Reply to post: Ultimate backup solution

Riddle me this: What's green and freezes cloudy penguins?

Oh Homer

Ultimate backup solution

I've been on a quest for the Holy Grail of backup, looking for the solution that "sucks less", and moreover something that actually works properly with both Windows and Linux, often on the same machine. I also have the additional complexity of disk encryption.

This turned out to be a not very trivial exercise.

The market leader (in the consumer space), Acronis True Image, is very fast, but utterly fails with encrypted drives (the restore results in an unbootable system, unfixable with bcdedit and friends).

Most "Cloud" solutions are only file-level backups, which is OK for (very small amounts of) data but useless for bare-metal restores. They're also ridiculously expensive compared to simply buying hardware.

Even good ol' dd has issues with encrypted disks (apparently addressed by using dd_rescue), but then it's very inefficient as it backs up all blocks, used or otherwise, and has no capacity for such exotica as deduplication, online snapshots, etc.

So then I turned to various deduplication tools, such as dar, burp, bup, fsarchiver, etc., but these only really work properly on Linux (the Windows versions, where they exist, only run under CygWin, which presents some interesting compatibility issues), and they tend to be rather slow. Of them all, borg seems the most promising.

Eventually I ended up using UrBackup, which is somewhat Windows biased (Linux image backups are in beta), but has a few compelling features, such as a Changed Block Tracker that makes incremental backups lightning fast, an open VHD container format that can be mounted, outstanding deduplication, and is very easy to set up and use, even though it has all the hallmarks of an enterprise level solution.

It may not be the Holy Grail, but so far it definitely sucks less.

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