Question about managing UrBackup

I’m an employee in a Computer Consultant Company and we are looking at trying to use this program to backup PCs for our clients. My manager doesn’t want to move forward with this program though unless we can have a central server at our office, that talks with a server at each business location. And he wants the backups to backup to the server onsite, with the old backups moving to the central server, until a specified time. He also wants to be able to manage the servers from one server. Is any of this possible?

In the current iteration, no. Not all of it. Not without getting your hands really dirty tooling around with the internals of the systems. Also, the requirement of:

Is going to be pretty difficult. Your boss is wanting a multi-million dollar system. Tell him that.

If you can get rid of that last requirement, you might be able to cobble something together with UrBackup running on a flavor of Linux at each location and then rsyncing back to your office. It would be a lot of work though and you better know your stuff on the Linux side in order to automate checks to assure that everything is working properly.

Also, depending upon how much management you need from that central server…if you only need to verify that everything is working properly, you could use something like Nagios or Icinga to report state of backups back to you.

He is wanting a lot out of free software.

Allow me to further the point john3354 is getting at.

I own a small IT service company and am always looking at these types of open source projects. I started looking at them with the same desires/goals/hopes your boss has. The commercial backup software made for small service providers to use all have down sides. You have to pick your favorite out of a group of bad choices. They all offer some combination of expensive to purchase, leased instead of purchased, expensive maintenance subscription, unnecessarily complicated licensing, poor support, infuriating focus on additional features over bug repair, etc.

At some point the idea hits that you could roll your own. Good call by the way. The commercial options don’t provide the value they sell you on, so why not make your own “good enough” system to protect your customers data. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just reliable. So you lay out the ingredients on paper before hitting google. Scheduled, incremental, encrypted transfer, encrypted data, remote administration, block diff, etc. The bullet list could take an entire legal pad if you don’t stop yourself and prioritize.

While researching you hear the seductive call of “someone else may have done all the hard work for me in the open source market” begin to echo in your head. We don’t write software for a living in the service market, so not having to learn a new (or brush up on an old) language (and remember all the universal things we forgot since Pascal) would really get the ball rolling faster.

So here is the bad news. You won’t find everything you listed. You can use the work laid out in several projects to do something like that, but still have to put in your own time (or pay someone else) to tie them all together. It would be really nice if you contributed code for your improvements back to the projects used to create this solution. Not the customizations that let you shoehorn things into your niche, but things that fixed a problem installing on WinXP under Mono or improved performance on OSX 10.whatever.

What you will find are lots of good people like uroni making wonderful software in the backup category. They are helping me protect the retired people I support, free of charge, from the depressing realization that everything they had on their hard drive is gone. They give me the option of telling my small business clients not to pay the bitcoin ransome for the latest Crapt-O-Locker infection. All without having to lease from a vendor that decides to sell directly to our customers or purchase from another that astroturfs review sites and threatens to sue over BBB complaints.

Thank you uroni and friends. On behalf of all the people you have helped me protect against loss and extortion, I thank you.

Back on topic. With the possible exception of Amanda, which is a whole different animal, none of these open source projects will do what you want. In the entire history of… well, everything… a free lunch has never been proven to exist. The same goes for unicorns and lonely hot girls with high sex drives that play World of Warcraft.

I hope I’ve helped educate people a bit, and drive home a few points. Let me know if it wasn’t enough. I can kick a dead horse until we have 1500lbs of canned cat food if need be.

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