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  1. #11
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    It appears to me that Carbonite, IDrive, Macrium Reflect, and Acronis all have essentially the same guarantee: 30 days (15 in the case of IDrive).

    Why do you say they don't provide a usable working archive, Phil?
    Because they don't actually guarantee that your files will be readable.

    What actually is being guaranteed? If the backup isn't readable what is their responsibility and what are they promising?

    There have been more than enough instances where backups have failed and when they do its pretty much we are sorry but there is nothing we can do.

    There are also other risks. Companies go out of business, governments institute arbitrary policy changes (like everybody in Venezuela that just lost their adobe account), legal actions can arbitrarily shut down services (think MegaPath).

    Backups/archives are really the kind of thing you need to have direct control over. Relying on 3rd parties for critical infrastructure is just a bad idea.

    It always sounds so convenient, but somewhere down the road there are almost always regrets.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  2. #12

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post
    Because they don't actually guarantee that your files will be readable.

    What actually is being guaranteed? If the backup isn't readable what is their responsibility and what are they promising?

    There have been more than enough instances where backups have failed and when they do its pretty much we are sorry but there is nothing we can do.

    There are also other risks. Companies go out of business, governments institute arbitrary policy changes (like everybody in Venezuela that just lost their adobe account), legal actions can arbitrarily shut down services (think MegaPath).

    Backups/archives are really the kind of thing you need to have direct control over. Relying on 3rd parties for critical infrastructure is just a bad idea.

    It always sounds so convenient, but somewhere down the road there are almost always regrets.

    Let's clear something up. It seems to me that the guarantees are the same whether the imaging happens online or under your roof: there is no guarantee other than you may get your money back in the first few weeks. I can't imagine anyone is offering to compensate you for lost data. So I'm not following the guarantee argument. Or are you saying disk imaging, generally, is a bad idea, because there are no guarantees?

    Then there's the issue of companies going under or governments changing laws. To me that's the same risk as your backup media failing. It's very unlikely to happen at the same time that everything else fails (this is why redundancy is a good idea).

    What am I missing?
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 10-10-2019 at 02:03 PM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  3. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Let's clear something up. It seems to me that the guarantees are the same whether the imaging happens online or under your roof: there is no guarantee other than you may get your money back in the first few weeks. I can't imagine anyone is offering to compensate you for lost data. So the guarantee argument doesn't mean anything, right?

    Then there's the issue of companies going under or governments being overthrown. To me that's the same risk as your backup media failing. It's very unlikely to happen at the same time that everything else fails (this is why redundancy is a good idea).

    What am I missing?
    There have been plenty of circumstances where people using cloud backup solutions were not able to recover their files when their system crashed and they needed their files.

    If you want to use on online cloud service as a redundant backup source thats great, but I wouldn't rely on them as your sole backup or even as the primary backup/archive.

    Imaging stuff locally is massively faster, particularly for recovery since you aren't trying to pull an entire system archive through your internet connection.

    Obviously local stuff can also fail, but you have a lot more control over how your files are managed and what sort of redundancy is built in.

    Cloud services are a black box. You don't know what their actual system reliability is or in some cases even if they are backing up your files. It looks like it is, but its not.

    There are plenty of personal cloud boxes you can buy for a reasonable cost that will do the same thing as the online cloud services but you've got a bit more control over the mechanics.

    Additionally, every single file share service that exists, drop-box, adobe cloud, etc, that are installed as an inline file service on your computer are also a security hole and its not a question of IF, only of WHEN they will be breached. When that occurs it will not be pretty, as it will potentially affect every computer connected to that service.

    so it all boils down to how much you trust the archive company keeping in mind that without an actual guarantee they have ZERO responsibility for your files.

    Your paying a monthly fee for the appearance of safety.
    Last edited by cgrafx; 10-10-2019 at 02:10 PM.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto Canada
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    2,817

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Dave, I echo every point Philip is making. I couldn't present a better case myself. I really like the 'appliance' idea.

    I image my drives using Linux dd. I have no experience with commercial disk imaging software. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend dd for many of my clients, if any.

    Since you're recommending something to a client, your reputation is on the line. Why not error on the side of caution and suggest an approach with the best chance of success in the event of a disaster?

    Are you helping them with a full system recovery option? For example, system drive fails, they swap to a different drive and are back up and running within a couple of re-boots? Is this the level of recovery we're discussing?
    Last edited by Naturally Digital; 10-10-2019 at 06:46 PM.


  5. #15

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by cgrafx View Post
    There have been plenty of circumstances where people using cloud backup solutions were not able to recover their files when their system crashed and they needed their files.

    If you want to use on online cloud service as a redundant backup source thats great, but I wouldn't rely on them as your sole backup or even as the primary backup/archive.

    Imaging stuff locally is massively faster, particularly for recovery since you aren't trying to pull an entire system archive through your internet connection.

    Obviously local stuff can also fail, but you have a lot more control over how your files are managed and what sort of redundancy is built in.

    Cloud services are a black box. You don't know what their actual system reliability is or in some cases even if they are backing up your files. It looks like it is, but its not.

    There are plenty of personal cloud boxes you can buy for a reasonable cost that will do the same thing as the online cloud services but you've got a bit more control over the mechanics.

    Additionally, every single file share service that exists, drop-box, adobe cloud, etc, that are installed as an inline file service on your computer are also a security hole and its not a question of IF, only of WHEN they will be breached. When that occurs it will not be pretty, as it will potentially affect every computer connected to that service.

    so it all boils down to how much you trust the archive company keeping in mind that without an actual guarantee they have ZERO responsibility for your files.

    Your paying a monthly fee for the appearance of safety.
    So I assume, then, you agree with me that there are no guarantees anywhere. But I think you're saying non-cloud (local) imaging is more dependable and more controllable. Okay. I presume you speak from experience. Thanks for your advice.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  6. #16

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naturally Digital View Post
    Dave, I echo every point Philip is making. I couldn't present a better case myself. I really like the 'appliance' idea.

    I image my drives using Linux dd. I have no experience with commercial disk imaging software. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend dd for many of my clients, if any.

    Since you're recommending something to a client, your reputation is on the line. Why not error on the side of caution and suggest an approach with the best chance of success in the event of a disaster?

    Are you helping them with a full system recovery option? For example, system drive fails, they swap to a different drive and are back up and running within a couple of re-boots? Is this the level of recovery we're discussing?
    Dave -- I'm only making alternative suggestions as I see them about to spend what I think is too much. They just want to feel safer with their data than they do now. They're driving the ideation around this. I'd just hate to see them make a budgetary mistake, so I'm chiming in.

    The situation is that I'm my client's (podcaster) recording computer guy, but she had a recent email malware issue with her business laptop, so she's gone to a local company (this is back in Tucson) who have quoted her $215/month for a cloud-based imaging backup service (ShadowProtect), along with some anti-virus and remote control software, for all three of her computers (she's adding a desktop to her office) -- all of which they would monitor day-to-day, allegedly. It just seems like overkill to me (and overpriced).

    But I'm not there, and I'm not a computer expert, so the best I can do is make suggestions. At this point, I've expressed my concerns and encouraged her to at least get a couple of competitive bids. But I recognize that if they want to feel better about security, I'm not the guy to do that for them; I can only make suggestions, and even then, as I said, I'm no expert.

    If it were me, I'd have a local HD dedicated to daily image updates from all three computers on the network and back that up to "the cloud" as data, a redundant copy of the three images. But I'm not comfortable taking on the role of making sure that all works as it should day-to-day for a client, let alone being responsible if there are problems up the road. So here we are.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
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    1,956

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    On this subject, I heard a radio ad this morning by Kim Commando for iDrive, where she said iDrive also offers an option to periodically send you a physical drive for backup, that you then send back to them for safe keeping. I'd be curious to see how they'll manage to get the average clueless computer user to create a useful and reliable hard drive backup or clone, but an interesting combo plan nonetheless.

  8. #18

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean McCoy View Post
    On this subject, I heard a radio ad this morning by Kim Commando for iDrive, where she said iDrive also offers an option to periodically send you a physical drive for backup, that you then send back to them for safe keeping. I'd be curious to see how they'll manage to get the average clueless computer user to create a useful and reliable hard drive backup or clone, but an interesting combo plan nonetheless.
    I use IDrive for my dail backups. I think what she was referring to is their program of sending you a hard drive at the start of your subscription so that you can avoid days or weeks of initial uploading to their servers. You do a backup to the drive using their software and ship it back to them. It's all included in the subscription price. They may let you do it periodically after that, too, though I don't see how that would be helpful unless you're adding a computer to your subscription or, I guess, replacing one.

    Anyway, it worked well for me. At my DSL speeds (6-ish mbps up), it was a time-saver, for sure. But, yeah, you have to have a basic grasp of their backup program to do it. Of course, this applies to any backup program that anyone wants to self-manage. Ya gotta have some level of computer literacy.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
    Posts
    1,956

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Ah, thanks, I didn't realize that had already been part of the process, but that certainly does make sense for a large, initial backup. I only heard the ad once so I may have misinterpreted the periodic nature of the hard drive exchange. It has always seemed to me that these cloud services are aimed more at the casual user, to make sure they don't lose their pictures and videos, than the pro user who is more concerned with a quick and accurate system restoration. I think regular on-site cloning is the only practical answer for that.

  10. #20

    Default Re: OT: Recommended On-line Disk Imaging Solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean McCoy View Post
    Ah, thanks, I didn't realize that had already been part of the process, but that certainly does make sense for a large, initial backup. I only heard the ad once so I may have misinterpreted the periodic nature of the hard drive exchange. It has always seemed to me that these cloud services are aimed more at the casual user, to make sure they don't lose their pictures and videos, than the pro user who is more concerned with a quick and accurate system restoration. I think regular on-site cloning is the only practical answer for that.
    Agreed. I think the online option is a good redundancy, though, for catastrophic loss coverage for the on-site image. Assuming it works, of course.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

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