They Call Me Marty!
Design goodness and other ramblings.

Posted on January 25th, 2010 0 Comments

Backup Strategy using Jungle Disk and Amazon Simple Storage Solution

I’ve lost mores file by accidentally saving over them or deleting them than by hard drive crashes (knock on wood). A year ago I decided to stop living by chance and finally implemented a backup strategy. I looked at several services, but I was looking for something that I could automate, reliable and affordable. I already had a process to backup my files to an external hard drive, so I had to be able to integrate the solution into the mix. I settled on Jungle Disk and Amazon S3

The Solution

Back up services are a dime a dozen, but most of them go belly-up with in the first 36 months. I wanted to feel that my data was going to be around at least to see the birth of my first child (no kids yet). Knowing that my data is being stored on Amazon’s servers gives me the added security that they are not going anywhere anytime soon, not to mention that the pricing model was also attractive.

Amazon S3 Service

Pricing

$0.15 per gigabyte for the first 50GB
$0.14 per gigabyte for 50 > 400 GB

and it just gets cheaper from there.

Amazon also charges $0.10 for data “in” or “out” requests. I had 35GB of client data alone so that meant that my initial upload would cost me $8.75, and only $5.25 a month thereafter (Amazon is offering free upload until June of 2010).

Because Amazon S3 is targeted at developers, the potential downside was finding a way to connect to Amazon servers to transfer data from my external hard drive to my Amazon S3 account. That is where Jungle Disk came in.

Jungle Disk

Jungle Disk

Jungle Disk connects to Amazon S3 and maps my internal and external hard drives to specific locations on my Amazon S3 account. Jungle Disk allows me schedule what to back up and how often. I can also use Jungle Disk Jungle Disk to mount my Amazon S3 account as hard drive on my desktop, making manual backups a snap.

My Work Process

I don’t save any of my client files on my internal hard drive, so my work flow goes something like this:

1. Create a new file on my internal hard drive or move a file from the external to the internal hard drive to edit and then save back to the external hard drive.

2. Every night (morning) at 2am, Jungle Disk backs up all the files that have changed to Amazon S3.

Once a week I review Jungle Disk Jungle Disk’s log file to verify that there has been no errors in my back up. I can also set Jungle Disk to save different versions of my back ups. When I use this feature, Jungle Disk creates a new directory on my Amazon S3 account where it moves old versions of any file that has changed. I have it set up to keep up to 5 old versions. I do this in case I accidentally save over a file.

I know that there are more elaborate as well as simpler solutions. I’m curious to know what other’s are doing. So far this works for me, but I’d like to bring time capsule into the mix I just can’t figure out how. Any suggestions?

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