I hate losing pictures

13 04 2009

I hate losing pictures, I’ve been taking digital pictures for almost as long as you have and I hate losing them. I can’t readily locate the pictures from my honeymoon ten years ago. It would be a terrible loss if I never find those pictures again.  To help ensure that I never lose another picture I employ a variety of backup systems.

Systems and services that I am going to discuss in this post:

Jungledisk from jungledisk.com

Amazon S3 from aws.amazon.com/s3/

Windows Home Server from microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver

Disclaimer:

I do not work for or own any of the companies that I am discussing today.  I use the products but that is the only relationship I have with these companies.

To backup my pictures I bought the jungledisk program, it cost a one time fee of $15.  This program is used to access Amazon S3 to use as a storage system.  Jungledisk maps a local drive letter to Amazon S3 on each computer that I have it loaded.  Amazon S3 stores my data.

I have Jungledisk configured to nightly backup my pictures folder on my main computer to Amazon S3.  I don’t backup all of my data, just the pictures folder.  Only changed or new files are moved up to Amazon S3 so the upload is usually small and fast.

I get billed by Amazon for my S3 useage monthly, most of my bills are between $.17 and $.27 for the month.  I played around and moved several gigabytes of data through S3 last month and my bill was an eye watering $1. something.  Not too bad for storing all of my pictures.

I also use Amazon S3 to help me move files and data between work and home.  If there is something I don’t want to forget I’ll upload (drag and drop into the jungledisk drive) the files to S3 and then download them at home.  Speeds are as fast as your network connection and the storage is resonably price.

In the past couple of months I’ve added a Windows Home Server (WHS) to my network.  I use the WHS to backup all of my PCs in my home and sometimes to share files between systems.  Microsoft offers a six month free trial of WHS and so far that’s what I’ve been using.

I took an old PC that I wasn’t going to use again, added some hard drives and loaded WHS on it.  Over the period of the last couple of months I’ve migrated the data off of the old smaller hard drives I’d initially set it up with onto two new terabyte sized drives.  The migration of drives is handled by WHS and was very easy to do.

Most of the time I leave my WHS server off, I tend to turn it on over the weekends to let it get a current backup of my workstations.  I’d leave it on all of the time but I don’t want to burn the electricity for the server when I’m not using it.

WHS supports add-ins to help with the administration of the server and to add capabilities.  One of the add-ins that I’ve installed is the Jungledisk add-in.  Because I am already a Jungledisk user this add-in was free.  I have Jungledisk scheduled to backup my WHS server to my Amazon S3 storage on a weekly basis.

So, to recap my backups:

1) Jungledisk backs up the pictures on my main PC

2) WHS backs up all of my PCs to it’s drives

3) Jungledisk backs up WHS

I’m getting multiple backups of my data, 1 on my WHS and 2 copies on Amazon S3.  Eventually I’ll clean this up so that I am only getting two backups, the local WHS and the remote Amazon S3, but for the mean time Amazon S3 storage is cheap so I don’t mind the duplication.

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