because our server is more than 7TB, we also use syncrify which is the fastest and the cheapest. Its speed is comparable to Synmantec backup.
 
Last edited:
BOX.com is the best cloud storage we could find. If you look, they will actually provide you with 50GB of free storage forever. We use it for ALL of our files and also for customer uploading of large graphic files as well on our homepage. We ALSO use it for ALL of our templates we let all customers download for free. We have used a multitude of cloud storage, and this by FAR is the best one for the price too. FTP's are sometimes too difficult for the average customer and this has really simplified things for us. If you would like to see how it has been implemented within our website, please check out Home and questions about it, shoot us an email. See our homepage and templates page for BOX implementation.
 

txcynna

Well-known member
You guys are awesome. Thanks for the info and opinions!

Also, SOS Digital... my eyes glazed over when I saw your templates page, I would love to set one of those up. :) And then I would be praying that our customers might actually USE it. LOL!
 
No problem. VERY easy to set up. Once you get your BOX set up, grab the HTML Code for a LARGE box, then you can actually download our templates for free of coarse, and use them in your own BOX. Hardest part is setting all the directories up. Hope this helps.
SOS Digital Printing
 

cosmo

Well-known member
why put it up in the clouds, its slow, get a NAS storage device with 2 or more hard drives and dont even worry about backing up, its fail safe raid hard drive configuration, only time you would worry is if you got robbed, but you can always plug a external into the NAS and back that up and take it home. QNAP has some good well priced units, they have ftp servers and http servers etc in built into them so you can access it from anywhere:
QNAP Systems, Inc. - Network Attached Storage (NAS) - Products - Products - Storage - Home & SOHO - 4-Bay - TS-420
 

seratne

Well-known member
cosmo, the reason for cloud storage is for disasters. What happens if there's a fire, the power supply on your nas dies, water drips onto it, or a fan goes out? That information is now lost forever. RAID is not a backup solution. And for $8/month it's nice knowing that you can always get that information.
 

steve@cssgroup.net

Active member
IT amazes me that people in traditional prepress even consider Cloud storage. Most importantly is do the math on required bandwidth and cost. any Prepress shop have large storage requirements compared to Mom and pop.
A 1 TB disk full backup could be 600-700 Gigs of data (compressed) The Internet connection bandwidth is committed at 2 different numbers - 1 for pulling, and the other for pushing files. So Time Warner for instance will sell you a 5/50 MBit line for a couple 100 dollars a month. What that translates into is pushing speed of a backup to a cloud location is completely dependent on YOUR paid push speed. (in this case 5 MegaBit).
A Byte of data consists of 8 Bits, so that means a transfer rate of 5/8 MegaByte per second max, or (x60) will give you a copy speed of 37.5 Megabytes per minute, or (x60 minutes per hour) = 225 Megabytes per hour.
1 Gigabyte of data = 1,000 Mega Bytes which will give you a copy speed of 1000/225 = 4.44 hours for 1 Gigabyte, or for a 600 Gig backup that translates to (4.44 hrs/gig x 600 Gigs = 2,664 hours to backup to a cloud storage (2,664 /24 hours = 111 days) = so not very practical.
That means you need to purchase a much, much larger push connection. Using the desire to complete that push in 1 day, you need 5 megabit x 111 (days to push using 5 megabit/sec) , or a bandwidth of 555 megabit second to accomplish this. (555 megabit /8 bits per byte is 69.375 MEGABYTES a second) Way beyond what time warner would sell you, and a company that does sell that (Like Level 3) would cost $15,000.00-25,000.00 per month. Clearly outside almost everybody's budget
One could say Google network will provide a new very high speed, cheap connection to the internet connections like to Lan speeds, but they are certainly not everywhere yet.
then they argue that for a full backup, while incremental are much smaller. True, but most companies like to do a full back once a week, and 6 incremental, then a new full backup for restoring efficiencies...

Then God forbid you have to do a restore....
 

mattbeals

Well-known member
Steve, quit making sense.

IT amazes me that people in traditional prepress even consider Cloud storage. Most importantly is do the math on required bandwidth and cost. any Prepress shop have large storage requirements compared to Mom and pop.
A 1 TB disk full backup could be 600-700 Gigs of data (compressed) The Internet connection bandwidth is committed at 2 different numbers - 1 for pulling, and the other for pushing files. So Time Warner for instance will sell you a 5/50 MBit line for a couple 100 dollars a month. What that translates into is pushing speed of a backup to a cloud location is completely dependent on YOUR paid push speed. (in this case 5 MegaBit).
A Byte of data consists of 8 Bits, so that means a transfer rate of 5/8 MegaByte per second max, or (x60) will give you a copy speed of 37.5 Megabytes per minute, or (x60 minutes per hour) = 225 Megabytes per hour.
1 Gigabyte of data = 1,000 Mega Bytes which will give you a copy speed of 1000/225 = 4.44 hours for 1 Gigabyte, or for a 600 Gig backup that translates to (4.44 hrs/gig x 600 Gigs = 2,664 hours to backup to a cloud storage (2,664 /24 hours = 111 days) = so not very practical.
That means you need to purchase a much, much larger push connection. Using the desire to complete that push in 1 day, you need 5 megabit x 111 (days to push using 5 megabit/sec) , or a bandwidth of 555 megabit second to accomplish this. (555 megabit /8 bits per byte is 69.375 MEGABYTES a second) Way beyond what time warner would sell you, and a company that does sell that (Like Level 3) would cost $15,000.00-25,000.00 per month. Clearly outside almost everybody's budget
One could say Google network will provide a new very high speed, cheap connection to the internet connections like to Lan speeds, but they are certainly not everywhere yet.
then they argue that for a full backup, while incremental are much smaller. True, but most companies like to do a full back once a week, and 6 incremental, then a new full backup for restoring efficiencies...

Then God forbid you have to do a restore....
 

wonderings

Well-known member
For $10.50 a month to Microsoft, you get Microsoft office and 1 TB of cloud storage. This is really tempting. Trying out on a friends account right now.
 

pcmodem

Registered Users
TERMINOLOGY
Make sure you know the difference between MB and Mb. There is a big difference.
http://www.ronstauffer.com/blog/your-internet-speed-megabits-vs-megabytes/

Note: Most internet speeds are in Mb not MB

TRANSFER CALCULATION
Here are two good calculator showing transfer speeds and times. Your actual speed will vary based on overhead but they are pretty close.
http://www.calctool.org/CALC/prof/computing/transfer_time
or this one
http://techinternets.com/copy_calc?do

Transferring your 600 GB (GigaByte) file over a 5Mb (Megabit) connection appears to takes:
300 hours with 10% overhead
273 hours with 0% overhead

INTERNET CONNECTION COST
Higher Internet Speed doesn't have to cost $10,000+ per month. You should look at Fiber connections from your local phone/ISP companies. Don't just look at a single provider. There are companies out there which will help you find the best deal in your area. You just have to know who to talk to.

Brian
 

Automatically Autonomous Automation

Automatically Autonomous Automation
Although the autonomous car is not quite ready, a lights out print operation is something you can do right now if you have a comprehensive Print MIS (Management Information System). The advantages can put money on your bottom line. So what’s your next step? Link to Article

   
Top