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Offsite backup partnering

"I'll back yours up if you back up mine."
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

If you're worried about losing your computer files, you've probably thought about off-site backup at one point. It's very expensive.

I have a proposal for another system. First, set apart some backup space, preferrably another computer, equal to the amount you want backed up.
Then, use a specialized P2P app to find a partner who will trade space with you, for the same amount of space that you have.
After they have accepted your backup set, your computer performs some random data checks to ensure that they are actually storing the data. The data you send them is encrypted with a password, so they can't get at your stuff.
Then, your computer accepts their data. Your system monitors the other person's backup regularly, and notifies them of an outage. At that point, you have 3 days (or some other time frame) to get ready for their backup before they start looking for another partner.
Also, your system randomly checks your offsite stuff for an outage. If it detects an outage, it will look for a new partner after some period of time.

The random checks of your own stuff are supposed to happen less often than that person checks your data. So, they should let you know of an outage quicker than you would find out. In that case, they would have a longer time period to get ready to back your stuff up again.

What is the other persons motivation to keep your stuff backed up? The fact that you are supposed to keep theirs backed up. When you have two good partners working, it works well. If you have a hostile partner, ( i.e. one that accepts your data, then dumps it), they be rooted out by periodic checks. You keep looking until you find a good partner.

lawpoop, Oct 10 2003

Half-life 2 leak http://news.bbc.co....hnology/3162074.stm
Downside to P2P backup solutions [Brummo, Oct 04 2004]

HiveCache http://www.mojonation.net/faq.html
Not Offsite: HiveCache uses space disk space that is available on the various PCs in your enterprise network. [Brummo, Oct 04 2004]

Magic Mirror Backup http://www.pensamos.com/mmb/
Not Offsite: Magic Mirror Backup works by copying the files and folders on your computer to other computers within your office. In exchange, these other computers also copy their own files onto your computer. [Brummo, Oct 04 2004]

Baked http://sourceforge.net/projects/dibs
DIBS - Distributed Internet Backup System -- GPL, too! [lawpoop, Oct 04 2004]

MSR - Farsite http://research.mic.../sn/Farsite/faq.htm
Not specifically a backup system but a distributed file storage system that operates in an untrusted environment like, say, a regional mesh network and that could be used as a backup system. Reciprocal storage agreements could be made a condition of use. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]

Buddy Backup http://www.databarracks.com/buddybackup/
[hippo, Mar 07 2007]

Tahoe LAFS http://tahoe-lafs.org
[fho, Dec 13 2011]


phoenix, Oct 10 2003

krelnik, Oct 10 2003

       Har har! A half of a fabled white turd! The tide is turning!   

lawpoop, Oct 10 2003

       Reminds me of an idea I had during the dot-com boom. For a while there were many companies that offered 'free' web/email/storage space on the order of 10 to 250 Megs. I thought of building a backup program that would automatically sign you up for one account on each of these services, then back up your hard drive in a distributed manner across the available space in your accounts. It would have use some RAID-like techniques to guarantee there was some redundancy, in case one of the services had an outage. Essentially you could have a (low-speed) offsite backup that was accessible from anywhere in the world, for free.   

       But of course, then the bubble burst and 90% of those companies promptly disappeared.
krelnik, Oct 10 2003

       [krelnik] How much backup space are you looking for? I may be able to help you out...
lawpoop, Oct 10 2003

       Actually the idea was to sell the backup program itself as a product.
krelnik, Oct 10 2003

       I can beat your price.
lawpoop, Oct 10 2003

       I currently do this with a medical practice across the street and have always encouraged my students to do the same as a cheap form of off-site backup. A safety deposit box in a bank is even better. A remote off-site backup better still.
phoenix, Oct 10 2003

       [Phoenix] How automated is the system? What do you use (ftp, rsync, etc)? Do you have a contract with them or what?
lawpoop, Oct 10 2003

       I have two automated systems that FTP archives off-site - one local and another in the Blue Ridge mountains. I'll have a third in Hawaii sometime in the next year. I only trade tapes with the people across the street.
phoenix, Oct 10 2003

       I just save important files to my hard drive, but I click the mouse button really hard when saving them.
hippo, Oct 11 2003

       [C Trebor]What happens if lightning strikes or (god forbid) your place burns down?   

       You lose your stuff.
lawpoop, Oct 11 2003

       "Offsite backup partnering" sounds like a euphemism for an extramarital affair.
half, Oct 11 2003

       "I'll back yours up if you back up mine."
lawpoop, Oct 11 2003

       Look, all I need is 80 gigs.
lawpoop, Oct 11 2003

       Offsite backup partnering? Is that tech-speak for what in sailor-speak is "Girl in Every Port"?
dmountain, Oct 12 2003

       "I'll back yours up if you back up mine, Ar."
lawpoop, Oct 14 2003

       <Wonders how users will defend themselves against their backup partner storing, say, child porn on their computer. Even encrypted, it's still child porn. Wonder further how the law will interpret, or even recognize, that distinction.>
bristolz, Jul 13 2004

       I was just about to post a "Buddy backup" idea but did a search and came across this. Still a nice idea. More realisable than ever now with broadband commonplace and 250GB external disks coming down in price. I'm not sure anyone's actually implemented it - [lawpoop]'s link doesn't go anywhere.

[Later edit - there is actually something called "Buddy backup" which sort of does this (link)]
hippo, Mar 07 2007

       [admin: I've repointered the DIBS link to its home on sourceforge.]
jutta, Mar 07 2007

       Once again an idea I thought was clever turns out to be 1. baked 2. already here 3. possibly just mis- remembered from when I read it while lurking here years ago
sninctown, Feb 09 2011

       look at tahoe lafs ... link
fho, Dec 13 2011


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