We would like to backup user laptops to the data center – looking for suggestions/alternatives to back them up to the data center where they don’t have to know about it. Blue sky like to haves: • Don’t want VPN but needs to secure • Admin can access all files • Global dedup • Select file types only – MS Office, PSTs, PDFs • Incremental change only • Right now 60 users but needs to scale (all Windows7 64 bit) • Can allocate budget if have to Don’t mean to be vague but hoping to get some proven places to start laptop backup research.
check out synaman, we have used it in the past with great success
Exactly the product you want depends on the platform running on your servers in the data centre, but broadly the solution is in 2 parts: a central backup service running in the DC (or run by a 3rd party, in the case of Dropbox, Sugarsync etc), and an agent installed on users' laptops out in the field, which periodically sends incremental backups to said service.
Symantec have 2 different products for this -- NetBackup, and BackupExec, that might be worth a look.
drop box premium subscription can resolve this.
One on-premises solution you might research is by Copiun – they were just nominated for backup prod of the year by Storage magazine. Copiun Laptop Backup
We are in the final stages of evaluating them.. so far we like everything we see..
They seem to meet your requirements if you need to keep the backup in the DC...
No VPN required - works securely with or without a VPN.
Admin file access - Admin can search and restore across all users.
Global Dedup - they claim 3x to 5x better than block dedup.
File Selection - there are policies that determine what file types you want in backup set.
I know you said no VPN, but if you were to get a VPN up, you'd solve most of the other problems with software built-in to Windows 7 - Windows Backup. You can do file-based backup, but you can also get a bootable image and save deltas, each being a restorable image of the OS. Also, those images are mountable as new volumes, so you can access the individual files by drive letter if you don't want to restore the entire image.
The last requirement, global dedupe, would have to depend on what's at the datacentre. Windows Storage Server has file-based dedupe, but if it's something like a SAN, block-based dedupe would be built-in, so whatever files put there would benefit (you wont benefit much from file-based dedupe).
Solving the VPN problem seems cheaper and better. (If you don't favour any of the VPN flavours that have clients bundled with Windows 7, a free alternative is OpenVPN).