Since there are others using my server now, I thought it would be a good idea to upgrade my backup practices. I looked around a bit, hoping for a solution that was free, butt-simple to set up, and automatic, so I would never have to think about it again. I don’t like thinking when I don’t have to.
I came across CrashPlan, the backup solution my employer uses. Turns out their software is free to chumps like me; they make their cash providing a place for you to put that valuable information.
There are two parts to any backup plan: you must gather your data together and you must put it somewhere safe that you can get to later. The CrashPlan software handles the gathering part, making it easy, for instance, to save all my stuff to the external hard drive sitting on my desk, but if the house burns down that won’t do me much good.
Happily CrashPlan also makes it easy to talk to remote computers, provided they have the software installed. I put CrashPlan on my server in a bunker somewhere in Nevada, and now this site and a couple of others are saved automatically to my drive in California as well. Easy peasy! Any computer signed up under my account can make backups to any other.
But wait! There’s more! The cool idea CrashPlan came up with was letting friends back each other up. I give you a special code and you can put backups of your stuff on my system. I can’t see what you saved, it’s all encrypted. But unless both our houses burn down at the same time, there’s always a safe copy.
Sure, if you pay you get more features and they will store your stuff in a safe place where you don’t have to wait if I happen to be on vacation, but for free that’s not bad at all. The idea of friends getting together and forming a backup community appeals to me as well. It’s a great way for geeks to look out for one another.