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Unplugging Your Backups 71

Lucas123 writes "Computerworld has an article about how consumers, home offices and company branch offices can use microwave, free space optics, WiMax, and a new Wireless USB protocol to backup and access data over short and long distances. The story says that wireless USB can be used to transmit data from one to 10 feet from a PC or laptop at up to 480Mbps, while microwave and WiMax can be used to transmit data securely over miles. Steinbach Credit Union Inc., in Canada, has been using microwave and an IP network for years to backup data to a disaster recovery site 32 miles away, the story states."
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Unplugging Your Backups

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  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:41PM (#16790451) Homepage Journal
    How many of you saw "microwave" and "backups" and thought "data destruction?" :)

    BTW, A minute ago: "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." Damn those newfangled invisible wireless radio waves!
  • Regarding WiMax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by parvenu74 ( 310712 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:42PM (#16790457)
    In theory, WiMax could be used to send backups to a remote storage facility "miles away" -- providing that there is a WiMax network that is actually in operation. But outside of select areas in select cities (like in Canada), where is this WiMax network of which the author speaks?
  • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:44PM (#16790467) Homepage
    Why do we need wireless USB when we already have bluetooth? and vice versa? and beyond that, why do we need wireless HDMI?

    Figure out a protocol and stick with it. That's why regular plug-in USB works so well.
    • I assume you don't have much hands on experience with Bluetooth? I think that in this day and age it is about time we get a short range wireless protocol that doesn't require resetting your computer at least once a day.
    • by Thaelon ( 250687 )
      Bluetooth is only 1Mbit or so.

      Wireless USB is reputed to be as fast as regular USB.

      I for one welcome wireless devices. I'm tired of the spaghetti.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Why do we need wireless USB when we already have bluetooth? and vice versa? and beyond that, why do we need wireless HDMI? Try to put your questions into perspective here. Why do we need USB when we have perfectly good parrallel cables? Why do we need DVDs when we have perfectly good CDs? Why do we need laptops when we already have desktops? Why do we need refridgerators when we have already have iceboxes? Why do we need washing machines when we have perfectly good wash-boards? Why do we need cars wh
      • by r3m0t ( 626466 )
        "Why do we need USB when we have perfectly good parrallel cables?"
        The data transfer is faster and it's easier for a computer to know when something was hotplugged and it's smaller.

        "Why do we need DVDs when we have perfectly good CDs?"
        Um... DVDs do movies. But if you're talking about data, DVDs store larger amounts in the same size.

        What you should have done is point out some actual advantages of wireless USB, etc.
    • by kinnell ( 607819 )

      Figure out a protocol and stick with it. That's why regular plug-in USB works so well.

      So presumably we should all still be using RS232 for everything?

      Apart from the obvious advances in technology which make protocols obsolete, different protocols are better for different tasks. In general there is a trade-off between high bandwidth and low latency. There is also cost versus performance to consider, and performance versus flexibility. USB, for example, is great for what it was designed for - a low co

  • Huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tarlus ( 1000874 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:45PM (#16790469)
    "to backup and access data over short and long distances"

    But what about medium distances?
  • Ahh Yes! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mysteerie ( 972719 )
    Though can it cook popcorn correctly?
  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:06PM (#16790567)
    Screw that! I want high energy gamma ray frequencies so I can backup my data anywhere around the world! Although this might suck for those poor bastards who don't have lead suits.
  • Diversity? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by leenks ( 906881 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:10PM (#16790579)
    I want wireless USB because then I can have a USB hub attached to it, and get rid of lots of unsightly wires. E.g. it would be nice to run the USB digital TV adapter over the other side of the room where the TV socket is. Or to put the printer in a more convenient location. Or even better, have the midi interface next to my disklavier in the living room, but receive the data upstairs in my studio. And no, there are no suitable bluetooth devices for most of these things.
  • Could be very cool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mschuyler ( 197441 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @10:20PM (#16790613) Homepage Journal
    Actually, this might be very cool. I'm sitting here downstairs on my laptop. I just backed up today's work on an SD card in the machine (Umm, that would be Drive F: because the elves at HP put in a @#$! partition they didn't tell me about.), and then on a USB drive connected to the machine (That would be Drive G:). It would be dandy if I could set up a simple wireless USB drive upstairs and zap this stuff up there to H:\HOME as well. No fuss remote backup, not quite off-site, but Hey! I'm retired; I don't get out much. I know I could "go thru the network" on a mapped network drive" but what if the other machines aren't on? Green power and all that. And I know it might be cool to send it to Mongolia or Google, but the fact is I don't quite trust my stuff in those places. So if it were cheap and simple, I'd buy it. At least the way I'm envisioning this (which may be entirely wrong), I could see its use.
  • I can see HR rubbing their hands in glee. Now sysadmins can take their lunch break and do backups at the same time.
  • Photons have too high of an interaction cross section. You need to figure out how to interact with and store data on neutrinos so you can shoot them all over the globe (and through it, as well!).
  • All my computers, like the computers of everyone I know, already have devices attached to them that let them send data THOUSANDS of miles, to any other computers set up the same way.
  • My place of 'ork provides such services, and we have many customers that use us as a backup link and for backing up their data.
  • by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:02PM (#16790704) Journal
    Bah! Once a week we burst 200GB to a site 2km away.

    And I mean this literally - we use "sneakernet".
  • Why do we need all this dulipcation? Wireless USB v's Bluetooth etc etc...
    Mythical WiMax or whatever they call it...

    It's madness I tell you! Madness!
    Bah Humbug!
  • by Hemogoblin ( 982564 ) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:19PM (#16790806)
    Wow, I can't believe Steinbach Credit Union was mentioned on Slashdot. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada...about an hour from Steinbach, Manitoba. The Steinbach Credit Union is so small, I think it only has like 3 branches in total. Steinbach itself only has a population of approximately 10,000. Further, Steinbach is located in rural Manitoba, known for its Hutterite colonies. Given all that... somehow they're on the bleeding edge of technology? Take that California!
  • how much more cpu over head does wireless USB have over USB. Fire Wire and Ethernet are better at moveing big files.
  • They must be talking about very small backups here. These days it's more common that people have a problem with Gigabit Ethernet with jumbo frames not being fast enough to do backups as quickly as desired. Using megabit speeds for terabytes of data must be a nightmare.
  • Verbs and Nouns (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Guys, "backup" is a noun. You do not "backup" a computer. You
    "back up" a computer.

    You don't "login" either, or "logoff", or "setup". Next thing
    you know "turnon" and "turnoff" will be verbs, too.

    I know it's hopeless, but come on! Get a clue!

    • It is hopeless, as well as being pointless. No meaning is lost here, so why even waste your effort trying to resist this kind of change?

      Don't get me wrong, in cases where is meaning is confused or lost, I'm quite the nazi. But here it is just pointless.
  • I thought companies do not need WiMax providers. Can't they can setup their own WiMax stations?
  • Re:Wires? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Twisted64 ( 837490 )
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 10, @11:04AM (#16790563)
    I fail to see what's wrong with an ethernet cable. 1000mbps. Enlighten me.
    Backing up to a site 32 miles away? Come now, people would be tripping over the cable constantly, you're going to lose the plastic tab on at least one end :)

    But seriously, for anything offsite, no.
  • The additional threat of this system is that it suffers from all the sorts of security concerns present with traditional wireless v. wired transfer. Sure, data backup is important, but for a good many (if not most) companies, preserving the integrity of the data is even more critical.

    Sure, encryption is possible, but heavy encryption may well defeat the point of the speed and ease of the data transfer and backup.

    It's also not very convincing to say that, hey, we'll be safe because no one owns the hardware y
  • while microwave and WiMax can be used to transmit data securely over miles

    Got that right, nobody will ever see the data I transmited in the microwave, not even me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My WinXP setup can't even remember it has USB 2.0 speeds with a damn cable!!

    XP: Please plug this device into one of the following hubs identified in bold face.
    (1 hub listed, in bold face.)
    Me: I'll bold face ya, alright. And your little Ballmer too.
  • Steinbach Credit Union is my home bank, so it was interesting to hear how they set this up back in 2003.

    SCU has a second branch located in Winnipeg. Data is constantly synchronized between the two sites providing a physical disaster recovery solution and a convenience for customers, as loan information, etc is always up-to-date so it doesn't matter which branch you visit. (People from Steinbach often visit Winnipeg for shopping and movies). As opposed to paying $70,000 per month for 3rd party leased lines

  • and a new Wireless USB protocol

    But not the old Wireless USB protocol... Oh no, not that one...

    to backup and access data over short and long distances.

    As opposed to what??? Why specify "short and long"? Why not "ANY" distance?

    wireless USB can be used to transmit data from one to 10 feet

    But don't even TRY to use it at less than one foot...

    from a PC or laptop

    No handhelds? No mainframes?

  • I would imagine it has something to do with the transfer speed of Bluetooth vs USB 2.0, transferring large files over a Bluetooth connection is about as interesting as watching paint dry.
  • I'm wonder how wired <URL:> is going to address this general trend to wireless tech...

    wired, unwired, wireless
  • Why do we need wireless USB when we already have bluetooth? and vice versa? and beyond that, why do we need wireless HDMI?

    Bluetooth is great, but it has it's limitations. It was designed to be a low power usage protocol for wireless devices such as mobile phones. It is great for small amounts of data transmission, such as with bluetooth headsets, GPS, mice, or keyboards. However, as soon as you try to send a few MB of data it starts to become unbearably slow. Most devices use bluetooth 1.2 which has a max

  • I was wondering where all that personal finance information I sniffed from the air and sold to some Arab dudes came from.
  • anyone else not seeing the 'reply' buttons for any of the comments now? who's testing in production again...
  • And how is running links over microwave news??????????

    In my old job we've had microwave E1 links (standard 2 meg) linking CBD sites for years!!!

    OK its not fantastic in terms of bandwidth etc. and specifically speaking, its used for voice channels, but you can send anything over the layer 2???? How is this news????
    • it seems as if your "?" key is stuck. please contact your nearest computer shop and ask for a replacement keyboard.
  • Is a wireless USB device still a USB device? The transmitter might be, yes, but I dont think the storage device is a USB for this setup.
    • Is a wireless USB device still a USB device the answer is yes, except that instead of using a cable, it is a wireless conenction. The computer still utilizes the USB drivers/software stack except that at the lowest levels instead of cabling, its wireless. Existing USB devices and PCs can be retrofitted with a small USB wireless transcivever that plugs into a USB port, likewise, an existing USB device (Printer, camera, external disk, etc.) can also be adapted for use with USB Wireless. Moving forward, look f
  • Microwaves (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I use my microwave to backup my data. It only takes 30 seconds, and there's a handy 'ping!' sound at the end to tell me when it's done. Never tried restoring anything though, mind.
  • by mlush ( 620447 )

    User 956 Why do we need wireless USB when we already have bluetooth? and vice versa? and beyond that, why do we need wireless HDMI?

    Starting out with HDMI, why does a DVD player have to be close to the TV? Why is is stacked on top of a TiVo a Satellite reciever next to a playstation and an XBox, wouldn't it be nice to have all that clutter sitting in one corner of the room and have the TV hanging on a wall somewhere else.

    How many bluetooth printers and scanners are there?

    I'm working on putting a

  • by Chacham ( 981 )
    Microwaves? Those nuke boxen? I think i can still hear my cordless phone ringing.

    phone rings

    Honey, don't bother, that just me doing a backup.

    We're on dialup?

    No, we're on expensive behind-European broadband, but i'm backing up via microwave.

    You're using the microwave as a backup?

    No, i'm using the other computer as a backup, i'm using the microwave to make some popcorn.

    Oh, i see, so when can i use the phone?

    You can use the phone now.

    Then why is it ringing?

    That's just me doing a backup.

    I thought you said we're
  • I looked into using license-free microwave and radio for doing backup. It was amazingly inexpensive. You can get BOTH ends of a 48mbps link for a couple grand. There are a lot of possibilities with this technology too. You can share the cost of bringing fiber into a building with the buildings nearby. I evaluated this product a few months back, looks like the price went up just a bit so I'd shop around: FibeAir 4800 [].

    It's the video that never ends: []
  • I always wondered if it would someday be possible to set up a free online p2p backup solution (with encryption obviously). The scheme I envision is one where you are graded by the system on your availability for restores, and the more available you are the more often you can backup to the system. Also, the more of your HDD you set aside for other people to backup to, the more volume of data you can backup to the system.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"