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Remote Folder Synchronization

Posted on 2006-11-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have several "roaming" users that are not on my domain and don't VPN back to my domain, but need to get the information on thier machine back to my server.  On average the amount of data that is stored on the machine is 10gig.  Is there a way to synchronize this information by an IP solution or something that doesn't require the user to initiate software ?
Question by:Thomas Walton
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17964493
Dear Sebree,
It is very tough to sync to folder via Internet. Instaed you can look at some third party vendors like  solution from iron mountain where they give you space so that you can store your data and restore it back when ever you want. This is what we have for all our Mobile users. Hope this helps.


Author Comment

by:Thomas Walton
ID: 17964645
I took a look at ironmountain and it looks like a possibility, do you know if you have to use VPN to connect back to the domain in order for this to work ?  I am not sure on how the client and server would talk to each other if outside the domain.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 17964742
I don't exactly how it works. I belive it works like this  Client --> Iron Mountain Server--->Your Server

In this case iron mountain server is always accessible via Internet.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17966115
Novell iFolder.(Rsync under the covers)

Works on any machine that can run Apache or IIS.


Or Rsync which is free,but unsupported by any major software vendor.


It only replicate delta changes (IE you have a 100 mg PPT file and 1 meg gets changed ,only the 1 meg change goes across the wire)

They don't need to belong to the domain,you can use LDAP for authentication.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17966148
No VPN needed.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

gurutc earned 1000 total points
ID: 17967690
The low-down on RSYNC...

This solution is how we do synchronization over a large WAN.  This includes some hosts backing up over the Internet.

We protect 3 Terabytes per night from 200 remote servers with a backup strategy using RSYNC.  These include both Windows and Netware servers and some XP desktops also.  Our centralized backup file server runs OpenSuse 10 and has a combination of both RAID SCSI and USB External drives attached.  Then, each day, we back up the Linux box using a Windows server with a tape jukebox attached and running CA ArcServe.  That way we get a daily snapshot to tape allowing us to do a scheduled rotation.

This means we are following the Golden Rule of Backups, which applies no matter how much data you back up, which is this:  Always have 2 separate backup copies of important data.  And it's better if they are different types of media.

If you set your backup up and run it, you'll eventually get the chance to see how it worked.  We've restored over 30 servers with the system I described without any data loss.  The solution I described is scalable all the way down to a small workgroup network.

RSYNC has done what no commercial software seemed to be able to do: give us a good working backup system for our enterprise.  It uses very efficient synchronization and compression algorithms to move the changes from our distributed servers. It also can run over a Secure Shell Connection automatically.   Here's a link to the RSYNC Project:


Here's the Novell RSYNC forum:


And here's a good resource for RSYNC on Windows:


Here are two more good RSYNC Windows links:



The NASBackup Project is a neat Open Source effort to make a gui-based RSYNC client for Windows.  It works very well.

More info:  RSYNC uses an algorithm that only sends the changes in the file systems.  This algorithm is so efficient that i can even get down to only sending the changed blocks in an individual file without having to send the whole file.  It works very well for us even over DSL/Cable speed connections.

- gurutc
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 17978408
Hi sebree,

I was adding on to pgm554's suggestion to use RSYNC, and I'm not trying to criticize you when I say that I think pgm554 deserved some of the points.  I don't mind splitting points with anyone on the next one since once you award them it's done so this one can't be redistributed.

The SPLIT button is on the bottom when you are choosing to accept answers.  But I hope your sync implementation goes well.

- gurutc

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