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Does anyone know if there is a decent flat-rate backup service which supports Windows Server?

I've investigated the following:

  • Backblaze - no WS support, sales say they have a "no server" policy
  • JungleDisk - not flat rate
  • Mozy - no WS on regular edition, no flat-rate on Pro edition
  • Dropbox - no flat rate
  • Carbonite - technically flat rate, but throttles uploads to modem speeds

EDIT: Very similar question:

Is there a decent flat-rate online backup solution for Linux machines?

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Just to help us, are you talking a few GB, a few hundred GB, or a few TB? –  Zoredache Jan 11 '11 at 21:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The best solution I have found so far is livedrive.com

Unlike some of the other services, they promote their flat-rate service to small business too:

They specifically allow backing up of servers:

And they support Windows Server 2008:

Their more expensive option also offers FTP support and a number of interesting looking collaboration tools.

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They may promote their flat-rate service to business, but the only edition available to businesses is Live Drive Professional and that's installable on "Windows PCs". Of the other "editions" that would presumably be installable on servers, one is still in beta (Medium Business) and the other (Large Business) you can't sign up for. –  GregD Jan 7 '11 at 12:42
    
I can't see any details of different editions - if you go to the business section of the FAQ they specifically say there is only one edition, and that backing up servers is explicitly supported (livedrive.com/faq#faq-business-1). It also says further up that they support Windows Server. –  Colin Pickard Jan 7 '11 at 12:46
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You know, this rewally sounds interesting. –  TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 12:46
    
There is no documentation on their side regarding them loosing the data.... which makes it pretty bad for mid / long term data archival / backup. So.... good fora short timeframe only. –  TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 12:48
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Their TOS seems to also be "anti business" if you ask me: "Livedrive may delete from the Livedrive Services any Content that in the sole judgment of Livedrive violates this Agreement or which We deem inappropriate." Part of my job as a professional systems administrator, is to thoroughly investigate SLAs (which they don't have). Their TOS basically absolves them of any responsibility for your data: "Livedrive assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, loss, deletion, defect, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of any Content you upload..." –  GregD Jan 7 '11 at 12:49

In my experience a lot of services make all kinds of promises in the features list on the front page but either cut you off at the knees with the details in the EULA, or end up going out of business.

One thing that's going to be important with any cloud service is trust, specifically the following:

  • Sustainability of their business model is a good point... no use having a backup service that goes out of business.
  • Data security (keep in mind that a service that looks ideal may be great but may do things with your data that aren't allowed, e.g. EU data privacy laws)
  • Data integrity (a backup service that might delete some of your files is not a backup service at all).
  • Service Level Agreement - if they're your backups, can you afford to have your business out of action because you lost a file, then when you went to do a restore the backup service has a problem and the one person who knows how to fix it is in Antigua for 2 weeks.

I think GregD's concerns over livedrive show that it might be very difficult to find a service that is flat rate AND meets the above criteria, plus anything else I missed out.

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Which is all the more reason to not believe terms like "unlimited". It's going to be VERY difficult to find a flat-rate provider (for SERVERS) that has a sustainable business plan or an SLA that provides for adequate coverage for business backups. Unless of course the flat-rate plan is 5000-10000/month. There is no such thing as unlimited... –  GregD Jan 7 '11 at 13:34
    
I'm just going to throw this out there. At my main job, we pay roughly $6000 - $8000 a YEAR for between 60GB and 150GB worth of data. But this gives us a proper SLA, encryption and a local restore appliance. –  GregD Jan 7 '11 at 13:39
    
$500/month seems a lot for 150GB. For that money, I'd be tempted to colo my own hot standby servers AND hold day/week/month snapshots - but of course this all depends on your business model. Different services are applicable to different folk, and a cheap online provider might well provide a useful extra level of backup for some businesses. It's worth ensuring your backups are encrypted before they leave your site regardless how much you trust your backup provider - or even if you're backing up to your own remote hardware. –  Colin Pickard Jan 7 '11 at 21:26

You may find it difficult to find someone who will offer a flat rate server backup, due to the expense of the storage (and bandwidth requirements at their end) to handle typical servers.

You also need to consider if your own internet connection will allow for timely backup and restore of typical "server size" backups.

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Thanks for the downvote. Obviously arrogance meets ignorance. Here some not to ignmorant thing. Name ONE good service, I sign up. I ahve a 2000gb external server at a provider with a 1gbit link that I have a backup problem with. Flatrate please - I get aboutg 30gb changed data per day. Definitly cheaper than getting me a tape library... which I consider at the moment. Oh, and another 2 similar servers are ordered, plus a local backup machine... which has all things on discs and then I will use the bakcup service to backup THIS ONE MONSTER MACHINE. THanks for the flatrate. –  TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 11:34
    
Hi TomTom, I downvoted your answer because I felt it wasn't an answer to my question. Robert Moir has rewritten your answer but I still feel this is wrong - clearly such services do exist since I have discovered a couple of possibilities in my own research - I have added these as answers. You may want to investigate livedrive.com as a solution to your backup problem with the 2000gb external server. Their FAQ page is here: livedrive.com/faq - Kind Regards –  Colin Pickard Jan 7 '11 at 12:32
    
I am not sure they would love being the "dump drive" if a central backup server. I actually would assume this would get me into trouble VERY fast.... That said, I think I will sign up for some of the data I am otherwise keeping around. SStill 2gb new data every day without ever deleting... but... –  TomTom Jan 7 '11 at 12:47
    
It might be worth emailing them and asking - they do stress frequently throughout their site that there are no limits on overall storage or file size. –  Colin Pickard Jan 7 '11 at 12:51

One that I plan to investigate is CrashPlan+.

CrashPlan do offer both a consumer flat-rate service and business focused services (Crashplan+ and Crashplan PRO) but they are completely different, incompatible services, with different client applications, and unlike Backblaze for example, there are no restrictions on using the flat-rate service on servers.

They specifically DO support Windows Server 2008:

Furthermore, their terms and conditions do not have any restrictions on what machines or devices you may back up:

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