Open source storage software clearly fills a need.
According to researchers at IDC, the digital universe included 1.2 million petabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes, of data by the end of 2010. In case you have trouble picturing those numbers, that's enough data to fill a stack of DVDs that stretches to the moon and back.
With the amount of data growing exponentially, storage has become big business. 2010 saw a number of large tech firms snap up smaller storage-related vendors, including HP's notable acquisition of 3PAR after a bidding war with Dell.
But enterprises and small business don't have to spend a lot of money on their storage solutions. A number of open source projects offer backup, network attached storage (NAS), data warehouse, compression, encryption and other storage-related capabilities. Even if companies pay for support or related services, these open source options usually cost considerably less than their commercial counterparts.
Here are 50 noteworthy open source replacements for commercial storage-related tools. As always, feel free to suggest any others you think we should have included in the comments section below.
Suitable for both small and large organizations, Amanda allows IT administrators to backup up multiple multi-platform systems to tape, disk, or other media. Development of the software is now sponsored by Zmanda, which provides cloud-based backup services that rely on the same software. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
More suitable for home users, Areca Backup offers advanced features like compression, encryption, file version tracking and backup simulation, along with a fairly easy-to-use interface. It offers full (backs up the entire drive), incremental (backs up files changed since last backup), differential (backs up files changed since last full backup), and delta (backs up the portions of the files changed since the last backup) backup options. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
This enterprise-ready network backup solution claims to be the most popular open source backup option for enterprise users. Commercial support is available through Bacula Systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Specifically designed as a replacement for Norton Ghost and other Symantec backup products, Clonezilla is an open-source backup/imaging/cloning app that allows bare metal recovery and has unicasting and multicasting capabilities. It comes in two flavors: Clonezilla Live for backing up a single machine, and Clonezilla SE which can clone more than 40 systems at once. Operating System: Linux.
Extremely lightweight and easy-to-use, Create Synchronicity is great for home or small business users. It has good scheduling capabilities and is available in a number of different languages. Operating System: Windows.
FOG creates a Linux-based server that can backup both Windows and Linux systems. It's a good choice for small organizations, because it's very easy to use but also very powerful with a number of advanced features. Operating System: Linux, Windows.
This network tool can back up entire disks or just partitions. Note that it runs on Linux, but can also back up Windows machines connected to the network. Operating System: Linux.
Redo Backup and Recovery boasts that it can do a bare-metal restore in as little as 10 minutes. Unlike many other backup and recovery tools for home users, it can boot from a CD even if you can't run your operating system due to a virus or system crash. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
This utility offers a 2-10 percent better compression ratio on zip files than WinZip. And it also lets you create self-extracting 7z files with 30-70 percent better compression than zip files. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
The KGB Archiver offers both good compression and good encryption capabilities, with all files protected by AES-256 encryption automatically. It's also pretty fast, but you will need a fairly robust system in order to use it. Operating System: Windows.
11. PeaZip Replaces WinZip PeaZip writes to 10 different compression file formats and extracts from 129 file types, making it one of the most versatile archiving tools available. It also offers encryption capabilities, and it's available in a portable version that you can use from a thumb drive. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
It's Web site proclaims Kexi to be “a long-awaited competitor for programs like MS Access or Filemaker.” It's part of the KDE suite, but can also be used on its own. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Unlike the other databases on our list, LucidDB was specifically designed to serve the analytics needs of data warehouse and business intelligence projects. It was created with "flexible, high-performance data integration and sophisticated query processing in mind." Operating System: Windows, Linux.
MySQL claims to be the "world's most popular open source database." It's very popular with Web developers because of its excellent performance and scalability capabilities. In addition to the free community edition, Oracle offers a number of paid commercial editions, as well as services and training. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
This database touts its reliability saying, "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 offers a wide array of advanced enterprise-class features like Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC), point-in-time recovery, tablespaces, asynchronous replication, nested transactions (savepoints), online/hot backups and much more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.