For several years now our small business has been using retrospect to backup employee's machines every evening. We have the server installed on a little windows xp based machine and it backs up whichever machines are left on to a NAS unit on the network.

The machines being backed up are a mix of Windows and Mac OS and there are rarely more than 8 machines backed up each evening.

Recently, however, Retrospect has started to become unreliable when performing these nightly backups. It routinely decides not to backup to the NAS deciding it is write protected while other nights it operates absolutely fine. The same problem happens when we connect out HDD for the off site backup.

Obviously having a backup system that doesn't work is rather pointless though thankfully the majority of data is backed up in other ways anyway.

I was wondering if anyone had some other fairly low cost backup solutions that we could look into. We would essentially be looking to perform nightly backups for 10 units (a mix of win and mac) and a regular offsite backup as well. It would need to be able to run centrally off either a Windows machine or a low cost device.

Any ideas?


I know you have been running retrospect on a windows based box, but how opposed are you to loading it with a Linux flavor? I'd suggest you take a look at this. Bacula is pretty powerful and is a super low cost solution, especially for a small business like you are in.

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  • I went on their website and it looks pretty good. Now I just need a box to test it on. – jonners99 Mar 16 '11 at 10:43
  • Let me know how you like it – Split71 Mar 16 '11 at 15:08
  • Installed ubuntu on a spare partition on my netbook yesterday. I got apache/php/mysql installed and then tried to get bacula on apt-get I think its all there but am not entirely sure as it looked like the install ended prematurely. Now going to try installing the admin GUI as I don't think I'll get too far with the command line (seeing as most of my command line knowledge was learnt yesterday) – jonners99 Mar 18 '11 at 12:04
  • Slowly getting there in that I have bacula and bacula-web up and running. Tomorrow I hope to configure the backup device and then try adding some additional clients. – jonners99 Mar 30 '11 at 16:00
  • excellent. Glad you considered this route. – Split71 Mar 30 '11 at 16:58

Bacula is definitely affordable and quite robust but IMHO it could be considered quite difficult to configure and operate If you are interested in alternative products I suggest checking out Amanda/Zmanda or Crashplan Pro. CPP is a bit expensive but it is really best in breed for cross platform backups.

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