60 OS Replacements for Storage Software

Find top open source backup, NAS, RAID, and other storage-related software.
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According to IDC, the amount of digital data in our universe is doubling every two years. They say that in 2011 our world generated 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) of data. The research firm also reports that enterprises store 80 percent of that data at some point during its lifecycle.

The problem: while the amount of storage capacity needed is growing incredibly rapidly, enterprise budgets are not increasing at the same rate.

As a result, enterprises are increasingly looking to open source solutions to help them manage their huge data stores while keeping costs down. And the open source community also has many storage-related projects that can help small businesses and consumers with their storage needs as well.

This month, Datamation is updating our list or open source software that can replace commercial storage solutions. We put together a mix of storage-related projects for home users and companies of all sizes.

Here you'll find software that you can use with industry-standard hardware to create your own storage device, utilities to help you maximize your available storage capacity, and a host of other tools to help you manage your stored data.

As always, if you have additional suggestions for the list, please note them in the comments section below.


1. Amanda

Replaces Symantec NetBackup, NovaBackup, Barracuda Backup Service

Short for "Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver," Amanda is a mature tool that can back up data from a very high number of workstations connected to a LAN. Currently, Zmanda supports Amanda's development and offers related cloud-based products. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

2. Areca Backup

Replaces Norton Ghost, McAfee Online Backup, NovaBackup

Appropriate for very small businesses or home users, Areca backs up individual workstations. Easy setup and versatility make this open source backup solution popular, and it supports some advanced backup features, including delta backup. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

3. Bacula

Replaces Symantec NetBackup, NovaBackup, Barracuda Backup Service

One of the most popular open source backup solutions for enterprise users, Bacula offers a suite of tools to backup, verify and recover data from large networks. See Bacula Systems for commercial support. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

4. Clonezilla

Replaces Backup Exec, Norton Ghost

Created as a replacement for Symantec Software, Clonezilla is a backing and cloning solution that allows bare metal backup and recovery, as well as multicasting for deploying multiple systems at once. Choose Clonezilla Live for backing up a single machine or Clonezilla SE to clone more than 40 systems at once. Operating System: Linux.

5. Create Synchronicity

Replaces Norton Ghost, McAfee Online Backup, NovaBackup

This solution's claim to fame is its extremely lightweight size. A good option for standalone systems, it's customizable and easy to use. Operating System: Windows.

6. FOG

Replaces Symantec NetBackup, NovaBackup, Barracuda Backup Service

Popular with schools and small businesses, FOG resides on a Linux-based server and provides cloning functionality for Windows-based networked PCs. It offers an easy-to-use Web interface, and it includes features like virus scanning, testing, disk wiping and file recovery,. Operating System: Linux, Windows.

7. Partimage

Replaces Norton Ghost

Like FOG, Partimage runs on a Linux server, and it can clone Windows or Linux PCs connected to the network. Because it only images used blocks, it often runs faster than similar backup tools. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

8. Redo

Replaces Norton Ghost, McAfee Online Backup, NovaBackup

This backup solution boasts that it can do a bare-metal restore in under ten minutes. The website also claims that Redo is "so simple that anyone can use it," and  calls it "the easiest, most complete disaster recovery solution available." Operating System: Windows, Linux.


9. 7-zip

Replaces WinZip

Compressing files before you store them can help minimize the amount of storage capacity you need. 7-zip supports ZIP files and several popular compression formats, including 7Z files, which offer 30-70 percent greater compression than ZIP files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

10. KGB Archiver

Replaces WinZip

KGC Archiver claims to offer an "unbelievable high compression rate" that's even better than 7Z. It also offers AES-256 encryption. Operating System: Windows.

11. PeaZip

Replaces WinZip

This incredibly versatile compression utility supports more than 150 different formats. It also includes security features like strong encryption, two factor authentication, encrypted password manager and secure deletion. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


12. Kexi

Replaces Microsoft Access, FileMaker

A KDE application, Kexi is sometimes called "Microsoft Access for Linux." It offers visual tools for database creation and a database engine (SQLite), but it can also be used with MySQL or PostgreSQL servers. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

13. LucidDB

Replaces Microsoft SQL Server

LucidDB claims to be "the first and only open-source RDBMS purpose-built entirely for data warehousing and business intelligence." Accordingly, it offers advanced analytics capabilities and good scalability. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

14. MySQL

Replaces Microsoft SQL Server

This Oracle-owned project boasts that it's the "world's most popular open source database." It comes in several commercial editions in addition to the open source version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

15. PostgreSQL

Replaces Microsoft SQL Server

PostgreSQL's website claims, "Unlike many proprietary databases, it is extremely common for companies to report that PostgreSQL has never, ever crashed for them in several years of high activity operation. Not even once." It's won numerous awards and is standards-compliant. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

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Tags: open source, NAS, RAID, Storage

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