Tag Archives: Backblaze Computer Backup

Backblaze 7.0 — Version History And Beyond

Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-7-0-version-history-and-beyond/

Backblaze Version 7.0 Version History .. and Beyond

Announcing Backblaze Cloud Backup 7.0: The Version History and Beyond Release!

This release for consumers and businesses adds one of our most requested enhancements for our Backblaze Cloud Backup service: the ability to keep updated, changed, and even deleted files in your backups forever by extending version history. In addition, we’ve made our Windows and Mac apps even better, updated our Single Sign-on (SSO) support, added more account security options, became Catalina-ready, and increased the functionality of our iOS and Android mobile apps. These changes are awesome and we’re sure you’ll love them!

Extended Version History

Have you ever deleted a file by mistake or accidentally saved over an important bit of work? Backblaze has always kept a 30-day version history of your backed up files to help in situations like these, but today we’re giving you the option to extend your version history to one year or forever. This new functionality is available on the Overview page for Computer Backup, and the Groups Management page if you are using Backblaze Groups! Backblaze v7.0 is required to use Version History. Learn more about versions and extending Version History.

Extend Your Version History

30-Day Version History

All Backblaze computer backup accounts have 30-Day Version History included with their backup license. That means you can go back in time for 30 days and retrieve old versions of your files or even files that you’ve deleted.

1-Year Version History

Extending your Version History from 30 days to one year means that all versions of your files that are backed up — whether you’ve updated, changed, or fully deleted them from your computer — will remain in your Backblaze backup for one year after being modified or deleted from your device. Extending your Version History to one year is an additional $2 per month and is charged based on your license type (monthly, yearly, or 2-year). As always, any charges will be prorated to match up with your license renewal date.

Forever Version History

Extending your Version History from 30 days or one year to forever means that Backblaze will never remove files from your Backblaze backup whether you’ve updated, changed, or fully deleted them from your computer, or not. Extending Version History to forever is similar to one year, at an additional $2 per month (prorated to your license plan type) plus $0.005/GB/month for versions modified on your computer more than one year ago.

1-Year or Forever

This is a great new feature for people who want increased peace of mind. To learn more about Version History, pricing, and examples of how to restore, please visit the Version History FAQ.

MacOS and Windows Application Updates

More Efficient Performance For Uploads

We’ve changed the way that Backblaze transmits large files on your machine by reworking how we group and break apart files for upload. The maximum packet size has increased from 30 MB to 100 MB. This allows the app to transmit data more efficiently by better leveraging threading, which also smoothes out upload performance, reduces sensitivity to latency, and leads to smaller data structures.

Single Sign-On Updates for Backblaze Groups

We added support for Microsoft’s Office 365 in Backblaze Groups, and have made SSO updates to the Inherit Backup State feature so that it supports SSO-enabled accounts. This means that you can now sign into Backblaze using your Office 365 credentials, similar to using Google’s SSO.

Higher Resolution For Easier Viewing of Information

We updated the way our installers and applications looked on higher-resolution displays, making for a more delightful viewer experience!

Windows Only

An OpenSSL issue was causing problems on Intel’s Apollo Lake chipset, but we’ve developed a workaround. Apollo Lake is a lower-end chipset, so not many customers were seeing issues, but now computers using Apollo Lake will work as intended.

MacOS Only

We’ve added support for MacOS Catalina and improved some MacOS system messages. MacOS provides some great new features for the Mac and we’ve changed some of our apps’ behavior to better fit Catalina. In Catalina, Apple is now requiring apps to ask for permission more frequently, and since Backblaze is a backup application, we require a lot of permissions. Thus you may notice more system messages when installing Backblaze on the new OS.

Of Note: Backblaze Restores

In order to implement the Version History features, we had to change the way our restore page handled dates. This may not seem like a big deal, but we had a date drop-down menu where you could select the time frames you wanted to restore from. Well, if you have 1-Year or Forever Version History, you can’t have an infinitely scrolling drop-down menu, so we implemented a datepicker to help with selection. You can now more easily choose the dates and times that you’d like to restore your files from.

Go Back Further

Backblaze 7.0 Available: October 8th, 2019

We will be slowly auto updating all users in the coming weeks. To update now:

This version is now the default download on www.backblaze.com.

Want to Learn More? Join Us on October 15th, 2019 at 11 a.m. PT

Want to learn more? Join Yev on a webinar where he’ll go over version 7.0 features and answer viewer questions. The webinar will be available on BrightTalk (registration is required) and you can sign up by visiting the Backblaze BrightTALK channel.

The post Backblaze 7.0 — Version History And Beyond appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Reading, Writing, and Backing Up — Are You Ready to Go Back to School?

Post Syndicated from Roderick Bauer original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/back-to-school-backup-plan/

It's That Time of the Year

Dear students,

We’re very sorry to interrupt your time enjoying the beach, pool, and other fun outdoor and urban places.

We’ve got some important advice you need to hear so that you can be responsible students when you go back to school this fall.

Now that all the students have stopped listening and likely it’s just us now, I’d like to address the parents of students who are starting or about to return to school in the fall.

You’re likely spending a large amount of money on your children’s education. That money is well spent as it will help your child succeed and be good adults and citizens in the future. We’d like to help by highlighting something you can do to protect your investment, and that is to ensure the safety of your students’ data.

Where did summer go?

Our Lives Are Digital Now — Students’ Especially

We don’t have to tell you how everything in our lives has become digital. That’s true as well of schools and universities. Students now take notes, write papers, read, communicate, and record everything on digital devices.

You don’t want data damage or loss to happen to the important school or university files and records your child (and possible future U.S. president) has on his or her digital device.

Think about it.

  • Has your child ever forgotten a digital device in a vehicle, restaurant, or friend’s house?

We thought so.

  • How about water damage?

Yes, us too.

  • Did you ever figure out what that substance was clogging the laptop keyboard?

We’ve learned that parenting is full of unanswered questions, as well.

Maybe your student is ahead of the game and already has a plan for backing up their data while at school. That’s great, and a good sign that your student will succeed in life and maybe even solve some of the many challenges we’re leaving to their generation.

Parents Can Help

If not, you can be an exceptional parent by giving your student the gift of automatic and unlimited backup. Before they start school, you can install Backblaze Computer Backup on their Windows or Mac computer. It takes just a couple of minutes. Once that’s done, every time they’re connected to the internet all their important data will be automatically backed up to the cloud.

If anything happens to the computer, that file is safe and ready to be restored. It also could prevent that late night frantic call asking you to somehow magically find their lost data. Who needs that?

Let’s Hear From the Students Themselves

You don’t have to take our word for it. We asked two bona fide high school students who interned at Backblaze this summer for the advice they’d give to their fellow students.

Marina

My friends do not normally back up their data other than a few of them putting their important school work on Microsoft’s OneDrive.

With college essays, applications, important school projects and documents, there is little I am willing to lose.

I will be backing up my data when I get home for sure. Next year I will ensure that all of my data is backed up in two places.

Andrea

After spending a week at Backblaze, I realized how important it is to keep your data safe.

Always save multiple copies of your data. Accidents happen and data gets lost, but it is much easier to recover if there is another copy saved somewhere reliable. Backblaze helps with this by keeping a regularly updated copy of your files in one of their secure data centers.

When backing up data, use programs that make sense and are easy to follow. Stress runs high when files are lost. Having a program like Backblaze that is simple and has live support certainly makes the recovery process more enjoyable.

Relax! The pressures of performing well at school are high. Knowing your files are safe and secure can take a little bit of the weight off your shoulders during such a stressful time.

I definitely plan on using Backblaze in the future and I think all students should.

We couldn’t have said it better. Having a solid backup plan is a great idea for both parents and students. We suggest using Backblaze Personal Backup, but the important thing is to have a backup plan for your data and act on it no matter what solution you’re using.

Learning to Back Up is a Good Life Lesson

Students have a lot to think about these days, and with all the responsibilities and new challenges they’re going to face in school, it’s easy for them to forget some of the basics. We hope this light reminder will be just enough to set them on the right backup track.

Have a great school year everyone!

P.S. If you know a student or the parent of a student going to school in the fall, why not share this post with them? You can use the Email or other sharing buttons to the left or at the bottom of this post.

The post Reading, Writing, and Backing Up — Are You Ready to Go Back to School? appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

What’s the Diff: Sync vs Backup vs Storage

Post Syndicated from Yev original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/sync-vs-backup-vs-storage/

Cloud Sync vs. Cloud Backup vs. Cloud Storage

The digital landscape has changed over the years, with the cloud becoming increasingly used for storing digital data. As a cloud storage company, it’s important for us to understand how and why people use the tools at their disposal. Knowing how people use tools helps us hone our services to better match that usage. While people become more comfortable using and leveraging cloud services to meet various needs, we still find ourselves repeatedly answering the same questions: “how is this service different from that service?,” “how do I incorporate best practices to ensure we never lose data?,” and “why use a backup service when I already have sync?”

It’s not just average Joes that struggle. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are finding it difficult to navigate service offerings to find ones that meet their needs. A great example is St. John’s School, a top-tier K-12 learning facility with almost 600 students enrolled, who modernized their on-premises data infrastructure. They made the decision to move into the cloud and use a combination of sync (Google Drive for Education) and backup (Backblaze Business Backup) services to cover all of their bases. These hybrid approaches are a great example of how services differ and the unique benefits each provides.

What is the Cloud? Sync vs Backup vs Storage

The cloud is still a term that causes a lot of confusion, both about what it is and how services utilize it. Put simply, the cloud is a set of computers that someone else is managing. When talking about syncing and sharing services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any of the others, people often assume they are acting as a cloud backup solution as well. Adding to the confusion, cloud storage services are often the backend for backup and sync services as well as standalone services meaning, some of your favorite apps are built in the cloud, sometimes using third party cloud storage. To help sort this out, we’ll define some of the terms below as they apply to a traditional computer setup with a bunch of apps and data.

Cloud Sync (e.g. Dropbox, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive)
These services sync folders on your computer or mobile device to folders on other machines or into the cloud, allowing users to work from a folder or directory across devices. Typically these services have tiered pricing, meaning you pay for the amount of data you store with the service, or for tiers of data that you are allowed to use. If there is data loss, sometimes these services even have a version history feature. Of course, only files that are in the synced folders are available to be recovered, resulting in sync services not being able to get back files that were never synced.
Cloud Backup (e.g. Backblaze Computer Backup and Carbonite)
These services should typically work automatically in the background. The user does not usually need to take any action like setting up and working out of specific folders like with sync services (though some online services do differ and you may want to make sure there are no gotchas, like common directories being excluded by default). Backup services typically back up new or changed data that is on your computer to another location. Before the cloud became an available and popular destination, that location was primarily a CD or an external hard drive, but as cloud storage (see below) became more readily available and affordable, quickly it became the most popular offsite storage medium. Typically cloud backup services have fixed pricing, and if there is a system crash or data loss, all backed up data is available for restore. In addition, these services have version history and rollback features in case there is data loss or accidental file deletion.
Cloud Storage (e.g. Backblaze B2, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud)
These services are where many online backup, syncing, and sharing services store their data. Cloud storage providers typically serve as the endpoint for data storage. These services usually provide APIs (application program interfaces), CLIs (command line interfaces), and access points for individuals and developers to tie in their cloud storage offerings directly. This allows developers to create programs that use the cloud storage solution in any way they see fit. A good way to think about cloud storage is as a building block for whatever tool or service you want to create. Cloud storage services are priced per unit stored, meaning you pay for the amount of storage that you use and access. Since these services are designed for high availability and durability, data can live solely on these services, though we still recommend having multiple copies of your data, just in case.

Which Backup Service is Right For You?

Backblaze strongly believes in a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy. A 3-2-1 strategy means having at least three total copies of your data, two of which are local (or quickly accessible) but on different mediums (e.g. an external hard drive in addition to your computer’s local drive), and at least one copy offsite. A good way to think about this is a setup where you have data (files) on your computer, a copy of that data on a hard drive that resides somewhere not inside your computer (commonly on your desk), and another copy with a cloud backup provider.

Following data best practices is similar to investing. You want to diversify where copies of your data live to decrease the likelihood of losing your data. That is why services like Backblaze Cloud Backup are a great complement to other services, like Time Machine, iCloud, Dropbox, and even the free-tiers of cloud storage services.

What is The Difference Between Cloud Sync and Backup?

People are often confused about how sync tools work, so let’s take a look at some sync setups that we see fairly frequently.

Example 1)  Users have one folder on their computer that is designated for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or one of the other syncing/sharing services. Users save or place data into that folder when they want the data to appear on other devices. Often these users are using the free tier of those syncing and sharing services and only have a few GB of data uploaded in them.

Example 2)  Users are paying for extended storage for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc, and use those folders as their Documents folder, essentially working out of those directories. Files in that folder are available across devices, however, files outside of that folder (i.e.. living on the computer’s desktop or anywhere else) are not synced or stored by those syncing and sharing services.
What both examples are missing however is the backup of photos, movies, videos, and the rest of the data on their computer. That’s where cloud backup providers shine. They automatically back up user data with little or no setup, and no need for the dragging-and-dropping of files.

If Backblaze Backup is added to this example, the application scans your hard drive(s) to find all the user’s data regardless of where it might be stored. This means that all the user’s data is kept as a backup in the Backblaze cloud, including the data synced by sync services like Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or OneDrive, as long as that data resides on the computer.

Data Recovery

Beyond just where and how your data is stored, it’s important to consider how easy it is to get your data back from all of these services. With sync and share services, retrieving a lot of data, especially if you are in a high-data tier, can be cumbersome and take a while. Generally, the sync and share services only allow customers to download files over the internet. If you are trying to download more than a couple gigabytes of data, the process can take time and can be fraught with errors. If the process of downloading from your sync/share service will take three days, one thing to consider is having to keep the computer online the entire time or risk an error if the download were to get interrupted. One thing to be wary of with syncing and sharing services is that if you are sharing your folders or directories with others, if they add or remove files from shared directories, they will also be added or removed from your computer as well.

With cloud storage services, you can usually only retrieve data over the internet as well, and you pay for both the storage and the egress of the data, so retrieving a large amount of data can be both expensive and time consuming.

Cloud backup services enable you to download files over the internet too and can also suffer from long download times. At Backblaze, we never want our customers to feel like we’re holding their data hostage. That is one of the reasons why we have a lot of restore options, including our Restore Return Refund policy, which allows people to restore their data via a USB hard drive and then return that drive to us for a refund. Cloud sync providers typically do not provide this capability.

One popular data recovery use case we’ve seen when a person has a lot of data to restore is for that user to download just the files that are needed immediately, and then order a USB hard drive restore for the remaining files that are not as time sensitive. The user gets all their files back in a few days and their network is spared the download charges.

The bottom line is that all of these services have merit for different use cases. For additional information, you can see a comparison of online backup and cloud storage services on this webpage.

Have questions about which is best for you? Sound off in the comments below!

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Note: This post was updated from June 20, 2017.

The post What’s the Diff: Sync vs Backup vs Storage appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.