Saturday, October 07, 2006

Never Buy Another Hard Drive

For most indie labels, data storage and backup is (or should be) a huge issue. With multiple kinds of digital data being the basis for almost the entire business, having a viable backup and archive strategy should really be a serious priority.

I remember as far back as the early 90's, backing up all of my documents and artwork onto big, clunky Syquest disks and having stacks of floppy disks sitting around my office. This media would perpetually fail, so I had to have multiple backups. When CD Drives arrived in the later 90's, I transferred all of that data over to little shiny discs and kept them in a closet in the event of a meltdown. Recently I've kept multiple redundant hard drives and backed up religiously.

That's all over.

Thanks to Amazon S3 and a great little shareware utility called Jungledisk, I can store all of my label documents (art files, documents, music files, data archive) in a completely secure off site environment that can be accessed from anywhere.

How easy? To quote Jungledisk's page:
  1. Download and install Jungle Disk.
    It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and only takes a few seconds to install.
  2. Sign up for Amazon S3™ storage
    You can use your existing account! It's free to sign up and you'll only pay for the storage you use.
  3. Configure Jungle Disk with your Amazon Access Key
    It will automatically prompt you the first time you run it.
  4. Connect to your Jungle Disk
    For Windows users, just use the Start Menu shortcut provided. Connecting is easy for Mac and Linux users too.
  5. Start using your Jungle Disk like a local hard drive!
    You can copy files to it using Explorer (or Finder on Mac). When you copy a file to your Jungle Disk it is encrypted and uploaded in the background to the servers.
For more information about how and why to switch, check out this article by Jeremy Sawodny.


Anonymous said...

Its great, except for the 10 days it takes to upload 2 gigs over a dsl connection.

BW said...

Yeah, you're right about that. I should have posted a warning about how this is really for cable users and up.

Uploading is a little tedious. I have about 1TB of info going up there and it's been pumping all weekend even with my cable modem.

However, once it's all done and I'm only doing relatively small backups and downloads it should be fine and well worth it.

Anonymous said...

But isn't that still gonna be like a 150 bucks a month? Because I have about 80 gigs Id like to put up there and also not touch too often, but its still around 15 bucks a month. HD's and enclosures are so cheap these days you can literally buy two or three of them for the price of 6 months or less of this service. In the meantime, I posted my 2-3 gigs of my web site up there and I'll see what the ultimate monthly price is.

BW said...

As it turns out, I had quite a few files that weren't worth backing up in sucha secure way. So my total storage is more in the 200 GB range, and that's about $30 a month.

What this does is provide me with a way to keep my most precious documents in an offsite, secure environment that I can access from anywhere. (At work, visiting family, etc.)

Living in the NYC area, I have a huge concern about my office being broken into or my building burning down. Call me nutty, but the last thing I need is to have a charred husk of a hard drive or some crackhead selling my life's work for five bucks.

I may downsize even more to keep my bill even more reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, see I think the difference between you and I is business versus personal. If it was my business then 30 bucks a month to be secure is not a big deal, but for my music and videos (that I all own the dvds of anyways) isn't exactly worth paying 20 a month to backup. In other words, if my apt burned down, the last thing I'd care about is my digital music. Business office however, is a different story.