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Devops And Release Engineering

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Scott Crawford

Scott Crawford

January 13 2012

Amazon S3 backup?

Curious what thoughts are out there regarding backup solutions for Amazon S3 storage?

I've been able to transfer /assets to S3 - very simple - now thinking through the "what if" scenarios...  has anyone else come across a worthwhile solution?

Arash Sanieyan
Arash Sanieyan
January 14 2012 Permalink
I used to think S3 back up was redudant until last year where amazon servers crashed and people lost of their data. Who would have thought ? Having said I haven't figured out what's the best approach in this scenario and I haven't seen any solution for that. Usually amazon S3 is the final destination to back up data offsite.
Jennifer Tibbo
Jennifer Tibbo
March 01 2012 Permalink
I'm trying to figure out this backing up thing. So if I enter my amazon s3 info in the backend, all of my images will be stored on my server AND amazon or just Amazon? I'm curious as to what other people are doing with their sites...
Andy Nash
Andy Nash
March 01 2012 Permalink
No just Amazon - one of the two advantages (the other being off-loading the serving and bandwidth cost) to using S3 for this is saving on storage for data that will end up being large, so while Ash could set things to  store on the server too, that would defeat (half) the point unfortunately...

It is indeed a tricky one - S3 is built pretty redundantly in theory but as Ash says, nothing is perfect. Also, you, someone nasty, or Anahita itself could mess something up - you never know...

If you lost your entire site's photos and avatars after say 3 years of operation, you can probably kiss goodbye to most users...

Copying the data to another cloud server makes no sense as you are wiping out the low cost of S3. Copying your database or website files to another server makes more sense of course, as each kb is far more valuable.

This might be useful:

http://serverfault.com/questions/358432/any-need-to-make-backup-of-data-on-amazon-s3 

I cam to the conclusion that the best thing was to make a copy on a local hard disk in the office - hard disk storage is cheap...

I use Cloudberry Explorer which allows you to set up folder pairs for synchronisation - make sure to delete files on the target that no longer exist on the source, otherwise if you restore a backup, you'll restore lots of files that pople have deleted.

Of course you then have to have a backup process,and mine is periodic (i.e. a crash inbetween could lose me some of the recent images). I have balanced that against the fact that Amazon should be safe, and concluded that that works for me (so far - there will come a limit to using this method), but I guess everyone needs to make their own call for their own situation - doing nothing might be viable too :-)

I think Cloudberry Explorer allows you to schedule synchronisations, which is in the paid version, so that might be what I move to next.
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Jennifer Tibbo
Jennifer Tibbo
March 02 2012 Permalink
Thanks@ Andy I guess I should get an external hard drive. Does anyone know of something similar to Cloudberry but for macs?
Andy Nash
Andy Nash
March 02 2012 Permalink
I've not used it and I'm not sure if it does synchronisation but you could try: http://cyberduck.ch/
Try also Transmit
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