The need to look at Open Source backup solutions prompted me with a couple of choices.
I tried ClearOS and BackupPC, but it required a lot of faffing around, so it got kicked.
Then I downloaded Ubuntu, and installed BackupPC on it. (Reason for it is that BackupPC also can access SMB shares for backing up files+folders, giving me less schlepp to configure laptops/desktops).
Faffed around with it, but tossed BackupPC out as its backup function doesn’t work nicely. If you want to use other transfer methods (eg tar, nfs etc) you need to do a lot of faffing around, especially on Windows things, which I want to avoid as far as possible.
Googled around for a bit, then settled for urBackup. This backup utilizes client-server technology, so basically you install the server (also on Ubuntu), configure it, and leave it. Then you plonk the client program onto the PC’s you want to backup. (The client comes in x64 and x86 flavours, and two versions, one version shows taskbar icon, other version doesn’t). It is also possible to change permissions for the taskbar icon on the server itself, so that users may start their own backups, but they won’t be able to change any other settings :
Installation is fairly straightforward for the client. (Clients are available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X)
Once I added the wildcards for the files to backup and the source directory, I ran into a problem as it babbled about some nonexistent shadow folder somewhere. After faffing around with shadow folders and the such with the vssadmin command, I tried again, only to see the same error message.
Only then did I notice that the source path was \Users:\Documents* didn’t read the examples properly… and changed it to C:\Users…
…and the backup went through flawlessly. The GUI frontend have some nifty features, and the Activities screen gives you a live indication on progress, ETA, speed and the such.
It is also highly configurable - to bandwidth management, number of backup sessions and so on, so you can really go overboard with a server that can handle maximum backup loads. And if you’ve got a wee-wee server (i3 CPU maybe?) you can throttle it down so that the i3 CPU doesn’t get overwhelmed by the deluge of backups.
You can make incremental backups as well, although I prefer to do a full backup after day’s end, saves me with faffing around with incremental restores… Although I still have to see how things pan out with a daily backup vs incremental backup.
My idea is to put together a proof-of-concept system, install it at HO, and leave it running for a week or so, then see what happens to storage space during that time, then do fine tuning if needed.
And backup via Internet is also possible, though I am wary of opening the urBackup port to the Internet, I’ll rather do this kind of thing via a secure VPN tunnel (openVPN etc).
Restoring from a backup can be done in two ways : direct restore (which puts the file(s) back in their place (good for a cryptolocker infection) and a zip file download.
Another wow feature is this :
Seems you can make Virtual Hard Drive image backups of client computers, but be cautioned, it can (and will) eat up a lot of hard drive real-estate!