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[OT] Mostly agree. Yet...   [OT]

By: Laurent Duchastel     Montréal, Québec  
Date: Aug 28,2017 at 12:40
In Response to: [OT] CrashPlan Abandoning Home Users (Andreas Boehlk)

Hi Andreas

I mostly agree with your arguments.

Yet, the problem of good backup practices, especially for individuals, is also a matter of physical location of the backup itself.
I have one client who lost both her computer and her backup on external disk because of an electricity surge. Her regular backup practices served nothing in the end.

And let's not talk about physical disasters, such as a flood of fire (my thoughts to Texas people today who, I presume, many lost both computers and backup to water floods).

Therefore, a good backup has to be BOTH on-location and through Internet.
A cloud-only solution is not ideal, but nor is a location-only solution.
Best practice: the two locations.

So, for this outside-location, it's either a cloud or other computers/NAS outside home/office location. The first location, cloud, is not free and comes with no guarantee, but neither is the second (hard disks space is not free, friend's computer are not always available, etc.) Unfortunately, there is no such thing as free lunch. :-)

Another issue of backup is regularity. It must be done in real-time without any human assistance, otherwise, it won't be done. It must be a fooled-proof program run as service, and backup everything.

As for proprietary solutions, I fully agree that there are not desirable.
Data HAS to be encrypted (either for privacy reasons or legal one), but not be attached to proprietary solutions... but if an viable open-source alternative is available!

As far as obsolescence is concerned, there are as much abandoned proprietary backup solutions than free or open sources ones. The key is to be ready to migrate to other solutions when the actual one ends.

Last point is quantity. If you have few Gb of data, backup solutions can be pretty easy. But many "ordinary" users these days have hundreds if not thousands of Gb worth of data. If on-location backup is still mostly possible with a large size external hard disk or NAS, most cloud solutions (which IS also desirable) are not suitable to keep terabytes.

I agree that paying every year for a backup may seems ludicrous. Yet, I have a personal backup of +5Tb that I don't want to backup real-time only locally. I do not know any solution that let me backup for *free* such amount of data outside my home in real-time, securely, encrypted, and with regular uptime. Pay someone to backup-cloud such amount of data seems reasonable to me.

I also have 16 Tb of data *not* backup-ed. The cost of local backup would be such prohibitive (NAS with multiple bays, hard disks, etc.) enough compared to intrinsic low value of the data (mostly ripped movies and music on a personal Plex media server) that I decided to live with the risk of "losing" everything (actually I would only lose time invested in curating the media files). Even that server, I decided not too backup on Crashplan because it would eat up my bandwidth to indecent proportion.

In short, I agree with you, but no free solution appears to meet all requirements: both cloud and on-location, dumb-proofed, open source, cross-plateform, standardized, secure and time-proofed.

Laurent Duchastel

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