But how do you implement offsite backups? I'm tired of reading headlines about how some minimum-wage "contractor" (a code word for permatemp, which is code for employee who is paid peanuts and gets no benefits) has to haul backup tapes home every night, and then they get stolen out of the poor schmuck's '68 Gremlin which hasn't had functioning locks in decades. And the tapes are not encrypted, and in fact have labels that read SECRET STUFF--DON'T LOOK!! And the poor permatemp takes the heat, but it's not his fault that his bosses are dimwits.
Spideroak offers 2GB of storage for free, and $10 per month buys you 100GB. Supported clients are Windows 2000, XP and Vista, Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard, and 32 and 64 bit Linux .deb packages for Ubuntu and Debian. Clients for Fedora and other RPM-based distributions will come someday, and meanwhile you can try using alien to convert the .deb to an .rpm file.
What if their servers go blooey, or someone cuts a fiber optic cable and the Internet goes away? The lower-cost accounts sit in a single data center, and for a higher fee you can have geographically-distributed redundant storage. The datacenters are multi-homed to different backbones, so that takes care of any single backbone provider disappearing.
You can use Spideroak on a headless server, though you need X for the initial account setup.
The backup process is very efficient, transmitting only changes, and if you have multiple copies of the same file only one copy will be backed up. You can set up automated backups, or hit a button when you feel like it. Restores are easy. It all feels rather rsync-ish, with improvements.
Spideroak owns their main datacenter; they don't rent from Rackspace or any other rent-a-rack datacenter.
You can back any and all file types, with one exception: hot database backups are not well-suited to this kind of service, so you'll want to backup periodic database dumps.
Their Web site is full of good useful information and is refreshingly devoid of idiotic special effects and bad scripting.
The only things I can crab about are not already being 100% open source, requiring a graphical client to set up headless servers, and supporting only Debian and Ubuntu. I expect these will be resolved in time.
This article was first published on LinuxPlanet.com.