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Old 03-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #1
ixtab
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[OFF-TOPIC] Looking for peer-to-peer backup storage

Ok, first things first: I realize that this is, in principle, totally off-topic for this forum. Nevertheless, I'm posting this here because I'm confident that there are quite a few people around here who could help me out in one way or another.

Anyway, here it goes:

Beside my Kindle hobby, I also have another hobby - I'm the IT admin of a University students' club. It's pretty small, so everything goes through a single machine, which serves as the gateway for the 3 internal computers, and at the same time acts as the web and mail server. Essentially, all vital data is stored on that one machine.

I do have a local backup strategy (using a second hard disk). What I do not have (anymore) at this moment is an off-site backup - if disaster strikes, and the entire server burns down... we're screwed.

So essentially, and pretty bluntly, I'm looking for some place which could serve as an off-site mirror for the data. And ... it shouldn't cost anything. We can't afford to pay, as we're a not-for-profit organization, and we're also struggling...

I'm not talking about a terrible lot of data (currently about 90 GB, and it's not expected to grow by more than, say, 20 or 30 GB per year). Data is changing rarely - normally, it's just the incoming mail that gets added, so a few MB per day. I'd want to run incremental backups daily, differential backups monthly, and full backups every 6 months.

Of course, I know that simply asking for someone to act as a "provider" doesn't really make sense, so here's the proposal: I'm willing to do the same for you, up to around 2 or 3 times my own data volume.

The server in question is online 24/7 (current uptime stats: "10:18:58 up 182 days, 9:46, 1 user, load average: 0.10, 0.11, 0.09"), and has very good connectivity thanks to being in the University network (1000baseT-FD , and it can in principle reach that speed both in and out). There's currently 1.5 TB of storage available (no RAID).

So yeah, to summarize: I'm looking for someone who could provide a reliable and decently connected Linux/BSD machine to store off-site disaster recovery backups on (rsync, duplicity, duply, or similar... a shell account should normally do), and I would provide the same in return.

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact me, either in this thread, or via PM. Please: serious offers only. Of course, other constructive comments are appreciated as well
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Dreamhost.com
They offer free hosting (and as part of that, of course, file storage) to registered not-for-profit groups.

Best source for information on that is their web-site.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
Dreamhost.com
They offer free hosting (and as part of that, of course, file storage) to registered not-for-profit groups.

Best source for information on that is their web-site.
Thanks for the info! I've tried to look around on their site, but did not find anything really relevant. The only thing that comes close is http://dreamhost.com/about-us/the-dreamhost-difference/ , but that only considers U.S. law (and IIUC, that essentially means charity organizations). But we're neither US-based, nor are we a charity organization. Oh... I just realized that technically, we're actually ... nothing. :-/ (sorry, no english translation).

So I guess I can only hope for a volunteer (or someone with a similar concern) to maybe jump in. Anyway, thanks for the effort and for the suggestion!

PS: I've used the trading feature of Wuala while it lasted, and then joined the Tahoe LAFS-based VolunteerGrid2. The former was abandoned by the company because... well, because of what always happens when startups grow bigger and the management changes, and the latter was abandoned by the members because the software caused more problems than it solved.

So here I am. I can offer well-connected offsite (backup) storage for free - I'm just asking for the same in return.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixtab View Post
Thanks for the info! I've tried to look around on their site, but did not find anything really relevant. The only thing that comes close is http://dreamhost.com/about-us/the-dreamhost-difference/ , but that only considers U.S. law (and IIUC, that essentially means charity organizations). But we're neither US-based, nor are we a charity organization. Oh... I just realized that technically, we're actually ... nothing. :-/ (sorry, no english translation).

So I guess I can only hope for a volunteer (or someone with a similar concern) to maybe jump in. Anyway, thanks for the effort and for the suggestion!

PS: I've used the trading feature of Wuala while it lasted, and then joined the Tahoe LAFS-based VolunteerGrid2. The former was abandoned by the company because... well, because of what always happens when startups grow bigger and the management changes, and the latter was abandoned by the members because the software caused more problems than it solved.

So here I am. I can offer well-connected offsite (backup) storage for free - I'm just asking for the same in return.
Educational not-for-profits count.

I recently dealt with them on this subject, will try to find the document they e-mailed me and PM it to you.
(Note: Don't hold your breath, my e-mail tree is not very well organized.)
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:11 AM   #5
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Digital Lifeboat

Was surfing around and found this post. I am involved with a start up in Seattle called Digital Lifeboat. We have a peer to peer solution exactly like you describe. We have been doing the 10 GB free, then $12.95 a year. The service works great (or so people tell us) but we don't have the marketing dollars to spread the word. So we are thinking about going to free for anyone in HS or college. No gimmick, no bait and switch. We're just tired of seeing all of these big data farms spend hundreds of millions of dollars and suck all of this power out of the grid, then charge people an arm and a leg when all they want is their data backed up in case of catastrophe. Let me know if you are interested...you can Google the site to find it. Email me back if you want to talk more...we'd love for this to go viral so that every high school, college and grad school student didn't have to pay for backup!
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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Another suggestion for you: build a backup box, and store it at a friend's house. Post your backups there, and let him post backups to your server. That way you both benefit from offsite storage!
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions

Problem is solved though - I found a nice individual in the U.S. who offers just what I need. Essentially, we're providing shell accounts for each other, and use them to store (encrypted) backups on the other machine. Actually, in my case it's simply an "image" using reverse encfs and rsync - that's about the easiest possible setup, and it works very well.
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