Testing BackBlaze Restores

The most important thing for a data guy is having a way to restore data. If security, performance, etc. are broken, those can be fixed is we have the data. If we don’t have data, does security matter? It’s important, but secondary.

When Crashplan stopped providing a multi computer setup, I needed to get a new solution for home. I asked on Twitter and then wrote a bit about my evaluation and choices.  These were my particular requirements, and yours may be different. In any case, I decided to evaluate BackBlaze under their couple week evaluation and keep the system simple for both my wife and I. As a part of that evaluation, I tested restores.

Missing a File

I didn’t simulate a crash and restore all my files, but instead decided to test this while out of town. I was in the UK, at the Redgate Software office and wanted to check an expense report I’d submitted. I also wanted to get the latest expense report to add some items to it. I keep these on my desktop, but I haven’t setup a home VPN for access, nor would that have helped. My desktop was powered down for my 11 day trip.

I decided to see how BackBlaze was working. My first step was to connect to my account on the BackBlaze.com site. I logged in and saw my machine listed in the Overview. (I reshot these images later, so the dates aren’t shown)

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Note: I didn’t have Backblaze software installed on my laptop.

I selected Restore and went to a new screen where I had a choice for the restore. I selected getting a ZIP file, but it’s nice to have other options for large files. If I were pulling back 2TB of images, I might just pay for a hard drive.

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Below this, I saw my drives and I could navigate to select select files.

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I also had options to  see different versions of backups.

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Once I found files, I picked the one I needed and started the restore. Just for a test, I picked a file on a different drive to see what would happen.

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I went on with my day, and within an hour, I’d gotten an email. This let me know my restore was ready and I needed to securely sign in to get the download. I like that this was a sign in and now just a link to some random file.

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I downloaded the zip file and inside were the files I’d selected. I unzipped them and filled out more of my expense report.

This was a smooth process and validates my decision to use BackBlaze. It’s easy for my wife, which she’ll appreciate, and I can easily access things on the road.

My trial goes until the end of June, but I’ll sign up for the service once I return home as this will work well for me.

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8 Responses to Testing BackBlaze Restores

  1. rsterbal says:

    Nice followup. It sounds like it doesn’t replace dropbox. How do you cycle through your dropbox storage?


  2. way0utwest says:

    cycle? What do you mean?


    • Robert Sterbal says:

      For example, I have to move off a earlier year of photos to make room for this year’s photos on Dropbox. All my photos are stored on Google and Amazon.


  3. way0utwest says:

    Dropbox is transient storage. I keep copies of things there to move between machines, but it’s not a backup per se, but really just a second copy that I use for various things. All my talks are up there, so they stay synced. Pictures are there only there between other places.


  4. Henry Lee says:

    Hey Steve, I’ve been using BackBlaze for a while now. A few months back I ordered a USB Hard Drive of all my data. I was doing a full restore of my laptop and I wanted it around in case I had issues with the backup on my local external drive. I also thought it would be as good as time as any to test this feature from BackBlaze. I only have about 150 GB of data and it took about a week or so to receive it. I like BackBlaze, it’s not a criticism, it was just unexpected for me, for whatever reason, I had expected to receive it in a day or so. Anyways, the drive worked great and I’m still a happy BackBlaze customer.


  5. paschott says:

    I appreciate the followup. I looked at Carbonite and it didn’t seem like it would work well for me so was considering Backblaze when my Crashplan time is up. I just hate the idea of having to re-seed everything, but at least it will work after that initial process is complete.


  6. way0utwest says:

    It is pretty cool. The initial upload was slow, but was thrilled to be able to get a restore of files from a remote site.


  7. Aaron says:

    I have used Backblaze for some time and highly recommend it!


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