Recently I was introduced to a backup application called Arq, by Haystack Software. This is a $29 app that gives you a clean interface to Amazon’s S3 or Glacier servers, allowing you to use Amazon as a backup service. Since Glacier is only $.01 per GB per month (about $10 per TB), it’s a pretty good deal. There are initial upload and then retrieval charges to consider as well, but the peace of mind of online/cloud backup is hard to put a price on.
Granted, you can buy a 3TB USB 3 hard drive today for just $130 [Amazon.com link] and ship that to a friend on the other side of the country for safe keeping, but by now I think we all know the advantages of automated, offsite backup.
Backup Bouncer Test
Anyway, this article isn’t about Arq or Glacier. It’s about a disturbing statement I read on the Haystack website, which I immediately challenged Backblaze on. As you know I’m a huge supporter of Backblaze (having written a very popular post on the topic “Cloud Backup; Backblaze in the Real World” last year), so seeing anything negative about a service I rely on is sure to get my hackles up!
The statement in question is under the header “Accuracy”, around the middle of the Arq info page. It states that Backblaze failed 19 out of 20 tests using a test suite called “Backup Bouncer”. In fact, the list goes on to show that Carbonite failed 20 out of 20, Dropbox failed 19 of 20, and so-on. Disturbing numbers, to say the least!
In complete fairness to Haystack Software, the folks who wrote this article, they did state “What do these results mean? For most scenarios, probably nothing. Any of those backup apps can restore your file contents — photos, Office docs, music files. You’ll still be able to view your restored photos, edit your restored Office docs, play your restored music. But the dates on the files might not be correct, for instance.” But regardless; 19 out of 20 failures does not instill confidence.
So naturally, I asked Backblaze, and am quoting their response below.[more]