Online backup services – doing the math

Just like everyone else, my amount of data/files keeps growing and growing. I store the bulk at home on my Linux box, with a RAID10 disk array. This will prevent data loss when 1 drive fails. There’s even a 33% chance that a 2 drive failure will not cause me any data loss either.

But what if my house burns down? What if the Linux box gets stolen? What if…? what if…? what if…?
Quite a while ago I already decided I don’t like all these ‘what if…’, so I started using online backup services for the most critical data.

First I used MozyHome, back in the day when they allowed unlimited storage. Later I switched over to Jungle Disk, mainly because they also support Linux.
I’ve been using Jungle Disk for quite a while now, and never experienced any issues with it at home. I pay about $11/month for the amount of data which I store with them.
That amount of data is by far not all the data I have. It’s only the irreplaceable data, like photo’s and documents. I have plenty of other files which I’d like to backup in a safe place, but then it would cost me too much.
Enter CrashPlan. I had not heard of them before, but found them on a comparison page in the Wikipedia. They’re unique in the sense that they do not charge you for the amount of data you store with them (CrashPlan+ Unlimited or CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited package).
This makes them very profitable for larger any amount of data, as the table below illustrates:

Online Backup Services

Jungle Disk4866390363036030
Prices mentioned are in US $, for a 2-year period.
Based on prices listed on the respective web sites on April 4th, 2011.
Where there's a difference between home & office/server use, the home edition has been chosen.
(If I made any calculation errors, please let me know.)

To compare the various online backup services I have calculated what the cost would be to store certain amounts of data for a 2 year period. The table clearly illustrates that you can save bucket-loads of $$$ by using CrashPlan, instead of another online backup service.
All 3 seem to support the basic features needed for online backups, so I am not going into a detailed feature comparison here.

The only thing that makes me hesitate a bit is the backing. Jungle Disk is owned by Rackspace, and Mozy is a subsidiary of EMC. Both Rackspace and EMC are giants in the information storage world.
CrashPlan is a product of Code 42 Software, a software development company without even its own Wikipedia entry…
(They do have more ‘likers’ on Facebook than Jungle Disk & Mozy put together, so they must be doing something right. 😉 )

As I write this article I’m in the process of uploading a couple of 100GB to CrashPlan, for some more thorough testing. If all continues to go as well as it does now, I’ll be closing my Jungle Disk accounts pretty soon! 😎

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