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We have a small business running out of our home. This business, like so many others, has data as a critical component -- without which, the business would fail.

Because of the importance of the data to the business' survival, thorough and regular backups are critical. I am currently using Bacula, but I'm not terribly happy with it because it is difficult to administer. It took me many hours to get the basic backup jobs set up, and I never was able to figure out how to reliably get the backups copied to RDX cartridges for off-site storage and archival.

So I'm interested in finding another backup solution.

My requirements:

  1. We don't have much, if any money to spend on this. A $500 outlay would be very hard to come up with.
  2. The server is a headless Ubuntu installation. The backup jobs run from here. I access this machine via ssh.
  3. Agents are installed on Windows and Linux machines.
  4. Some machines are laptops. It should be possible to backup over a VPN.
  5. Backups are primarily stored on my NAS.
  6. Copies of the backups are made to RDX cartridges.
  7. The RDX cartridges are swapped out weekly, taken to the bank & stored in a safe deposit box.
  8. When a Windows machine is backed up, it creates shadow copies (snapshots) of individual files. This is so that the end user can restore a previous version of a specific file with no intervention from me.
  9. Incremental backups are run nightly, and full backups are run weekly. Archive jobs are run weekly, seperate from the full backup.
  10. I shouldn't have to hand-hold the backup.

Can you recommend a backup system suitable for a SMB with little or no money to spend?

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The backup solution that I'd recommended is CrashPlan or CrashPlan Pro. It runs off of Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can back up to one of the computers on your network for free (i.e. your share), and if you decide to do the online backup you can generate your own encryption key for the data and they also include a find my computer feature that's a great help if a laptop decides to grow legs and walk off. The app for Android and iDevices is a great help as well.

We use it for several laptops and a couple of file servers where I work.

  • Can it run archive jobs to RDX? – John Dibling Feb 7 '14 at 21:05
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    No, it can't. And for your company, you have to buy enterprise version which is pricey compared to customer edition. – Olli Feb 7 '14 at 21:23
  • Sorry, on my phone which makes linking near impossible. If all you want to do is backup to the NAS, you could install the home version on your NAS PC or one with that directory mounted and have everyone back up to that for free. The pro version comes in a per GB online model or unlimited GB for about $10 per PC per month. – Nathan Clayton Feb 8 '14 at 2:53
  • @JohnDibling If you have a means to copy a folder on the harddrive to the RDX, then you should be able to use CrashPlan with RDX. CrashPlan will store all the inbound backup data from remote clients in a single folder on the local harddrive, and you can copy that folder and its contents to somewhere else (such as RDX or tape) for archival purposes. – Darth Android Feb 18 '14 at 22:58
  • Does this support backup to FTP/FTPS destinations? I would like to backup online but to my own server – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Feb 25 '16 at 20:50

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