Backing up computer to DH disk?

DreamHost is a great place to host my webpages. It’s so great that I have more space in my DH account (and growing every week) than I do on my desktop and laptop computers combined. So I thought why not back up my computers to my unused DH disk space. Does this make sense? Can anyone see any downside to this? I understand that DH computers can go down and the data I’ve stored there can be lost, but that can happen to my computers at home as well. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Some people do it, and unlike many hosts, DH actually allows it.

The downsides?

Some people probably prefer to keep their data more private and feel better about keeping it at home. Well, at least until their home catches on fire or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

External USB hard drives are cheap and the data moves a lot quicker to and from it. Your upload & download speeds could be a deciding factor in whether or not you want to do it.

If you’re talking about smaller amounts, even media like SD cards come in handy. I keep a 512 MB SD card in my laptop, which I regularly update with important files that change frequently. (That’s also in addition to backing everything up on the external drive.)

You need a file while DH or your ISP is down, or right after your modem/router/etc… fails.

I guess I’m just used to having fast access to my external hard drive, but I can certainly understand the desire to do it. Especially for people like me that are using less than 1% of our disk space. :wink:

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Thanks for your input. I didn’t think about the privacy issue but since what I’m backing up is mainly vacation pictures, I can’t see that that’s a real issue.

One of the things I’m trying to back up is my iPhoto Library. It’s about 7.5 GB and I thought it would be easy just to store it on DH. The problem is there are folders within folders and to upload it, I would have to create the folders individually, then upload the files to each folder. Is there a way to upload a folder, its contents and subfolders and keep the heirarchiacal relationships? Also, iPhoto uses aliases but instead of uploading the alias, ftp programs I’ve tried upload the original file. Very time consuming.

I’m going out of town and taking my computer with me so I don’t have time to look into an external HD. But with all the points your raise, it sounds like that is the best solution in the long run. Thanks again for your input.

I have also copied some of my files to my webspace as a backup.
I use an FTP program, and that does all the (sub)directory-creation for me.

My biggest problem with web-backup is the horrible upload speeds I get - only about 40Kb/s! Imagine uploading several gigabytes with so little speed - yawn :frowning:

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The privacy issue is less of an issue if you store it in a non-web-accessible directory. But… it’s still a shared server with many other users… and things can go wrong. If it’s nothing you wouldn’t mind other people seeing–no big deal. I was mainly referring to personal info, documents, etc.

As mentioned, you can upload a fold with folders in it and it will maintain the directory structure. If you don’t care about accessing individual files online, you compress them into zip/rar/etc. files which would take less space and transfer faster.

The external HDs are nice. I have a 200 GB one, but I think you can even get 500 GB ones in the $150 - $200 range now, if you need that much space. I got mine at Newegg, but there are always places running sales on them.

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I have an external FireWire drive. I have a laptop (iBook) and every night I synchronize a partition on the external drive with the internal drive. Why this is better than uploading everything to DreamHost:

  1. It’s fast!
  2. I can boot from it.
  3. It was quite cheep.
  4. I can restore my whole system in a matter of minutes.
  5. And again just to be sure. Speed.

Thanks for all the great responses. Is there a program out there for the Mac that will upload folders and their subfolders and their subfiles? I use fetch and you have to select a file, you can’t select a folder. Thanks.

I use Retrospect on the Mac to backup to an FTP site. It will preserve all the folders, Mac file attributes, etc. If you want security, you can encrypt the backup. It will also do incremental backups.

For a 1-time backup, you can control-click on a folder and choose the Create Archive of XXX command. This will make a zip archive of the entire folder and all the sub-folders. You can then backup that 1 file with Fetch. This requires that you have enough disk space to make the zip archive.

You can also search for a Mac version of rsync, which should be usable with a DH shell account. (I haven’t tried this option myself.)

Irosenstein, the more I learn the more I think that making a compressed file and uploading that is the way to go. Then if I need the backup, I could download the file, uncompress it and go from there. Would that preserve all the comments and albums I’ve made in iPhoto? Thanks.

rsync is included with Mac OS X. At least with the developer tools installed.

I don’t know exactly how iPhoto works. If all the information about albums is stored within that directory structure, then it should be saved if you use the Create Archive of … command.

You have to be sure that you have a version that handles the Mac resource forks & file metadata. I know Apple made some improvements to various command-line tools in 10.4, but I don’t know if that applies to it’s version of rsync.