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Is there a trustworthy online backup service with client software that does backups without a user logged in?

I have been using Mozy combined with some custom python scripts for doing offsite backups of a Subversion repository on a Windows server. This has been working fine, except that it stops working when a user is not logged in, which happens whenever the server is patched and rebooted.

I think this is because Mozy is designed for backup up user data, not server. I haven't tried Carbonite yet but I'm guessing that is the same?

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9 Answers 9

I've been using Jungle Disk to do daily offsite backups on windows server 2003, no major issues so far and their client software has been improved quite a bit over the last few months. It doesn't require a user to be logged in to run either.

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+1 for Jungle Disk. It installs as a service on Windows. The only drawback is that when new versions come out, you usually have to restart Windows in order to apply the new version. –  Brent Ozar May 31 '09 at 14:34

Symantec has an online storage offering available at http://www.spn.com that's designed with servers in mind.

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If you have some budget for this, you might want to take a look at Axcient's service - in the interests of full disclosure, I know the guys there and think they have a really good approach. You need to have a hardware device in your workplace, which may be overkill for you, but you don't need to install any client software.

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Just to comment on the Carbonite part of your question - yes, it suffers from the same failing. You must be logged in for it to work. Having used both extensively with different clients, I can say that mozy offers a superior product overall, with far better CS and a lot more control over how it operates.

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I found the Iron Mountain offerings to be extremely reliable but expensive.

Backup Direct offer the connected-pc facility in the UK.

We're currently using perfect backup. It uses Ashay's backup services. It has some nice features (emailing you if a backup fails), and despite a couple of hiccups and truly horrible looking software, it works good.

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One word: tarsnap.

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One word: link? –  Bryan Nov 19 '10 at 8:09

Take a look at r1soft's (commercial) product.

This runs an agent that continually backs up your data, and has a very easy restore-entire-server-to-bare-metal feature. If it was free it'd be the perfect backup solution :)

But that's a solution for entire servers. If you want to backup a subversion repository, there's only 1 thing you need - svnsync. Its easy to use it - create a repo on the backup server, initialise it, then sync it. After the initial copy is complete, you can run svnsync regularly to copy all incremental changes over, so its fast. In fact, its so fast that most people place the command to run it in their post-commit and post-revprop-change hooks. So the backup server is always completely up to date. (I run it hourly, but I'm just perverse like that).

You don't need to be logged in, and you can sync from the backup server - to pull changes from the live repo, or from the subversion server - to push changes to the backup. If the backup server is not present, the next time svnsync runs it will grab all the changes, so you don't have to worry at all.

You just need a server to backup to - any of the commercial subversion hosts will do for this, a backup repo is exactly the same as an other subversion repo, and to use it if the live server dies, just requires you to "svn relocate" to the backup repo url.

Google 'subversion hosting' for quite a few online hosts.

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What if you need to restore? What software would you need to do a full restore of your system? And even when just restoring part of the system: how much time (how many days) would it take to download everything?

See also Best choice for a personal “online backup” in Europe on Super User for references to some test results on that, just to give you some idea.

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There is Records Management & Archiving in the US, similar services to Iron Mountain, but cheaper. They also offer a colo service as well.

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