I’ve been pondering recently ways to fill the gap in our current backup strategy. In our current setup, if a disaster hit with the worst possible timing we could loose up to 4 weeks of data based on when tapes are taken offsite. Yes, that would bite!
We do have a few measures in place to help fill in that possible 4 week window:
1) Postini archives all our incoming/outgoing emails in their datacenter offsite.
2) We’ve been pushing our critical SQL backups offsite via MozyPro. However, this has recently stopped working reliably so I cancelled this service. And THUS my recent searching for a better replacement.
In a great luck of timing Chris Kehayias happened to tweet this week about his experiences with Jungle Disk as their online backup solution. (side note: if you’re not following #citrt in twitter you’re missing some great Church IT info!)
I’ve not looked at Jungle Disk in over a year, so I was surprised to see how much it’s matured. Basically Jungle Disk Server Edition is a backup application you install locally, but pushes your data to several cloud storage options like Amazon’s S3 service.
A 30day free trial of Jungle Disk and 10GB of free S3 storage and no transfer fees were enough to make me bite :-)
I installed the Jungle Disk server edition client on my virtual test server (Server2008R2) followed by the Jungle Disk Mangement console. During the setup of the client it shoots you over to Amazon to setup an S3 account. Configuring a backup is pretty similar to every other online backup tool I’ve tried (Mozy Home, Mozy Pro, Carbonite, Crashplan, etc). Do note that Jungle Disk has no SQL or Exchange plug-ins … feed it files.
Of 2.54GB it only sent 363MB up to S3 to store. Nice! Then I waited overnight to see how well it would handle the overall changes to the SQL.bak file. The result:
Jungle Disk claims they track block level file changes and I concur. Overnight the SQL.bak file was overwritten, but Jungle Disk was able to track and then upload to S3 only the block level changes … in this case only 20MB of changes. That simple test was enough to sell me on using JungleDisk/S3 for our new offsite SQL solution. So now to calc how much this should cost.
Normal pricing is $5/server for Jungle Disk and then $.15/GB/month for S3 storage space and upload transfer costs of $.10/GB/month … of course right now you get 10GB S3 space for free and no upload charges until June 30, 2010 … w00t!
In Test #2 I’ll go over my results from experimenting with about 75GB of various file types to see what we might expect if we pushed all our files up to S3.