Category : Online Backup

Desktop Imaging – Good or Bad

bva gets many inquires about how should organizations back up local desktops.  Of course as technical professionals, bva recommends having nothing on the desktop with regards to important data.  But never the less it is always a subject matter that gets voiced and requested from management.  Having the ability to build and push an image to a user desktop is a great and easy way to ensure user satisfaction and lowers administration time.  That being said it is starting to be a common development when moving email into the cloud such as Exchange Online with BPOS/Office365.  There is currently no way of backing up the mail store which is painful.  That being said the way around that is to back-up the local OST file that can be backed up to local disk from the desktop.  Of course for restoration purposes you really need to move the OST to PST for restoring with typically takes another migration tool that is not free and needs to be purchased per mailbox.  A great way around that is to simply image the desktop and keep that image locally on slower or cheap disk.  That covers you on many levels from our perspectives and has many copies of data on different sets of hardware,  something to consider.

The popular software that we are using as of right now are as followed:

  • Acronis® Backup & Recovery™ 11 Advanced Workstation  Website Link – Use console to manage machines locally or remotely, Includes Acronis Management Server for single point of centralized management, Group machines into static on dynamic groups, Automatically include multiple machines or group of them to backup task, Monitor backup and recovery activities on all machines from a single place, Build customizable reports.
  • Symantec Backup Exec 2010 Desktop and Laptop Option  Website Link – With the majority of business-critical information residing outside the data center or off corporate servers, protection for desktops and laptops is a must. The enhanced Desktop and Laptop Option delivers continuous data protection to desktops and laptops whether in the office or on the road. Not only improving data protection and efficiency, this option enables users to restore their own files and maintains synchronization between multiple desktops and laptops so the most up-to-date file versions are available on all of a user’s computers. Because the Desktop and Laptop Option does not require a dedicated stand-alone server as competing products do, it easily integrates into existing IT infrastructure and policies, helping lower the total cost of ownership.  The new push-install functionality from within Backup Exec centralizes deployment. Backup Exec 2010 includes support for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP 64-bit OS, as well as delta file transfer, reducing the total amount of data being backed up. With this release, this option is integrated with Backup Exec Retrieve (available with the Backup Exec Continuous Protection Server) for even greater simplified file recovery.

Google Cloud Connect

Do you use Microsoft Office and want to try Google Docs? Do you use both Google Docs and Microsoft Office? Would you like to backup and access your Office files from anywhere? Well now you can with a new service that Google has launched called Google Cloud Connect.

What this program does is it allows users to backup and share their documents that have been created with the Microsoft Office Products and use them on Google Docs. Google Cloud Connect supports Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in the 2003-2010 versions of Microsoft Office.

It is fairly simple to setup. All you need to do is download a little plug-in for Microsoft Office and have a Google Docs account. A little toolbar is installed and it is as simple as selecting the sync button and it will sync it up to the cloud.

Check out the video below!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H12teRzulW0[/youtube]

Mozy Ends Unlimited Home Backups

Using MozyHome Service? Well you may not all be aware, but your unlimited storage is how can I say it, no longer unlimited. Mozy has decided that in its best interest, that it would no longer allow the unlimited plans for the MozyHome service and would go with tiered plans.

How it is setup now is that you can get 50 GB of storage for $5.99 for 1 computer, or you can get 125 GB for $9.99 and 3 computers. Mozy gives 3 reasons as to why the change:

  1. We are all Capturing More Photos and Videos with higher quality and resolution
  2. Multiple Machines are the Norm
  3. No Fine Print Backup

“In an attempt to remain viable in the “Unlimited backup” business, other providers have introduced measures to inhibit the growth of storage such as bandwidth throttling, excluding files over a certain size, or exclude certain file types such as photos and videos from the default backup sets. Rather than claiming to offer “unlimited” backup while imposing bandwidth or file limitations, we want you, our users, to decide what you want backed up and in return Mozy will provide you the best possible service level, with no hidden restrictions.” –From MozyHomes website.


According to Mozy, the vast majority of it’ customers will be happy with the 50 GB plan as their data will fit comfortably within that 50 GB that can be purchased for a dollar more than the extinct unlimited plan.

In my personal opinion, the unlimited data plans were excellent for the consumer but not for the company as a whole. It almost appears as if they are trying to get a better handle on the costs associated with adding additional storage by limiting the amount they need at any given time. With these tiers in place they will be easier able to manage and maintain the current and future storage needs, and although they most likely have plenty of storage available it helps to be able to better forecast future usage. Bummer for the customer, good for Mozy.