(as of February 2009)
I've previously asked a specific question about McAfee Data Backup:
This is a more general question about backup/restore software for XP, Vista, and Windows Server 200x machines. The focus is on backup to a server or NAS, NOT optical or tape, as recording time takes so long and/or it's a hassle to change media, that many users don't bother, and therefore don't do this effectively.
Individual homes are building multiple PC networks which individually contain music, photos, videos. email file cabinets, and other documents and files. Internet security packages such as Norton 360 and McAfee Internet Security are adding backup client software (local or online). Some of these clients, such as McAfee Data Backup (MDB) are free with Comcast's McAfee Internet Security software (multiple licenses for a home or business).
I'm looking for a backup strategy recommendation for home and small offices where multiple networked computers are involved.
The backup client must:
- be able to backup any type of file automatically
- be able to backup a shadow copy of an open file, such as Outlook PST
- have options for uncompressed and unencrypted, so individual files can easily be retrieved or copied to another system which doesn't have the backup client software installed
- be easily configurable for backing up complete folders of data
- maintain multiple versions of files, just in case of corruption
- have site lecensing or 5/10 pack licenses are available
In addition to the 'standard' requirements above, I'm also interested in an image backup strategy. This is because of the complex software loaded on some machines (particularly in business); in the event of a disk replacement (or other disaster recovery), it can be very time-consuming to re-install the OS, reinstall all the applications, re-create all the network connections, configure all the programs (ie Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome settings, etc).
I have experience with online backup software such as Data Deposit Box (DDB) (http://tinyurl.com/3jgpvr
) which fills all of the requirements above at $2/GB/month. This meets all of the requirements above, with the exception of the ongoing cost when picture/music/video files are included. These can be handled by adding the McAfee Data Backup client for large files (tho it doesn't do versioning).
I have some experience with Norton Ghost for imaging disk drives. One requirement for effective use of this in business will be re-partitioning user disk drives so that there's a smaller C: partition for the OS which can be effectively Ghost-imaged (it's OK to compress the Ghost image!), and a larger D: partition to be backed up in the 'traditional' way.
For now, let's not worry about 'disaster recovery' scenarios (ie getting all the NAS or server data offsite on a regular basis), making sure software install CDs and license keys are backed up, etc.
Sorry for the long item! Thoughts anyone on the best way to accomplish this?