What do I use for storage?

- 4 mins read

I am kind of a cloud storage guy because I always think that local storage is unreliable.

I have accidentally dropped my one and only WD My Passport Ultra removable hard drive which stores a lot of precious data, I can’t read anything from it after it’s dropped. Ouch..

And after watching the video on Austin Evans, I decided always to keep the 3-2-1 principle.

3-2-1 means 3 copies of data, stored in 2 different kinds of medium(like one for your mechanical drive and the other on LTO tapes. And at least 1 off-site backup. (Like store it in Google Drive/OneDrive/Dropbox.. or even just colocation your own server in a data center near you. You never know when your house may get burnt(oof) or earthquake happens.

I pay for Google One(Turkish price, costs very little, only about 0.3 USD/month, annually payment may even cheaper for 100 GB plan) and Microsoft 365 Family(with other 5 people, pays about 5 USD/year [it’s cheap because Microsoft offers huge discounts for China-based customers], have 1 TB OneDrive). I also have an expanded Microsoft E5 Developer subscription which is free of charge and has 25 users * 25TB of OneDrive(it only has 5TB each user now. It cannot be expanded since 2021 I think). That’s sweet.

I’m on Windows now, so I use OneDrive as my daily driver. The Japan data center is very friendly to me. And I also bought a Tongji University alumni account which has 1 TB of 21vianet OneDrive, with the data center located in Shanghai, China with extremely fast speed. (Technically it’s illegal but hey who cares)

OneDrive has a bit problem, the API sucks, rclone always dies and the speed just stayed at 15-25 MB/s, even though I have a 10 Gbps network connection on my server. And it doesn’t have a gallery function.

Okay technically there is one, but that sucks… Really sucks

I use Google Photos to store all my memories, the AI is SICK, I love that. With PhotoScan, I can bring all my memories to it.

Just like I mentioned earlier, I use rclone to copy my whole Google Photos gallery to OneDrive (encrypted using rclone), because you never know when something bad could happen, it’s never a bad idea to keep a backup.

All the above is customer-grade products, how about Enterprise-grade stuff?

I used Azure Blob Storage to store some archive data, the Storage Explorer is really good. I can even just download the whole disk attached to my Azure VM. It’s a great feature. Microsoft pays a lot of attention to enterprise stuff. (Azure Blob is not cheap.. for real… but I have a student subscription which has 100 USD per year, it’s enough for what I do and it’s just 0.99 per TB, I don’t do a lot of retrievals so it’s not a big deal.)

AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) is also a great choice. Hey, that’s Mr. Jeff, with 11 9’s SLA. The price is very similar to Azure, the Deep Glacier tier is identical to Archive on Azure, all 0.99 per TB. But AWS offers an Intelligent tier, I only need to pay a small amount of fee and it will automatically put my files into different tiers.

It charges for file requests, but my files are all big, fat raw photos and archive datasets, who cares about that?

And more, AWS has CloudFront, which is 1 TB bandwidth and 2 million requests free EACH MONTH, so AWS is the most bang for the buck choose if you are storing Standard files like pictures on your website.

I’ve also considered Google Cloud Storage, it’s the cheapest among the 3, but the bandwidth is pricy, so not being chosen.

The bottom line then, I use Backblaze B2 for my static files because the standard tier is the cheapest among all, and with Cloudflare, I don’t need to pay requests and bandwidth anymore.

Moreover, B2 has 10 GB of free storage, why not use that? XD

This is my solution, how about yours, comment below please 🥺.

Oh, just forgot, I bought a HostHatch KVM Storage VPS, it has 1 TB of storage. (Seems like SSD actually…) Located in Stockholm, Sweden. The speed is really fast, 10 Gbps network actually. For 5 bucks a month, it’s pretty nice. I installed rsync on it so that I backup my vaultwarden, wordpress, trilium notes etc. all to this server.