Critical Zero

The online refuge of Andy Pearson
He’s been gone for a while, the posts are gathering dust...

Apple & Mac

Blazing Backups

3rd October 2009
4:32pm

My back-up routine currently consists of a Time Machine volume and a weekly back-up of my project folder to Mobile Me. Clearly there is room for improvement so whilst I save up enough cash to drop on a Drobo (for local secure back-up) part of the gap can be filled with the cloud.

The decision to try cloud based back-up was prompted by hearing an advert on Macbreak Weekly for Carbonite, a Mac and Windows service which actually looks pretty good.

In the interest of looking before I leapt I had a quick search around to find a review to make sure Carbonite was worth taking the plunge. One of the first I found was from The Apple Blog, overall the outlook was good but just as with so many reviews, one of the last lines was worth paying attention to.

If given the choice between Backblaze, Carbonite, or Mozy, the answer appears to be simple: Backblaze. For the money, you get more coverage with Backblaze and more recovery options as well.

It was with this new found knowledge that I sought out Backblaze. Impressed by the look and and feel of the website and the sheer simplicity of the Mac client there was one last test they had to pass – I headed over to their blog to see how they would hold up.

I find you can get a really solid impression of a company by reading a couple of blog posts. On a blog the barriers are reduced, not so much corporate jargon or sales speak just people at the company writing what they know.

The blog is mix of service updates, customer feedback and technical insights. One post in particular really got me excited. The post is titled “Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage” and Tim Nufire provides a complete guide on how to build a Backblaze pod – the exact hardware that Backblaze are using to provide an affordable amount of unlimited storage space to their customers. This is awesome!

They have open-sourced one of the key components of their business to help the community as a whole. A company that shows this kind of care and attention deserves support because they have shown that they care and have gone above and beyond the usual expectations.

In reality only a small proportion of Backblaze’s readership will ever take advantage of this information. The key here is that they took the time and effort to get this out in the wild. Easily enough to earn my respect, and my business.