DreamObjects as replacement for DH Backups

When DH announced the free backup solution I was really happy. I have a couple PCs where I need to do periodic backups. But I never fully implemented a strategy for getting my local data out to DH on a regular basis.

So I let that project drop, and earlier this year DH announced that the free backup service is being cancelled. Well, now I’m missing it.

DreamHost, I’m really sorry I didn’t take advantage of your generous offer because I could really use it. And I’m really sorry that other DH users didn’t jump on this opportunity and sing your praises to justify your expense. And I’m confused that this was withdrawn rather than just getting a lower profile- I mean, does it really cost that much to have a service that’s Under-used?

I estimate my long-term backup data at about 2TB, with about 5-10GB of random files being refreshed from day to day PC usage. My current thinking is to push out long-term storage to a couple local HDs and then use DreamObjects for ongoing backups. Ideally I would never have to pull files back so I would just be paying for storage, and at about 2 cents/GB/month, that’s trivial.

But for that bulk storage of save-and-forget data which I hope I’ll never need, is there any chance that we can get permission to use some of our “unlimited” shared space rather than DO? I’ve been a client here for almost a decade. I get relatively little traffic on my sites (so far). I’m feeling like I haven’t been a strain on resources so I’m hoping to get a waiver to put my backups on your server somewhere without fear that it will get deleted.

I know I’m not alone. I’m wondering if you can come up with an algorithm based on usage which will help to determine if individual accounts qualify for a private waiver.

My only concern is that I’m not sure about the backup schedule of our shared space, but I know DO space is mirrored 3 times. There is value to that security, and with concern for my website files, at some point I might download those to get another off-DH backup, just in case.

So can you offer any consultation on this? Or is the answer to put my bulk storage on DO or find someone else to beg for free cloud disk space?


Sorry that this feature you were planning to use has gone away. Hanjin aka Personal Backup is getting old and to the point that we would be duplicating our efforts to keep two similar but quite different services in place, with the personal backup server being less reliable than our cloud storage. Because of this, we have opted to end-of-life personal backup and offer customers a free year of 50GB of storage on DreamObjects instead.

As for keeping an under-used service, it does cost man hours, and hardware needs replacing, and power and so on to keep it active.

2TB is actually quite a lot of storage, and it was more expensively charged on personal backup ($0.10/GB/month) than on DreamObjects ($0.025/GB/month), so it would be cheaper and more ideal to use that if possible.

Our disk usage policy specifically prohibits storing anything other than website data on the shared servers, so that won’t be an option for backups. If such data is found on shared servers, customers will get a warning and then moved to DreamObjects.

There are similar tools to DreamObjects and S3 systems such as boto-rsync and s3cmd, that can sometimes be drop-in replacements in scripts. If you really need a ftp/rsync based backup system, please submit a support ticket letting us know your cpu, ram and storage needs and we can quote you a price for a custom DreamCompute plan. On that we do allow storing of backups, and if you just need a small VM with 1 CPU and 1GB of RAM to run it, you can get the access you need. Generally going to the DreamCompute route will be more expensive than DreamObjects alone though.

If you have any further questions I would be happy to help.

That’s a good, solid answer. Thanks, Justin.

I had no idea that we can get 50G of free storage for a year. Maybe that detail was lost in one of those long monthly emails with 1% of actual content hidden among the bad humor. How do we get that? Is that 1 year from the EOL of backups or 1 year from the first request to use DO? I created a DO account when it was in beta to get the early-bird discount, but I never used it.

I like the DC option. I wouldn’t need to leave an instance up all the time, I could just load it and shut it down and pay for the storage. That’s how it would be handled with Amazon but I believe pricing for DC is flat whether an instance is up or not, right? OK, there goes the idea of going off-line to keep the cost down.

Please do note this specific usage class: I don’t want a dynamic repository like DO and I don’t need active access to it like a CDN. I just want to store data securely and the forget about it. Might there be a business case to support offline storage like this at a lower cost than DO? I’m thinking about DC with 2TB+ of Block Storage, 1GB RAM as you suggested, with the server instance only being up maybe once a month or so.

The 50GB of storage is called Personal Backup and that is the service that is ending. As Justin mentioned, it’s running on older hardware that’s not worth the effort to maintain or replace.

With DreamCompute, or any cloud service, you’d still be billed monthly for the storage you’re using. DreamCompute charges a flat rate per month no matter how many instances you’re running or the amount of data you’re storing. With something like AWS, you’d still be charged for GB stored per hour per month. You’d still need to pay for the storage even if a virtual machine isn’t running.

For your specific use case, if DreamObjects doesn’t fit your needs you could look at Amazon Glacier. It’s designed to be cold storage so it has limitations for accessing and deleting data. If you really don’t need to access the data often, it could be an option for you. Just watch out because the low storage pricing is offset by a lot of what I call “sneaky” fees - per request fees, deleting data before 90 days fee, tiered bandwidth fees, retrieval fee when retrieving more than 5% of your data fee, etc.