matsc_site matsc_site

Backup for the Project studio                                                                                                                                    4/3 2013

If there is one thing we all could agree on I hope, is that its VERY important to make backups of our work.
If you are one of the few (?) that disagree with that, or maybe don't understand the importance of making backups, you have probably never had a hard disc crash or never deleted a file by mistake……

There used to be only a few options for backup, that was.

1.  an external hard disc
2.  a home server or home network disk

Both of these where located in your home so when it for example, burnt down, was robed, got flooded…..your backup probably was lost or got destroyed.
Maybe you took your  backup hard disc and put it elsewhere. But then you didn't have access to it and couldn't make  continuous backups. It had to be done on several discs (which is a god idea).

I used to drag hard discs between home (my home studio) and my work, but it never was a practical solution. I must admit that twice I have found hard discs in my drawer, that I forgot. They where put there just before summer vacations and then…..forgotten.

Something had to be done that was more easily manageable, very secure, and preferably, inexpensive. Here is what I came up with.

Synchronising computers/folders
Syncing is about having one or more folders on a computer that are synchronised with the same folders on an other computer. Making new files or changing file on one computer is reflected on the other computers. All folders will, if everything works, be identical on all synchronised computers.
I used to do this between a laptop and a stationary PC a long time a go but it didn't prove to be perfectly reliable.
I also had to do some manual work like using a cable to connect the computers and starting up programs on both computers and then telling them to sync (and then wait until it was done…..).

Today there are several online systems that make this so much easier.
They all do this in the background and the ones I have tested works perfectly without disturbing your workflow or cripple computer performance.
Most (all) of them also keep a copy of your folders online. That means you have one copy of your folders “in the cloud” and identical folders “copies “ on all of your computers.

I have tree computers. One in the office and two at home (laptop and home studio desktop). This means that my files are stored in tree different places and thereby secured in a very god way.

Fine we done, by-by….
Note really. There are a couple off drawbacks. One is the storage space ,these services provides,  is limited. Its not economical, in my opinion, to store more than 100 ++Gb. This will costs you between 9-15 $ a month.
I actually use one of the more expensive solutions, Sugar Sync, that sets me back 149.95 $ a year for 100Gb.

100 Gb is not enough for all of us. A CD projects can easily run up to twice that size  especially if you running 24/96 sessions with lots of audio tracks .
I would guess that for us project studio users 100 Gb is okay for the projects we work on at the moment.
And if you are like me, I'm not using that many audio tracks mostly synthesisers and samplers, 10Gb is more than enough for what I work with at the moment.
I have also stored all my pictures (60Gb) and all other files that is important to me and that I cant lose like text files, my websites and spreadsheets.

At the moment my Sugar sync account uses 88Gb.
But what about my old projects? I have about 600Gb of old projects. And  the sample libraries I use (close to 900Gb) I used to have them backed up on two separate discs in my office.

What I do now is that I have a second online backup service that allows me to back up as much as I want for about 80 dollar a year using only one computer. I have all of my other files backed up to that service AND all of the files that's backed up with Sugar sync.

I'm covered, this must be 110% safe and secure, by-by I'm off…….

Note really (……again). The functionality of the online services rely on the speed of your Internet connection. I actually  upgraded my Internet connection to  70/10 Mbit/sec. At that speed its possible to use the Cloud services for larger files and project. The problem is the upload, if its to slow (like 1 Mbit) its not very practical if you have to backup larger files, but its possible. I used to have a 20/1 and it took me almost a month to do the initial 100Gb upload.

Download 100Gb may take to long time if you ar on a slow conecction. So what do you do if you need 100Gb and need to get it fast (within a couple of hours)?
Then you need a local backup, something that back up your files locally, on a separate hard disc.
That's why both of my main computers (not the laptop), also backs up to a local hard disc. To restore file(s) will usualy much be faster from a local disc. The program I use makes back up at night, every night.

So my backup systems are:
- all files that I work with at the moment, and all of my pictures,  text files, web and spreadsheets are backed up online and synced between 3 computers. All in all, 4 copies in tree different places.
- all of my files, including the Sugar sync folders, are backed up to this online service at the moment about 600Gb. Todo Backup Home
- all of my files on my home and office computers is, once a day,  backed up to a local hard disc.

And my system (OS) is backed up with Windows Backup.

Am I happy with my online providers?
I have had some problems with Sugar Sync. It started to make copies of files by renaming them. Some files where copied, that is saved as new file, up to 6 times, and at one point I used  50% more storage space because of this random renaming of files. Sugar sync took care of that  and immediately gave me 50Gb more storage space and then instructed me how to solve the problem. They actually called me twice and talked me trough this. Very god customer support.

All of these online storage providers allows you to set up a free or trial account so you can try for yourself

Jottacloud is based in Norway (and so am I)s o its a little bit faster than Sugar sync. To get unlimited backup space for 80 Us Dollar a year is very god value for money and so far I have had absolutely no problems.