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Author Topic: biz-network BACKUP - Syncback, Cobian, FBackup, Comodo -or on Server--> BackupPC  (Read 5751 times)

Steven Avery

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Hi Folks

Subject originally:
Re: biz-network BACKUP choices and strategies
(changed to show the main products under discussion)

To backup the important PC files to a server (this can be .pdf or labels or various documents and database files) from a number of PCs, the first choice is whether the backup should be centralized or done PC-by-PC, initiated locally.  Both have advantages, I am not sure if there is a free strong network backup program, and the following are the main choices so far for PC backup.


Cobian Backup Version 9 Amanita http://www.educ.umu....ian/cobianbackup.htm

SyncBack Freeware V3.2.19.0  -

FBackup Forum

Comodo Backup - http://forums.comodo...776.0.html;msg280048

Cobian and Comodo are designed as full products, SyncBack and FBackup (from Backup4all folks) are the Lite versions.  Personally I avoid Comodo for other reasons, however the backup product deserves comparison here.

The Microsoft tool for .pst files may come to play

Or, you may decide to go to a commercial program on the .pst.  

Certain issues come to play, such as how to schedule a backup when the puter is on and the files are available. (Especially with PST.)

So the first question is this, between the four products above, how do we make the decision, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each.  We can combine our use with various reviews and comments on the .net.  Personally I am on the cusp of choosing one, yet which one ? ? ?

Let's look at a number of issues on backup and see if any of the four stand out.  And how to handle those 10 Gigabyte PSTs.

Also let's decide on a strategy, how do you decide what to backup, do you use inclusions of file types, or exclusion ?  Folks can be running their own specialty programs for sales management or label making or scanning or this or that so how do you decide what to backup and what to ignore ?  (Images are not my consideration, here, we want to hold on to data and config type files for hand restore.)

Here are some issues to consider.

TARGET DATA TYPES (same as source, .zip, proprietary)

I noticed on the Cobian boards an issue was raised that when the source "deletes" a file Cobian does not want to delete it at the target, and issues like that are :


Probably there are a dozen more.  Bring your screenshots and experiences, let the battle begin, which one will be the Iron Backup ?  

Are any of these 4 far more capable or incompetent than the others ?

« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 09:36 AM by Steven Avery »


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Re: biz-network BACKUP choices and strategies
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 12:49 AM »
There is backup software on the "other side", which already does fulfill all your needs. These tools have track records for years, are used by businesses/enterprises and are for free(minus the installation and configuration time of course). The "other side" is Linux and here are the contenders:
- Rsync (very popular, usable in scripts, extremely dependable, reasonably easy to setup).
- Bacula (popular, usable in scripts, extremely dependable, beyond the basics its setup is hard to very hard).
- BackupPC (moderately popular, usable in scripts, very dependable, easy setup).
- Rdiff (Python script, popularity unknown to me, usable in scripts, very dependable, reasonably easy to setup).

Some of these software packages have Windows client software available directly or indirectly (cygwin). The Python script can also be used directly on Windows as well (according to the manual).

Business backup solutions using Windows has in my experience already proven to be become expensive very quickly, especially when reliability (24/7) is a must.

Steven Avery

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Re: biz-network BACKUP choices and strategies
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 09:13 AM »
Hi Shades,

  Thanks, the ones that run on a Linux box as the controller will have to wait a smidgen. BackupPC using zmanda is the one above that looks the easiest (well Bacula looks real nice too) so maybe I will speed up the installation of a Linux PC box at the site.  The Linux box may come in handy for this, and Untangle and maybe Spiceworks, etc. My XP PC is so-so for any of this stuff, having too much multi-use, even other folks in the company mozy over.  

  One key question about such softwares is whether they install an agent on each puter or not (in which case, even if the installation is central you likely end up firewall tweaking to allow the installation, or the installation is a download first). One problem I face at the main install is that we are dealing with a network workgroup, so there are various permissions and share and firewall issues that cannot be centrally addressed.  That is one reason why it can be easier to simply install a program like Syncback on each puter that I want to backup and work uphill, with consultation to the user as to what they want to backup on their puter.  Something of a nicety. There are about 15 puters potentially involved, so it is not like the difficulty when you have 100 or 500.  

Steven Avery

In testing (iSeries plus NT server to the cloud) I noticed that the commercial program Asigra (on a test-drive) was agentless yet somehow seemed to have a good view of the client disks, however I did not take the opportunity to see if it was limited to folders defined as shares, or what. From that experience I wonder if a good agentless software may be possible, which really simplifies the process.  We did not take Asigra, we have eVault, which installs an agent, and it is working very fine to the vault over the net at a modest cost.  However for complex reasons I prefer to only use eVault as Server-->Cloud and iSeries-->Cloud and use one of these other methods in the thread as PC-->Server (and maybe PC-->Cloud or PC-->Server-->Cloud).  Whew.

These other methods are now either:

1) Install Syncback, FBackup, Cobian or Comodo on the puters to backup
2) Dedicate a new administration box, likely Linux, and use network backup software, especially Bacula or BackupPC.

#3 is to use an XP box as an administrator backup, possibly in my case using eVault or Asigra (available to me  at minor incremental cost) or a software to be named later.  We have not hit any capable XP server freeware backups I don't think.  The eVault (now Seagate) and Asigra type solutions are different because you generally are working through a vault vendor for the install, they vary as to how they handle PC-to-server backup but do have the feature available.  Another company is Robobak, Symantec I have managed to not mention till now, although they may have an XP-you-administer product of some note.

Most of this is a bit afield, my main interest is now the four freeware PC products, plus BackupPC especially of the Linux administration tools mentioned by Shades.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 09:33 AM by Steven Avery »