by June 30, 2004 0 comments

It’s not only important to back up data from your production servers, but also from users’ desktops and laptops. That’s what this software is meant to do. It can back up and restore data from users’ machines, and it offers technological advantages such as low bandwidth consumption because of byte-level change recognition. It can also clone the personal settings of a client, so that it can be replicated on another client. This is useful if a client machine crashes.

The software can back up all existing versions of Windows desktops. The server can be a Windows NT Server (with SP 6) or higher. We tested it on a Windows 2003 Server. It’s fairly simple to deploy and is wizard driven. There are separate components for the server and the Windows desktops that need to be installed. After installing the server components, you can either use the existing Windows accounts from the domain controller, or create fresh ones. To configure the client machines, you can either manually configure each machine or simply mail the client component to each user through the Management Explorer. 

All backup configurations can be done from the Management Explorer 

After installing the software, you have to provide the domain name or IP address of the server, and they’re ready to be backed up. From the client side, you can define what all you want to back up. But that doesn’t mean that the clients can back up any amount of data. You can define some policies on the server to restrict how much can be backed up. For instance, you can configure it to back up the My Documents folder and local settings for each client. You can also specify the storage space limit that each client has on the server and the amount of free space available to them. If the free space reaches a predefined threshold, the software won’t allow the client to take back ups. Lastly, you can place restrictions on the file size being backed up. This ensures that the clients don’t end up backing up their personal data such as digital pictures, music and videos. 

You can define a policy on the server to back up all clients at scheduled intervals. You can either make it mandatory for the data to be backed up, or allow the clients to cancel the backup. The clients can also schedule their own backups. 

The software can compress the data while backing up. We tried backing up a mix of 650 MB of regular office data, and it was compressed to just 234 MB on the server. Besides being able to place restrictions, the server also offers good logging and monitoring options. 

The bottom line: A useful package for organizations that need a solution to back up the data from their clients’ machines. 

Anindya Roy and Sudarshana Mishra

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