Proprietary backup options
Even though I'm a big fan of the open source backup solutions listed above, I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't include two very effective proprietary Linux backup tools. I use one of them every day and can honestly state that it's been bullet proof for me since the first time I had to do a restoration.
JungleDisk Using their simple backup service, users of the JungleDisk product can benefit from access to Amazon's S3 servers with seamless, quiet scheduled backups. Considering that competing services like Mozy ignore Linux altogether, I'm thrilled that JungleDisk offers a natively working client that allows us to use their service if we choose to. JungleDisk offers a straightforward experience that makes backing up files/directories very easy. Best of all, it runs silently in the background.
CrashPlan Like JungleDisk, CrashPlan offers off-site hosting using secure transmission of your files/directories by utilizing their software. That said, CrashPlan has one additional quality that sets it apart. The basic software option allows for the end user to save their data to another remote machine also running CrashPlan. This remote machine could be running Linux, Windows or OS X. CrashPlan doesn't care.
Ultimate backup scenario
Enterprise support staff shouldn't need any advice here because if they did they'd likely be unemployed. But for small business users who are not backing up to tape or to some faceless data center, I thought I'd suggest my approach to a solid workstation backup.
1) A dedicated home directory. Obviously less important for a common workstation as user data might very well be based on a server and not locally, it's still worth mentioning that local settings are kept here. In my home office, this is the only way I operate. The perceived value seen here may vary.
2) Clone a clean installation of the system partition. When starting off with a fresh workstation, I like to do a Clonezilla image of the system partition. This makes restoration much easier as I am able to backup user files from other sources.
3) Incremental backups are your friend. For my home directory housing my user settings, I tend to lean with this method of data backup. I cannot stress enough how nice it is to save space and eliminate extreme overwriting by using incremental backups.
No single software tool or method is going to be perfect for everyone. What works for one environment might be completely inappropriate for another. That said, the software listed above provides you with a solid list of resources from which to come up with a solid game plan to secure your company's backup needs.
Do you have some suggestions or alternatives? By all means, please share them with the community by posting your suggestions to the comments. I'd love to hear about which backup solutions are working for you.
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