Dropbox Backup Speeds

It seems there have always been some issues with consistently reliable Roon Database Backups for me. In addition to other local backup methods, I wanted a cloud-based backup for safety reasons and finally decided to use the inbuilt Dropbox Roon utility quite some time ago. Eventually, scheduled backups failed due to lack of adequate Dropbox storage space. So, I just gave up on it for a long period.

Well, I decided to try again today. Cleared my Dropbox storage completely, and started with another new backup. It has taken maybe over an hour thus far and is only 20% transferred. I have well over 800 Mbps download and upload speeds, and downloading a 1 GB file takes only about 10 seconds, so this has me baffled. Maybe a basic Dropbox account is severely bandwidth-throttled?, but this transfer time is still bordering on the ridiculous. So, I’m beginning to think the issue might also be with the Roon built-in backup utility? To be fair this is an initial backup and subsequent ones might be incremental and proceed faster - I don’t know, but it seemed (according to my memory) when I used Dropbox before, transfers also took forever.

Due to my basic Dropbox account (I think 2 Gb), I’m only going to keep 1 or 2 copies in the cloud, but should I be expecting these prolonged times for all future Dropbox backups? I might be tempted to purchase more storage with Dropbox, if I had confidence things would be faster, but I’ve read of other reports where Roon users have 2Tb of Dropbox space, and have the same issues. Anyone else have similar experiences with Roon backups and Dropbox?

Yes. The issue is that Roons backup is comprised of thousands of small files. It is better to back up to a local drive and then zip the folder. Then copy the zip to Dropbox.

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Thanks Rugby, I think I remembered reading such advice in the past. Can’t Roon design a better, more efficient, cloud backup scheme, or do I just not understand the whole concept? Looks like the entire process took at least 4 hours on a very fast high-bandwidth Internet connection. Will likely abandon Roon’s Dropbox backup feature in the future.

I’m sure they could. But, the Dropbox option is not what I’d call a cloud backup scheme. It is just kind of there.

They would first have to re-think how the backup works. Forget Dropbox for the moment. I just looked and my backup folder and it contains 18000 files. That is crazy. It takes time to even transfer or delete on local drives.

Given that Dropbox does a round of negotiations for each file transfer, that is 18k worth of back and forth. Even at 1 sec a file, that is 5 hours. As opposed to just transferring 1 zipped file.

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The hack solution is to not use the Roon default path that is provided when you add Dropbox as a service. Instead, choose your own path (Luke) to the folder that Dropbox creates when you install it. That way the backup is performed to local file storage by Roon which is nice and quick and then Dropbox handles the sync to the cloud.

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@Astr0b0y - your suggestion will make it easier for Roon to complete a backup substantially faster but it still will take dropbox sync a very long time to complete because of the number of files. @Rugby’s suggestion to zip it is a good one but means you have a manual step to do.

Another issue to look out for is that if something goes wrong with your system you might backup a corrupt database over good backups and then have problems when you restore.

What I do is backup every other day to my Synology NAS (I keep 14 backs which will cover most of a month) and then do a 30 day backup to a different directory in my Synology (I keep 2 of these) and then zip that backup (using an automated task running in the Synology) and use Synology CloudSync to backup that file to Backblaze (this supports many offsite backup options).

With this approach my backup process from Roon run fast, I have a very recent backup if a problem occurs and is caught quickly, but also can roll back a (hopefully known good) backup from one of the 30 day backups if there is a major problem that caused database corruption that propagated to my every other day backups. It also keeps a copy off site if my NAS fails and ziping the files that go offsite makes the upload run the fast.

Might be overkill for some but if you get caught once with a bad backup (or worse yet no backup), you learn your lesson…

Having a comprehensive backup strategy is always a good idea!