Is there software available for centralized server backups of corporate mobile devices (Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Windows Phone 7)? I am looking for something that will "notice" when a mobile device is on the local wireless connection and back it up to my LTO4.

EDIT added 10-18-2011 to answer questions:

1) My smartphone environment is mixed, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7. Employees are allowed by corporate to choose whatever device they want.

2) Corporate wants all smartphone data (Contacts, E-Mail, SMS, etc...) backed up to local servers.

3) Corporate has blocked the purchase of any new Blackberry devices or software (including BES) for employees. Management believes that "RIM is dead" and refuse to spend money on it.

4) Corporate has stated that employees are not to be expected to backup their own devices. That job belongs to IT. So either I have to back up each device manually or I have to find an automated method.

5) And lastly rooting, jail breaking, or any other action that voids the warranty is disallowed.

I'm sorry, it may be ghastly, but I have no other choice.

  • 4
    Why do you want to do this? What is the goal? – Ward - Reinstate Monica Oct 17 '11 at 22:27
  • One of my Blackberry users (VP Sales) informed me that an update wiped his phone to factory default. He lost everything. Years of contact information, stored email and SMS, etc... I understand it was probably PEBKAC but management now wants all smartphone data (mainly contact information) backed up to local servers or workstations. Unfortunately because of office politics, the users are "not to be expected to backup their own phones." So either I have to back up all of our smartphones manually (I really don't have the time) or I need to find an automated method. – Albion Oct 18 '11 at 18:37
  • @Albion, that's odd as the device is automatically backed up during the update process. – DKNUCKLES Oct 18 '11 at 19:38
  • Automatically backed up where? If his information is somewhere I'd love to know where that is. BTW, his update was an OTA update. – Albion Oct 19 '11 at 14:05
  • Oh, I didn't realize it was a OTA backup. I would have loved to help you swoop in and save the day, but the backups from OTA updates don't appear to be recoverable after the update. supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/… – DKNUCKLES Oct 19 '11 at 16:22

In addition to the great information that Ward and vortaq7 have already put forth, I think the general issue here is your company's management views toward IT.

If you give an employee carte blanche to get whatever phone they choose without the thought of the IT impacts, then you're asking for trouble. If your company refused to pump more money into a proper corporate structure like Blackberry's / activesync / BESX (the BESX is free btw) then tell them they'll need to put more money into hiring new staff time to perform mundane tasks like "phone backups".

Even if you have someone to backup everyone's phone, you open up another can of worms in that you have 4 different phone OS's, with 4 different backup procedures, 4 different file types to handle, and 4 different sets of backups that need to be tested for integrity. This is such an inefficient use of staff time on so many levels. How often are the phones backed up? How often are they tested? Who's going to perform theses tasks and who's buying the phones to run the tests on?

As Ward suggested, look into the BES(X) / activesync server. It pulls contact / email / calendar information from your existing e-mail server. Should you choose to employ a besx you'll have everything from alarm settings and sound settings backed up should a nasty case of PEBCAK arises again.

  • I completely understand. I wish I had more control over those matters but the standard procedure around here is "He who makes the company money gets to choose." Thanks for BESX, I am going to check that out. I'd also like to add that this is a far better answer then assuming that someone is stupid. The world doesn't work on what's best practice. Sometimes we have to work with what we're given no matter how good the decision from the top. – Albion Oct 19 '11 at 14:15
  • 1
    I think anyone that's ever worked in IT knows that it's hard to tell the boss what's best, but the fact is that if anything goes SNAFU that your ass is on the line. Make sure that admin knows the risks involved in their approach and the flaws involved. The real beauty with the BES server is your ability to control devices (restrict updates / sideloading, remotely wipe devices if needed, reset passwords, etc). These capabilities don't exist in any other piece of software I know for mobile devices. The key here is to work smart, not hard. – DKNUCKLES Oct 19 '11 at 16:18

This is a REALLY BAD IDEA that can fail in any number of horrible and ghastly ways. To name a few:

  1. The device disappears from the corporate network 15 seconds into the backup
  2. The device's battery is run flat by the backup
  3. The device's processor is busy with the backup (and you get "My phone is slowwwww" complaints)
  4. You need an agent for every kind of mobile device.
    • You need to install those agents
    • You're going to need to upgrade them too.
  5. What if the tape drive is busy?
    • spooling falls apart when you have 100 people with 64GB smartphones.

What you really want to do is either:

  • Keep all corporate assets OFF the phones (or at least make sure there's a copy on corporate infrastructure):
    If you're talking about email/notes on an iPhone use IMAP. If you're talking about documents insist that there be copies on the user's workstation if they want them backed up, etc.


  • Tell the users to back up their phones to their PCs (using whatever sync software is appropriate), and make sure you're grabbing the backups.
  • 1
    I cannot upvote this answer enough. – GregD Oct 17 '11 at 22:54
  • 2
    When talking about BlackBerrys, they are already backed up remotely if on a BES (at least, the remote-sync capable databases are). – MikeyB Oct 18 '11 at 0:16
  • @MikeyB does that get my Playboy Bunnies crackberry app's data securely stored on my employer's server? I'm just wondering - that data is work-critical ya know "-) – voretaq7 Oct 18 '11 at 15:14
  • Can't stop the signal. – MikeyB Oct 18 '11 at 15:27
  • 1
    TINFOIL ALL THE HATS! – voretaq7 Oct 18 '11 at 15:36

If you aren't already using BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) and/or ActiveSync, then you should be. Then all the critical data syncs to Exchange and you can back that up. Even if you aren't already using Exchange, this is a far better route to go than trying to back up individual devices.

  • This is of course assuming that your company hasn't piled all their blackberries into a pile and set fire to them after the recent outage :-) – voretaq7 Oct 18 '11 at 20:12

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