Our company already uses version control, and is already doing daily's backups.

However, it is my boss's concern to keep the source code somewhere "safe enough" in case of multi-robbery or some natural disaster, ecc..

I tried searching google for something, and I guess the best solution would be some online backup service.

Did you have to face a similar problem before? How did you solve it?
If possible, can you reference a good service that solved your problem?

UPDATE: we currently backup on 2 dvds. One is kept in my boss's house and one is stored inside the company building.


Offsite is good, but if it's pushed via network then it's not enough. Imagine someone breaking into your main server, which contains credentials to your off-site backup server. Ta-da, all your data - including backups - is on the mercy of the cracker.

Physical backups on DVDs stored off-site is way safer than any of these cloud hacks, IMHO. Possibly you could combine these to get the best of both worlds... but then, one good backup scheme is better than two faulty ones.

  • 1
    Or worse, the backup server being cracked. This is what happened to webhostingtalk. It isn't something to laugh at because if your backups are screwed over then you pretty much have no recourse. – envalid Dec 14 '09 at 8:42
  • We decided to keep the off-site dvds backup AND start deploying on a remote service too. Thank you for your time. – Alex Bagnolini Dec 14 '09 at 9:19
  • 3
    To prevent this problem, we use somekind of drop box system using ZFS. The main server can only send new snapshots to the backup server, no other action are possible remotely (like deleting snapshots). The backup server has no access to the main server. All content is encrypted when archived, and the keys are stored on DVDs. – user23758 Dec 14 '09 at 9:25
  • +1 for "but then, one good backup scheme is better than two faulty ones" – Cshah Dec 14 '09 at 10:39

Backup your source code to Amazon S3, that would be safe, and it's offsite backup! Meaning even if your office went down in flames, you could still retrieve your source code


You just need an offsite storage location.

If you're using distributed version control (eg Git), you can simply set up a remote repository and push to it once a day. Many companies offer this service.

If you're using something like Subversion I'd recommend copying the repository to a remote location probably once a day. Even a shared hosting account will do (although VPS preferred). If you do this password-protect the backup but make sure a bunch of people know the password.

Some will also go so far as to put the repository on an external drive that is taken with them off-site. Considering you can now fit 8-16+ GB on a keyring, there's not much argument against doing this.

The chances of your office and an external host blowing up at the same time are fairly remote.

  • By VPS you mean Virtual Private Server? We have one, for our internet services, included website. I don't know how "secure" it might be to store source code there. – Alex Bagnolini Dec 14 '09 at 8:38
  • @Alex Bagnolini: You could encrypt it. – Georg Schölly Dec 14 '09 at 8:41
  • +1, but I wouldn't recommend a VPS. It is overkill and incurs a maintenance overhead (assuming the service isn't managed). – envalid Dec 14 '09 at 8:43

I'm using rsync.net, accessible via SSH/HTTPS. They provide encrypted storage (not the default option though).

Local banks (in Ireland) provide a secure storage service. Would be worth investigating that route for the DVD being stored at the boss's house.

  • We were using it, but the procedure to deploy something inside the bank is extremely slow (double key, fingers, those type of very long identification systems). Doing it each day is a pain in the a**. – Alex Bagnolini Dec 14 '09 at 12:06

Just don't do what CodingHorror did, and store all the backups of a virtual image on the same hard drive as the virtual image. And especially don't trust your backup procedure to a bloke called Geoff driving in occasionally to where the data center was to change a USB drive ...


I use ibackup.com and I'm relatively happy with them. Others have used JungleDisk. Your boss is right, you definitely need to have offsite backups.


Where are your backups stored today? As long as they are off-site "enough", you shouldn't necessarily need an online solution.


I'd have said storing your off-site backups are your boss' house is a bad idea, it's unlikely the security at his house is as good as on your office premises which provides a massive weak link in your security. Thats before you even consider that only one person in the company has access to those off-site backups in case they're ever needed.

If you're forced into a DR situation (you're site and on-site backups are destroyed), how much data can you afford to lose, and how long will it take you to get back up and running? It may be that you don't need daily off-site backups and weekly backups would be enough, making using something like storing them at a bank, or with a company like IronMountain much less of a hassle.

Do you have more than one site? Maybe swapping tapes with another site would be a workable solution.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.