Remote Offsite Plesk Backups - Microsoft OneDrive & Google Drive
So if you've been running a separate backup server and using FTP backups, you're in for some real savings! Cloud storage solutions are significantly cheaper than a actual server with matching storage capacity.
I tested the top two driven by price alone. Microsoft OneDrive was first, priced at £37.20 (approx $50) for 1TB per year. This was by far the cheapest option.
Then I tested out Google's G Suite that includes a 1TB Google Drive priced at £79.20 (approx $100) per year. I also used the voucher below to get 20% off that too.
Dropbox would have been next but they were way more expensive for my requirements of 1TB. You have to have a business package in order to get the API access for Plesk to use. For that it is a minimum of 3 users at £9.99 (approx $13) each - working out to a eye watering £432 (approx $560) per year Inc. tax. You do get 3TB in total.
Remote Plesk storage on Microsoft OneDrive
Firstly, I'd like to say that the member of staff "Jason" that helped me eliminate them, was exceptional. You could really tell he wanted to get it all working. He followed up with emails and calls. Even had a screen share so that he could learn more about my problem. If this was down to customer service I wouldn't have moved onto to Google. Very impressed!
Having tested Plesks Microsoft OneDrive offering, sadly it just doesn't fulfill the technical requirements. This was due to Microsft not Plesks extension. Microsofts marketing page says you're allowed 15GB files. In truth for us it is 10GB having spoken to their technical team. Not a deal breaker as this is merely a setting in Plesk. I set my backup volumes to be 9.5GB to be safe..
What you will run into is very quickly are messages like:
Warning: Could not display the list of backups in the Microsoft OneDrive Backup storage: Unable to get dumps list: Transport error: Extension transport: ext://one-drive-backup/server: The request has been throttled. Please check the storage settings.
That throttled message is the result of viewing the back up managers page that lists all your backups. So a light weight request that just retrieves a list of files. At that point the last interaction with OneDrive was several hours earlier.
Or you get failed backups. When looking at the log file for the failed backup I would see:
Harness not finished running at /opt/psa/PMM/agents/shared/Storage/ArchiveStorage.pm line 196.
Having done calls, emails and screen shares with Microsofts Technical team there is nothing their staff can currently do about it. They told me about the 10GB and I managed to occasionally get complete backups in OneDrive. I tried it for a month in hope and in the end let it go.
It was also suggested to do it out of hours. I was already doing backups at 3am. So nothing to do there for me.
The concept is to throttle usage of the product to maintain performance for the majority. For us it presents a issue. In my mind if they throttle a request to fetch a handle of file names, what would it be like on disaster day when I need to do a full system restore on a new server. What if the last X number of days wasn't successful? What if they throttle the request to download the back up in order to restore it. NO THANKS!
This is a business critical topic we're talking about here.
Remote Plesk storage on Google Drive
Having annoyingly exhausted OneDrive over a few weeks I accepted defeat and moved onto Plesks Google Drive offering. The reason I chose MS first was down to price. They're nearly half the price of Google. However with the common errors above, it wouldn't matter if they were only 10% of Google's price, as it doesn't work.
I've made this video for you to see how you actually use the extension in practice.
So here's my affiliate link and coupons for Googles G Suite. Sure I get a kick back on it. I only signed up to the program because I was writing this for you and thought I wonder if they have a program? Hopefully I've earned it by saving you from my journey around the world and back again with this blog post. I've even made you video to put your mind at rest about how it actually works ;)
Use this coupon and the link below to get 20% off your first year. First 14 days are a free trial so you can test it out yourself. It's normal price is £6.60 ($10) per user per month and you get 1TB per user. If you have more than 5 users on the account you get unlimited storage. They also allow for files of up to 5TB! So my 70GB files are no problem and it just works.