A couple posts ago I talked about my personal (disclaimer) Windows Home Server. I store some of my data on the server and am gradually moving stuff over to it from my PCs. As excellent as the home server is, it currently doesn't allow you to perform backups of data stored on the server (this will change soon though). It does have drive redundancy if one or more drives fail. However if the server hardware somehow fails, some kind of disaster wipes all the data, or my house burns down, it’s a single point of failure. Out of the box, there’s currently no functionality to back up data stored *on* the server.

Enter JungleDisk and Amazon S3. JungleDisk, which is currently in beta, is a fairly nifty little WHS add-in that manages backing up data stored on the WHS machine and pushes it up to S3 in ‘the cloud’ (aka the Internet). Every day, JungleDisk goes through my data and backs up any changed data to S3 (and only changed data - it’s intelligent enough not to transfer data twice). That data remains at S3 for an admin-configurable amount of time - right now I have it set to 60 days. You can configure which shares to backup, when the backup should run and end, and whether you want to use individual file encryption.

If I need to restore data, I simply open up the JungleDisk add-in, open the restore window, select the date from which I want to restore and select the files and/or directories to restore. If you have the PC version of JungleDisk you can also access your S3 bucket from any computer that JungleDisk is installed on (provided you have the keys to the bucket and the file encryption key if used). Very handy if you find that you can't access your home server because of network connectivity to your house but need "that" file for a presentation. This makes me feel a LOT better knowing that the data on the server is now being backed up and that I always have access to my files. I feel my data is fairly secure given that it’s protected by S3’s security and also individual file encryption.

I currently back up about 1.86GB of data with JungleDisk which translated to a whopping 43 cents charged to my credit card for December :) Not too shabby.

Just goes to show how easy it is to add really valuable functionality to WHS. For more information, go visit JungleDisk.

David