Pre-populate backup?

Is there anyway to pull a backup of a client that will connect over the internet and pre-populate the server? For instance, perform a backup of some sort of a server to an external hard drive, bring it back to the office, copy files to the server and then from that point on do incremental backups to it somehow?

I know this is a long shot, but we have a server that has ~2TB of data and it will take a long while to do that over a WAN link. Incrementals would be easy though, as that size includes 30 years of historical data.

@uroni, any comment? Is this something that can be done?

You can temporarily add a client with the data, backup that client, then backup the server over the internet with client hashes enabled, then remove the temporary client. The client could be on the backup server itself.

I don’t follow. I don’t think that was an answer to the question that I asked, possibly because I worded it poorly.

I have a server at a remote office that I need to do a backup of and it will take weeks if I back it up over the internet. Is there a way to backup that server to something like an external hard drive and then import that on to my UrBackup server at another location?

Or perhaps I did not understand your explanation?

Concrete example of what I meant:

  1. Copy the files to an external hard disk
  2. Plug-in the hard disk into the server
  3. Install the client on the backup server and select the hard disk
  4. Backup the files to the server (locally)
  5. Backup the server with the 2 TB with client side hashes enabled. UrBackup will only backup files it does not already have

Works only with file backups, though. Maybe you meant image backups?

I get it now! Thank you, that will save a lot of time. Will they need to be moved to the correct directory? As in, replicating the directory structure that UrBackup uses? Or will there be a duplicate copy of files on the server? Or just copy them in to a directory under the client name with a label something like “Initial backup” and then let UrBackup create the links from that point on?

As you mentioned it, is there anyway to do initial image backups a similar way?

No, don’t move them to the storage folder. Currently they have to be replicated via an actual backup from an actual client.

No, currently not.

So they will be a superfluous copy hanging out on the hard drive? Could the local backup be done with a client that has the same settings as the internet client and then swap settings when I pull the first backup from the internet client? Or would that munge things up also?

You can remove the client with the second copy of the files afterwards and then you can reuse the external hard drive. Or you can set the max number of file backups for that client to zero. You’ll have a second copy but it well only temporarily be on your external usb drive.

I think I get it now. Thank you for your help. It is much appreciated.

I am interested in this too. So do we have to remove the temporary client from the backup server before adding the new internet client to do the incremental backups?

It doesn’t matter. When you do the backup of the internet client it will compare those file hashes to the files that already exist on the server and then create links to those files in the internet client’s backup folder. The backup of the internet client will be a completely separate client and backup folder.

UrBackup will only transfer files that it does not already have. As it already has those (at least the ones that have not changed), it will not re-transfer them.