This tutorial follows “Backup Your Documents to Amazon S3 Cloud Storage Using Synchronization”. The previous tutorial introduces the worst case scenario which could happen with your computer data and how you can avoid it. However, it only goes through the steps required to save your Documents. This one will walk you through the steps to save your digital pictures.
The reason for separating your pictures synchronization job from documents is simply to keep things from getting too complex. It may be that in your environment you have very little of documents data or digital pictures, so combining them would simpler. This is totally up to you.
The other reason I’m separating these two jobs is that our digital images do not change very frequently. As a result I setup my offsite synchronization jobs to cloud storage so that the documents job runs daily and the digital pictures job runs weekly.
You may recall two earlier tutorials on “Backup Your Documents to Another Computer Using Synchronization” and “Backup Your Digital Pictures to Another Computer Using Synchronization”. These jobs make copies of the same computer data to our home laptop instead of Amazon’s S3 cloud storage. So I already have a backup copy of my desktop computer file if my hard drive crashes.
Amazon Web Services
As before, we introduced Amazon Web Services as having been one of the earliest companies to offer cloud data storage. Their rates are competitive and the service is offered worldwide. Amazon Web Services today provides a number of different cloud service offerings in addition to data storage. However, for our purposes we only need to store our home data in some location other than our home so we’ll use their Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).
If you have not already done this step, sign up at the link above and you are ready to go. It costs you nothing until you start uploading data. You’ll need to upload a significant amount of data for it to cost very much.
Using GoodSync Pro Synchronization Software
For synchronization software we’ll again use GoodSync Pro. They have added support for a number of different cloud storage providers, including Amazon’s S3. Since I already had an account with them it made perfect sense to continue using them. Different providers will work better for other people.
A background overview on why synchronization is an effective way to backup your important computer files can be found at Using File Synchronization as a Backup Option.
A Tutorial on Creating a One-Way Synchronization Job for Pictures
The tutorial which follows is a one-way synchronization. Unlike the previous tutorials only the changes on the source side of the job will be copied to the destination. If the destination is changed for some reason, then it will be overwritten by the source copy the next time the job is run. It is strictly a backup of your data.
With Amazon S3 storage, the destination side can be changed simply by changing the attributes of the files currently stored. For example, you do the initial synchronization which copies all of your files up to the S3 bucket/folder. You then use another software program to change the storage type of this bucket from normal redundancy to reduced redundancy.
The effect of this will be to go through all of your files in that bucket and change each one. This will cause a newer date/time to appear on these files the next time your synchronization job runs. As a result, all of the files will be recopied. There is really no harm with this, other than increasing your internet broadband usage for the month.
Create a New GoodSync Pictures Backup Job
This will be a Backup type job, meaning that only changes from the source side of the transfer will be considered and copied to the destination.
Configure the “Left Side” of the Pictures Synchronization Job
By this point, the process should be getting familiar… After clicking the Ok button in the previous screen you’ll be presented with an empty job. Click on the top, left Browse button to begin configuration of the left side:
Then select the “My Computer” option in the left navigation pane, and scroll down on the right until you find the pictures folder for the Public user (remember the difference between “Public Pictures” and “My Pictures”? If not, see the article at “Backup Your Digital Pictures to Another Computer Using Synchronization“):
Configure the “Right Side” of the Synchronization Job
This time on the left side pane select the “Amazon S3” option:
The top right part of the window will have a “More” button (shown as “Less” below). Click this to open additional options for the Amazon S3 destination. One in particular is to select the “Reduced Redundancy Storage” option. Since this is going to be a backup there is not really a need for the full redundancy, so enabling this option will save you some money. However, If your data storage volume is not very much the savings amount is probably not even going to be noticeable – so checking this is up to you. Click Ok when finished.
Finally, select your new folder and click Ok:
Both Sides of the Pictures Synchronization Job are now configured
You should now see the navigation path for both sides of the transfer. Click the “Auto” button to setup a new automatic job:
Schedule this job to run automatically
Click the “Logged In Mode” option to schedule a new job. As soon as you do this the next screen will pop up:
Click the “New” button to define a new schedule and set the time of day as needed.
We’re going to schedule this to run only once a week, as our digital pictures do not change very frequently. Also, we already have another synchronization job which copies them between our home computers. Click “Ok” when finished:
You will be prompted to enter your username (should display by default) and password for the job to run under:
The final schedule settings will display. Click the Save button to continue:
Analyze Both Sides of the Pictures Synchronization Job
Back at the main job screen you’re now ready to click the Analyze button. This will scan both sides of the job to see which files have been changed.
Synchronize the Digital Picture Files
Click the “Sync” button to do the initial synchronization process. Depending on how much data you have it will probably take some time. This job speed does depend on your Internet Broadband connection as the files are being uploaded to Amazon’s S3 site. Depending on the amount of disk storage and connection speed it could take hours to days in terms of total synchronization time.
Synchronization Process Complete!
That’s it! Next time it should run automatically at your scheduled time. Check it periodically to make sure there are no problems.