Thoughts on Publishing a Workflow

I published a Workflow a while back, and I was surprised to learn that, before the app is ‘accepted’ for publication, the Workflow team may edit your workflow.

The Workflow team confirmed this on Twitter:

This has been on my mind for a while, and my feelings are still conflicted:

  • They didn’t tell me that they made changes, but the workflow is still attributed to me when you access it. This feels like a misrepresentation of my work.
  • They actually improved the workflow slightly, and I’ve benefited from these improvements.

While I’m glad they improved it, I think they should have given me the right of refusal regarding accepting their changes, or at a minimum notified me that they were making changes. In this case, I would have accepted them, but I’m not sure that I always would.

Leaving Crashplan

Back in August, Crashplan announced they were leaving the consumer business. This is disappointing to me because I’ve had a family plan subscription for five years. Their service bailed me out when we had an apartment fire that destroyed our computers.

Michael Tsai has a great roundup of the community’s response, and the consensus opinion seems to be that BackBlaze is the best option for most people. For me, though, BackBlaze would be a substantial increase in price, since they don’t offer a family plan.

Over the five years I subscribed to Crashplan, I spent an average of $99/year1 for unlimited storage space for up to ten computers. I only ever connected seven computers to the service, and they ranged in space requirements from 1.4 GB to 3.7 TB; in total, my cost worked out to $0.0016 per month per GB.

I’ve been considering my options:

  • I can stay on Crashplan. On their small business plan, the cost becomes $10/month/computer, for a total of $840/year (although they’re offering 75% off for a year, so $210 for the next twelve months).
  • I can switch to BackBlaze. To connect those seven computers would cost $420/year; this is still a substantial increase.
  • I could try a more DIY solution, using Arq to backup to B2. Their price is $0.005/GB/month; this would cost me $304/year.

What I’ve settled on is a combination of the above. If I exclude the one computer with 3.7 TB of data, I can backup the other six computers to B2 for $82/year. For one year, I can continue backing up the large computer to Crashplan for $30/year ($2.50/month), for a total of $112/year2. This is the lowest cost option I’ve seen, and keeps the price increase to a minimum.

After the first year, I’ll likely switch the large computer over to BackBlaze, since it will be half the cost (at $5/month) of staying on Crashplan Small Business (at $10/month). That will bring my annual costs to around $140/year.

This is a fairly substantial price hike, but the value of cloud backups is well worth this price increase. However, having been burned once, I’d avoid Crashplan at all costs if I were considering solutions for a small business.

  1. The list price was $150/year, but I would extend my subscription when they had sales. 

  2. The tipping point is 500 GB; a computer larger than that is cheaper to store on Crashplan for $2.50/month, smaller than that is cheaper to store on B2.