Friday, February 26, 2010
Bonkey, The Backup Monkey for Automatic Backup to Amazon S3
If you got through the mouthful of a title for this post, then you've pretty much got the idea of my automatic syncing solution for for my home computer.
To sum up my current situation, I have 6-7 GB of files that I would like to backup off site, on the cloud. I chose to use Amazon's cloud service, S3. At .15 a GB per month, that's a very cost effective solution for my situation. After much looking around, I choose to use Firefox's S3 Fox plug in to upload and organize my files on my S3 account. Bonkey (F-R-E-E, that spells free) is the program I choose to use to help me sync my files automatically.
At this point, Bonkey (still in the development stage, see blog) isn't completely user-friendly, but it is certainly a viable program for the user who is willing to learn. Bonkey runs on a Java platform, so you do have to have Java (free) in order to use Bonkey. All backups run in the computer's background, which is nice because I can just keep doing my thing on the computer without being hassled by the program.
I am running Windows XP and downloaded and installed Bonkey without a hitch. In order to get started, I had to setup my S3 account on Bonkey by supplying the security credentials from my S3 account. Bonkey has some nice built-in directions that assisted in this. Next, I had to set up backup groups. This is where I had a bit of confusion. I first made a backup group for my pictures. Naming the backup group was easy, but figuring out how to tell Bonkey which files to backup was a bit confusing and I couldn't find much documentation on this. But, I finally got smart and figured out that I needed to locate the files I wanted backed up and drag them to my "pictures backup group." Enabling synchronization is pretty straight forward. Just click on the backup group and you get to customize synchronization options. Full backup or just sync? Zip files or keep the original size? You can choose your backup target to be S3 or some other place like an external hard drive or another drive on the computer. Additionally, you can also choose how often and what time of day you would like the backups to run.
I've been using Bonkey for 2 weeks now. It has handled scheduled backups on time without problems. I have checked the files backed up to my S3 account to make sure that they indeed are the most recent ones and they are! Do you know how happy this made me?
Final thoughts: Isn't the Bonkey, the Backup Monkey, well, cute?