Centralized backup solution

I am looking for a centralized backup solution for my company. Currently I have setup folder redirection policy on our DC. All workstations sync successfully at the logon and logoff on the domain however, laptop users who travel, constantly complain that they cannot retrieved their data. Even though off line synchronization is configured on their laptop, most of the times when they are outside of the office they get the server not available popup.
I have looked into online backup solution however, noticed that a lot of users are not happy with that either.  
Does anyone have any suggestion on syncing data somewhere and yet be able to access them outside of the domain?
Thanks,
phreesiaAsked:
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SteveH_UKCommented:
The way this would work is as follows:

1)  The users have data stored on the laptop.  Whether this is synchronised with a network server, or just on their laptop is entirely up to you.
2)  You install Backup Exec on a server and configure the laptop policy
3)  You install the Backup Exec Desktop & Laptop option agent on the laptop

Have a look at: http://www.computerworlduk.com/cmsdata/whitepapers/3601/Symantec_Backup_Laptop_Option_wp.pdf

The laptop keeps a copy of changes locally, then when it has access to the network it uploads the changes to a network share.  Different laptops can use different shares, if they have differing access to local servers.
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SteveH_UKCommented:
You can look into WAN technologies, such as Packeteer provides (www.packeteer.com).  Or you could look at DFS-R, and improved version of DFS in Windows 2003 R2 that does what you need.

However, you should combine this with standard backup methods, either a high-reliability backup to a remote SAN, or to tape.  The important thing is that the media is off site.

DFS-R, and similar technologies, will allow you to transfer data between sites reliably, and then you can back it up from there.
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SteveH_UKCommented:
You can use Microsoft's Offline Files feature to give access to files when users do not have Internet/VPN access.
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SteveH_UKCommented:
Offline Files is discussed here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/bb457104.aspx.

Remember, if you are going to store the files on a laptop, you may want to consider encryption software (such as provided by SecureDoc (www.securedoc.com)), or you may breach regulations that you need to adhere to (such as FSA, Sarblanes-Oxley, Data Protection, etc.).
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phreesiaAuthor Commented:
Well,

To be more precise, I have setup a Folder redirection policy on My Document folder.  Everyone save thier files on My Document folder.  There is a shortcut sing on all files which is indicating that the actual data is in fact stored on the server.  I setup the Microsoft Offline File on all laptops however, time to time when users work from home it seems as if their laptop is trying to connect to the server or its trying to apply the GPO.  So if I am not mistaking I am using windows DFS and offline files option on laptops.  But this setup is not reliable. Correct me if I am wrong. Also is packeteer an online solution?
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SteveH_UKCommented:
Packateer is a branch-office solution.

You are not currently using DFS, but again this is a server-to-server solution.  I'm sorry, I wasn't sure quite what your scenario was.

Your computers will always attempt to use Offline Files when a user logs in or out, and at regular intervals---this is how it detects that the servers are available.

See if the following helps:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Windows_Server_2003/Q_21219537.html
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SteveH_UKCommented:
You can also consider alternatives such as the BackupExec Desktop and Laptop Option.  This allows users to keep files on their laptops, but still ensures that you can take regular backups.
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phreesiaAuthor Commented:
Hum, I had no idea backupexec can do that. Have you tried this? do you think it still does what the GPO does?
thanks
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SteveH_UKCommented:
Actually, I think it is better.  The GPO has to keep files intact on a per-file basis, and by copying.  The BackupExec agent can backup the entire laptop, but it doesn't need to do it all in one go, so yes I can recommend it.

Other backup software vendors have similar functionality, such as Retrospect, so if you are already using one vendor, have a look at what they offer first.
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phreesiaAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for the info.  I've researched on the backup software.  Obviously Backup Exec is the most popular one however, the question is how to set it up so that when laptop users log into the domain, their data backs up automatically as well as when they are off the domain they be able to access their data. is this something that the backup software can do or it involves Active Directory and GPO adminstration an configuration?
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