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The question about recommended remote backup providers has been asked and answered on StackOverflow several times. One example is this one:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/56811/what-is-the-best-remote-backup-provider

I would like to know if anybody has good/bad experience with restoring data from Mozy, S3, Carbonite et. al.

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5 Answers 5

I think there is a remote of several gigs always will be a problem with remote backup providers, so I tend to have them as the last resource.

I mean, the best strategy is having a local backup for common problems (like a crashed HD) and a remote backup for last minute changes and a catastrophic problem (like all your stuff burning, alien invasion, etc.)

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I use Amazon's S3 through JungleDisk, and restoring takes a long time. If you plan on storing more than a few GB of data, you will need to take into account the amount of time it will take to download this data back again when you restore. If you are looking at a substantial amount of data, this restore time is very non-trivial.

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I've restored (successfully) from Carbonite when my hard disk expired. Several Gb restored entirely successfully.

I re-installed Carbonite, which was a mistake, I should have invoked a restore directly, apparently. Their support people swiftly sorted me out.

I'd recommend them. Note they did lose some customers' data, due to problems with their RAID systems. They're now suing the manufacturer of that RAID system, I believe.

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“The failures of the Promise equipment occurred primarily during 2007. We stopped buying the Promise servers and switched suppliers. We allege that the Promise servers had defective firmware and were not reliable enough for Carbonite’s use. We are demanding that Promise compensate us for the cost of replacing their defective products. As for the 7,500 affected customers, their backups were restarted automatically and immediately on our new servers.” -- Carbonite CEO David Friend –  Nicholas May 6 '09 at 15:30

I've done a 40-ish GB restore from S3 using duplicity and it took around 12 hrs. This is pretty clearly due to bandwidth limitations. It was, however, a very 'fire and forget' kind of operation - I started it up, then went home for the day. Next morning it was done.

That said, I still use it because the average restore case isn't a full restore, it's a few files that someone accidentally deleted.

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I've had good experience with S3, it does however workout quite expensive in bandwidth if you're transferring a lot on a regular basis. Be sure to use their calculator before committing to the decision.

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