I have recently received an invite to the beta version of Cloudberrys’ Windows Home Server add in. Simply put, Cloudberry allows you to select files/folders or entire drives and have them backed up to the cloud on Amazons Servers. I have been waiting for something like this to come along since Jungle-Disk stopped developing for Windows Home Server. Whilst this review centres around the WHS version, there is a version available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. And it has pretty much the same functionality from what I can see on their very well designed website. So this review is for anyone interested in some online backup satisfaction.
This is straight forward if you have installed a WHS add in before. Drop the MSI file into \\server\software\addins. Head to your WHS console and go to add ins under the settings menu. Head to the available tab and click install.
You will then be greet with this:
You then choose Setup Backup Plan… The first time this will bring you to a setup dialog box. Here you will need to enter your API and Secret keys. Don’t panic. You will get them by heading over to the Amazon link above and setup an account. Here is a step by step on how to do that.
Point to bear in mind: I setup an Amazon account and for some reason, it would not activate the s3 service. Cloudberry kept replying with an error. If you’ve followed the step-by-step article on this above, then I suggest you do what I did. Create a fresh Amazon S3 account.
Once you’ve completed these steps, then enter the information into the Cloudberry interface. Create a bucket list by clicking on retrieve buckets. This is just a name of the place on Amazon’s servers where your data is stored. Click ok and close this box.
Now you get to set up the actual backup details. Again, this is simple and self explanatory. Just click on the drives listed to expand them and then tick the boxes for any drive, folder or file you want backed up. Set the frequency options and away you go.
You can then manually run the first back up if you want to see it in action. I did. I chose to backup my websites and some personal folders.
My backup took around 7 minutes to backup 13 megabytes. Earlier i backed up 350 megs in about 2 hours. Once you’ve your first complete backup done, all others will be quicker.
Point to bear in mind: This is automatically set to upload at maximum speed. Which is great but will slow down other traffic on the network whilst this is happening. I chose to use half my bandwidth/upload speed. This means my backups took longer than necessary. See here:
Again, using a wizard, it guides you thru the restore process. No backup software or setup is any good to you unless you test its ability to restore. Armed with this understanding, i set out to do a restore and it was seemless. You can choose a single file or folder or again, an entire drive. Choose to restore it to the original location or a new location. And wham.. files restored! Very simple and reassuring. If you chose to encrypt your backups, it will request the backup password before allowing the restore to happen.
A short note on support. I ran into an issue with the S3 service. Andy from Cloudberry was helpful and responded extremely quick when I asked for help. So I give five stars on responsivness and helpfulness.
I have revised this paragraph from my original post. I wasnt happy with the way i wrote it, as I didnt get across my point in a clear manner. Thats what happens when you write your blog at 1 am.
This is the area that interests me most. See, Cloudberry, in my opinion, have really only picked up where Jungle Disk left off. Now that’s a good thing. Cloudberry polished this product everywhere and actually finished its development.
It costs $34.99. plus your Amazon costs. The price on something like this is never an easy thing. You’ve got to decided how much your personal or business data is worth. When put into that light, $34.99 isnt much. It’s also not much when compared to how well the software works. But you need to factor in the cost of the amazon disk space cost. In my experience, this is never going to cost much. I backed up all my photos(2500+) and music(3500+) and my monthly bill from amazon was always around 7 dollars mark. For me, Cloudberry is worth this amount, as I have felt the pain of losing pictures and files on more then one occassion – and thats with a Windows Home Server.
I would like to see Cloudberry around the 19.99 mark. I think this because your yearly total because more palatable. Here is a breakdown of Amazon’s costs:
- $0.180 per GB – first 50 TB / month of storage used
- $0.170 per GB – next 50 TB / month of storage used
- $0.160 per GB – next 400 TB / month of storage used
- $0.150 per GB – storage used / month over 500 TB
- $0.100 per GB – all data transfer in
- $0.170 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
- $0.130 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
- $0.110 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
- $0.100 per GB – data transfer out / month over 150 TB
In summary, I think the software is well designed, intuitive and simple. I think its an absolute MUST for anyone. You can never, ever have enough backups!!! I feel the price is a little prohibitive, but what price do you put on all your photos and music, etc… Overall, its very good.