Time in a bottle; Zonbu online storage observations

AWS LogoOver the weekend I copied a bunch of photos, MP3s, documents and video clips to my Zonbu from a portable USB hard drive.

I did this principally to see how the Zonbu would handle my USB devices (USB HD – Yes, USB Key – Yes, USB CF reader – Not so much), as well as to put various kinds of content in to my S3 folder to test load speeds/response times etc.

I noticed last night, before I shut down, that only a small percentage, maybe 20% of the files that I had put on my Zonbu had replicated up to my S3 account (when looking via the web login to my space at http://www.zonbu.com)…

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

I took the Zonbu to work and left it on all day.

I have much faster connectivity there so I just assumed my file synch would complete.

It doesn’t appear that it has. I checked a few moments ago and a whole directory is still missing (the Video directory).

Now these were not a lot of files I added, nor were they huge.

Using the ‘du -k’ command in a terminal it looks like my entire Documents tree (which includes all the hidden settings folders etc) is 411MB.

Not tiny but not outrageous ether. I’m surprised it didn’t finish synching yet.

Taking stock

Come to think of it, this is especially odd since the Video directory is a stock directory on the Zonbu and all I did was add files to it.

Wait, is that maybe the issue? Is the Video directory, for some reason, set NOT to replicate up to S3? That doesn’t seem to make sense. The Photo directory replicated my additions.

Hmm, do any readers want to comment about their experience so far with the replication function?

Speed tests in the future

I wil break out the stop watch to test the speed of opening documents that exist only in the S3 storage space, in another post, with the caveat that response time will vary wildly based on your broadband connection.

Not only is raw capacity important, but also the path and latency to the S3 servers from your location.  We’ll explore this more in that post.


It is very early in my testing of the S3 storage and I was hoping that it would be so seamless and transparent that I wouldn’t need to be rigorous with any tests.  It appears all is not well or at least all is not as I would expect.

I’ll do some research and see what I can find out and what a reasonable expectation is.  It wouldbe nice if there was a progress bar/app in the panel to tell me what is going on with the S3 synch.

I know my Mom isn’t going to wait 2 days for her photos to replicate.

-Mr. Zonbu


4 Responses to Time in a bottle; Zonbu online storage observations

  1. Gregg says:

    You might find this interesting…


    It basically explains how to make any linux distro use Amazon S3 do backups using the Amazon developer toll s3sync. Just a hunch, but maybe this is exactly what Zonbu is using. If so there are commands you can run in a terminal that might answer some questions about the status of your s3 sync.

  2. mrzonbu says:

    Thanks Greg.

    I may take a look, it sounds handy for our work servers, but I really don’t want to dabble under the hood with the Zonbu. It’s not up to me to figure it out, when the stated point of the box is that all that magic is invisible to the end user.

    I’ll look around in the Zonbu interface for settings I might be able to optimize given what I know about my broadband connection.

    -Mr. Z

  3. Aymeric says:

    Mr. Zonbu,

    Your posting is very interesting and it definitely worths some

    First, we would like to point out that all your documents folder is
    backed up to Amazon S3 without any exception.

    Now, let’s try to list all the potential bottlenecks:

    1) Amazon server bandwidth
    2) Your connection to the Internet
    3) Your home/office network
    4) Zonbu itself

    The best bottleneck candidate is 2). Do you know what your upload and
    download bandwidths are? You may find this page useful:
    http://bandwidthtest.info/. For instance, ATT Yahoo in California offer
    for $24.99 a 3Mpbs download / 512 kbps upload. If such DSL connection is
    the bottleneck, your 411 MB should be uploaded in 411*1024/(512/8) = one
    hour and fifty minutes.

    We have just posted a download test page, downloading data directly from
    Amazon S3 at http://www.zonbu.com/support/speedtest.htm. This could give
    you some data regarding 1) and 2). We have not yet developed a similar
    upload test. Sorry! There should definitely be more than 24 hours in a
    day 😉

    Regarding 3) and 4), there is a performance tab in the storage applet.
    There are a few options which can let you optimize how Zonbu interacts
    with your network. Are you sure that you have not modified those
    settings? By default, those tweaks are for the moment disabled “don’t
    optimize upload”. There are two options to either “Optimize upload
    automatically” (Zonbu will calculate the best upload throttle value
    taking into account the status of your internal network) or to “set
    fixed upload” which will set up a fixed upload throttle value.

    Last, it’s still possible that there is a bug in the Zonbu file system
    layer interacting with S3. Your debug.log could be useful to investigate
    this situation.

    Best regards,

    Aymeric Augustin for the Zonbu team.

  4. […] Zonbu Storage Update & Response To Zonbu questions I wrote yesterday about my experience with the Zonbu S3 online storage model. […]

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