Cloud Storage vs Cloud Backup

Posted on 12/17/2016 9:27:00 AM

Many people do not aware of the difference between online backup solution vs online storage solution. Here's my take.

A lot of pepole are confused, or not even aware of the difference between "Cloud Storage Service" and "Cloud Backup Service". They might look similar, but there is a core difference between them.
 

Online Storage Solutions

Dropbox, Amazon Drive or Microsoft OneDrive are Cloud Storage solution. It's like a giantic USB drive you can get your files anywhere. You can share the content easily. But they have storage limits and might "mirror" to what you have locally.
 

Online Backup Solutions

CrashPlan, Carbonite, or Backblaze are Cloud Backup solution. it backup very slowly in the background while your computer is on. It does incremental backups. It's not for sharing files with others. And many offers unlimited storage.
 
Of course you can use your Cloud Storage as backup., Just like you can use a USB drive as backup. But it is not the main purpose.
 

Upstream Speed

Upload speed is always be slower than expected even if you have fastest connections like FIOS. Service provider will always need to throttle and regulate the upstream as they have hundreds of thousands of customers to serve at the same time.
 
From my personal experience at CrashPlan, do not select a whole harddrive to backup. Try to limit to a few folders at a time. In that case, the reporting upstream speed seems to be faster.
 

Online Backup vs Local Backup

With the throttled upload speed in mind, Cloud Backup will NOT be a good solution as primary backup solution. As an event filmmaker, make sure you backup your raw files into two local copies that keep in different physical locations.
 

Seeding Service

If you signed up any cloud backup service, the initial backup will take a very long time. Therefore, many online backup service will offer "Seeding Service" which they will mail out a physical harddrive for you to copy your initial backup archive. Once it is in place, incremental backup will be carried out to backup only the files that is changed afterwards.
 

Online Backup of Raw Footage

In LA Color Films, we use both Dropbox Pro and Crashplan. Since Crashplan is unlimited storage. It takes us about a week to upload all raw footage. However, once they are in CrashPlan storage farm, they will be kept in there forever. After we deliver our project, we can delete the raw files from our local harddrive. But at any time in the future, we can restore them easily with the CrashPlan desktop app.

 


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