How to backup multiple SQL Servers to a central location.

I have 4 Microsoft SQL servers and would like to manage all the backup jobs from a central tool with a central management interface.  Is anyone aware of tools, preferably in the  freeware domain, to do this.  I have evaluated Quest and Red-gate products.   While both do what is needed the cost seems high.
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Anthony PerkinsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>>The functionality is impressive however we use an external USB drive to backup to which redgate does not recognize<<
Have you seen the following thread?
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
In my job I mostly used EMC's (Legato) Networker product to backup SQL Server databases (among other things like File System on multiple platforms, Oracle database, Exchange servers etc, had been Networker integrator).
Although not free (indeed also quite expensive), IMHO one of the best GUI's (although still quite limited, up to 7.2) among the backup software.

Anthony PerkinsCommented:
We use Red-Gate's software.  It is well worth every cent.  You will however have to purchase a license for each server.
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You can share the folder on central machine. Run the backup jobs from each macine and give the backup path a network shared path.
By doing this way you can take backup of all sql server on a central machine.
The other way is to use sql dmo from VB script.

1) You can create 4 backup script each for each server.
2) Create a job on central SQL server and add 4 job step to execute each script.

Follwoin is a code for that VB Script:
Change path,database name and servernname in follwoing script.

Dim oServer
Dim oDatabase
Dim oBackup
Dim sBAKFilePath
Dim sDatabase
Dim sServer
'change this to where ever you want to place your backup files, no trailing
'backslash, we add it below

sBAKFilePath = "C:\"
sDatabase = "TEST"
sServer = "PC-p4-342\LOCAL"

'we need a backup object in addition to the sqlserver one
Set oServer = CreateObject("SQLDmo.SqlServer")
Set oBackup = CreateObject("SQLDmo.Backup")

oServer.LoginSecure = True
oServer.Connect sServer

For Each oDatabase In oServer.Databases

    If UCase(oDatabase.Name) = sDatabase Then

        oBackup.Database = oDatabase.Name

        'remove any previous backup - same as using T-SQL with init

        oBackup.Initialize = True

        'dynamically create the name of the backup file

        oBackup.Files = sBAKFilePath & "\" & oDatabase.Name & "_"  & cstr(day(date)) & "_"  & cstr(month(date)) & ".bak"
        oBackup.Action = 0

        oBackup.SQLBackup oServer

    End If


Set oBackup = Nothing
Set oServer = Nothing  

Hope this helps.
if there are budget constraints, I would personally use (or reuse basically) a generic backup script that I have and put all the backups in one mapped drive.

You can set the job to send an email notification to you so that you know which one worked and which one failed...

the only problem is that when you make a change to one script you will have to update all the other servers... the good news is, if you do the right script as generic as it should be, you won't be needing to updated it :-)

if you need help with the script it self let me know.
asimillcAuthor Commented:
Thanks fo everyone for the information. I have evaluated Redgate.  The functionality is impressive however we use an external USB drive to backup to which redgate does not recognize  unless it is set up as a nullsessionshare.  I have also evaluated another product which is SQL backup 5.23.  IT appears to work well and it is fairly inexpensive, $79.00/copy but it must be installed on each station and it appears that the old file deletion does not work properly.  

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