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I'm wondering if anybody knows a backup software working in a "push" rather than "pull" way.

Most of the backup softwares I've seen work pull wise, authenticating themselves to other computers to get the files they need to back up, and then they move those files to the backup repository.

The software I'm looking for, instead, should be a service managing a backup repository (on a disk, or on a db); external applications,to store their files in the repository, can contact the service and send it anything they want to be stored and metadata specifying how long the files have to be retained (and other parameters needed to organize the repository and the retrieval).

Can anybody suggest me some software (hopefully open source or free) which works this way ?

On a side: do you see any cons to such backup strategy?


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migrated from Jul 26 '10 at 12:12

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belongs on superuser? – Vicky Jul 26 '10 at 11:17
One con: You'd have to monitor each server, individually, in some way to verify success of backups. With a dedicated back server "pulling", job reports are centralized. – jscott Jul 26 '10 at 12:16
There is a con: if an attacker wants to destroy your data, it may be enough for him to break into your production system, then push broken backups on purpose. – b0fh Jul 26 '10 at 15:34
@b0fh: Provided, that is, you never perform test restorations of your backups. – jscott Jul 26 '10 at 21:14
Do you want this to work for all operating systems and versions or are you going to tell us what it does need to work with? Without knowing more I'm thinking rsync. – John Gardeniers Jul 26 '10 at 21:44
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You didn't specify the desired platform, but for Linux there are things like backupninja which allow you to define your wanted backup sets on the client itself. The client will then run the defied backup at given time and push the result to a server.

The problem with push based backups is (as mentioned already) that you need to make sure that the backup is actually running. Also you need to consider how you push the configuration to the clients.

On the windows platform you could take a look at Backup Exec DLO which should work in a similar fashion (and has a GUI)

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If you are using Windows and want to backup files (not databases or system state) you could write a bunch of RoboCopy scripts and have RoboCopy monitor your files, when is sees X changes or Y minutes have passed it will update your your "repository".

I've never setup RoboCopy to monitor folders, so I don't know how well it works, but the option has been in the software for many years.


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RoboCopy has been in windows for eternity now, but somehow it managed to be overlooked all this time. It is a true jewel, insanely efficient, very effective and simple. – Tuncay Göncüoğlu Dec 11 '12 at 12:57

If at all you are looking for online storage provider to provide the service you mentioned here are my 2 cents.

There is a good online storage provider, DigitalBucket. ( It exposes its services through interfaces like REST and WebDAV. The feature list is also very good. You can browse through application GoodSync ( as a client.

You can find out relevant information for online storage providers at

I feel Push style backup strategy is effective in a way, that it can easily identify the delta changed and push only the relevant thing to cloud. A lot of application specific customizations can be incorporated easily.

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actually I can't use any online provider, I have to implement a storage provider to serve a local private network. By the way do you know what software do storage providers run on their machines? – Jul 26 '10 at 12:44

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