Carbonite was very early on the remote backup scene, long before the cloud scaled up and economies of scale, intense price competition, and the ubiquity of higher speed connections could be assumed. My little understanding of how they work indicates they put in a lot of tech (good or not, I can't tell you) to minimize total data transfer and bandwidth that, as a consequence, gave high CPU load and not great performance, especially over slower links. It may have been necessary at the time, but more modern cloud backup services don't' have to jump through as many hoops and risk hitting so many snags.
People's who's opinions I respect on these things really like CrashPlan, so if I was setting something up new I'd take a good look at them, especially since they have a free trial, and the prices aren't bad when no longer free. Among other things they'll now backup locally or remotely, as well as to the cloud. I do hope anyone who's backing up locally is somehow moving one or two copies of that data off-premises. Otherwise the impact of a fire/tornado/flood/breakin, etc aren't going to be pretty.
These services are likely to be running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is six times larger than the next largest worldwide cloud provider (AWS is the only part of Amazon that's actually profitable). And since they're running on shared resources they'll almost always be encrypted, nowadays they really ought to all be end-to-end encrypted where only you hold the encryption keys--but you should investigate before you start using. AWS is the platform that now underlies a huge amount of what goes on on the web, including many media companies (like Netflix) and other service providers (Dropbox) which are almost solely hosted on AWS. Because there's so much occurring on AWS they've actually done a tremendous job providing separation and security between different services, and they're going through continuous improvements and providing a huge array of security tools to their clients. However, those clients have to actually implement the separation, security and encryption correctly. Since I'm not in a position to evaluate their proprietary systems and they're likely undergoing changes on an almost hourly basis, I'd go with larger providers that have been around for awhile and that people seem to respect. If a company's new and the prices are too low to believe, I'd be extremely hesitant with data I really cared about. And I would still want to have a copy of my data on more places than just a single remote cloud provider.
Many, many providers are going to leverage AWS to provide a variety of data/data storage/backup services. The catalog is pretty amazing of what AWS will rent from third parties to IT providers directly. This stuff is all abstracted away from the underlying hardware--the quality of service, or lack thereof, is dependent on the providers particular technology and skill at implementation.
Tom Fine: Apropos your comment, my university has negotiated legal agreements with a couple of major cloud service providers and I'm pretty sure I heard a part of those agreements was that the data has to remain within the boundaries of the United States. That way any legal issues, subpoenas, etc will only be subject to US law and can be handled by the university's General Counsel. If the data ends up in Finland or New Zealand, who knows what it's subject to, let alone what it might be subject to in transit. The USA PATRIOT act and other snooping are a different question. Strong encryption that you control is probably the best solution there.
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Senior Systems Manager
Department of Mathematics
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Cambridge, MA 02138
On Jan 13, 2016, at 7:58 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I tried Carbonite a couple of years ago and was very unimpressed, cancelled after a year. For one thing, the software is bloated and slows down a Windows computer. For another, the backup was so slow that, after a full year, all of my stuff was not backed up! Between the slow cable upload speeds and Carbonite throttling how much input it took per day, not enough days to do the job.
> If a client wants a cloud backup for an on-going job, we arrange it on a case by case basis. I'm agnostic as to what service to use, it's up to them. Thank you, Steve, for the recommendation of the place in Canada.
> For my personal files, I wouldn't want them stored on servers outside the U.S. Something tells me that you have little or no legal recourse for stuff not on a domestic server. But something else tells me that the user agreement you click gives you little or no legal recourse anyway! I keep all my personal stuff behind a firewall, on drives I own and control.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Cloud Storage
>> Hi, Steve,
>> I assume you mean 3 TB of data.
>> Crash Plan gets good reviews. I may give it another look.
>> I don't trust any cloud system, but a cloud system is great for many uses. For long-term trust, I have two (relatively new now) RAID-6 NAS units one backing up the other in two different parts of my house.
>> I have off-site drives and I have some stuff in the cloud.
>> One Drive was a disappointment.
>> The big deal is all my sons' data is on both their computers, Dropbox, and my two NAS units (we are decommissioning their local NAS units in their dorm rooms).
>> I have the JPGs of the family pictures on my Dropbox which I share with them (the 1 TB plan). The whole lot of storage right now is approaching 9 TB.
>> On 1/12/2016 8:56 PM, Steve Ramm wrote:
>>> I'm in no way a tekkie and I've been buying portable hard drives - I have
>>> more big VIDEO files and Photos than Sound Files. Last year (March) I read
>>> an article on Cloud Storage in the Wall Street Journal and they HIGHLY
>>> recommended a company called Code 42 in Canada that has software called Crash
>>> Plan. It's $50 a year (really cheap for what I'm getting) and has no limit.
>>> It actually backed up my FOUR hard Drives (PC and Three) with about 3 GB of
>>> data and whenever I need something I can retrieve it. I'm really happy with
>>> it. I use Dropbox for SHARING - not back up.
>>> BTW, the folks at Crash Plan answer the phone in Canada and speak perfect
>>> English <g>
>>> I found the review. Here it is FWIW.
>>> Steve Ramm
>> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.