Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • Sign in to follow this  

    WHS and CrashPlan for Social Cloud Backup – Part 1


    Dave

    Several weeks ago on the Home Server Show podcast, we (Chris Lux and Jim Collison) began to discuss the idea of private offsite backup for files stored on our Home Servers.  Sure, there are applications out there like KeepVault, Carbonite or Amazon S3 that will allow you to back up to offsite servers for a fee.  Jim even purchased a 1TB ioSafe Solo external drive for secure back up at home.  But what if you don’t want your data in the cloud or wanted offsite backup that is more cost effective (like free) and private?  What if you could use the free space that is not being used on a family or friends computer?  Your very own private cloud?

     

    Mesh We began with the idea of using Live MeshLive Mesh is a fairly new service from Microsoft that is still in beta.  It’s main purpose is to help you sync your personal files between private PCs.  It also allows you to back up and store up to 5GB of data to the cloud.  Handy if you don’t have a regular backup plan.  Mesh had one serious limitation in our testing for this idea of a private cloud.

     

    Since you might be sharing data to a PC that you don’t have complete control over, some kind of encryption would need to be involved BEFORE any data would be moved.  We originally thought that if we used NT back up (a fairly hidden application on the WHS) we could achieve the needed encryption.  However, NT back up creates a single compressed file when it backs up.  Live Mesh will not move a file that is larger than 2GB.  In larger Home Servers, this could be a problem.

     

    NT Back up itself was kind of a pain since it needed to be run through a remote desktop connection to the Home Server.  Not too hard for the advance user, but not very easy for the average user.  It was a good idea, but needed some additional work.  If this was going to be an idea that worked, it needed to be easier

     

    crashplan Enter CrashPlan.

     

    CrashPlan is a client based, web enabled backup service that seems to do everything we needed for this project (so far).  It has a simple client install (no WHS Add-in as of yet), provides multiple platform support and has a file encryption solution.

     

    The client application runs on all Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris platforms and performs automatic backups to the file level.  It is FREE for personal use and automatically backs up your computers daily (even sends you an email if a backup has not completed). With the free version, you can back up to your own drives and other computers either on your network or anywhere connected on the web.  They also have unlimited back up to their servers for a fairly low fee.  For this post, we are using the free service.

     

    crashplan networkCrashPlan will also will backup to multiple destinations.  Very helpful if you are extra paranoid about your data.  You can backup your files to a friend in California and your parents PC in Texas.   Where ever there is extra hard drive space and you have the right permissions, you can use it.

     

    Want to return the favor?  The back up can work the other way as well.  You can grant access to your friends and family and the can use your extra WHS storage.

     

    Worried about taking up too much space?  CrashPlan reduces file size by using advanced compression technology. It identifies duplicate files and parts of files and stores them only once. When files change, only the new information is backed up.  You can also restrict the amount of data that is moved to storage on a client by client basis.

     

    CrashPlan also uses private key encryption to secure your files before they're backed up. That means that the only person who can decrypt your files is you (or your mom if you give her your key).  Jim tried hacking a file that Chris sent to no avail.

     

    A final feature, that was not a requirement, but we found very handy, was the web management tool.  From it, we could see what PCs we have connected…

     

    crashplan pcs

     

    and even manage your friend connections…

     

    crashplan friends

     

    All very simple and very easy.

     

    In Part 2 we will cover how to install and set up the client to make it all work.  Stay tuned!

     

    Authors: Jim Collison and Chris Lux

     

    Jim is an IT Manager at Gallup Inc in Omaha NE and a Windows Home Server user since January 2008.  He blogs about technology, home PC security, social networking and anything else that sounds fun on his personal technology blog at http://pcaverageguy.blogspot.com/

     

    Chris is a medical student at the IU School of Medicine and a WHS and Media Center enthusiast.  You can see his blog at http://luxlive.spaces.live.com

    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    thanks for the tip. Can't wait for part 2. I could definately see my brother and parents using my whs for backup of their critical files. I have looked at buddybackup (http://www.buddybackup.com/) but haven't tried it. Seems that they have a version 2.0 coming out soon based on the buddybackup forum.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Are you sure about the 2GB file limit for Mesh? I know that you have a 5 GB total limit on the Live Desktop (and unlimited client-to-client), but I currently have a 3.1 GB ISO propagated to my Live Desktop. I poked around in the Mesh documentation couldn't find a limit specified anywhere, so admittedly I am just going based on testing and not documentation. Evan

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I just got this tweet from CrashPlan! If you use twitter, please tweet this! @tomaste WHS seems very popular. Anybody else want WHS support? Tweet #crashplanwhs

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 2 replies
    • Let's start small with the definition. If you know about podcasts already you can skip ahead.  
       
      What is a podcast?  There is no set definition but in general a podcast is a voice recording on a subject that you can usually listen to however and whenever you want.  Let's break these down a little bit and that will also help define the term for you.
      • 1 reply
    • Here is something that wasn't planned but came to me while I was at Unveiled.  The Unveiled event was a little lackluster so I had a little fun with the DJI Osmo Pocket.  Take a look.
       
       
      • 0 replies
    • It's the most important post covering CES.  The swag bag review.
       
       
       
        • Like
      • 0 replies


×
×
  • Create New...