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i'm curious what everyone is using for their client-side backups. We currently have about 300 clients, with an 80/20 split between desktops and laptops, respectively, running windows XP, upgrading to Win7 over the next year. Currently we backup users' desktops and app data folders, with Laptop users also getting their My Documents backed up.

Currently, we use Backup Exec's DLO option. If works, but the thing hasn't really been updated in years, and I find it hard to believe that nothing better has come along.

Some of the options that we'd be looking for:

  • IT management of folders that are backed up
  • Differential / block level backups (don't send me the whole file, just the changes)
  • Backup over the internet via SSL (no VPN)
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2 Answers 2

There should be no reason to backup non-server machines in most cases. Best practice is to have user profiles (or documents at the very least) redirected to a file server, and you back that up. you can set up offline files so that your mobile users have access when they are out of the office.

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All well and good for users in the office, but doesn't work well with laptops, especially sales guys who are always on the road, or in remote locations. We do keep 90% of our desktop users' data on file servers though. –  Evan M. Sep 22 '11 at 21:31
Generally VPN + Offline Files is the solution for that. –  MDMarra Sep 22 '11 at 22:01
I agree, Folder Redirection and Offline Files seems like the way to go, especially for the laptop users. Just make sure they connect to the corporate network on a fairly regular basis. If they can't or won't then there's nothing you can do to backup their data anyway, short of using an online backup service. –  joeqwerty Sep 22 '11 at 22:50

For the past several months we've been using Microsoft's System Center Data Protection Manager 2010, which is hooked into a SATA RAID and LTO. The client backup functionality is excellent. Runs as a system tray app and backs up whatever you want on schedule that works for you. Backups are differential, so whenever a job is run, it only copies off anything that has changed since the last run, significantly speeding up the process.

Recoveries are a snap for both our users and sys admins... everything is done via the client or server GUIs.

Not the cheapest, but low manpower requirements once set up. And that is the most expensive part, isn't it?

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That sounds like an incremental, not a differential. –  joeqwerty Sep 22 '11 at 21:27

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