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Off-site backup

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I have since years been rsnapshot to maintain a (limited) set of previous versions of /home and and selected parts of / and below. Since a year this is to a NAS in my own local LAN, all to full satisfaction. I would like to add a second level of protection by starting offsite backup. I am not hopefull that I will maintain the discipline to do this manually be external harddisk, so am looking to online possibilities. I have browsed around and seen many tools and storage offers, but they all seem to fall short on what I believe my requirements to be:

  • Data gets encrypted before leaving my HD
  • Runs as root so that can access whole file-system (large parts will be excluded, but I do for instance backup /root and other parts requiring root access)
  • Can be run from cron, i.e. command-line. A UI to get started and define backup sets has limited to no value for me as the likely client will be a headless NAS (running Debian).
  • Ability to define (large) in/excludes with globbing like rsync
  • Software available for PowerPC (my NAS runs on this ancient but frugal hardware)
  • Full / incremental backups, preferably using rsync like approach
  • Scalable; at moment I probably need 20 Gb, but this number continues to grow

I am interested in your experiences on these requirements (is there something that I am overlooking), recommendations for software and experiences with storage providers. Realise that some software means one storage provider only (or vice-versa) and have no preference for all-in-one packages (spideroak, crashplan) vs free things (duplicity). Free would be nice, but pay-as-you go is OK as well, provided we talk consumer rates.

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I have a backup of my important data off-site, but using Dropbox. It's good because it has a Windows client. It can also be used from the CLI as well, so without the need for X and Gnome/KDE or whatever. It's just basically synchronisation of a particular folder/directory. You just drop all your stuff in here (I store in here by default) and it's automatically synchronised.


I then have other computers with Dropbox installed also, linked to the same account, so that when I turn them on, the files are sync'd, and so I have the same content on all my drives. Normally dropbox would use /home/username/Dropbox, but you could change this to just be /home/username and then everything under here would be sync'd, including all your user config files which might be a bit too much in the first place. You can even use Dropbox to revert to previous versions of the files. By default, it keeps these for up to 30 days on a free account with 2GB, but if people refer each other, each referal earns 256MB, and so effectively, you can get up to 8GB free through recommendations. There are paid offerings for more space like 50GB and 100GB. Data is encrypted as it is saved to the server at the other side via a HTTPS connection and AES encrypted. Data will only be encrypted as it is saved, it won't be done in the connection - that's why the connection is via HTTPS in a way encrypted as it moves from your computer to the destination server.


Ubuntu One also works in the same way, in that you have 2GB free, and can pay for more as you need it. Personally this works good for me.


In terms of other backups, I haven't looked but if it was a server I was doing, then I'd do it differently. Probably with VPS Hosting, and then I'd use DRBD or glusterfs to synchronise the files from one machine to another so that I've got a live working backup immediately accessible. Or make an active/standby cluster to automatically switch over to the server in the event of failure of the first server. If you're after offsite backup for data, then this might not be for you it might be a bit overkill.


With your particular requirements outlined above, that kind of backup won't come cheap.

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I have my own servers around the world.

On one of them I run an svn server, which I use to "check in" important docs


no encryption tho'

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