Backing Things Up the 2009 Way

I used to be very meticulous (which really means inefficiently diligent) on backups. In the past I had floppy snapshots, ZIP snapshots, then CD-RW then DVD-RW snapshot backups, then external HDD and cheap-but-slow big USB thumb drives. They were faithful backups for sure, but they required tons of work, and most important of all, I had to keep a good habit of remembering when to do that.

And I don't want to keep too many good habits. There's nothing virtuous about keeping a mechanical good habit.

So I was really happen when Apple started selling Time Capsule. The important thing about OS X's Time Machine (Time Capsule is really just an Airport Extreme base station plus a hard disk drive designed for Time Machine use) is it buys you peace of mind and allows you to be lazy. This being said, though, after 8 months of actually using it, and I have to say its performance is not stellar. Or rather, Apple fails to manage consumer expectation, and it shows.

Still, a remote backup solution is needed. I used to be less meticulous on that, but some rsync script, coupled with some gpg and tar thingy, worked fine for me. It was more a hassle though.

Then I heard about BackBlaze and saw Gus Mueller talked about it. I happened to be looking for reasonable remote backup solution for our dev server, so I decided to give it a try. It was good.

Yesterday I was working outside and needed a database file that I deleted. Then I realized I needed it to test some regression. Not a big deal—just logging in BackBlaze, and it had the snapshot of that file. Retrieving it was just a matter of a few minutes of wait, and it really proved its value this way: A remote Time Machine backup.