GitHub downtime got you down? has your back

A third-party service now offers free backups of GitHub projects with ever push

GitHub's become a major cornerstone of the development world today, beloved enough that it made InfoWorld's 2014 Technology of the Year Award list. But it's also proven to be no more immune to downtime and glitches than any other cloud service.

What's a developer to do when GitHub decides to hiccup? Programmers Andrew Nissenand and Aaron Hammond were also worried about how our reliance on GitHib has resulted in a single point of failure, so they devised, a free and unlimited (at least, as of this writing) backup service for GitHub repositories.

Using is straightforward. Sign into with your GitHub account, and authorize GitHub to use Select repositories you contribute to or own, then add them to a list to have them backed up. Backups are taken of each repository each time you push to them, and the resulting backups can then be downloaded from as Zip files.

Hammond told me that the back end is "basically just a stand-alone Sinatra API living on Heroku." In the event that demand for the service explodes (or implodes), it can be scaled up (or down) as needed.

Backing up GitHub can be done any number of other ways, such as using the GitHub-Backup Ruby gem, or github-backup (written in Haskell). The folks at CodePill also have their own repository of backup tools for GitHub, which will also back up the wiki repository, forks, milestones, and downloads associated with a project., by contrast, only seems to back up the code in the main fork of a repository, but there's little reason the scope of the project couldn't in time be expanded to encompass far more aspects of a GitHub project.

This story, "GitHub downtime got you down? has your back," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.