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I've got a client that needs some form of daily offsite backup. He's got about 100GB of various files, including a 30GB SQL Server database that he really should be getting off of his own server and somewhere safe in the cloud on a daily basis.

Many places offer this kind of functionality, but for $100+ per month.

What is "wrong" with buying 2 cheap hosting packages (GoDaddy and Crystal Tech for instance), doing an FTP up to both of them every night, and only spending about $30 a month for the 2 combined? Kind of like a poor man's RAID maybe. The hosting plans at many places now come with 150GB+ included.

Then if the office server fails, and GoDaddy at the same time fails (very very small chance of that even happening at the same time), then we'd still have Crystal Tech to get a copy of the database. All 3 failing at the same time would be even less likely.

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closed as not constructive by Chris S Aug 21 '12 at 18:15

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Side note: you aren't doing your client any favors by looking at or recommending a hacked together backup solution, such as the one you propose, simply to save them money. I would also try to determine what your clients needs are and find an online backup solution with a rock-solid SLA to meet your clients needs. – GregD Apr 20 '11 at 17:31
up vote 9 down vote accepted

What's wrong with that plan is that it's an abuse of the hosting provider's services. There are countless stories of people's accounts getting shut down when the provider discovers that they're using the account for backup instead of using it for proper web hosting.

I'd recommend looking into CrashPlan or Backblaze. I've used both, and found them to be excellent, both in terms of price and performance. Another alternative would be to purchase a JungleDisk license and then back up to Amazon S3. For 100 GB of data, S3 bills would be quite reasonable, probably in the $20-$30/month range after your initial upload (which would make for a slightly higher bill due to S3's data-in charges).

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Now that I did NOT know. I definitely don't want to do that, so that scratches that idea. I'll look into both of those services. Thanks for the answer. – Matt Dawdy Mar 14 '11 at 15:51

You could use a dedicated backup company like Carbonite (, iDrive (, or Mozy (

These all run at about $5-10 per month or so, depending on your desired service level.

Heck, even DropBox ( may do what you want.

In my defense, the "Abuse of services" that I am accused of suggesting was the following line:

That would work.
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You didn't just recommend that he abuse a hosting provider's services, did you? – EEAA Mar 14 '11 at 15:22
You downvoted me for suggesting four services that specialize in online backup. How nice of you. – Hyppy Mar 14 '11 at 15:24
No, I downvoted you for recommending abuse of services. The rest of your answer was fine. Correct that part of your answer and I'll make it right with you. – EEAA Mar 14 '11 at 15:26
Petty change made. – Hyppy Mar 14 '11 at 15:28
Thank you. It was a poor recommendation, so I did what I needed to do to affect change. :) – EEAA Mar 14 '11 at 15:30

One thing "wrong" is that RAID Is Not A Backup, and you are spot on in your comment that what you're asking for is kind of like RAID. Only using FTP and being (very) wasteful.

At the very least, you should set up some form of actual backup, either local full/partial backup sets (then FTPing over the backup files) or using rsnapshot/rbackup.

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I didn't say it, but yes, I was planning on running scheduled backups from SQL Server, and only transferring the full backup on Saturdays, and Sunday-Friday merely the differential. – Matt Dawdy Mar 14 '11 at 20:11

Would recommend jungledisk with the rackspace storage. No transaction charges and and great file-deduping. We are moving over to Jungledisk. Have been using mozy and idrive.

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The problem with using hosting providers is that this is against their terms of service and you can/will be terminated without notice. It is also not on the up and up and you certainly shouldn't suggest that as a professional in IT.

There are various hosting providers that provide backup services for cheaper than you are being quoted. The company I work for uses Ahsay, which is an enterprise backup solution backing up not only files but Exchange mailboxes, SQL servers, and more for about 50 cents per gig.

I don't want to 'name names' so to speak, if you are interested in finding a provider you can find me via my profile link on here.

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Several others have mentioned using a provider specializing in backup instead of a generic ISP. I would speculate that the backup providers are more secure. The whole point of a generic ISP is to provide web access to the entire world including ftp, php scripts, other cgi access, etc. Again, I would hope that backup providers are more cautious & paranoid with respect to security.

Is this a reasonable assumption?

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