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We have a number of laptops that are in use by traveling sale people who are rarely in the office.

We are looking for a convenient backup solution for their laptops. It must be a no brainier kind of system. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Carl

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I suggest BackBlaze. They have business accounts, but its only for backing up desktops/laptops. Its unlimited storage backup and there software works great.

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They should be connecting to the VPN and not saving locally. Managing local backups is such a chore. How many laptops are we talking about?

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If you're looking to backup to an external service, then I've had good experiences using Carbonite. It's cheap, very simple, and works well.

If you're looking to backup to your own servers, it's somewhat more complex. I've used DeltaCopy, which is rsync based, but it's not hugely friendly for the users. However, if you add the folders that they need, then it should run automatically, and not cause any problems.

I've also heard about companies using TSM and Symantec's NetBackup (with the Desktop/Laptop option), but I've not used it myself (small site, no budget, etc).

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Carbonite is good. – Chadddada Jun 28 '10 at 15:13

It's probably a lot more solution than what you're looking for, but we just started using Microsoft's System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 to backup Laptop like you want.

It's a no-brainer for the common users, and allows some tweaking for advanced users. We're really liking how it takes backups ever when the laptop is out of the office, then transfers it all back to the backup server the next time the laptop is in the office.

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This probably won't really help as the sales people "are rarely in the office" - the solution needs to be able to backup when they are on the road. – ChrisF Jun 28 '10 at 21:47
VPN counts as connected, and it does binary differential compression. It might not work for every situation, but if they have minimal changes, it still works beautifully. – Chris S Jun 29 '10 at 2:09

i'm using unison over IPv6 (teredo). That's because i syncronize between laptops and workstations (which get backed up with rsnapshot). If i wanted to keep laptops separately from desktops, i'd use straight rnapshot

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I use backblaze for my personal backup on my Mac. For a crew of remote users I suggest you consider CrashPlan. You can back all of the users' data to a server on your network :)

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In our searches for a different problem, we found GoodSync that handles file synchronization and backup pretty well in our testing. You can centralize management via GPO settings, so there is nothing that the end-user is required to do.

This assumes that you are trying to backup to a share, which they would have access to via VPN connection when out of office.

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I've been happy with SpiderOak for my laptop backups. Alternately, you could use JungleDisk or something like it to back them up to an S3 share that you control.

In general, you're probably looking for a networked backup scheme with a handy backup daemon that you can set and forget. I think both of the previous meet that description.

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I have good experience with Mozy. It's a fire-and-forget solution, and it's easy enough to configure that most users can do it themselves. Works on both Windows and Mac.

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