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We are currently migrating our Linux servers to Windows Server 2003, but are trying to decide on the best secure remote backup procedure. We currently have an rsync over SSH script in Linux that works great, and backs up all of our server in under an hour (200GB). However, the remote backup server is at a prior partner, and our backup agreement with them expires in 3 months.

Any suggestions on the best backup approach? My initial options:

  • Continue using rsync to a cheap online dedicated server
  • Use DFSR to a cheap online dedicated server
  • Use DFSR to the owner's home server (free, but at whim of ISP)
  • Other? Is there any online backup services for servers that are affordable?

Thanks in advance

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Have you tried Bacula? I don't know if it is what you are looking for, but it's quite useful! Look at its documentation (very complete) and mailing list (quite busy).


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DFS is not backup. If something is deleted or becomes corrupt it is simply repeated on all DFS targets. This is closely related to the "RAID is not backup" rule.

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I don't quite see the difference ... if we run it nightly, wouldn't it be the same as a remote backup? We could even copy off (or even better, hard link) each night's files to create archived offsite storage. – Beep beep Sep 3 '09 at 0:12
DFS uses continuous replication. You can modify the scheduling so that it only replicates at certain times, but the technology is not intended to be a backup solution. – ThatGraemeGuy Sep 3 '09 at 9:12

We use for our Windows servers. There is a good client for Windows. Only changed data is backed up after the initial backup. Transfer is encrypted (128 bit) and you can have the data be encrypted in storage (256 bit) if you want. You can also access the storage via FTP client if you wish. Pricing is $167 per month on a yearly basis for 200GB.

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Rsync over SSH for a secure backup. Bare rsync isn't encrypted unless you're tunneling through a VPN of some sort.

You may also want to look into a program called CrashPlan, as it has many features for remote and local backups.

I haven't used DFSR but from what I can tell its more of a replication (which, yes, is a backup) than a dedicated backup.

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Sorry, we use rsync over SSH now, but we had to stop rsync'ing Windows servers during the day because it kept blowing a gasket on files in use. DFSR's queued syncs seemed a bit safer. – Beep beep Sep 2 '09 at 6:10

For windows, in production I use retrospect Profresionnal. It runs great AND it has clients for windows, Linux and Mac os X. It saves files from every client, and you have automated reports. I like it because you don't have to worry about disk space : it handles by itself the backup strategy. So you tell it a quota, like "don't use more than 80% of my 1tb disk, and I have 20 clients to backup". No more :-)

Morover it's not that expensive (around 700 $) AND runs great under TSE

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Is this what you're talking about - ? If so, wouldn't you also need to purchase offsite servers? – Beep beep Sep 3 '09 at 0:11
Yes it's this one. You could buy an offsite server, but you'll have to buy an extra licence (if you have like two backup servers) – Razique Sep 3 '09 at 7:06

i'm not a fan of backing up remotely over the net. there are too many variables (network outages, slow connections, incomplete sets, service outages) that can be prevented with a quality onsite backup routine (tape libraries and monthly offsite tape rotations.

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We use our remote backups for both failover and 2nd tier backups. We've had to use our remote backups for failover before when we could not access our location (Hurricane). I don't see any alternative. – Beep beep Sep 3 '09 at 0:09

Perhaps not for Windows, but users on other operating systems might want to consider TarSnap, which costs US$0.30 for each gigabyte of storage per month, and US$0.30 for each gigabyte of bandwidth. The author also discusses alternatives in a blog post.

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OUCH, that would be $60/day. We could but a dedicated server + T3 for that. – Beep beep Sep 2 '09 at 6:11
Nevermind, it's $.30/GB-month of storage ($60/month) + $.30/GB of bandwidth (for us, about $6/day). That would be ~$240/month, much more reaosnable, although I suspect it would crush our T1 vs. DFSR or rsync (which only copy changed bytes). – Beep beep Sep 2 '09 at 6:18
Whoops. Edited to fix. – Zanchey Sep 2 '09 at 12:27

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