We have a Windows Server Backup schedule that backs up our 'main' Windows 2008 server, which does our AD, Exchange, Domain controller, file hosting and a bunch of other stuff.

Now we want to offload this backup to an online location, because we don't want to have to keep taking the backup disk home with us, and it will allow for more frequent offsite backups.

The whole thing is just too big (350G) to finish a complete transfer before the next backup cycle starts, so I need it to transfer incrementally, like rsync does.

The problem I see is that Windows Server Backup makes a new folder each time it is run, with the date in the folder name. The files that it puts in that folder look like they're about the same each backup (same names), but rsync doesn't seem to think so. It transfers the files fully each time, even if I use --compare-dest to point it to the previous files. Rsync is supposed to know about modifications to large files and transfer only those differences, as it compares blocks in a file with the already existing target file of the previous transfer. But apparently Windows Server Backup thwarts this cleverness somehow.

Has anyone ever tried to accomplish this, and had any success with it?


You might try using DFS, if you can move it to a Windows server on the other end.

I've done this successfully by setting up a DFS namespace with one replica on the server containing the backups, and another replica on the "destination" server. Script your backup to be copied or moved into the local DFS replica once it's completed, with a name that doesn't change between backups. After the initial backup run and DFS synchronization, the script will overwrite the old backup with the new one, and DFS will compare the two files and only copy the differences over.

You can include a .txt file to be copied over with the original folder name, so you can make a copy of the backup and rename it appropriately or copy it into an appropriately named folder on the other end once the sync is complete.

  • Thanks, that's a good idea. We don't have access to a Windows server with enough storage space though. So we've resorted to just uploading the whole thing during the weekend and have a one-week retention. – Basefire Aug 24 '12 at 12:45

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