Introducing syncray (Backup to S3 or Manta)

UPDATE: Changed name to syncray, which is also cool!

My backup strategy involved just using external HD to put encrypted backup. However, it’s been bugging me that I didn’t have an offsite backup for some things that aren’t on my SkyDrive. That’s why I wrote syncray over the past week whenever I had some time.


syncray csync (aka Cloud Sync) is a script that encrypts data locally, then synchronizes to one of the cloud storage providers. At this time it supports Amazon S3 (or services with compatible API such as DreamObjects) as well as Joyent Manta.

I was going to use s3cmd but it wasn’t able to do both sync and encrypt at the same time. To get what I wanted, I wrote syncray to keep track of what’s been uploaded using an extra metadata file. This way I can have the best of both worlds: locally encrypted data and still only upload the files that changed instead of the entire set.

One great benefit of writing my own script is that adding Joyent Manta support was quite easy. The pricing for Joyent Manta is pretty good and the technology is just awesome.

Joyent Manta

In the beginning I was planning on dumping my data on DreamObjects because of its lower pricing than Amazon. However, while I was writing syncray, I saw the announcement for Joyent Manta and it blew me away.

Not only can you store data in the cloud, you can run commands directly on those data in the cloud without pulling any data down locally first. You should watch the screencast and it’ll just become clear.

When deciding on cloud storage for images for AvidTap, I was comparing between S3 and Azure. One of the reasons why I chose S3 is because I can hand out timed policy allowing users to upload directly from the browser to AvidTap’s S3 bucket. Unfortunately Joyent Manta doesn’t support that yet, but hopefully soon because that enables some really cool scenarios. For example, one can develop an image server that can resize or operate on images without having to host anything extra.

That’s cool!

Cloud Storage Pricing

syncray is hard-coded to store only 1 copy on Joyent Manta which makes its storage cost $0.043/GB. I signed up for DreamObjects while they have the deal for $0.04/GB. I only wish I had gotten in on DreamObjects while they had the $0.02/GB pricing. That’s only 1 cent per GB extra over Amazon Glacier and you can access your data quickly!

In any case, both DreamObjects and Joyent Manta allows me to store data at ~$0.04 per GB which is cheaper than Amazon S3. This will be my offsite backup strategy from now on.