Monday, 9 June 2014

Adventures with Crashplan for backups

Recently through the excellent SAGE-AU (www.sage-au.org.au) I read about Crashplan. Produced by Code42 and found here: http://www.code42.com/crashplan/ there were lots of positive comments about it. I've since deployed it in two separate locations - in the office and at home. I'm using the free implementation at the moment, which allows you a backup each day to a variety of places. They include a 30 day trial of their cloud backup solution - which is quite cheap for a home implementation - $165 / year for 2 - 10 computers. Check out the full pricing - but see what you can do with the free version:-

At the office we have a straight Microsoft Windows based environment - Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and a wee Windows 8 here and there. I've set up a Crashplan account using a single email address and installed it on almost all our machines. I have a Windows 2012 Server running in our virtual environment and I'm using it as the base for all the backups to go to. I added a 2TB virtual disk to it, configured Crashplan and started pointing machines back to it. It's working brilliantly! As they say though, backups are optional - restores are mandatory. Since implementation I've had to run three separate restores, from all sorts of weird files to basic word documents and it's run flawlessly!

At home I've been messing with it too. I've installed it on my Linux Mint desktop which runs all the time, and has an NFS share back to my FreeNAS. I've set up Crashplan to use that location for backups and I have the wife's Windows 7 laptop, my MacBook Air and my Windows 8 PC all backing up to that location now. Totally cool! Crashplan has installed and worked on all the machines without any issues, complications or anything. It's excellent!

Emails are sent from Crashplan to notify you if machines are backing up properly or haven't backed up for a given amount of time and this is very handy. Our offsite techs are frequently away for days and as soon as they get back, their laptops start automatically backing up. It's the easiest implementation I've found so far.

Check it out http://www.code42.com/crashplan/ it's awesome!

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