14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2012 3:57 PM by mdiehr

    Copying backups to cloud systems


      Client has just asked me for a solution to copy their FM11 backups to a cloud-based system. They are using OS X Server and the files are relatively small.


      I think they are getting tired of manually copying the backups to an external drive for off-site storage. Of course they told me this now and want it this week.


      I was thinking of using Carbon Copy Cloner or something similar to copy backups to a remote system (at the low end) or some kind of subscription system with a scheduled app to move the files.


      Wondering what others are doing for this kind of process.


      Dave Zakary

        • 1. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems



          360works has always made good products for us. This looks like it would meet your needs as well.

          • 2. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

            Dave, we've used 360Works SafetyNet as mentioned by Mike, for a number of our clients and our own databases and, in general it has always worked well. However, on a few large database systems it has failed to complete the backup and resulted in many failed repeat attempts resulting in some large bills for our customers as it partially recopied data each time.


            The last time we spoke to 360Works (some time ago) they indicated that this would be a fairly major problem to fix and, to my knowledge, hasn't been as yet, although someone will no doubt be able to update us on this.


            We've also used Dropbox on the Mac, changed the permissions on the Dropbox folder and then created a dedicated schedule to backup direct to this folder. This doesn't work unless you allow the fmserver user to read/write, but with a free Dropbox account it is a very cost effective and easy way to gain offsite backup. Have a Google on 'FileMaker Server Dropbox Permissions' for some more info on this.



            • 3. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

              Thanks for the confirmation. I was thinking about SafetyNet. The files are relatively small. DropBox was another consideration. Didn't know about the need to change permissions on it.



              • 4. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                I wouldn't backup directly to the dropbox folder but rather have an FMS schedule to trigger a shell script to copy or move the completed backup to the dropbox folder.  I've seen issues where dropbox was trying to copy the files to the cloud while the backup was still in progress.

                • 5. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                  I would say this is sage advice when backing up to any other locations. Wim, is there a "flag" that can be queried to know the back up is "complete" (that can be scripted?)



                  • 6. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                    The event log will report the backup as being completed so you can read it from there.  Alternatively you can use the fmsadmin command line to do the backup and wrap the whole thing into one shell script instead of worrying about the timing of two separate schedules.

                    • 7. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                      Wim, belt and braces - totally agree.


                      So far we've had no problems with the systems backing up direct to Dropbox, but there is always the potential. It would be a great feature if the Dropbox sync could be delayed. I've seen it requested on the forums, but don't believe it is an option as yet.


                      SafetyNet was always our preferred option until some very large AWS bills started to appear and no solution to the problem could be seen on the horizon.

                      • 8. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                        Excellent! thanks, Wim.


                        • 9. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                          CICT (Andy),


                          When you stated that SafetyNet failed on "larger" system - what do you define as large?


                          Dave Zakary

                          • 10. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                            Hi Dave


                            By modern standards they weren't extraordinarily large, but we hit the problems on multi-file separated systems when the main data file approached 400Mb and upwards.


                            I don't know whether bandwidth was a factor, some of our systems run in UK rural villages where connection speeds aren't great, but 360Works acknowledged that there was a low level problem within SafetyNet. I must also stress that this has happened on some installations and not all.


                            Sorry about the name confusion, we're a husband and wife development team and, although we're both Technet members, we tend to share this account for convenience.


                            All the best



                            • 11. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                              I use Dropbox and Box.net

                              In Box.net can load file to folders by email



                              This allows you to add backups to the cloud from computers or iPad that are not running  Box.net and Dropbox.


                              P.S. Sorry for my English. I am from Russia

                              • 12. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                                Well, well, backup. Mission critical data etc. etc.


                                In some cases using drop box, local copies to own shared directories etc. may be OK.


                                But if your data is crucial to your organisation, you should go for a recognized commercial cloud solution. One that is suited for business use. One that is recognized and has a well documented security scheme etc. etc.


                                In Denmark wil are using www.backupbank.dk, but there are a lot of solutions you can use all over the world. If there is a limit to your trafic or if you pay for international trafic, you should probably chose a "domestic" solution (depending on where the server is). Juridically it can also be important to keep data within the same jurisdiction, depending on the type of business and your business rules.


                                If your data is including critical personal information, secret or private information that is important for your business etc. etc. I would definetely not go for dropbox, but will consider a commercial well documented solution. And in many cases you will have to adhere to existing national laws. If in Scandinavia it will probably be illegal to store personal information, including public personal numbers, on a server in another country.


                                Best regards



                                • 13. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                                  I second Carsten's suggestion of using a recognized commericial solution. There are a whole lot out there that do a great job, are very easy to use, and are very inexpensive. I use CrashPlan for several clients. $50/year for unlimited storage from one computer or $120/year for unlimited storage for up to 10 computers. Pricing is competitive, software is excellent, and I can get outstanding upload speeds on an 8 GB database (I tried several cloud services and found CrashPlan to be about the fastest).


                                  I configure them to only back up in the middle of the night so as to avoid the problem Wim discussed about backing up a file that's in the process of being backed up. The unlimited storage is important because I'm backing up and retaining every day's database ... you don't want to have a problem with a database only to find out your only backup is troubled, too.


                                  Gordon Shewach

                                  Desktop Services

                                  Ann Arbor, MI

                                  • 14. Re: Copying backups to cloud systems

                                    I've been using Arq for a few months, and after some initial glitches, is working quite nicely.

                                    Arq backs up to amazon S3, and encrypts all data before it sends it.

                                    The software is only $29 and it's under $1/GB/month for amazon fees.


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