As part of my Windows Home Server 2011 evaluation I’ve been looking at two backup add-ins – Cloudberry Online Backup for Windows Home Server and KeepVault. I’ve been using KeepVault with my Windows Home Server v1 for just under a year. I’ve heard about Cloudberry off and on but never looked into it, probably turned off by the name.
Cloudberry was back on my mind as I heard they had a WHS 2011 add-in available in beta, and I already had the KeepVault for Windows 2011 beta. I found both can happily co-exist on the same server so I’ve been checking both out. Cloudberry has a 15-day full-feature trial which I’ve been using. KeepVault also has a trial period but I’m already a subscriber and use the basic plan. There are differences between the software and each has it’s strengths and weaknesses.
On area where there are significant difference are the backup destinations:
- KeepVault’s own cloud storage which I’ve been using
- A local disk physically attached to the server
- Amazon S3, including lower cost Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) which I use
- Network share on the same network. I’ve backed up to my WHS v1 machine.
- Local hard drive attached to the server
- Additional cloud services: Microsoft Azure, Meszeo, Dunkel, and Walrus
My Pick: Hands down, Cloudberry is the winner for flexibility. I’ve been able to back up to my local WHS v1 over my local LAN with Cloudberry while KeepVault would require an attached drive for a backup. KeepVault would be limited to the size of the attached hard drive and would need a different job for each attached drive. Cloudberry has one job that backs up to the 10TB drive pool.
This is where there are significant differences.
- Software & Storage: Subscription fee based on storage. There’s no per PC or software charge. Costs range for $46/yr for 40 GB on up and slightly less per GB as the storage increases. For example, 130 GB is $139/yr. The yearly cost is 10% off the monthly subscription and is what I used for my comparisons. So you can go month to month at a higher cost. For comparison purposes I’m considering $46/yr for 40 GB.
- Software: Cloudberry only provides the software, the backup services (such as Amazon S3) are not provided by Cloudberry. Software is priced per PC or server. The WHS add-in is $30. They also use a subscription (aka maintenance) model for upgrades at a cost of $6 per year (20% of the software price). So every year I would pay $6 to get another year of upgrades.
- Storage: I use Amazon S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage. RRS is a lower cost option which, as the name implies, isn’t as well protected. For example, regular S3 storage can survive the loss of 2 Amazon data centers, RRS can only survive the loss of 1. This is more than suitable for my backups since by nature they are already redundant. I used Amazon’s pricing calculator and came up with $8.27 the first month with 40GB transferred in and then $5.77 a month after that assuming only 2 GB of replacement data was sent and I stayed at 40GB. But if I drop down to just 10 GB it is $2.98 for the first month with 10GB data transfer in and then $1.41/mth after that.
My Pick: Cloudberry as it will probably cost me less as I will be well under 40 GB, although it will probably be a push for the first year due to the software cost. Even if I go to 40GB the pricing is comparable as I was liberal in my data transfer estimates after the first month. But for those who want consistency and expect to be near the top of their subscription limit KeepVault may be a better choice. Whether the Amazon S3 “pay for what you use” pricing model is a strength or weakness depends on your usage. If you send a lot of data in a month the transfer charges can add up as shown by my first month costs.
I looked at the KeepVault basic subscription. The considerably more expensive Pro subscription ($163/yr for 40GB) does include additional features although it’s unclear to me if the WHS add-in supports them all.
- 128-bit encryption
- Multiple encryption options and each job can have it’s own encryption key.
- Multiple backup jobs (“plans” in Cloudberry speak), each with it’s own configuration options.
- Files deleted on the PC can be deleted from the backup storage. This is optional and a time to wait before deletion is configurable. You’re also warned about upcoming deletes and can chose to save the files.
- Can get granular with backups at the directory or even file level. You can also select backups at the disk level.
- Backup selects or exclusions can be set by file type, folders can be skipped, file backups can be limited to files modified after a set date, and more
My Pick: Again another hands down choice for Cloudberry as the Swiss Army knife of Windows Home Server backup add-ins.
Looks like I’ll be switching my online backup over to Cloudberry and Amazon S3. With Cloudberry’s local backup abilities and lower or comparable costs it’s not really even a contest.