Automating back-up of your Google Drive on S3

Problem Statement:  I am working with a lot of freelancers for various small creative and content related work but they usually share the completed work as a folder in Google drive. Keep in mind that they are the owner of this folder. After 1 week or so the freelancer is no longer is tasked with us and decides to free up his drive and delete this folder.
I want to mitigate this problem. There are various ways to approach this:
1. Ask the freelancer to transfer ownership and then keep the folder safe.
2.  Download and backup the shared folder whenever you receive a submission.
3. Automate the backing up process as secondary storage.
Of course, ‘automation’ wins, as not only it removes the hassle from both the concerned parties but you have a secondary backup for long-term retrieval and safekeeping as well.

Let’s get to it.

First, set up a VM on Google Cloud, you can use AWS or any other service. I used GC because they have f1.micro(0.6GB Memory, 1 shared vCPU) always free. Not using Google’s Storage because they haven’t added GUI to it, yet.

In the GCP Console, go to the VM Instances page. Launch Instance.
Follow this quickstart guide for starting the VM.
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Setting up Swap Memory in linux server

Clickbait version: Increase your server’s system memory for free! 😀

Swap space in Linux is used when the amount of physical memory (RAM) is full. If the system needs more memory resources and the RAM is full, inactive pages in memory are moved to the swap space.[src]

Note: Not recommended to be used in production environment. Swap space is very slow compared to physical memory and can seriously affect your application performance.

It’s fairly common to run into “System.OutOfMemoryException” if you are running a memory heavy application or multiple applications on a remote server.  To mitigate this issue you can simply create a Swap space for your server and use your disk space as system memory, this will be a little slower but you wouldn’t have to upgrade your server to higher memory one if you just need some MBs of extra ram or maybe need to perform a single task which needs some extra memory.

To enable 2GB of swap space use the following commands


sudo /bin/dd if=/dev/zero of=$SWAPFILE bs=1M count=$SWAP_MEGABYTES
sudo /bin/chmod 600 $SWAPFILE
sudo /sbin/mkswap $SWAPFILE
sudo /sbin/swapon $SWAPFILE

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